Working in a highly regulated industry like title insurance means that you have to build safeguards into every aspect of your business to ensure that you are in line with a multitude of state and federal regulations.
Prior to the advent of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the rules and regulations were often disparate. State law often conflicted with federal law and was inconsistently enforced. This put title agents in a harrowing position, working with a patchwork of rules that few of their customers understood or were following, and worse, in an environment where to get work, some agents felt like they had to look the other way.
Today, most state regulations are far stricter, more uniformly in step with federal regulations, and present a higher bar to meet.
In some ways, this is actually good news for title companies, creating a more level playing field and putting all participants on the same page in terms of protecting consumers. But there is no doubt that meeting compliance demands is expensive, time consuming, and ready-made for human error.
All of those challenges can be alleviated by automating processes via RPA technology (“bots”). One of the great things about custom bot development is that the user needs only to pay for a technology designed to meet the user’s unique needs, rather than having to hope a larger platform or system includes those functions. Even when a wider technology platform does include those functions, the user more often than not ends up paying for other functions or capabilities for which she has no need. Here are a few possible pain points in the typical title agent’s compliance process that could be addressed through customized bot development.
Routine Data Entry
Putting routine data entry into the hands of robotic process automation (RPA) can greatly improve operational efficiency, provide 24/7 support, reduce errors, not to mention the benefit of redeploying the employees previously tasked with the process to more complex tasks. Processes we’ve automated in this category include order creation, order tracking and commitment hyperlinking. Whether the process involves compliance, production or financing, manual data entry remains all-too-common across the title industry. RPA is an efficient, cost-effective solution for a number of similar processes.
Customer Data Verification
Long before a title company gets to the closing table, they acquire a lot of data about their clients that must be verified. Validating data about the homebuyers and sellers is integral to the title insurance, escrow and closing process and another area where RPA can save time and more efficiently identify issues. Processes we’ve automated in this category include legal & vesting searches, Pacer searches and Updates.
The explosion of regulatory requirements over the past decade has resulted in an immense paperwork burden for title companies. An increase in notification requirements coupled with more complicated regulatory reporting has made tracking aspects of each order more complex. This is another area where RPA can be plugged in to create efficiencies in the mass of work that you manage. Even automating the generation of a few documents, auto-populating them with data instead of requiring an employee to key in basic data, can save an eye-opening amount of man hours—and dollars—for title agents desperately seeking margin relief and faster turn-times. Processes we’ve automated in this include stale, dated check notifications, property tax registrations, and buyer/seller document delivery.
Automation is an effective way to redirect an agent’s skilled staff to do what they do best, whether that is focusing on the complexities of the escrow side of the business or having the necessary time to listen attentively to the needs of their real estate agent, homebuyer and seller customers. Compliance functions, specifically, provide a unique strain on agents because, while they tend to be time-consuming and costly, the ROI on staying compliant is measured mostly in preventing fines and penalties—definitely not a revenue generator.
More than a few title agents and owners have nonetheless resisted automation because, for the most part, they’ve only had access to “one-size-fits-all” solutions that don’t address their unique needs or provide multiple functions that are redundant with or overlap other technologies they’re already using. Customized bots allow businesses to address their specific needs while paying only for what they truly need. In so doing, agents are provided an effective and efficient manner in which to stay compliant, and put their focus on what’s most important.