What makes for a great—not just OK or good—escrow partner?
Finding a reliable, honest title and escrow partner can be challenging. As you’ve probably discovered, the type of services offered and the level of customer satisfaction can differ drastically across companies.
In the fast-paced world of real estate, the services you get (or don't get) can often mean the difference between closing on time or having things drag out, resulting in lost money or frustrated clients.
Because choosing the wrong title and escrow company can be an expensive proposition for lenders, here are four key questions you should always ask when evaluating a title and escrow partner.
#1. Do they offer centralized fulfillment?
For too long now, the real estate industry has relied upon separate processes and complex steps all glued together by legacy software. Basically, it's a mish-mash of inefficient activities that make it difficult to see into the progress of each transaction or order.
In a world driven by high customer expectations, it's no longer a sound way to do business. Clients want real-time information and quick answers to their questions. That's why finding an escrow partner who can offer you centralized fulfillment is critical.
What is centralized fulfillment?
Simply put, centralized fulfillment means being able to consolidate all processing functions in one place. It creates visibility into order flow and highlights processing bottlenecks, enabling you to quickly find solutions. Centralized processes are the key to speed, transparency, and customer satisfaction.
As you evaluate a title and escrow company's technology and systems, be sure to ask:
- Can I access all my information from a single dashboard?
- Does it offer real-time order status updates and tracking?
- Does the technology offer built-in process automation?
- Will it integrate with my loan origination system?
- Does it offer best-in-class reporting capabilities?
- Do they offer and guarantee an accurate closing cost calculator?
If an escrow company can't answer yes to all these questions, it may be worth looking around until you find a company that can.
#2. Will their system complement how I do business?
Lenders are busy people with a million things to do.
The last thing you want to do is bang your head against a system that doesn't complement or integrate with your existing workflows. That's why it's important to find an escrow partner who can offer you a platform that’s compatible with how you already work.
What does that look like?
Specifically, the system should integrate with your clients’ loan origination systems (LOS), so clients can receive pricing and documents seamlessly. The system should be compatible with local requirements and designed for scalability when your business grows.
The best systems adapt to your requirements and processes, so you don’t need to change the way you work.
#3. Do they provide a dedicated support team?
For your clients, buying a home can often feel like a convoluted process, with many steps they may not understand or be familiar with. How can you help your clients stay on top of things without getting a headache?
The answer is: You shouldn't have to do it on your own. It’s better to find an escrow company that can offer you a dedicated support team for you and your clients.
What does “dedicated support” mean?
For starters, an escrow company should be able to offer you and your clients multiple points of contact. Clients should be able to reach an empowered employee who can address all of their questions and concerns and have 24/7 online access to their files and paperwork.
The escrow team should be informed and educated across the entire real estate industry. They should be able to answer questions about a wide range of real estate topics: everything from how to use and understand a closing cost calculator to the vesting of title.
If a prospective escrow company can't offer this level of customer service, it may not be the right partner for you and your clients.
#4. Can they help me close faster?
Nothing is worse than missing a closing date. Not only can it result in lost profit, but it also stresses out home buyers too.
A great title and escrow partner is one that is committed to helping you close on time, every time. How does this happen? It happens when a company offers a suite of integrated products, technology, and services all working together to create transparency, centralization, and efficient workflows throughout the entire real estate transaction.
When you’re able to stay on top of things at every step of the process, it’s far less likely that something will fall through the cracks and cause an unnecessary delay.
What makes a great escrow partner?
As you evaluate different escrow and titles companies, keep in mind that a great escrow partner is always committed to providing the right technologies, service levels, and resources for their customers.
At Timios, we have a motto: “One Company, One System.” We believe it should be easy to manage your different clients across different geographies. It should be a seamless, integrated, and satisfying experience for both you and your clients.
We're committed to providing the resources and tools that are helpful for you and your customers, including our guaranteed cost closing calculator. If you're looking for an escrow partner you can always count on, keep us in mind.
To learn more about creating a more holistic and integrated process in your business, please click here.
With over 250,000 transactions and $40 billion in total closings, remaining true to our values has made Timios one of the fastest growing title and settlement services companies in America.