Last week, Qualia hosted its virtual Future of Real Estate Series (FORES) Summer Session. Members of Qualia’s product leadership team discussed the latest releases within Qualia Core and Qualia Connect and highlighted a few key features on the horizon. Plus, a panel of real estate experts discussed how the past 18 months have shaped employee expectations for the future of work. Read on for a full recap of the event.
Qualia’s Senior Director of Product offered a look at upcoming feature releases for Qualia Core
Qualia’s Senior Director of Product, Charlotte Brown, walked attendees through the latest updates to Qualia Core, the platform of record for title & escrow businesses. “Whenever we talk about products at Qualia, we like to start with our mission which is to make home buying, selling, and refinancing easy,” Brown said. “Title companies are at the center of this—you’re the key to unlocking a better transaction for everyone.”
Over the past year, Qualia has been working with customers to identify new and better ways they can work with their partners to transform real estate transactions. “We want to help you bring all of your parties onto Qualia’s platform and to make information handoffs easier and more secure,” Brown said. Her team has been working directly with customers to maintain a balance of improving existing products to make them even better while also bringing new features to market. A few of these enhancements and new features on the horizon include:
- New workflow automations. “We’ve taken [workflow automations] to the next level this year and soon you’ll see automations that generate documents, assign title curative tasks, and do even more to reduce manual and repetitive work,” Brown said.
- A new Qualia Marketplace Hub. Qualia recently launched the new Marketplace Hub to make discovering and working with vendors easier. “We’ve heard of title companies entering 19 new markets by finding local vendors through Marketplace,” Brown said. You can read more about the new Marketplace Hub here.
- “Quality of life” improvements. “We’ve been working on some redesigns that will make it really easy to know exactly where you are with each of your tasks,” Brown said. “For example, one click to see what’s next on an order or being able to write an email and move around an order without losing the email draft.”
- Better digital closing experiences. “Something we’ve heard a lot from folks is that they want to send more documents to be eSigned but they also need documents to be filled out [by the client],” Brown said. “We’re bringing out a feature that will help your clients fill out documents from [directly within] Connect.” Some of these features include drop downs and other cues to help clients know what type of information is requested as well as which information is required.
Qualia’s Director of Product Marketing Discussed the Latest Qualia Connect Updates
Over the past several months, Qualia released several exciting features within Connect, our fully-integrated client and partner portal. “We believe these enhancements will help you better collaborate with your partners as well as deliver on the needs of today’s home buyers and sellers,” Priyanka Srinivasan, Qualia’s Director of Product Marketing, said. Some of these recent updates include:
- More automated communications. Businesses can trigger messages to clients and partners based on specific transaction criteria. For example, if funds were dispersed in an order, businesses could set up an automatic message to notify relevant transaction parties of the event so that everyone stays in the loop. These new automations were built with enough flexibility to meet state or even county-specific requirements.
- New quoting and ordering functionality. Customers can now set up logic within Qualia to auto accept bulk orders. “Once you receive those orders, we also now have enhanced reporting that lets you dig in and better understand where your business is coming from and get additional context on those orders,” Srinivasan said.
- Remote online notarization (RON). “We surveyed more than 1,000 homebuyers and found that 62% of recent homebuyers said they wanted a fully digital closing, yet only 13% of them were able to get one. We’re on a mission to close this gap,” Srinivasan said. Customers in select states now have the ability to perform remote online notarization eClosings through Connect.
- More security features. Qualia Connect now has default two-factor authentication as an additional security measure to help businesses protect their clients and their communication.
You can read more about the latest updates to Connect here.
A panel of leading young professionals spoke about the future of work
The real estate industry is undergoing a seismic shift. There’s an incredible marketplace opportunity (home sales are expected to reach a record $2.5 trillion in 2021) which is drawing in new talent. Meanwhile, the widespread availability of cloud-based, integrated technology is opening up new ways of doing business.
Qualia’s VP of People, Jess Tory, sat down with young professionals from across the real estate industry to discuss what excites and inspires them about the future of real estate and how they evaluate their employers when seeking career opportunities. Tommy Choi, Co-founder & Owner of Weinberg Choi Residential, Candace Russell, VP of Post Sale at Carrington Mortgage Services, and Heidi Thorne, Director of Agency Operations at Agents National Title Insurance Company (ANTIC) each weighed in.
Millennials and Generation Z aren’t necessarily looking for cushy workplace perks from their employers
Thorne, Russell, and Choi all agreed that employers who offered opportunities for growth and learning were more influential in their employment considerations than those who offered “flashy” perks such as drinks on tap or scooters to get around the office.
“I really wanted to find a place where I felt like I was making an impact and somewhere that I felt I had an opportunity to grow,” Thorne said. Choi agreed and added that oftentimes companies can misunderstand “culture” as something they can speak about superficially. In reality, culture is “something that’s felt” and comes down to offering the necessary flexibility to enable individual performance and growth.
Workplace expectations have shifted during the pandemic
The panelists agreed that previous notions around remote work have gone out the window during the pandemic. “We’ve seen increased engagement scores and everyone is happy and enjoying the flexibility [of remote work,]” Russell said. “We’ve also seen a move [among leaders] from what I call managing minutes to managing what matters.” In other words, managers are less focused on the amount of time an employee spends completing a project, and more concerned about overall productivity. “We’re measuring the right things now,” she added.
Thorne agreed that remote work transformed workplaces, and especially in title & escrow. While her company has always been “cloud centric” to enable employees to work from anywhere, she has noticed a number of title agents have adjusted their mindset about technology. Out of necessity, many businesses shifted to more digital practices in order to deliver the remote experience customers demanded during the pandemic. “Many adjusted from a server-based program to a cloud-based program,” she explained “[when they received a positive response] it was a really good catalyst to get people caught up to some of the technology that’s been out there that we haven’t been taking advantage of.”
Young professionals are excited about technology and new ways of doing business
Choi noted that during the course of the pandemic both real estate agents and their clients were more open to rethinking the homebuying process—mostly due to the fact that many of the traditional home purchase steps (in-person home showings, meetings, etc.) shifted to a virtual experience during the pandemic. Instead of “checking a box” to complete standard steps, real estate agents are now rethinking their value proposition and how they can elevate the experience by providing more data and information for the consumer. “It ultimately raises the bar on professionalism and the service we can provide to our clients,” he said.
Thorne agreed that title agents are also leaning into technology to elevate the customer experience. She has also noticed that technology is opening up new possibilities for expanding the title talent pool “We’re hiring people from all over the country, whereas traditionally we would be looking within a 20 or 30-mile radius,” she said.
To hear more from the young professionals panel, click below to hear the full discussion.