A growing Queensland conveyancing firm is out to prove that franchising is not just for fast-food outlets.
The Noosa-based firm, bytherules Conveyancing, was named Best Conveyancing Firm in Australia at the 2017 NAB Professional Services Awards on 12 December. The firm was recognised for its outstanding client service and transparent billing practices, which included offering commitment-free online quotes for conveyancing work via the firm’s website.
However, it was the firm’s ambitious plan to set up franchises across the country that has attracted most attention.
“We started setting up franchises for the firm a few months ago,” said Managing Director Chris Collinge. “Our goal is to reach 100 franchisees in two and a half years. We want to become a household name in Australian conveyancing. The combination of our own highly experienced conveyancers and the franchisees is a major reason for our success. ”
This innovative, if not somewhat unorthodox, expansion goal seems in line with the growth bytherules has achieved under Collinge’s leadership. Since 2011, when
Collinge joined the founding lawyer Joe McMahon, the firm has grown eight-fold. Five franchises have been set up in recent months and Collinge and McMahon are preparing for more to open in January.
Collinge said he was “delighted” to receive the award for Australia’s best conveyancing firm, particularly given the Professional Services Awards were judged on the basis of client reviews and not by an industry panel. He said the award reflected the firm’s commitment to doing quality work and building strong client relationships – aspects that remained pivotal to the firm’s success.
“We focus a lot on our client service and good communication,” said Collinge. “Every conveyancing firm probably has the experience and knowledge to deal with a conveyancing matter – that’s a given. What sets us apart is timely communication with our clients and efficient systems that offer
value without sacrificing quality.”
Collinge explained that the firm built all its own IT systems and was constantly adapting them to include more efficient processes for conveyancing work.
“We believe we can’t be number one in this market unless we embrace good communication, good systems, good processes,” said Collinge. “To do that, we build our own IT systems.”
And while robot lawyers may be just around the corner for 21st century firms, Collinge admitted that he still relied heavily on his staff to do great work and keep client referrals coming in.
“This award isn’t about me, this is about the people of the company,” said Collinge. “They’re a great bunch of people who really do care about their clients. 70 per cent of our business comes from referrals and it is our staff doing excellent work that has enabled the success of the firm.”
“Hopefully we can win this award again next year,” he continued. “If we do that, we’ll know we’re on the right track.”
Chris Collinge, Managing Director