For decades, title agents have proudly owned both the sales and, to some extent, the “production” side of title insurance on behalf of their underwriters. Unlike the typical P&G model (pretty much sales-only); it’s been a badge of honor for title agents of all sizes to own or manage the search, abstract, report, curative, escrow and closing. At their own cost. Now, process improvements are reQuired.
Times are changing
The mortgage industry is a different place from what it was even five years ago. Yes, it’s still relationship-based. Yes, lenders are as sales-driven as ever. But it’s no longer just a revenue game. Consolidation, regulation/enforcement and the rumored demise of the refinance market have meant that lenders (and their partners) are fighting for market share these days. This means that operational costs and margins, now more than ever, are in play. This is especially true at a time when few firms at any level of the mortgage transaction have emerged unscathed from an avalanche of rising compliance and client-driven costs.
reQuire can help
We at reQuire are seeing title agents outsourcing or automating processes more and more these days—a concession to the reality that a firm can no longer “go capture more business” to offset rising costs. The drive is on, industry-wide, to make operations more efficient, more effective and more error-free at all levels.
For title agents, that means outsourcing or making use of outsourced products. As you know, we at reQuire offer industry-leading release tracking and reporting, curative services and, now, a number of first-class search and property reports. Outsourcing, automating or otherwise making use of third party products and services may once have been testimony to the adage “You get what you pay for,” but that’s not remotely true anymore. By making use of robust products and services to eliminate the costs of some of the more tedious, time consuming and costly services (curative comes to mind), forward-thinking agents are reducing their operating costs while improving efficiency and, in some cases, even compliance. The 4th party tools and firms of today (we’d hope you consider reQuire, of course!) have made it a no-brainer. Why not offload some of your most costly and time consuming production processes when the quality is excellent and the cost less?
Regulation and Compliance
No matter what we might hope, our industry will always be highly regulated. We will continue to have high compliance costs. Our market will very likely remain somewhere between volatile and cyclical. If most agents are struggling to forecast revenue more than 2 or 3 months out (as we often hear), why would you tie yourself to unnecessary fixed costs during that same time frame.
About the Author
Randy Cruz is the Business Services Manager at reQuire. Randy has been with reQuire since 2008 when he started in reQuire’s Finance department. While working at reQuire, Randy earned a degree in Network Security. However, he quickly realized that the IT field was not his calling, his true passion was helping our Partners by providing unsurpassed Customer Service. Prior to coming to reQuire, Randy spent 10 years with Prolink Solutions. Prolink offered a GPS and course management solution system for golf courses around the globe. Randy lives in Virginia Beach with his wife Gladys and their beagle Niki. Together they have two daughters and two sons. Randy enjoys playing golf and he is our resident Star Wars SME.