Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) have dominated real estate media headlines over the past 12 months. M&A activity soared in the PropTech sector thanks to increased VC funding and a greater push among fast-growing startups to capture a greater share of the consumer journey.
Meanwhile, in the title & escrow space, M&A activity is surging due to a number of factors including strong market activity, technology, and a wave of title & escrow owners of small to mid-size businesses that are considering the sale of their operation as they reach retirement age.
For those in the title industry seeking growth through M&A, you may already have a team in place to help plan from a legal, compliance, regulatory, and overall due diligence point of view. However, many acquiring firms often fail to consider an important factor: the ability to successfully integrate business operations.
Operational consistency between two companies is the foundation for a successful merger or acquisition. Yet, businesses often consider technology and operations as an afterthought. On both sides of the M&A equation (whether you’re an acquiring firm or positioning yourself for a sale), operating on a flexible title & escrow software solution should be at the top of your priority list.
6 title & escrow workflow software considerations for any acquisition strategy
Businesses often consider technology and operations as an afterthought during the M&A due diligence process. Even before evaluating a particular deal, businesses should consider the flexibility of their technology infrastructure to ensure various acquisition strategies are not impeded by technology roadblocks.
With this in mind, acquiring firms should proactively consider software solutions that enable a variety of acquisition strategies. It’s often beneficial for the business and its acquired entities to eventually operate on a single system. This enables cost reductions through the consolidation of technology, better and more consistent company-wide reporting, and a unified technology mindset that enables the business to move forward and innovate without some parts of the business lagging behind. Below are 6 software criteria scaling title & escrow businesses should consider.
1) Ease of onboarding & training
In some cases, an acquired company may stay on its own system (or systems) for some time because learning new software will interrupt business and impact revenue. Intuitive, simple-to-use platforms enable newly acquired companies to quickly and seamlessly onboard to the new system without business interruption. Additionally, efficiencies created by workflow capabilities (like those in Qualia) reduce the learning curve for employees learning new business processes. Qualia’s Dynamic Workflow templates equipped with tasking enable admins to standardize a process and support a consistent customer experience without “micro-managing” new employees.
2) Flexibility to accommodate multiple business models or operational philosophies
In some acquisition strategies, the acquiring firm is looking to expand operations to new regions by procuring a title or escrow company with a large book of business in a particular market. These local businesses will have workflow needs specific to their region. When these businesses are acquired, their continued success often depends on their ability to maintain their independent operational philosophies and practices. Purpose-built configurations like those within Qualia allow businesses to adjust workflows to meet their needs for local customs and regulations.
3) Cost-efficiency of the software as the company grows
Cloud-based systems (like Qualia) tend to be more cost-effective for quickly-scaling companies because they 1) eliminate the need for hardware maintenance costs 2) reduce the need for add-on software costs and 3) reduce the challenges and costs associated with underwriter integrations.
4) Allows for multiple brands on the same platform
In some acquisition strategies, the brand equity of the acquired company is the primary motivator for the purchase. It’s important for the acquiring firm to leverage software that enables multiple brands to coexist on a single system. In the instance of multiple brands, it’s also important for the business to leverage a system that allows for segmented reporting. Qualia offers multi-company reporting that allows business leaders to see pipeline numbers from separate companies on a single screen.
5) Security of the system
Attention to security features within the software is a key consideration. Acquiring firms should consider the availability of security features when choosing a predominant system in their planning. Software that meets security best practices and requirements is the baseline for a strong security culture whereby individual employees keep security top-of-mind in every task and decision.
6) Future-proof technology
It’s important to consider whether the software provider is aiming to build greater efficiencies with outside partners such as lenders and real estate agents. Platforms like Qualia are enabling a single system of record for greater efficiencies and improved overall collaboration.
A new wave of value to the title industry
Qualia’s cloud-based system is a powerful advantage for title & escrow businesses that are focused on growth. Additionally, Qualia’s team of product leaders, subject matter experts, and engineers are actively building new features to power a variety of operational needs—from streamlined workflows to enable single processor teams to advanced, trigger-based automation within workflows for centralized teams.
To learn more about Qualia’s cloud-based platform and how it can power your operations, click below.