Using a Story to Educate Your Customers
The title insurance industry, prior to the real estate downturn of 2008, was a very hidden aspect of the real estate transaction. Homebuyers rarely understood the role that title companies played.
When the real estate industry crashed, it was apparent that even the regulators did not understand the value that title insurance brought to land ownership in the U.S. Title companies found themselves suddenly in the spotlight trying to explain the effort agents and attorneys put into the process to ensure the accuracy of property titles.
Title agents are superheroes. The safety of private land ownership in the U.S. stands on the shoulders of more than a century of accurately recorded data by attorneys and title agents.
And while the investigation into the real estate industry in 2008 brought a lot of information to light, there is more work that title agents can do to ensure participants in a transaction understand the value you bring to the table.
Closing Table Conversations
A leader in the title insurance industry once opined that title agents often miss the biggest marketing opportunity of all: The closing table.
He pointed out that at that moment, agents have in front of them a captive audience, and they have an opportunity, as well as a responsibility, to educate that audience about the value of their efforts.
True, everyone is in a hurry, buyers are anxious, and no one wants their time consumed with a marketing spiel. But it’s not about marketing. It’s about arming everyone at the table with a true understanding and appreciation for the work you do.
Those buyers and sellers are going to buy and sell again. Those real estate agents are going to be representing clients again. Enough cannot be said about the importance of letting them know what you do and why you do it.
Think of the title search, escrow and closing process as a story that you are telling throughout the closing or signing process. Instead of hurriedly shoving papers in front of the homebuyer and speaking about the documents in esoteric terms, take a few opportunities to briefly relate what they are signing to real world situations.
If you say, “You are getting title insurance in case your ownership rights are challenged,” most homebuyers’ eyes will glaze over.
But if you tell a story about an heir who showed up on a homeowner’s doorstep to claim the property or a neighbor who started ripping up the driveway because it was on their property, these things they can relate to. On the positive side, tell a story about how one of your escrow officers ferreted out a fraudulent deed, or found an error on a legal description that got corrected before the sale went through. (Not using real names, of course).
The same can be said about impressing upon them early in the process of the necessity of following the rules about protecting the wiring instructions. Take a minute to relate a specific story about how fraudsters hijacked wiring instructions and disappeared with the money. More importantly, tell them a story about how someone in your company detected and prevented wire fraud.
Human beings relate to “once upon a time” stories with real human beings and real outcomes, so coming up with a narrative that will grab their attention will be more effective than all the lists of dos and don’ts, benefits and advantages, you can hand them.
Alanna is dedicated to helping you arm your customers with the information they need as they navigate the complexities of the real estate transaction. From helping you gather accurate information, to keeping everyone on track with transaction timeline updates, we are here to help you get the best and most informed outcome for your customers. And don’t forget that, through Alanna’s Campaigns capability, she can help you initiate those conversations before and after the closing as well! Contact us today to learn more.