In the title & escrow industry, workflows can make or break your business. Not only do effective workflows enable greater operational efficiency, but they also ensure your teams can meet service level agreements set by your sources of business.
Qualia’s Director of Product Strategy, Angela Lozano, possesses decades of experience in the title industry both as an attorney and an operator. She also has first-hand experience growing title businesses and adhering to local regulations and nuances at scale.
We sat down with Lozano to discuss the importance of workflows and how businesses of all sizes can—with the right technology—design workflows that will power their business needs.
Workflows can make or break your title operation
Well-structured workflows are the lifeblood of a healthy title operation because they help a single title processor or group of processors engage on a file without missing critical elements. “Title workflows are essentially a safety net for your operation to make sure every T is crossed and every I is dotted,” Lozano said.
With the right workflows in place, a processor can ensure every local rule is adhered to and that every item is completed for a given transaction. “Workflows are a tool to ensure you don’t miss anything important because in the title world, missing something often comes at a big cost both in time and financially—not just for the business but for the customers too,” Lozano said. “Not to mention, there are even bigger implications such as negatively impacting the title to someone’s property.”
Workflows aren’t meant to replace the knowledge of a title expert—they are designed to support title professionals who are often managing a number of different tasks and files at once. “There’s simply no way that any one person can remember all of the nuances of every type of transaction while working at such a fast pace,” Lozano said. “Especially if they are handling multiple transactions on a given day and multitasking at a level you can’t imagine.”
Even for the most seasoned title professional who can “complete a file with their eyes closed,” workflows and tasks are essential in maintaining operational continuity. For example, in the case of a processor going on vacation or becoming sick, workflows help a team member pick up on that person’s tasks without missing a beat.
With the level of power workflows carry, the title software provider becomes the very heartbeat of the operation. Identifying the right technology to enable the necessary detailed automation and taking time to set up well-defined workflows enables tighter operations—and ultimately happier employees, clients, homebuyers, and sellers.
Not all workflows are created equal
Often, larger operations opt for more granular workflows because of the many hands touching a single file. This enables teams to focus on specialized parts of the transaction and hand off a file with very specific tasks completed. Some large title operations may also structure “centralized teams” whereby different team members pick up available tasks from a centralized queue. Regardless of the workflow type, Lozano noted that it’s important for the workflow software to offer the detailed automation larger title companies need so that every piece of the operational puzzle can be mapped out.
Within smaller operations, workflows are often less granular due to the small number of people (typically one or two processors) working on a particular file. For example, in a smaller operation, a task may be simplified to “obtain title” rather than two separate, more granular tasks: “order title” and “receive title.”
For both large and small title businesses, the right workflow software can make all the difference in enabling more efficient operations and reducing stress. Especially if the right measures are taken upfront by managers and admins to identify pain points and bottlenecks and use them to inform workflow design.
Tips for designing effective workflows
Implementing workflows takes planning on the front end; however, well-designed workflows result in long-term and lasting benefits for the entire organization. Title & escrow is a heavily regulated industry on both the federal and state level. Significant time should be spent on the front end to define requirements for current markets as well as markets you plan to expand into later. These considerations impact workflow, centralization of core functions as the company grows, and accounting and reconciliation practices.
Take an audit of your internal operations
Lozano recommends that leaders take the time to audit their internal operations by shadowing processors and getting in the weeds with how they complete certain functions. “Talk to your team who are in the trenches and look at what they do to understand what efficiencies you can gain,” she said. “Then take time to whiteboard with relevant parties to think through what you want your workflow to look like and apply it to the system.”
Make note of processes that can be optimized
When designing workflows, it’s important to strike a balance between automation and human intervention. Discovering the right tasks to automate starts with identifying common pain points across the operation and automating tasks that are taking up a lot of time but are mostly mundane, repeatable duties (For example, chasing down HOAs or following up with utility companies to collect documents.) This allows title processors to offset time-consuming tasks and focus more of their energy on customer service and responsibilities that require human reasoning.
Within Qualia, Smart Tasks help businesses automate repeatable tasks with added configuration to account for local nuances. For example, in certain counties, a processor would need to e-record, while in other counties, a processor would need to use a courier. With Smart Tasks, the system can recognize these differences automatically and nudge the processor to take the appropriate next action based on local requirements.
Leverage Qualia to implement powerful workflows
Regardless of whether you’re a multi-state, regional, or small title operation, Qualia offers workflow automation and optionality to enable any team to gain massive efficiencies. Qualia’s set of dynamic workflow tools enable title & escrow companies to create Smart Tasks, assign tasks to individuals, roles, or groups, and automate the management of multiple workflows.
In addition, Qualia is actively building new features to enable teams to get more automated in their workflow capabilities. For larger operations, these features will enable more granular workflows and streamlined handoffs between team members.
One of the primary benefits of Qualia is the user-friendly admin section which makes setting up workflows simple. While workflow design does take time and upfront planning, setup on Qualia is user-friendly and doesn’t require someone with a programming background.
To learn more about Qualia workflow features designed for your operation, click below to schedule a time with one of our Qualia specialists.