Title & escrow companies often feel apprehensive about switching to a new real estate closing software—even when their current software is limiting their business or creating frustration for staff. The perceived challenges of transitioning onto a new system can often seem to outweigh the benefits of the new technology; however, this mindset leaves companies stagnant because they are limited by the constraints of their current software provider.
With the right team and strategy in place, switching to a new system can be a smooth process. Qualia’s customer success team has helped thousands of title & escrow companies effectively transition to Qualia Core. The team leverages a number of strategies to help businesses switch to new software with limited disruption to their operations.
Best practices for effective change management
1. Define goals
The key to managing change is preparing for it. First, business leaders need to identify and clearly articulate the organizational goals related to the software transition before the team undergoes the adjustment. This includes helping staff understand the positive impact of the new software on their day-to-day roles.
For example, leaders might explain how business growth is accelerating the need for a new system that can accommodate clients better or improve the workflow to reduce staff burnout. Likewise, real estate agents and mortgage lender clients will appreciate the upfront insight on the change and how it may impact their interaction with your business. They are business owners too, and will value the investments in improving the overall customer experience.
2. Identify a point person + power user(s)
Title & escrow companies can tap a point person to advocate the benefits of the new platform and help staff effectively leverage the system to its highest potential. The point person effectively “owns” the transition by acting as a champion of the transition to create a sense of excitement and bring a level of assuredness to team members who may feel uncertain about a switch and what it means for their day-to-day roles.
The internal point person should deeply understand the software and all of its features to act as a knowledgeable resource during the transition. The point person can work with the software provider to ensure they understand the intricacies of the system and how to guide staff through typical tasks. By identifying a single point person for the organization, staff will know who to turn to for questions throughout the transition and feel supported throughout the process.
This individual also may employ the help of several “power users.” Power users are individuals responsible for knowing the ins and outs of the software features to train their teams. Generally, there is one power user per department or branch.
3. Set clear timelines and over-communicate them
It’s essential to over-communicate timelines both internally and to clients. Letting timelines be known ensures no one will be surprised by the transition and that everyone feels confident with the new tools and processes before the go-live date.
In the example of Qualia, a Qualia onboarding specialist works with the designated point person to help set up a clear messaging plan to communicate what’s coming, why, and when. This helps ensure that everyone understands what to expect and the timelines for tasks to be completed. Qualia also has a go-live onboarding checklist to verify that the title company has completed all the necessary steps to transition to Qualia.
4. Empower employees to be a part of developing new processes
As mentioned above, employees may not feel bought into the new process if they are not given insight into the reasons for change and the exciting potential the change presents for the business. Therefore, employees should be actively involved in defining new processes throughout the transition. In addition, they should have the opportunity to voice their concerns and provide feedback on new processes before implementation. Managers can take input from employees by asking questions such as “how can we improve what you are doing on a daily basis?” This involvement makes onboarding more engaging and increases stickiness because the employees are now part of the solution and feel a sense of ownership in the change.
5. Make onboarding engaging
Employees may not feel like they have the time to transition to a new platform amid high volume. Therefore, modular, online learning tools like Qualia University allow employees to access on-demand training materials. On-demand training offers employees flexibility, choice, access, and mobility to learn new materials by allowing them to review them as many times as they need and at their own pace.
Employees of the Texas-based title company, Patten Title, learned how to use the features in Qualia through in-depth training videos and quizzes in Qualia University This self-paced training engaged Patten Title employees throughout the onboarding process, making the transition an interactive, and enjoyable experience.
6. Structure recurring check-ins and clear channels for feedback
Transitioning to a new platform invariably introduces new processes that team members must learn to perform their day-to-day tasks. Instead of dictating the process, team managers should ensure flexibility so that any defined process can be adjusted per feedback from the team. Make sure that employees and clients can provide feedback, the good and bad. All team members should have a specific format for keeping and communicating notes on the transition.
Qualia’s customer success team advises title companies to establish recurring check-in sessions so managers can answer questions from staff on a consistent basis.
A winning combination for a seamless transition to a new platform
Title & escrow companies attribute their seamless transition to Qualia’s platform to the combination of Qualia’s onboarding specialists, on-demand access to Qualia University, and their designated point person and “power users” who championed the new platform.