As new technology emerges to streamline the closing process, consumer expectations for convenient transactions and real-time communication continue to grow as well. In the latest installment of the Qualia Homebuyer Sentiment Index, commissioned by Savanta (a third-party research firm), we asked recent and future homebuyers their perspectives on the homebuying process to gain insight into consumer experiences and shifting preferences.
Closing satisfaction levels increase with quicker response times
Qualia’s survey found that homebuyers who heard back quickly from their primary point of contact were more likely to rank the closing process as a positive experience compared to those who had to wait more than a few hours for a response. Although quick response times were often correlated with a positive experience, our survey found that only 25% of homebuyers said they heard back from their point of contact right away.
Answering homebuyers’ questions can be a time-consuming process for title agents. After all, the closing process is one of the most confusing and stressful parts of the homebuying journey, and homebuyers often raise a number of questions ahead of the closing date.
Automating certain communications, such as status updates and reminders, can help free up title agents’ time—allowing them to respond more quickly to questions that a client may bring forth. In Qualia Connect, users can set up triggers in their Qualia Core workflow to send out automated messages alerting selected parties about missing documents, task reminders, and completed milestones. These triggers ultimately reduce the number of questions and requests title agents receive about status updates. By reducing the number of inquiries title agents receive on a given day, title agents can respond more quickly to other questions from homebuyers, lenders, or real estate agents. In fact, according to a recent Qualia Connect survey, the majority of users report that they are now able to respond to clients within hours rather than several days or a week.
Homebuyers need the right balance of human and digital touchpoints
When we asked homebuyers about the most challenging aspects of the closing process, 41% of respondents indicated that the closing documents (the amount of paperwork and understanding the paperwork) were the most challenging part of the closing.
Homebuyers often face a mountain of paperwork at the closing table. Tools like eSign in Qualia Connect enable title agents to send documents (that don’t require notarization) to the homebuyer ahead of the closing date so they can review, ask questions, and digitally sign documents.
Providing an eSigning option to homebuyers may help ease some of the stress associated with closing documents; however, some buyers may still prefer to discuss them in-person on the signing day. Regardless of the homebuyer’s preferences, having the right tools available can help your team provide the ideal experience based on the client’s needs.
Connectivity’s role in optimizing the homebuying experience
Our 2022 Homebuyer Sentiment Index results emphasize the importance of connectivity to optimize the homebuying experience. Buying a home is a complicated process and one that requires dozens of experts to usher a homebuyer through what’s often one of the most significant purchases of their lifetime. Effective communication throughout this process is essential in raising customer satisfaction. With this knowledge, title & escrow companies can use technology to provide quicker response times when communicating with homebuyers, meet partner expectations, and ultimately improve the homebuying experience.
Leveraging technology to simplify communication with homebuyers and closing partners is essential in eliminating silos and improving the homebuying experience. Download the latest Homebuyer Sentiment Index below for more insight into the homebuyer mindset during real estate transactions.