JUNE 2021 ISSUE
Despite homebuyers spending 2-7% of the cost of their home on closing costs and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) allowing homebuyers to choose their own title company, the title and closing process remains baffling to the average homebuyer. Most homebuyers are unclear about what closing costs cover, whom they should hire to help them and what kind of services they are buying. Agents can assist homebuyers by referring them to a title company, but at the end of the day consumers are ultimately responsible for selecting a title insurance provider.
Since last year, digital mortgage technologies, including RON, which increased 547% during 2020 compared with 2019, have helped enable faster and easier closings for many homebuyers during the pandemic. While it isn’t surprising then that the industry has seen a decrease in the average time to close, it remains hampered by long lead times due to other home purchasing processes. Add this to homebuyers’ general closing confusion and it’s no wonder good title companies are in demand.
In a recent Bankrate interview, Patti DeGennaro, senior operations manager and process specialist with Title Alliance, Ltd. and a reQuire client, reiterated that “[c]onducting a title search requires knowledge of real estate requirements and lien periods and the ability to navigate various courthouse records. It’s not advisable to do this without experience, due to the complexity of records and indexing.” This advice means that not only do homebuyers need a reliable title partner at closing, but title companies similarly need a solutions provider that can ensure accuracy, quality and service each and every time. At reQuire, we’re proud to meet and exceed these expectations and help our clients improve the title process each and every day, both for homebuyers and the industry as a whole.
Mike Ridgway, Esq., Community Title Network, LLC
1. Tell us a little about Community Title Network and what differentiates you from other title companies. How does your “community” focus position you to serve clients more effectively?
For Community Title Network, what distinguishes us is our intentionality; we focus on getting better every day. Everyone says they do that, but we really do it. We invest a lot of focus, human capital and resources to make our technology work in an integrated way for our staff and our customers. This creates a better and more efficient work environment for our team, which in turn, makes our customers’ experiences better. We live and breathe this approach and continually consider an inside-out mentality when it comes to this kind of support. Our discipline and this framework have allowed us to grow to 18 offices in less than 4 1/2 years of being in business! And we are still growing bigger and better every day.
2. Why did you choose to work with reQuire?
Working with reQuire fits perfectly with our vision of leveraging great technology to deliver a better daily work experience for our team. Plus, using reQuire allows us to focus on the customer-centric aspects of our business in a proactive manner. Ultimately, when someone calls about a release, it’s an interruption in the customer experience process. By partnering with reQuire, we don’t have to worry about that aspect of our business—we know it gets done.
3. You recently acquired Colony Title Group, Ltd., as your fourth acquisition and have plans to open additional offices this summer. Have reQuire’s services played a role in helping you expand your footprint?
Definitely. We are all about leveraging the best technology available and integrating it to its highest and best use in our workflows, which, again, benefits our team. Because when we satisfy our staff, they can more easily deliver satisfaction to our customers. Each time we grow through an acquisition, during our due diligence, we always ask, “Are you using any release tracking technology?” If they don’t say reQuire, we know we’re making that switch as soon as we bring them onboard.
4. How has using reQuire’s Release Tracking and Title Curative services proved beneficial to your company?
In addition to the points already mentioned about operational excellence and creating efficiency, we also consider liability, costs and potential hits to our reputation if releases are not being completed in a timely manner. Not a lot of title agencies factor in potential reputational harm in their analysis of leveraging such technology, narrowly focusing on the operational costs. They really need to factor in such costs.
5. What would you say to other title companies who try to accomplish these tasks in-house?
If they want to optimize their workforce and help customers, I would encourage them to immediately switch to reQuire. Title companies underestimate the potential damage an unreleased mortgage showing up in a title abstract can cause. Additionally, it provides an opportunity for a competitor to capitalize on that shortcoming. Why provide an opportunity for your company to look bad? Take charge of your process as opposed to letting it take charge of you. Frankly, I’m amazed when I hear companies aren’t using reQuire.
6. Is there anything else you’d like to share about your experience with reQuire?
As a personal testament to reQuire’s capabilities, I went to sell my parents’ house upon their passing, and it turned out there were two mortgages on the property from 30 years prior that my dad, a title industry expert by the way, had failed to secure releases for. The bank was long gone, all the people named in the document had passed away and I discovered this issue late in the game. I called reQuire, and they were able to quickly pull through with a release. Even with my experience and knowledge of the great work reQuire can do, I was still impressed!
Don’t be in doubt when it comes to your doc prep! If you’re not 100% sure you’re preparing your documents correctly, you could unknowingly be creating problems for how the recorded ownership of the property is determined down the road. Let reQuire’s team of trained professionals help by providing accurate documents each and every time.
REQUIRE UPCOMING EVENTS SCHEDULE
We’ve got a lineup of events back on the calendar and are excited to get back to connecting with everyone. We’re a sponsor at the 2021 National Settlement Services Summit (NS3) in Florida, August 31st – September 2nd and we’ll be attending RealtyConnect’s DMV Conference in Maryland, September 20-22nd. Plus, we’re attending ALTA ONE October 12-15th. Set up a meeting and join us there!