We talk frequently here about the importance of title agents making it easy for REALTORS to work with them. It’s just good business, and great marketing. This week, however, let’s talk a little bit about mortgage lenders—another major player in the process and another major source of business for agents.
It’s been quite some time, but the end of the re-fi boom, the slow but inevitable uptick in interest rates and the pivot to a focus on a competitive purchase market all point to one thing: the rise of lender concern about margin compression. While title agents can’t do too much to help their lender clients with pricing, lenders will nonetheless expect their service providers to adopt the same sense of urgency when it comes to winning new business, improving borrower experience and, above all, decreasing time-to-close.
Title agents are mostly bound by state law and their underwriter requirements when it comes to helping lender clients on pricing. But margin compression can be alleviated in other ways. We’ll increasingly see some lenders putting more emphasis on their average closing times—it’s currently over 50 days to close on the national average—when trying to win over borrowers and REALTORS alike. And who plays the pivotal role in closing time once the lending underwriter has approved the mortgage? That’s right. Title agents.
Imagine being able to tell your lender clients and prospects that you’re able to turn orders days—maybe sometimes even weeks—faster than your competitors. It’s not impossible, especially if your team is able to stay focused on the blocking and tackling that comes with getting a file to close because they’re not on the phone constantly reminding real estate agents and borrowers of the closing date. Now, in a purchase market, it’s equally important to get that information to agents and borrowers ASAP. A title agent doesn’t want to risk losing real estate referrals in a competitive market. But, as we may have mentioned once or twice, Alanna is a great multi-tasker. The ability to keep REALTORS and borrowers happy while also helping lenders eager for purchase business to tout decreased closing times could easily be the competitive advantage title agents need to rise to the top in a competitive new market.