What is not often provided are specifics. For instance, technology will be absolutely essential, but what requirements should these tools meet to really move the needle for the title company?
We have studied this question and, after many years of working with both lenders and title companies, we have isolated a number of requirements that title companies, in particular, should seek out in a new platform to meet their evolving needs in a fast changing market.
Requirement 1: A system based in the Cloud
Thorough industry input and careful analysis indicate that title companies and their agents should have their entire title production system hosted in the cloud. Like lenders, they need to embrace cloud-based tech tools that allow for a more efficient closing process and offer the ability to provide a better experience for their client base.
Gone are the days of software installed onsite, behind a company’s firewall and maintained by its own staff. That setup doesn’t work with today’s software and its compliance requirements. Software must be deployed by developers to the cloud where they can meet and work with their users virtually.
Moreover, if title companies wish to operate in a secured environment, which they must to remain in full compliance, they will need a strong infrastructure that includes an entire Citrix setup with constant monitoring. It’s the only way to ensure that they keep their operations running.
To do this on their own would require a significant annual investment, which can be avoided by operating within a cloud environment. A cloud-based system allows the title company to set up a virtual office through which it can offer flexibility and always-on connections to its business partners. This is even more important today with remote working setups.
Requirement 2: Easy integration internally and externally
Title companies generally work across multiple divisions, in multiple states. In their work, they interface with multiple vendor partners to keep up with the flow of refinance transactions and new home sales. Every closing involves a number of moving pieces, each played by a different partner.
Each vendor comes with certain specialized service expertise, specialized technology and proficiency in their particular field. Each connection is different and changes as the vendor partner evolves and the relationship changes. We see this most often when compliance requirements change, requiring adjustments from multiple partners.
Keeping up with all of these changing connections while keeping accuracy paramount can be overwhelming, so leading title companies seek out a transaction management platform that includes a powerful vendor ecosystem to increase operational efficiency.
A title production platform with a robust integration framework allows easy connections with multiple systems and partners. Further, as there will be a huge amount of data flowing between the systems, the platform must be capable of seamlessly accepting different data formats.
Requirement 3: Vendor performance tracking and reporting
As both title companies and mortgage lenders rely heavily on vendors for third-party services, vendor due diligence and management is a common challenge for all of them. It could be a big time-saver for companies if they could decide whether to work with a particular vendor based on their past performance.
A title production platform that has strong vendor management modules can provide title companies with the ability to rate vendors based on their past performance and commitments. For efficiency, the platform must have the ability to auto-allocate orders based on both vendor performance and availability. Such systems help in vendor evaluation and enable title companies to get maximum ROI from vendors with minimum risk.
Strong vendor management modules can also help title agents to digitally connect with vendors and avoid unnecessary emails, paperwork and overhead costs. Avoiding inconsistent offline orders and more easily resolving issues related to fulfillment tracking, record keeping and accounting are huge time-savers.
Requirement 4: Better control of a robust UI/UX environment
The success of any technology depends upon adoption. When they don’t use, you lose. That goes for overly complicated systems to archaic and boring ones. Title production systems should offer a smart UI/UX, to facilitate easy user adoption.
While smart UI/UX comes out of the box with most applications today, the problem comes when the title company wants to alter it to fit its own needs. Many applications either won’t allow modifications or when they do require IT support at extra charge. A better solution includes some level of IT support.
Requirement 5: Comprehensive workflows built into the system
Title companies’ very expansive workflows require robust, end-to-end system performance covering all the different title and settlement functions and processes, including title production, funding and disbursement, post-closing, scheduling and closing. A system that comes with a combination of value, ease of use, adaptability and performance is an ideal choice for title businesses of any size.
Very few existing technologies meet all of these requirements. Leveraging advanced technologies matched with automation efficiencies during title production can enable title companies to focus on quality control while improving turn-time, accuracy and customer service.
This is what it will take to succeed now and prepare for a future that hasn’t fully come into focus yet.