Automation, eClosings, and other digital advancements in the title industry have been a highly-discussed topic this year in the media and at conferences across the country. This month, October Research released Title Technology: Special Report. The issue collects responses from across the industry on applications of the latest technology, hinting at what’s to come in 2020.
Process Efficiencies with Technology
Technology providers and experts from across the industry agree that automation, integrations, and other advancements are helping businesses create efficiencies and move their businesses into the future. They also stressed that technology cannot replace people, but rather it should “free team members to spend time on things that are more vital to their business, such as customer service.”
Qualia CEO, Nate Baker, also provided insight on how to evaluate new technology options. Instead of approaching technology investments as a cherry-picking process, Baker said that businesses should prioritize end-to-end platforms because these provide the most efficient, streamlined, and secure solution for real estate transactions. “Too often, businesses invest in software that require additional add-ons, applications, and plug-ins. In these cases, the technology intended to create efficiencies actually result in inefficiencies,” he said. “This is because it forces employees to either jump from system to system to complete a task or series of tasks, or it requires a company to invest in their own mini-engineering team to manage a complex series of software integrations.”
Artificial Intelligence Use Cases
The special report included notes from the recent NS3 Conference held in Phoenix titled “Adding AI to the Toolbox.” The speakers discussed why title companies and underwriting businesses are excellent candidates for AI applications due to their “data-rich environments” which lend well to computer programing that can complete low-level, data-informed tasks.
Beyond workflow advancements, the speakers also discussed applications of AI for marketing, hiring, and employee retention. Overall, the message was clear: artificial intelligence is not designed to “take over” jobs; rather, its application will allow employees to “focus on customer experience instead of redundant tasks.”
Safeguarding Customer Data with Technology
Increasingly, title companies, underwriters, and vendor partners are leveraging technology to protect sensitive data from both internal and external threats. The report delivered expert opinions on vetting partners for data security, maintaining internal standards for data protection, and aligning with industry best practices and third-party audits and certifications.
Overall, the sentiment around security was that a data breach or security incident at one business was a threat to the industry as a whole. More than ever, consumers want to know they are protected. The industry must come together to create urgency around the issue and invest in technology that meets consumer’s expectations for security.
Internal Change Management Through Digital Transformations
According to experts the key to embracing the rapidly changing technology landscape is “training, timing, and fostering a company culture that encourages learning new skills and technology.”
Despite industry stereotypes around slow-moving, pen-and-paper processes, experts noted that the title industry is more rapidly adopting new technology and digital advancements than ever before. Internal change management and company culture are key to moving quickly. “The best way to accelerate innovation is to empower our people,” one expert said.