Seasonality for Title Agents
One of the most fascinating elements of the real estate industry, to us anyway, has always been one of its most unique attributes: seasonality. That’s the concept that home sales transactions and prices tend to be above-trend in the summer, while that activity slows in the winter. (Thanks to NAR for the definition). Of course, we’ve also heard that all of this depends on geography (does summer ever end in San Diego?); weather (we’ve heard it’s been warmer than usual the past few winters in parts of the Midwest), and, above all, interest rates. So, for example, in 2020 and early 2021, when many of the transactions were refinance and the rates were infinitesimal, there was virtually no such thing as “seasonality.”
This year, among many other things, we’ve heard the term slip back into a few conversations. Again, it appears to be more of a regional thing, and it’s heavily impacted by rates, demand, inventory and the like. But it does appear to be more than a unicorn—from where we stand, anyway.
It only makes sense that during such periods, some title agencies tend to batten down the hatches a bit. Since order volume is anticipated to slow a bit—even if temporarily—it’s not uncommon to see some personnel restructuring, vendor reassignment and overall cost-cutting. At the same time, targeted sales and marketing efforts, albeit, not on a wide or expensive scale, might be undertaken to see if a large brokerage or two or local credit union might be willing to come aboard and boost order volume.
So we’d ask title agents in this position, as we come to year’s end of 2021, to think a bit about taking this time to rethink your efficiencies. We believe we have some answers that can help you.
If you’re looking to undertake some targeted, low-cost marketing campaigns aimed at a few local entities that could make the winter a little warmer if you can win them over, there’s Alanna’s Campaigns tool. Mass marketing is great, but conversations and relationship-building are at the very heart of sales in our industry.
How about focusing a bit more on client retention when things are a little slower? That can start with rapid turn time; 24/7 (and rapid) return of inquiries and overall better communication with REALTORS and loan officers. Great way to make a first-time client into a repeat client, too!
And how about making it easier for your real estate agents and loan officers to send you data and information? Who doesn’t like a faster, more convenient closing? Again, this is something with which Alanna can help.
While it takes money to make money, we understand there’s a difference between an expense and an investment. If you’re a title agent facing a more traditional winter season, now’s a great time to think about ways to improve your productivity which will also eventually cut your costs as well.