Most of us at TrueFocus Automation have been around the title industry for a long time now. And while there’s so much to be proud of when it comes to this industry, we have to admit that we can be a little…traditional…at times. Others might say “old fashioned” or “conservative.”
Regardless of the words you use, it’s safe to say that employee engagement and retention have rarely been hot topics in our industry. Instead, it’s been things like interest rates; new regulations or forms; sales and marketing to lenders and REALTORS; closing technology and the like. But we saw a promo for an interesting ALTA Webinar (ALTA Insights: The Value of Measuring Employee Engagement) that suggests that may be about to change.
Title agents may soon be forced to think about things like employee satisfaction or engagement; retention and hiring strategies. This will be true because of several converging influences including an overall post-pandemic labor (especially skilled labor) shortage and the graying of the American workforce. And while it’s not uncommon for title agencies to “ramp down” staffing levels when overall mortgage volume declines, we’re also slowly transitioning from a less labor-intensive refinance surge into a more labor-intensive purchase market. So, at a time when title agencies will need sufficient staffing, they’ll likely actually be losing staff to attrition and struggling to revitalize their teams with fresh, skilled labor.
Of course, one solution would be to recruit more, and it’s likely many will do that. But another very valid approach would be to find incentives to maintain existing staff. Measuring and improving their engagement levels is a great way to do that.
And yes, RPA and technology providers definitely do have a dog in this hunt. The premise is simple: automate your most redundant, mundane, boring processes. Free your staff from mind-numbing work (while likely seeing an improvement in turn-time, accuracy and error rate) and redeploy them where you need them more and they’re more engaged: sales, complex customer service, quality control. We’re already seeing this from an increasing number of title agents simply worried about fighting margin compression. But consider that engaged employees are usually also those who are tasked with challenges and empowered to solve them.
We’ll be checking back on this trend from time to time. It’s not going away any time soon!