Legendary businessman and Ford Motor Company founder Henry Ford once said, “If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got.” Ford used this perspective to revolutionize the automotive industry and scale his business to reach households across the country. As the title industry experiences dramatic change towards a more digital future, title agencies can think outside the box to transform their business and achieve long term success.
Reporting is one crucial business practice that can lead this transformation within organizations. Consistent reporting combined with tactical KPIs enables businesses to measure current performance, create strategic goals, and make better decisions with their data. Identifying the right KPIs empowers title agencies to track progress and discover new opportunities as they evaluate their business trajectory.
Category #1: Pipeline KPIs
Pipeline performance is one of the most fundamental categories for title agencies to measure when looking to understand the state of their business. Reporting on this category of KPIs helps title agencies see if their pipeline is running smoothly and efficiently. Especially for newer title agencies, tracking these KPIs can help establish baseline numbers for their organizations to assess change over time. It also enables title agencies to evaluate how their strategies are performing and optimize accordingly.
Active file count per head
Active file count per head is a KPI that measures the number of files agents manage each month and is important for monitoring employee bandwidth. As title agencies increase order volume, finding the right balance between employee bandwidth, meeting SLAs, and delivering a consistent client experience is crucial. If client experience decreases as order volume increases, it may be a sign that employees are overloaded and it’s time to optimize their workflows or even hire additional staff.
For example, if employees take on too many files and need to rush through orders, this could negatively impact client experience. Instead, identifying a baseline active file count per head that is manageable for employees while also satisfying customer service goals can help title agencies create a sustainable and scalable pipeline strategy. From there, businesses can identify additional workflow optimization opportunities that enable their team to increase efficiency and handle more orders.
Closing rate measures the number of closed files compared to active pipeline within a 30-day period. Although many factors contribute to how fast title agencies are getting consumers to the closing table, businesses can use this KPI to gain insight into internal efficiency. According to a recent consumer survey, 49% of borrowers responded that a faster closing process would have resulted in a better experience. By investigating how many files are being closed each month, businesses can monitor how efficient their closing process is and if they need to optimize their workflows to deliver faster closings. Identifying average closing rate can also help title agencies of all sizes assess their current capabilities and set attainable long term goals.
This KPI compares the number of canceled files to open files each month and is a way to ensure that title agencies are maintaining a healthy business structure. Suppose files are consistently being canceled from a particular source of business (such as a lender or real estate agent). In that case, title agencies may want to evaluate their sources of business to identify why. This can be especially helpful for newer title agencies that are growing their business relationships or more established agencies that are expanding their business to new regions.
Fallthrough rate can also help title agencies assess closing processes to prevent monetary loss from canceled files. For example, if agents order closing services too early in the closing process and then that file is canceled, the title agency will likely have to pay for the cost of that service (instead of the buyer or seller). Instead, title agencies may want to wait to order closing services until later in the process in case an order is canceled—especially if they have a high fallthrough rate.
Category #2: Task management KPIs
Real estate partners are continuing to expect faster turn times during real estate transactions in tandem with an ideal consumer experience. Understanding how long certain tasks are taking enables better performance tracking and can provide insight into efficiency opportunities. Pinpointing time-consuming tasks can help title agencies leverage technology to speed up closings, improve turn times, and prevent delays.
When it comes to meeting client demands, turnaround times are one of the most important factors for winning repeat business. Title agencies should measure turn times at a company-wide and individual level to determine if tasks are completed on time and if promised closing dates are being upheld. Task turn times will vary by agency and SLA commitment; however, title agencies can drive consistency for positive client experience by tracking specific turn time metrics like:
- Order open to commitment delivery
- Search ordered to search received
- Clear to close prior to the closing date
- Closing duration
By tracking turn times, title agencies will have a better understanding of team capacity and performance so that managers can offer extra support or see which agents have bandwidth to take on additional orders.
Category #3: Funding KPIs
Following reconciliation best practices ensures that businesses are prepared for audits and helps catch mistakes, inaccuracies, and fraud before they become bigger problems. The following KPIs are important for tracking and maintaining a title agency’s financial health.
Funding completion rate
Keeping track of funding completion rate is a way for agencies to check that they’re calculating revenue accurately. This metric compares remaining funds to total funded files to ensure that there are no negative file balances. This is an accounting best practice that helps title agencies track the financial health of their business. Doing so verifies that businesses are staying on top of maintaining their files and ensuring accurate and up-to-date payments.
Under collected and over funded files
When further examining funding completion rate, businesses can track under collected and over funded files. These metrics identify if all transaction parties (such as vendors providing closing services) are paid by the time the transaction is complete. While ensuring that files are properly funded is a reconciliation best practice, it’s also helpful in delivering excellent client experience. Making sure that payments are handled efficiently and accurately gives clients and consumers peace of mind during transactions and helps build trust over time. If these metrics reveal that files are consistently under collected or over funded, it may be a sign that the title agency needs to re-examine its reconciliation practices to better communicate what is needed from each transaction party.
The importance of comprehensive and consistent reporting
Solid reporting empowers businesses to make fast, strategic decisions to plan for the future and drive improvements. Without the software capabilities to capture and store the right information, businesses can’t rely on reporting to make these decisions. Disjointed systems and inefficient processes, such as manually adding data to spreadsheets, can make reporting cumbersome and inaccurate. Instead, businesses should build their base workflows with reporting goals in mind and connect fragmented systems with APIs. Structuring operations to enable smooth and accurate reporting can create a flywheel effect that leads to actionable business insights and optimizations.
In a rapidly changing industry, powerful reporting tools enable businesses to evaluate performance and proactively respond to market changes. Regular reporting has the potential to impact a wide range of business improvements, including workflow standardization, revenue operations, and vendor management. Learn more about how reporting in Qualia can provide actionable insights to help your business scale and grow by scheduling a demo today.