The need for property attorneys to address increasing threats to their profession has been made apparent through an intensive and high-profile professional awareness marketing campaign to set up a section 21 company - Property Lawyers Awareness Network (PLAN). After a series of workshops run around the country for attorneys by Property Lawyer Services (Pty) Ltd (PropLaw), it became clear that the profession is being challenged by potential deregulation, which could ultimately lead to its irrelevancy. One of the problems is that many clients do not understand or appreciate the value added by a property attorney, and that professional fees were seen to be a stipulated 'grudge purchase'.
This is despite the profession having a powerful value proposition based on the fact that only a property attorney can offer a 'one stop' service which will allow the client to unlock and protect the full value in any property-related transaction by:
- advising before the deal and on contractual matters;
- arranging competitive finance;
- ensuring that transfer and registration of the property and the bond happens as fast and efficiently as possible; and
- assisting directly in the sale or purchase of a property as they are entitled to act as estate agents.