Title Industry Conferences
As we’ve mentioned, we’re full swing into conference season. And although the impact of the pandemic has seen to it that we’re not quite all the way back to The Way Things Were, it’s still been great to be at a number of industry conferences regardless. By the time we post this, we’ll have been at the Texas LTA annual and ALTA ONE, just to name a few.
One of the things we’ve really missed—although the organizations who did and are doing the virtual conferences did a great job—was the candid conversation one gets when a number of professionals in the industry come together. Not necessarily the stuff that’s said on stage or at the exhibit booth, although there’s absolutely value in that. Instead, it’s the straight-forward conversations held over meals, in the hallways or at cocktail hours and special events that offer the kind of practical insight into what’s really going on that you just can’t always get through more formal channels.
It’s also a great barometer on where the industry might be heading in the coming months or even year.
We heard a lot of interesting things over the past couple of months. Much of it was relief that things are starting to return to “normal,” or excitement to be able to get back to industry gatherings. As always, the talk was about what business is or might be buying another, or who’s jumping from one company to another. We finally had a chance to exchange stories about the crazy order surge that we took on in 2020, while only able to discuss with others via Zoom.
And, of course, we talked about the fact that the market is changing. Amazingly, some of us are still doing a pretty good amount of refinance volume. That defies what the “experts” promised—which is probably why we’re putting quotes around the word “experts!” But others are starting to see more purchase volume and a need for higher service levels, even as margins begin to shrink, making it tough to fully staff an agency without feeling it financially.
Whatever the market may throw at us for the end of 2021 and into 2022, it’s clear that title agents are well aware that they’ll need to compete. They’ll need to plan to reacquaint themselves with the real estate brokerages they didn’t talk to quite as much while the refinance train was running. They’ll need to get out more to build new relationships. And they’ll also need to be sure that their service game is on-point. A competitive market is no place to lose long time clients because calls don’t get returned or closings get rescheduled.
One other thing. For some reason we can’t quite explain, a lot of you were very interested to learn that Alanna can help quite a bit on all of those counts—both service levels and with marketing via her new Campaigns ability. Thanks to the many agents and professionals who’ve approached us at these events to ask about who, exactly, Alanna really is. It’s been our pleasure to make that introduction. And we have a feeling, we’ll be making many more such introductions in the coming weeks and months, too.