A check list of must have’s to make the most of a potential surge in business volume
Would it not be nice if you were completely ready to handle additional orders from a refinance boom driven by lower interest rates, without having invested in additional processing capacity? It’s possible, read on …
The MBA’s weekly mortgage applications survey reported a 5.3 percent rise in mortgage applications (in August compared to July). Refinance applications have seen a stunning 116% increase compared to a year ago! The 30-year fixed rate mortgage fell to 3.85%, its lowest level since November 2016 (as per the MBA), and this is the main reason.
Home-owners, millennials in particular, are very reactive to the rate drop – evident in the 14% rise in their refinance applications, according to Ellie Mae. As per Mike Fratantoni, MBA senior vice president & chief economist, refinance volume is expected to jump even higher given the further drop in rates.
Good news for title agents?
Yes, this refinance boom will mean a significant uptick in volume for title agents. That should drive greater revenue and a better bottom line. However, competitors are also taking advantage of the interest rate environment. The critical question is: are you ready to handle this surge in volume and meet your lender client requirements? Let’s be frank – if you are not, then there will be others who may be ready to take this additional business away from you.
We have compiled a quick 4-point check list of ‘’must haves’’ for title agents to make the most of this surge in volume:
1. Ability to deliver reports faster… much faster than others: The need to deliver property title searches faster is now becoming bigger than it ever was. The rise in technology has caused the average time to close a loan drop significantly and this trend will continue. To flourish in this scenario, title agents must ensure that they are on top of their game in every order they receive. This may seem to be challenging, and not cost-effective if you have to build excess capacity (especially when the market is volatile). Partnering with the right third-party vendors can help title agents easily meet & exceed their turn time commitments to lenders. Leveraging SLK’s technology-enabled platform SmartProp®, title agents can deliver property searches in as little as 4 hours! * (Better yet, in counties which are online title searches can be done in as little as 5 minutes with the help of our proprietary Robotic Process Automation – RPA – implementation)
2. Having the right technology platform: Title insurance transactions are often labor intensive & prone to delays & errors. This in turn can lead to increased costs & reputational risks for the title company. From e-recording to implementing RPA, Vendors are realizing how critical it is to implement technology in title insurance operations. They are starting to use tried and tested solutions like SmartProp® which can help get accurate title searches up to 70% faster while being highly cost effective. To know more about how automation plays a role in title insurance read our blog on Automation in Title Insurance.
3. Having a nationwide reach/network: Lenders are constantly increasing their footprint across the nation and expect their long-standing vendor partners to be ready to deliver ownership search reports across any state or county. To meet this need, one way for title agents is to keep adding to their labor force or network, so that they have enough coverage to service orders outside their geographical areas. This is neither easy nor advisable looking at the volatility of the mortgage industry – and can start eroding your bottom-line quickly. The better way out is to partner with vendors like SLK Global Solutions, who already have a robust online database and abstractor network in place.
4. Having the right security systems in place: The real estate industry is a top target for scams like BEC (Business Email Compromise) & EAC (Email Account Compromise). The real estate industry has seen a 16% rise year on year in BEC fraud in 2018. It has the highest average fraudulent transaction amount among financial services industries with an average amount of $179,001. Title & settlement companies are on the front line in the battle against these types of wire frauds and should ensure that they have the right security systems in place. Again, leveraging vendors who are SOC 1 & SOC 2 compliant, like SLK Global, can help title agents access a strong technology and information security infrastructure, and reduce chances of falling prey to fraud and other scams. Want to know more on BEC & EAC scams and how title agents can avoid fraud? Click here to read our blog on this topic.
To know how our products & solutions can help you grow your business this year, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org