The real estate industry faced many challenges this year. The sustained down market and increase in instances of wire fraud made an already rough landscape all the more difficult to navigate, and companies had to adjust their way of doing business. At Qualia, we’ve been inspired by the dedication of organizations across the industry to continue building toward a better closing process despite the uncertainty.
While historic lows in purchase volume have slowed business for most organizations, many have used this time as an opportunity to look inward and assess the state of their operations. The current market has made competition fierce, so our customers have focused on differentiation and providing exceptional customer experience. Title & escrow companies have been forced to explore alternative sources of business, so they’ve adapted their operations to accommodate new revenue streams. Wire fraud attempts have increased, so businesses have sought technological solutions to help bolster their defenses.
Since starting as a company in 2015, Qualia’s mission has been to foster a secure, connected, and automated ecosystem for managing real estate transactions. We were fortunate this year to have many opportunities to engage with customers and members of the title & escrow community who share our goals. Their insights helped inform some of our most exciting product launches to date, which we hope will support their efforts in the years to come.
As we reflect on this extraordinary – albeit difficult – year, we wanted to share the key highlights, events, and groundbreaking product releases that defined our path in 2023.
Qualia and the Community
Title & Escrow Leaders Lab
Our inaugural Title & Escrow Leaders Lab event at the South Congress Hotel in Austin, Texas, brought together industry executives and thought leaders for a day of insightful discussion. Guests heard from industry experts on emerging trends impacting the title & escrow industry, ways of differentiating the consumer experience, and the challenges of navigating change management within an organization. During a series of intimate roundtables, guests and speakers shared their strategies for navigating business in a down market and driving connectivity and automation. Members of Qualia’s Product team and executive leadership, including CEO Nate Baker, actively participated in these roundtable discussions, gaining first-hand understanding of the challenges impacting title & escrow organizations nationwide.
Resware Professionals Workshop
Qualia’s Resware-dedicated product workshop in Denver, Colorado, featured live training sessions from the Resware Product team, a sneak peek into the upcoming product roadmap, and opportunities for guests to share the innovative ways they’re using Resware to manage their title & escrow operations. Qualia executive leadership, including Nate Baker and Brian Thome, Qualia VP of Customer Success and GM of Resware, were also in attendance. Baker, Thome, Ben Scott, Senior Director of Resware Customer Success, and Jason Doherty, Director of Resware R&D, met with executives from top customers to discuss the needs of the Resware community and the future development of Resware 10 to enable their operations.
Industry events, including ALTA Springboard 2023 and ALTA ONE, the Qualia team had an opportunity to speak with members of the title & escrow community. These conferences allowed us to have meaningful conversations, gain firsthand insights, and understand the unique challenges impacting title & escrow companies. These interactions inform our product development and ensure that our software evolves in tandem with the needs of our community.
Qualia’s Senior Director of Professional Services, Alex Brown, was also featured as a presenter at this year’s ALTA Springboard, ALTA ONE, and National Settlement Services Summit (NS3) events. Brown is a real estate attorney with a title & escrow background and a passion for helping companies improve their operations through standardized system architecture and optimized workflows. In addition to presenting on this topic, Brown, along with his Professional Services team, published the Qualia Workflow Framework. This series of comprehensive eGuides is designed to help title & escrow professionals define and implement streamlined workflows to eliminate workflow debt, regardless of which title production software they are using to manage operations.
Unveiling Groundbreaking Product Releases
In 2023, Qualia launched three major products, including Qualia Atlas, Resware 10, and Qualia Shield . These products are meant to address the themes of security, connectivity, and innovation that permeated discussions with the community throughout the year.
A New Platform for Enterprise
Combining title & escrow production and vendor management, with client, partner, and homebuyer connectivity, Qualia Atlas enables enterprise title & escrow companies to truly streamline the homebuying experience for the end consumer at scale. Atlas offers advanced configurability and automations that teams can use to manage the unique complexity of multi-regional and national enterprise operations. It includes a suite of newly released enterprise-critical functionality and services:
- Data access via an enhanced API for integration with internal systems such as CRM, analytics, and accounting tools
- Order opening automations to assist teams with high transaction volumes
- Privacy and permissioning controls for multi-branch or agency operations
- Sophisticated tasking capabilities to support centralized operations functions
- A suite of anti-fraud tools
- A standardized integration layer that is easy to manage across all transaction parties
Qualia Atlas empowers enterprise title & escrow companies to streamline operations and enables the “Connected Transaction,” a real estate closing that can be structured, automated, and delivered end-to-end, taking into account the work of all parties that orchestrate the closing for the consumer.
The Next Generation of Resware
Resware 10 marked the largest release of the product since Qualia acquired Adeptive Software (the developer of Resware) in December 2020. Resware 10 offers many new major features, as well as significant enhancements to streamline and simplify the Resware upgrade process. Qualia’s Resware engineering team modified how they build and test the product prior to rolling out new versions. This was done in large part to streamline, simplify, and bolster the Resware upgrade process and to make future upgrades simple and repeatable.
As a material component of Qualia’s ecosystem of title and escrow products, Resware 10 serves as a powerful solution for enterprise organizations with the vision, resources, and preference to highly customize their operations. It includes hundreds of enhancements, new features, and fixes designed for a faster, easier, and higher quality user experience for both end users and Resware administrators. Notable additions to Resware 10 include:
- An interactive Action Visualizer tool for workflow configuration
- Improved Notes & Compose Panel and documents functionality
- A variety of new integrations, including Qualia Assure, Qualia Marketplace, and DocuSign
Between Resware 10 and the release of Atlas in March, the comprehensive Qualia platform is suited to meet the varying needs of any large complex title and escrow company regardless of how they prefer to operate.
A Wire Fraud Mitigation Solution
Qualia Shield, is the industry’s first fully integrated funding and disbursement product designed for title & escrow companies who want to automate and simplify their accounting processes and more effectively protect their business and clients against fraud. Marquee features of Shield include:
- Earnest money deposit (EMD) collection
- Automated wire matching
- Wire-sending integrations
- Wire fraud detection
- Seller ID verification
The real estate industry suffered a staggering $396M+ in adjusted losses in 2022 as a result of business email compromise (BEC) scams, an increase from previous years. In support of title & escrow companies’ efforts to combat wire fraud, Shield provides agents with the ability to securely collect and share wire instructions with buyers and sellers, as well as assess the wire instructions they collect for risk of fraud. A multivariable assessment shows agents the level of fraud risk so they can make informed decisions about the trustworthiness of sellers’ and payoff lenders’ wire instructions.
“We rely on people, processes, and technology to protect ourselves from fraud at Paramount, and Qualia is that technology piece that gives us the peace of mind and confidence that wires are going to the right place.”– Debbie Schoenborn, President of Paramount Title Agency and earlier Qualia Shield adopter
Each of Shield’s features is natively integrated with Qualia’s suite of products. This unified system integration provides a first-of-its-kind, seamless user experience across title production software, client portal, and banking functionalities, making closings more simple and secure.
For firsthand insight into how wire fraud is impacting title & escrow professionals across the country, read our Real Estate Wire Fraud Trends: Special Report.
Looking Ahead to 2024
As we step into 2024, Qualia remains committed to providing innovative solutions to help our customers drive modern, integrated, and secure real estate transactions. We are excited to explore the possibilities that new technology, like generative AI, can offer within the title & escrow space. We extend our sincere gratitude to all of our customers and partners for their collaboration in shaping the future of real estate. We look forward to continuing this collaboration in the year to come.
We invite you all to register for FORES24 and be part of the continued journey towards a connected closing experience.