We came across a great article recently in Housing Wire’s title insurance coverage. Recent mortgage industry headlines have been plastered with stories about mass layoffs, reduced volume and even lenders closing down or filing for bankruptcy. It’s difficult not to hesitate with plans for growth or investment in such an environment. But this article reminded us that, all is not lost. Far from it.

A few facts to support the notion that opportunities remain…

In fact, the author pointed out several factors that should give title agents and underwriters hope that the end of the world really isn’t  coming for us just yet:

  • “Fitch Ratings found statutory capital will remain strong for U.S. title insurers even as macroeconomic pressures increase in coming months.”
  • “While reduced mortgage origination volumes will negatively affect total revenues, experts believe the impact on capital adequacy could be positive as the capital strain from new business will be reduced.”

…Just maybe not for everyone.

Our favorite supporting fact?

“In addition, many title insurance operations run leaner operations, employing freelancers or using technology solutions to deal with the increase in volume during the course of the pandemic, enabling them to now easily reduce operating costs. ‘The ability to efficiently manage expenses will also help reduce the impact to both earnings and capital,” according to {Fitch Ratings Senior Director Gerry] Glombicki.”

We’ve been saying things like this for months, if not years. So have other title technologists, to be fair. But it’s great to see the experts putting it out there as well. Yes, interest rates are climbing. They’re coming off of historic lows. Yes, refinance volume is all but gone. Again, we’ve come off of historic heights. But MBA and other leading organizations are still calling for a strong year of purchase volume.

Automation is becoming the preferred path to survival as well as success.

The opportunity not only to survive, but win market share and position for future growth, is out there. Right now. And it’s the title agents and settlement services firms that have automated or are automating that will be in the best position to get to the next boom market cycle.

The successful agents we know aren’t necessarily giddy about the coming few quarters. There are some massive macroeconomic factors at play that we can’t fully predict yet. But we do know that Americans (and pretty much all humans) will continue to need housing. Whether that means the business will be in CRE (rental), home equity, emerging purchase markets or something else, there will be some level of volume. And those leading firms are already in position to pivot without an operational let down.

It’s not just a technology firm’s sales pitch anymore. And the title industry is finally understanding the big picture.

Photo by Breno Assis on Unsplash