Title companies must manage an often overwhelming amount of moving pieces and partnerships throughout the closing process. Often, title companies use vendors to outsource a variety of closing tasks, including lien searches, title searches, HOA certificates, and release tracking. During high volume, effectively partnering with vendors can make the difference between an excellent client experience and a delayed or unsatisfactory one. As title companies look to optimize their vendor operations, there are a few best practices to improve vendor management.
The case for outsourcing vendors
Outsourcing various closing tasks to vendors can provide significant time savings during the closing process. While outsourcing is not a solution for every task involved in a closing, it can help teams manage high volume, provide excellent customer service, and keep closings on track.
Some title companies are hesitant to grow their vendor partnerships because it can be a time-consuming process involving multiple spreadsheets and manual tools. Spending too much time on vendor management can take time away from other more critical tasks, like communicating with clients and completing orders.
As title companies look to scale their operations and grow their businesses, successful vendor management is essential in accomplishing these goals. By streamlining this process with technology and automation, title companies can save time and prevent important closing tasks from slipping through the cracks.
6 vendor management best practices to improve the closing experience
1. Find high-quality vendors with a proven track record of success
Identifying high-quality vendors can be a time-consuming and frustrating process. Using the wrong vendors—such as those that are inconsistent or deliver substandard services—can tarnish the client experience. Additionally, the continuous cycle of identifying and onboarding new vendors can take valuable time away from title agents. Instead, using a network of vendors with a proven track record of success (such as in Qualia Marketplace) can help title companies select high-quality vendors that turn into long-term business partners.
Matthew Bachner, Title Operations Manager at LemonBrew, recently told Qualia that partnering with quality vendors is key to delivering on his company’s customer service promise. “We have to make sure that when the volume is high, the client doesn’t feel an effect of us losing efficiencies or turn times increasing. So we need to partner with vendors that have the same mindset as us.”
2. Build strong relationships with vendors
After identifying high-quality vendors, focusing on fostering business relationships can help title companies scale a variety of closing tasks to help grow their business. Vendors with expertise in certain regions and states can help title companies quickly expand into new locations and increase their offerings. Long-term vendor partnerships can also help title companies deliver a consistent experience for clients.
Bharat Das, Co-founder & CEO at Pippin Title, explained in a recent Qualia webinar that “predictability is very important. [Because it’s also] what the homebuyer is looking for as they’re going through the process.” When looking to create a predictable and exceptional client experience, title companies can create a repeatable process with vendor partners to ensure that closing tasks are consistently completed accurately and on time.
3. Centralize vendor operations onto one system
Housing vendor data across multiple locations—such as paper documents, spreadsheets, email, and other point solutions—can be inefficient, confusing, and poses security risks. Standardizing and centralizing vendor operations onto one system makes it easier for title processors to access vendor information, manage orders, communicate with vendors, and track performance. By storing all vendor information in one system through technology and integrations, vendor data automatically stays up to date and is easily accessible across an organization.
4. Reduce manual processes
From identifying vendors to ordering services, vendor management can still be a manual process for many title companies. These time-consuming tasks may include rekeying data, tracking vendor information and performance with spreadsheets, and manually ordering closing services. By leveraging technology to manage vendors and reduce manual processes, title companies can reduce errors and streamline their workflows to ultimately scale their vendor management operations. For example, a recent Qualia Marketplace survey found that processors enter data 5 times faster after switching to Marketplace by leveraging automation and avoiding rekeying data during orders.
5. Track vendor performance
Without standardized reporting, it can be difficult to understand which vendors are consistently meeting expected turnaround times and how vendor metrics (such as product quality and price) compare to one another. Consolidating vendor data into one place can help turn data into actionable business insights, scale operations, and improve client experience. Qualia recently announced new vendor performance reporting features to help title companies quickly see performance metrics and identify patterns and trends in vendor performance.
6. Prioritize data security
Storing vendor data across multiple locations and transferring sensitive information over email can lead to security risks. Additionally, cybercriminals may target businesses by intercepting vendor payment requests to send false requests. In addition to raising awareness among employees, leveraging software security features, such as multi-factor authentication (MFA) and secure vendor integrations, can help mitigate risk. With secure vendor integrations, title processors never have to leave their core software to order, manage, or pay for vendor services. This reduces the potential for cybercriminals to use spoofed emails to send false vendor payment requests.
Leveraging technology to streamline vendor management
Effective vendor management can help title companies grow their business, avoid closing delays, and deliver an exceptional closing experience. By consolidating vendor management and performance data onto one platform, title companies can leverage technology to streamline operations and gain valuable insight into vendor performance. To learn more about vendor management capabilities in Qualia Marketplace, schedule a demo below.