Prepare for increasing Order Volume
It’s hard to believe it’s August already. Or that the fourth quarter of the year (and fall conference season) is just around the corner. Where did the time go?
It’s good to see some stabilization and even signs of a rebound in the industry after a tumultuous first 6 – 7 months. Hopefully, we’re in for that “soft landing” so many pundits thought next to impossible earlier this year. And, hopefully, we’ll finish strong and see an even stronger 2024.
One thing that’s certain is that we’ll recover through purchase, not refinance, volume. Processing any mortgage transaction takes work. But purchase volume, especially, is a high-touch proposition for title agents. A lot of that touch ends up taking place in the form of emails, phone calls and computer keyboards, and it’s usually human staffers entering data or leaving voice mails…or reminding the buyer’s real estate agent about the date of the closing.
The workforce conundrum
For many title companies, many of which were forced to reduce their workforces to accommodate declining revenue, a spike of any sort in the order count, while welcome, also likely means their service levels will struggle while they seek to recruit, hire and train employees to manage that increased volume. They’re starting with undersized workforces using a model designed for, well, the volume we experienced during the first half of 2023. Which means fewer hands on deck to handle more calls, more forms and more emails.
They’ll be hoping their clients are patient during that period of service lag. But not all clients will be.
Many of the title agents using Alanna have told us they hate the ramp-up/RIF cycle that’s been rather traditional to our industry. It’s another example of the “way we’ve always done it.” There’s certainly some argument in its favor, and it is a proven strategy. But it also leads to rough sailing during transition periods in a market cycle. When you consider how quickly volume has ramped up and then crashed in the past five years, it would only seem that the pivots are happening more quickly and with more extreme volume.
Breaking the cycle with AI assistance – Order Volume
We refer to Alanna as a “virtual assistant,” but she’s really more like a versatile employee—the kind that can help manage your service levels or empower you to redeploy your staff to areas of need in your workflow (instead of handling repetitive and mundane tasks). The last we checked, she doesn’t take PTO and is happiest working 24/7/365 (although we certainly don’t fault human employees for doing the same!).
Making an investment in technology may not seem to make sense for the budget conscious in the industry right now. But when you consider the cost it takes to find, interview, hire and train a new employee—much less continue to manage or monitor them and update that training, we’d bet the hire/layoff cycle is actually a lot costlier. We’re not even talking about the time it takes to do that versus the time it takes to implement Alanna.
Don’t get us wrong. This is a relationship-based business. People want to talk to people when they need advice or guidance on something as important as buying or selling a home. Alanna allows for that as well. But do we really need people extracting data from forms or playing phone tag with the buyer over a simple detail?
That’s what Alanna does all day (and likely, much more efficiently than a bored or worn down employee). We’re not saying Alanna’s here to replace employees. Far from it. Instead, Alanna’s here to empower your employees and prepare you for the eventual and inevitable improvement in order volume.