The title industry was traditionally not a major automation user. Agents relied on small agencies, mom-and-pop setups, and regional setups to build relationships and turn a profit from a high volume of transactions. “Many title agents will proudly tell you that ours is a “traditional” industry,” says Hoyt Mann, writing for HousingWire.
This has started to change in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the consequent economic pressures. Title insurance companies could no longer make do with thin margins and high production costs, particularly amid fluctuating origination volumes. Further, as older agents retire and millennials take over the mortgage and insurance workplace, there is a greater affinity for title process automation.
5-10 years back, the only options when it came to automating title workflows were to use a large bulky platform or build out one’s own. Neither is very agile nor cost-effective. But in the last few years, title process automation technology has leapfrogged by several measures, thanks to APIs (Application Programming Interface) that cut through data silos, bots that seem almost as intelligent as human title agents, and the cloud that hosts everything for a manageable fee.
This makes the benefits of title process automation more widely accessible. Some of these benefits include:
1. Boost operational productivity
Automation boosts productivity in nearly every industry, and the same applies to title insurance. Consider, for example, the title search process. Without automation, agents would have to go through a repository of ever-growing public records to make sure that everything is in line. In contrast, automating title search services helps fetch data from hundreds of sources using a single platform, with AI-based data query processing. This helps boost productivity and get more done in a short period of time.
2. Monitor and track information
Another benefit of automating title workflows is the ability to track information across different systems. Title process automation leverages integrations and APIs to build connected workflows, reducing the human effort needed to switch between apps and look up information. During title examination, for example, the data is updated dynamically with 100% visibility for all stakeholders involved in the workflow. This makes sure you have ready access to up-to-date information at all times.
3. Improve the quality of customer service
It isn’t just title companies that benefit from automation. An automated workflow translates into faster processing and expedited approvals so that mortgage applications can be disbursed on time. This also makes it possible to cope with an uptick in origination volumes, which is currently the case due to declining delinquency rates. Ultimately, title companies can increase profits while maintaining the quality of customer experience (CX) and customer service.
4. Become more flexible and change-ready
Title companies that have adopted workflow automation are better prepared for change. Consider, for instance, the rise of remote working during the pandemic or, the popularity of hybrid working as a key employee demand amid the Great Resignation. With the right digital tools in place, you can support agents working from any location or time zone. You can also embrace other types of change, such as scaling into new regions and complying with new regulations.
5. Strengthen security
Modern title process automation suites come with built-in security measures that protect both data at rest and in motion. Title examination, title search, and other common tasks are all data-intensive, which adds to the cybersecurity risk factor. With automation, you can automatically block access to unauthorized users, refresh access privileges regularly, run automated malware checks, and much more. Automated systems can also assist in audits by maintaining comprehensive data records.
6. Empower your staff
The final – and possibly the most compelling – benefit of title process automation is its ability to reduce workloads, empower staff, and improve the overall employee experience. Mortgage has always suffered from high turnover rates and this is exacerbated by trends like the Great Resignation and Quiet Quitting. Title process automation significantly reduces boring, repetitive tasks and frees up agents to focus on relationship building.
Apart from these clear benefits, the ease of adopting automation has also increased. You can have a bot or an installation wizard to guide you through the entire process, automatically selecting the appropriate connectors, hosting services, security settings, notification schedules, and stakeholders’ approvals needed for the title workflow. This further increases the return on investment (ROI) for title process automation initiatives.
At Nexval, we are here to help title companies of every size and at every level of digital maturity modernize their systems. Not only do we partner with you as a digitally enabled title search company, but we also help automate end-to-end title workflows through our expertise in DevOps, cloud solution architecture, analytics, and AI/ML.
In 2022-23, it is time for title companies to move beyond “narrow-margin, high-volume” mindsets. Title process automation allows you to maximize every opportunity while minimizing the operational footprint. Speak with our Tech Gurus to learn more.