With our newly opened Bingley office marking the 15th branch of Ison Harrison solicitors across Yorkshire, we would like to introduce you to our Bingley Branch Manager and new member of the Ison Harrison team, Claire Loftus.
Claire is an experienced property expert and previously worked at Gordons LLP in Bradford as a conveyancing executive. Her new role with Ison Harrison will see her continue to provide property law services as well as manage a team and day to day running of the new Bingley branch.
What is your day to day role, Claire?
I specialise in all areas of residential property so each day can be different but most days consist of communicating with clients and other parties involved in house sale or purchase, whether that’s by email, telephone or safe face to face meetings.
A conveyancer’s role also includes reviewing title deeds and documents as well as reviewing mortgage offers, setting up and agreeing completion dates and transferring or receiving funds to ensure completions take place.
In addition, I oversee the branch and staff members.
How did you get into property law?
I was attending Keighley College doing a business NVQ and was given a placement at a law firm in Keighley for work experience. I was lucky enough to be offered a permanent role working on reception and doing general admin, before moving across to work in the property department as a secretary. I completed my NVQ while working full time, and this is when I realise that I wanted to work in the legal profession.
How would you say property law has changed in the last few years?
The digital world we live in now has really streamlined the house moving process. People much prefer electronic communication than letters, and solicitor firms have also adapted more to this “paper free” way of working where possible. Searches used to be typed up and sent in the post, and now they are ordered at the touch of a button!
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Definitely completion day. Whether it’s a client’s first home or fifth home, the excitement is always there about the first steps on the property ladder or their next family home. I feel that excitement for my clients having been in their shoes myself when buying my own home.
What would you say is the most challenging part of your job?
Probably when things don’t quite go to plan and we have to tell clients that a buyer or seller has withdrawn their offer. This is heartbreaking when it happens so close to completion.
How have you found working from home during the pandemic?
Covid has certainly had an impact on working life. As I have been working from home more, Zoom and FaceTime meetings have become “the norm”. I have certainly communicated far more by email in recent months too. The property market has seen high demand post lockdown, so work levels have been much higher – being organised has been key to coping and there have been some long days to ensure clients could get moved in a timely manner!
What advice would you give to anyone looking to buy or sell property currently?
I would recommend to anybody wanting to sell or buy at the minute to be as organised as possible, have your paperwork ready and mortgage finance, if applicable, in place – this will certainly speed things up for you.