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Improving the Title Process With Tech and Data

Jill CadwellThe title industry has seen significant improvements over the last decade. With the development and enhancement of title engines, we’ve made notable progress in reducing cycle times, providing instant clear-to-close on certain transactions, and more efficiently processing approvals on the remaining files.

One of the main reasons for these enhancements to the title process has been improved data sourcing, a key to helping title engines run more smoothly. With accurate and robust data, we can determine the complexity level of the title review. This information can then be used to employ another central aspect of the title process: “skills-based routing,” which includes assigning work to the best qualified person for the task at hand.

Using technology to help identify and isolate particular characteristics of a transaction enables us to route work to the right employee by matching the appropriate skill level to the review needed. This process may sound simple and straightforward in theory, but it may not be so easy to accomplish if a title company is lacking the right data and knowledge base and isn’t deploying those resources in the most efficient way.

For example, properties that have liens or have previously been in default can be complex. If a customer discloses on their loan application that they have filed for bankruptcy or have been in foreclosure, that data is now tagged to that loan. If liens are found during the initial title search, that information is captured and used to determine next steps. Using skills-based routing, the loan can then automatically be sent to a team member who specializes in that particular type of lien.

By utilizing the right person for a loan and providing them with the proper data, the title process can be improved for all parties involved. There are four main benefits to implementing this type of work flow:

  1. Process efficiency.

When like work is routed to the most appropriate skill level in a systematic way, overall activity times are reduced as employees become more efficient. Aligning work by skill level increases consistency and highlights potential bottlenecks that can occur in any process. Being able to quickly assess where and why those bottlenecks occur saves time for both companies and their clients, thus helping improve the bottom line.

  1. Layering of different cost resources.

Speaking of the bottom line, in addition to increasing efficiency, skills-based routing also saves money. The ability to separate out the non-complex work from the work that is more complicated, and where more judgment is needed, helps improve the time employees are spending on a given loan. Assessing expertise levels can improve pay structures from an internal perspective and may lower costs that are passed on to clients. This saves the company both time and resources, and helps improve the reputation of the business. That leads to the third benefit.

  1. Career-Pathing for employees.

Entry-level new hires often want to feel that they are adding value to a company and have the ability to learn new skills as they progress in their careers. By deploying skills-based work across different specialties, companies can measure employee performance using a transferable comparison across resources for similar work.

Skills-based routing in combination with the right set of data allows employees to come in and contribute to the organization’s overall success with different levels of knowledge and experience. It creates the ability to bring entry-level resources in and have them be productive quickly. By reserving standard title work or title-clearing support work for entry-level employees, more seasoned employees have the ability to focus on more complex judgments.

When these complex judgments are formally categorized within a company, employees may be able to better choose a professional development path that caters to their interests and expertise. This also ensures that a company’s work quality remains high, given the formal career path and training required to take on more complex work.

  1. Maximize the use of supporting technology.

Once work has been distributed and like work has been aligned, this optimized process can then be further supported by technology. Having a consistent, repeatable process allows for the automation of frequently occurring decisions which can lead to straight through processing. For more complex work, technology such as robotic process automation with attended bots can work side by side with employees to support their work. The consistent process created by dissecting work in turn better feeds artificial intelligence and machine learning tools.

The union of technology and people is imperative to the future of the title industry. Improved data sourcing and skills-based routing are allowing us to better identify process congestion, shorten transactions, and create career paths for employees. As we continue to incorporate new technology into the process and improve the functionality of our work force, we are helping to ensure a stronger foundation for the title industry of tomorrow.

 

About Author: Jill Cadwell

Jill Cadwell
As SVP, Settlement Services Operations for Radian, Jill Cadwell is responsible for building a digital strategy to accommodate both lenders and customers that continues to make Radian a pioneer in the industry. Cadwell holds more than 30 years’ experience in the national title and close market. Cadwell received her Certificate of Academic Achievement from the University of Pittsburgh.
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