Monday, April 15, 2024

2024 Business Predictions: Kevin Tunnicliffe, CEO of the Sort Group

It’s that time of year, when Business Link Magazine invites the region’s business leaders to offer up their predictions for the year ahead. 

It has become something of a tradition, given that we’ve been doing this now for over 30 years.

Here we speak to Kevin Tunnicliffe, CEO of the Sort Group.

2023 was a rollercoaster of a year for the property industry, with numerous challenges ranging from high inflation and multiple Bank of England interest rate increases to escalating mortgage rates and the cost-of-living crisis. These factors led to an inevitable reduction in the number of homeowners buying and selling and impacted on various areas of the sector including mortgage brokers, estate agents and conveyancers.

Overall, I think the industry will remain flat in 2024, with a potential return to normality in 2025. However, this all depends on what happens in relation to the main factors facing our industry this year.

The burning questions are whether mortgage rates will continue to drop, and the cost-of-living crisis start to improve and whether inflation will stabilise. Other factors likely to affect the property industry include the possibility of a general election, whether people will be less reluctant to move house, and the likelihood of any home buying incentives being introduced in the next Budget.

We have observed gradual changes, particularly with the rise of better mortgage rates and deals which have encouraged some buyer activity. However, more needs to be done for the housing industry to return to some kind of normal.

Here at Sort Group, we have identified two big opportunities for our business and the wider industry to make positive change.

Huge changes need to be made in the wider Conveyancing industry, namely better collaboration from all parties, improved communication, higher fees and investment in training and development.

We’re trying to kick-start this positive change and on 11 January, we hosted a conveyancing ‘levelling up’ forum, where panel managers and conveyancers within the industry came together to have an open and honest conversation about the common challenges and how we can develop solutions.

In our industry, focusing on how technology can improve and complement customer service and enhance the customer journey is a key factor. At Sort Group, all our software is bespoke and built in-house. We’re currently working on an exciting new project that will assist the wider marketplace in 2024.

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