The Covid-19 pandemic will leave a lasting mark on the title and mortgage industry. While many of the changes were designed to keep the industry afloat in challenging times, they’ll likely have a lasting, positive impact into the future. Precautions initially made for safety reasons also provide convenience.
Title companies have always conducted in-person real estate closings, and had reason to gather realtors, buyers, attorneys, and other stakeholders in-person. This is no longer a necessity. Real estate laws are evolving to allow for more remote closings. Perspective home buyers and sellers can now not only tour a home remotely, but they can close on it that way, too.
The companies that can best accommodate these conveniences, and allow their employees to continue to work remotely are the companies that will succeed in 2020 and beyond.
Today’s Precautions are Tomorrow’s Business Differentiators
The title companies that can create loyalty among realtors are the title companies that succeeded. Realtors are looking for the quickest quote, the cheapest prices, and the companies that can provide service the fastest. They often view title companies as a commodity. They view the services as mostly the same, so they shop for the convenience and the deal.
But if you can become the digitized title company, the title company that offers the most flexible and convenient services to your customers, you may have another key differentiator at your fingertips. Let’s look at some of the ways that remote work can help your business strengthen its workforce and provide stronger customer service.
Improving Employee Retainment – The average employee stays with a company for 4.6 years. That’s not a very long time. On average, turnover decreases by 50 percent when employees can enjoy the comfort of working from home. Employees are simply happier when they can ditch the commute and work within their own comfort levels from home. It’s a terrific employment perk, that your workforce has learned to value. Maybe you never saw your business offering this, but now that it’s on the table and proven effective, it’s a change that can and should stay.
When you allow your employees the flexibility to work from home, you are able to recruit and retain higher level talent. You can be sure that your best, most productive employees will maintain a higher level of job satisfaction – allowing your company to be of better service to your customers.
Online Notarizations Make Remote Work Easier – One significant reason that remote work would not have been possible for title companies in the past is that closing documents needed to be notarized and certified. Without this, the whole process falls short. Remote notaries were beginning to emerge in the time before the pandemic, but Covid-19 kicked the process into high gear.
Nearly 40 states have now accepted closing documents via a remote closing. The technology and the law have largely caught up on this process. With online notaries, it makes it easier to move the whole closing process online.
Your Employees Remain More Productive – One surprising discovery when it comes to remote work is that it makes employees more productive. The home can provide a quiet environment, where the office can be more distracting than we realize.
Remote workers aren’t stopping off to talk with their coworkers. They’re not celebrating birthdays in the breakroom. They tend to find quiet, secluded areas where they can work within their home. Many of these advantages lead to higher job satisfaction and the tendency to stay in their current position for longer periods of time. The productivity of remote workers is discussed in more detail in this Harvard Business Review article.
Other Digital Tools Simplify the Process – There are plenty of software programs available to unify a remote team. Video software programs such as Zoom can make remote meetings easier. Programs such as Slack make the day-to-day conversations with team members more manageable. Project management software such as Basecamp can also bring people together for the bigger team tasks.
There are beneficial tools that relate directly to the title industry, too. It used to be that team members needed to be in the office to get anything done. Software like TitleCapture can also facilitate remote work in easier ways, as well. It can be accessed from any device, anywhere, with no limitations. This allows employees to more easily keep up with clients from the comfort of their home office.
TitleCapture makes it easier for title companies to thrive in 2020 and beyond. As the industry faces drastic amounts of change, it’s crucial for title companies to take advantage of software that makes it easier for them to respond to the ever-increasing demands of keeping up with realtor inquiries.
Take Advantage of the USPS – If complete digitization isn’t your thing (or your customer’s thing), the United States Postal Service always offers a viable option. Mailing closing paperwork allows your customer to complete the paperwork from the comfort of their home, an option that may be attractive to realtors or buyers and sellers.
The one downside to mailing the paperwork is avoiding unnecessarily long delays in the process. The title companies and realtors who use this method will need to allow for sufficient turnaround times, and plan accordingly. Contact information of all necessary parties will need to be readily available.
The upside is it’s another option in the arsenal of convenience. It’s a way to avoid in-person meetings and can more easily keep your employees working in a remote environment.
Developing Your Competitive Advantage
The title companies that takes advantage of the resources available to provide a stronger service to their customer base will be the ones to differentiate themselves for the long run. Customers won’t soon forget the convenience of being able to sign and deliver documents without having to leave their homes. There will be a rush of companies looking to “return to normal,” and if you can resist that urge, it will pay off in the long run.
Your employees working from home is a new reality and isn’t going away anytime soon. Are you looking to explore a permanent remote work idea for your employees? If you want to know more about how it can benefit your organization, download our white paper, How Working Remotely Helps Top Title Companies Succeed in a Post-Covid World.