THE BLOG
07/07/2011 09:04 BST | Updated 06/09/2011 06:12 BST

History: There is a Lesson in There Somewhere

Labour didn't do a very good job with its manifesto pledge and didn't do very good job of implementing Home Information Packs and there must be lesson contained within this very recent history.

Political parties love the housing market, it's a big market and nearly every voter has experience of it.

The stress, the chains, the lender, the estate agent, the conveyancer, the searches, the insurance, the removal companies.....everyone has a tale to tell because it's very emotional. Politicians know this because they have shared the same experiences and they also know to mention it, even in passing, will get votes on ballot day.

What some Politicians don't seem to understand apart from the emotional common denominators are the real, everyday workings of the system. It's not shrouded in mystery; you don't need a secret handshake or a book of enlightenment to understand it.

Good practioners of conveyancing look after clients, every step of the way with good open old fashioned communication, it doesn't matter in which form the communication is desired or delivered - SMS alerts, personal phone calls or emails it's still communication and a client knowing that before you boarded the plane with your snow board tucked under your arm you did everything in your power to advise and assist. This also means that the practice partner, before they bundled up the children and headed off to Centre Parcs for weekend did so, with total piece of mind.

And that ladies and gentlemen is why it's easy to prey upon; the system does work. Yes there are horror stories about housing transactions, but look at any industry and you will find horror stories there too.

When I spoke recently at a business gathering and mentioned horror stories, a delegate responded mid-flow with this "it's the value of the transaction, that's why when things go wrong it's a horror story". I can see her point, the more value attached, the greater the feeling, but it doesn't detract from the message, look at any industry and you will find horror stories.

Take the car industry for example, how many people have purchased a car, gleaming with polish, the dealer has presented you with a free coffee and charged you extra for dust mats, but you don't care, the deal is done, you own it, the high value item of your dreams. Only to drive off the forecourt and break down. The horror.

But would this incident give a political party the right to say, "the car delivery system doesn't work, it needs speeding up, it needs overhauling." The dust mats must be free manifesto pledge.

The answer is no.

Labour didn't do a very good job with its manifesto pledge and didn't do very good job of implementing Home Information Packs and there must be lesson contained within this very recent history.

I'm sure other parties will look towards housing and think out loud, by jove, we must do something with the housing market, we need votes......... and we will all go back round the wheel again.

But I have a fact I would like to share, the single biggest change in housing transaction times was the reduction time of local searches by private industry. It was small and medium sized businesses who delivered the biggest reduction to the process, with innovation, not Government.

It is small and medium sized businesses throughout the housing market who have delivered consumer choice, consumer care, greater consumer interaction and a real desire to get the job done. From practices and conveyancing teams embracing technology and different forms of communication, to private search companies bringing speed and competitive pricing, the estate agents with online portals delivering instant details and the removal companies with total care packages.

This of course is just a snapshot and I have named but a few, of the real private sector initiatives which have delivered industry changes. And here is the real refreshing change, in all of what I have just mentioned there was not a single Minister in sight.