There is an ongoing discussion about Robotic Process Automation (RPA) & Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its impact on the traditional title insurance industry. The impact estimated has ranged from none or minimal, to extreme.
Automation is basically the substitution of human activity by machines – with an intention to increase efficiency and quality of the output and reduce the cost per unit. For title professionals, even as the emergence of automation may seem alarming, the truth is that the solution offers opportunities to meet the ever-evolving customer requirements.
But to understand how automation can help you in your title insurance operations, you should first understand what the technology is. Simply put – automation technology is best used to complete a specific task, a task which can be monotonous or repetitive.
A study from Brookings analysis of BLS, Census, EMSI, Moodys & McKinsey data suggests that the automation potential in the real estate industry is about 40%!
The main reasons to automate tasks is to reduce costs & improve efficiency while ensuring more accuracy in the output. Let’s list down some of the critical factors why automation is critical.
1. Cost: Intelligent automation typically results in cost savings of 40% to 70%! The key, however, is to understand the different types of software automation & to develop a strategy that best fits your company’s needs. Title insurance companies have an option of either investing heavily to develop the right enhanced or cognitive automation tool to help them streamline their operations, or alternatively to leverage a vendor like SLK Global Solutions which has already developed the right automation tool to easily obtain property ownership and property tax reports across the nation.
2. Improved Efficiency: The tech revolution is equipping title agents with software platforms to harness data and run their businesses more efficiently. Title agents who used pen & paper or excel sheets are now using real-time data hosted on cloud servers. Automation basically eliminates redundancy & repetition in tasks which ultimately increases the productivity of businesses, leading to an improved bottom line for the business.
3. Improved Speed: A typical task in an order which can take up to 20 minutes to complete, can be done in half the time or even lesser with automation. This 50% lesser time you spend on a single order can now be used to process additional orders, which in turn means more business that you can handle, and in turn more profitability. If you want to know how SLK Global’s solutions can help you reduce turn time significantly, click here.
Given these key benefits of implementing automation in your operations, let’s look at some of the primary functional areas where the title industry has applied automation:
1. Task and Process Tracking via Production Software (order through closing): Over the years, title production software companies have made great strides in automation that eliminates rekeying and the transferring of data from one application to another. This streamlines the order processing function and eliminates duplicate tasks.
2. Automated Reconciliation: This allows title companies to reconcile transactions with payments, and other transactional and financial accounts in a more timely manner and address any exceptions or discrepancies more effectively.
3. Communications (automated emails, reminders, confirmations, notifications): Automating communications such as email and text messages are things that can be simple to implement in a title production system and are often overlooked.
4. Title Production Automation: There are quite a few players offering title production automation, including underwriters, third-party vendors and business process outsourcers.
5. Commitment Preparation: The application of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR), which is technology that enables different types of documents — such as scanned paper documents, PDF files or images and even handwritten notes — to be converted into electronic text documents and data continues to improve, and promotes efficiencies in document processing .
6. Search and Examination: Searching is becoming an automated task that typically involves going into a database or title plant and pulling search results onto a screen or printout. The examination process follows.
From a title agent’s perspective, implementing automation can be a difficult task. However, title agents don’t have to develop these technologies on their own. One alternative would be to work with providers like SLK Global Solutions who are already applying technologies like robotic process automation (RPA) to make title & tax searches more efficient, reduce errors in searches, and be able to complete searches much more quickly.