Remote work is currently a shiny new object in the title & escrow sector; however, remote operations and automated systems have been in place longer than many realize. Take vendor services: outsourcing certain tasks (akin to hiring a specialized remote employee) was commonplace long before the pandemic.
Paul Soucek, co-founder of Consolidated County Record System (COCRS), a vendor providing tax certifications, HOA status letters/estoppels and supporting documentation, and recorded property records/deeds in Qualia Marketplace, believes the pandemic is shifting perceptions around vendor services. We interviewed Soucek over the phone last week to discuss why title & escrow companies are turning their attention to outsourcing in a remote world.
Remote operations and high volume: a renewed need for outsourcing
At the onset of the pandemic, title & escrow businesses shifted to remote operations practically overnight. This initial shift was challenging for many businesses, yet others were able to seamlessly shift to remote operations thanks to cloud-based systems that allowed them to work securely from anywhere with an internet connection.
Soucek noted that this change was an eye-opener for many title & escrow businesses who were rooted in traditional, in-person business operations. “[Before the pandemic] I think many businesses were unwilling or scared to have a remote workforce,” he said. “Now, a lot of companies are realizing the benefits of being able to spread your workforce and work from home.”
Title companies can expand their remote team by outsourcing with the right partners
This shift also helped reduce hesitancy around employing vendor services which are inherently done outside of a businesses’ walls. “Because [the COCRS service team] is used to working with remote partners, our team is very adept at working with people in different locations,” he said. While title professionals learned to adjust to work-from-home distractions, highly-specialized outsourced services became especially valuable for consistent, error-free deliverables.
Businesses can benefit from their vendor’s technology
Title companies can also take advantage of a service provider’s technology including automation and machine learning which many vendors employ to scale their services. “The whole philosophy of the [COCRS] business is efficiency and automation,” Soucek noted about the technology at his team’s disposal. “We want to make sure things are done as quickly as possible without compromising accuracy.”
On top of managing a new remote workforce, title & escrow companies needed to respond to increasing order volumes spurred by record-low interest rates. “Companies that were able to adapt and continue operations through online means did extremely well,” Soucek said.
Outsourcing: considerations for success
Outsourcing is not a solution for every efficiency challenge. Soucek’s mantra for title businesses is “do what you’re good at and outsource everything else.” From his perspective, the most successful businesses outsource highly-specialized services or low-level activities that take a lot of time but could be completed faster with the tools and technology that a vendor has at their disposal.
For example, Soucek referenced a number of clients who were experiencing higher volume during the pandemic and didn’t have the expertise or time to learn processes that were outside of the geographical regions in which they typically do business. By outsourcing these tasks to an expert who is knowledgeable in that region, businesses can maintain their customer experience levels without sacrificing accuracy.
Soucek also noted that the vendor should have the flexibility to adapt to changes. He referenced a client in Texas who needed specific line items added to their reports in compliance with a regional requirement. His team was able to pivot quickly to fulfill this request thanks to a combination of expertise and technology.
Gain efficiency with integrations
Soucek noted that there is a tendency for businesses to select vendors who are “jacks of all trades.” There is a general misconception that by working with a single vendor, a title or escrow business can eliminate the headache of handling orders and invoicing with multiple partners.
Today, technology is changing the game and eliminating the inefficiencies that were historically involved in outsourcing. Qualia Marketplace, a one-stop vendor shop, allows title & escrow agents to order services directly within Qualia’s software. This allows title & escrow businesses to leverage highly-specialized vendors such as COCRS within Qualia without interrupting their workflows.
To learn more about COCRS and the services provided within Qualia Marketplace, click below.