Real estate is a large ecosystem of many players and pieces. Building strong relationships across the industry makes good business sense and ultimately creates a more cohesive and connected transaction experience for the end-consumer. 

At the Qualia-sponsored HousingWire event, “Looking Ahead: How to Build on 2020’s Housing Tech Boom,” American Land Title Association (ALTA) CEO, Diane Tomb, and Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) VP of Industry Technology, Rick Hill, discussed the value of industry collaboration and how technology is enabling stronger partnerships. 

Beyond referrals: the benefits of strong partnerships

In the title and mortgage lending industries, referrals are crucial for business development. Discussion around the value of strong partnerships often stops at referrals; however, strong partnerships can accomplish much more.

Decreasing wire fraud instances through strong relationships

Tomb noted that ALTA has seen wire fraud instances go from “a monthly basis to a daily basis” during the pandemic. Strong partnerships can help reduce these instances through a solid understanding of the partners’ communication practices and processes. This enables teams to spot suspicious activity more quickly when communication looks off. “It’s important to have a personal relationship so that you can get a feeling when something is not quite right,” Hill said. “A relationship with a company and their practices will give you that sixth sense.”

Pushing forward advocacy efforts through a united industry front

This year, the pandemic accelerated the need for virtual closings. Organizations across the real estate ecosystem came together to advocate for remote online notarization (RON) legislation and standards. 

The collaboration between ALTA and MBA to develop model legislation for RON several years ago was key in accelerating state-level RON legislation in 2020. More recently, these organizations joined together to advocate for RON to Freddie Mac. “Now there are 46 or so states where Freddie Mac will permit remote notary, and that came from joint advocacy,” Hill noted. 

Reducing misalignment to create better customer experiences

Hill noted that when he speaks to title organizations he often hears them say that the lender is holding up some digital process. Meanwhile, when he speaks with lenders he hears them say that title agencies are lacking some technology. These misalignments bring to light the fact that both sides are largely unaware of how the other side operates. 

For Hill, successful partnerships come down to “Making sure you know if [your partners] can do things and how they do it.” This partner acumen will ultimately enable smoother communication and transaction experiences for the end-consumer. 

Kelsey Ramirez of HousingWire [top left] speaks with Rick Hill of MBA [top right] and Diana Tomb of ALTA about building strong industry partnerships.

Must-have technology for strong partnerships 

Tomb noted that across the title industry, technology adoption has accelerated out of necessity during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of this crowdsourcing, the cost of technology solutions has gone down and more businesses are able to participate. Hill and Tomb highlighted two key technology solutions that are growing to help bridge connections. 

1. Communication portals

Communication portals enable all parties in a transaction to easily communicate with one another; upload and e-sign documents; and check in on the status of a closing. “I see the use of [portals] evolving over time,” Hill noted. 

One example of a communication portal is Qualia Connect which enables mortgage lenders, title agents, real estate agents, buyers, and sellers to communicate with one another on a secure platform, view the progress of a closing in real-time, and access documents during and after the transaction. 

2. All-in-one software solutions

Currently, title agents and mortgage lenders are often using many different technology tools to complete tasks. “It’s expensive and especially for smaller businesses who often can’t afford to purchase and maintain everything,” Hill noted. 

Industry organizations like MISMO are working to create data standards within the industry so data can more easily flow between systems. These standardizations enable systems to more easily “speak” to one another and for software platforms to consolidate solutions for all-in-one software that reduces costs and creates efficiencies. 

Investing in the right technology

Increasing efficiency and strengthening partnerships through technology isn’t merely about adopting new technologies; it’s about adopting the right technology. End-to-end platforms are the best investment. Instead of jumping from system to system to complete a series of tasks, end-to-end platforms, like Qualia, connect everyone in the real estate ecosystem to one system of record for seamless, efficient, and secure transaction management. This ultimately enables stronger partnerships and a better home buying experience. 

To learn more about how Qualia can help you work better with your partners, click below to schedule a time with a Qualia specialist.

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