Ellie Mae’s Origination Insight Report stated that the percentage of refinances accounted for 51 percent of closed loans in the month of October 2019, which is the highest percentage of refinances since March 2015. This trend confirms that homeowners are taking advantage of the lower interest rates to reduce their monthly payments on their mortgage. While this directly implies an upward swing in volumes for lenders, title agents too stand to benefit from the refi wave.
We believe the refinancing trend in the market will continue for a while, at least until the interest rates don’t rise again. This trend not only impacts the loan processing volumes but also affects the title search volumes.
When a mortgage is refinanced, it requires a re-issuance of a title policy. A title search will be carried out to determine if there are any liens, encumbrances, or transfers of interests on the property since the time the earlier mortgage was recorded. Post this, the new policy will be recorded.
Many title agents and their service providers record high volumes when the refinance loan volumes rise. But, do we see all title agents being ready to manage the volume fluctuations?.
Trying to Get Things Done In-house
Most title agents try to manage things in-house. In this scenario, it is difficult for title agents to manage volumes with their existing staff. Scalability of staff to handle peak volumes is not easy and if you overstaff, then you end up running high fixed costs when volumes are low. This can severely impact margins. Ramping up or ramping down of permanent staff is not an easy option, so flexibility becomes an issue. Besides the costs involved in training staff also need to be considered.
For title agents, another challenge to deal with is finding the right expertise. Getting people, on-demand, when you need them, is not easy. Most title agents in the US will operate, either on a single shift or, at best two shifts. Because of this, there is a limit to the amount of work that can get done in a single work-day.
Doing all the work in-house will also mean added investments in technology and staffing infrastructure. These costs will very quickly start eating into your margins. Also, most of these costs are not one-time costs and will need upgrades/advancements/maintenance from time to time.
What Can Title Agents Do to Mitigate These Challenges?
Managing the volume fluctuations is much easier when title agents are partnered with a capable service provider, who can:
- Offer flexibility to ramp up or ramp down operating teams, on-demand
- Provide variable pricing based on work volumes, so no more fixed costs
- Brings in the right amount of title domain expertise
- Provides onshore/offshore delivery centers, so that work can go on in extended 24h day cycles around the world
- Brings in the latest tech and facilities infrastructure, so that you don’t need to invest in it.
Choose the Right Service Provider for Your Title Searches
Choosing the right service provider will take some effort, but it is worth it. You can use your existing staff to manage workloads efficiently with your service partner
- Whether you partner with only onshore partners or partners who have capacity at offshore locations?
- Doing the right due diligence on the capabilities of the partner, his earlier experience in the title domain
All of this will help narrow down on the right partner who can:
- Deliver faster
- Reduce the cost of title operations
- Deliver higher accuracy while processing orders
- Offer a great customer experience
- Possess the domain expertise and experience to carry out title searches
- and most of all, your service provider needs to have the technology/solution to automate your searches, giving no scope for errors.
All this can help you in managing volume fluctuations a lot better.
Someone like Visionet can be the right choice for your needs. Visionet is successfully supporting 6 of the 8 leading title companies with their bulk title search requirements. With its 20+ years’ experience in the title and settlement industry, Visionet delivers immense value to title agents with a unique ‘customer-first’ approach. Additionally, Visionet continually invests in the training of its people to be efficient in providing title search, valuation, and QC services. With the latest technology being in the foreground of its solutions, Visionet offers D-TRAC (Digitized Title Research and Collation), which helps in improving accuracy and turn-time in the title search and helps process bulk volumes with ease.
Some of the essential features of Visionet’s D-TRAC include –
- Access to online data of 2000+ counties across the nation
- Automated Tool based data extraction and auto-generation of reports leveraging AI and ML
- Faster delivery with 98% accuracy
- Ability to onboard new client and begin processing work in just one week
- 30% faster turn times and at least 30% less costs
Shamit is a vibrant and highly accomplished professional with rich experience of more than 10 years in Sales, Business Development, Service Delivery, and Operations Management, Project Management, Transition, and Process Re-Engineering in the BPO / ITES sector.
He has a thorough understanding of business environments and evolving business needs, change management, the capability to work with large and diverse skill-sets.