We’re really seeing a surge in new and improved title technology these days. That’s great news! The title insurance and settlement services process, in large part because of state-by-state legal and compliance requirements, has long been a tangled and disjointed one. Most agents will admit just as much. As a result, it’s tough to really create a national technology solution that’s as effective in one state as the next. Nonetheless, we’re seeing new players and industry veterans doing their best to take the closing process and make it less manual and more efficient. After all, we’re in a purchase market, which generally has a negative impact on an agent’s profit margin.
However, before you run out and invest in the shiniest new technology, be sure it’s actually doing what it claims to do, not just adding another step to the process. While there’s a lot of great new technology coming into view, be sure it doesn’t just hide or, even worse, delay the challenge it purports to address. For example, if you’ve invested in a new title production system, it’s likely you’ve done so to eliminate manual data entry; rekeying; duplication of efforts and the like, all leading to a faster, more efficient process that should lead to a faster turn time with fewer errors. And yet, if you find that months after the deployment of this new system, your frontline staff are now using unauthorized 3rd party apps or other “hacks” to get the job done, chances are your system 1) is missing something they need to do their jobs and, 2) isn’t creating the cost and time efficiencies it’s supposed to. If anything, you might find that you’ve only made your workflow more disjointed.
We’ve seen it many times before. Technologies designed to bring the settlement process into the digital age often become yet another “solution silo” for your staff to sort through. If your team routinely has 4, 5 or 6 windows/programs open on their workstations (or worse…are looking at 2 monitors, an iPhone and a tablet for the same file!), something’s not as efficient as it should be.
We’re proud of our own solution here at Alanna. Our technology gets your staff off of the phone answering the same basic questions (“What’s the status? When’s the closing? What do I bring to closing? What’s the status again?”) and gets them back onto the production line where they could be changing the status of the transaction by clearing liens or lining up the C.D. with the L.E. That also means that, when Alanna answers the question “What’s the status?” only to have a follow-up question sent back by the client or borrower, Alanna continues the conversation. After all, if she simply handed a follow up off to your staff, you’d just be repositioning the time drain challenging your process to a later stage.
This is not to discount the complex or unique questions or comments your clients likely send your way. That’s where great customer service comes in and Alanna makes the handoff to a qualified team member. But our numbers tell us that about 97 percent of the typical title agent’s call volume can be handled by Alanna without the help of your people. What could you do with your production process if you could address 97% of your typical calls without having to engage staff to do it?