Did you know that 71% of title professionals outsource their title searches? Despite such a high percentage of organizations utilizing outsourcing, there is often a stigma around the concept. Yet its use helps maintain a high level of customer service and meet tight deadlines in fluctuating periods of operation. If handling title production work in-house has been challenging at times, it might be time to consider outsourcing as a safety net.
It’s easy to understand the stigma around outsourcing. Companies pride themselves on offering the best level of service, and being in control of quality by handling matters in-house helps reinforce that. In the same vein, outsourcing and its use is an avenue of change that can be daunting for teams – we’re human, after all, and change is difficult.
Preparing For Outsourcing
Placing title requests, examining the financial obligations of a property, and performing tasks like HOA research, municipal lien searches, and land survey coordination can be a challenge for your title company to keep up with, especially if you have few resources. Many title companies, law firms, and underwriters outsource title search services to ensure that those critical aspects are handled with utmost care.
However, the idea might seem overwhelming for those outsourcing title services for the first time. Those new to outsourcing might grow skeptical about it and ponder questions like:
- Is outsourcing worth it?
- Why do I need to outsource in the first place?
- How do I outsource?
- What tasks do I even outsource?
- Will the quality be sacrificed?
Our hope in this blog is to answer these questions and offer valuable insights into whether outsourcing is a good option because, truth be told, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. We’ll start by debunking some outsourcing misconceptions that can set your business up for difficulty.
Common Misconceptions About Outsourcing
Many title companies are skeptical about teaming up with an outsourcing partner due to some myths and misconceptions they’ve heard about outsourcing. However, misinformation about outsourcing can potentially keep a business from reaching its desired growth or true potential. To help, we’ve compiled a list of the five common myths and misconceptions clients and vendors experience when considering outsourcing.
Myth #1: Outsourcing Makes You Lose Control of Your Processes
Contrary to this myth, if you’re working with the right partner, you’ll always have control over what you want and how you want it. While another team is handling the smaller tasks, you always have the final say over the finished product.
While you won’t have direct oversight of the team yourself, you can always communicate, check progress, and set new milestones. A trusted outsourcing provider will work with you to make sure you feel good about the relationship. Your outsourcing partner only has one goal – to deliver you the best, and that can happen with as much or little involvement as you prefer.
Myth #2: It’s a Costly Endeavor
Contrary to this myth, outsourcing is cheaper than hiring permanent staff. You can eliminate the overhead and operational costs of running a business by outsourcing. In fact, 59% of companies outsource to cut costs.
You can then concentrate on core business activities and expand your business with the saved money. According to the 2021 State of the Title Industry Survey, title professionals use outsourcing to cut costs. 69% of respondents said they outsourced title production to get more work done, and 44.7% said they outsourced because it removes some financial liability.
Myth #3: Outsourcing Partners Cannot Be Trusted
The truth is that most business owners are happy with their relationship with vendors. According to a recent Deloitte Global Outsourcing survey, 78% of business owners feel optimistic about their relationship with outsourcing partners.
While it’s possible to have a negative experience with a vendor, that doesn’t mean all outsourcing partners are flawed. Finding the right vendor partners is just about doing your due diligence. Read reviews, ask other companies about their experiences, and shop around until you find the right match. Just as it is in your best interest to provide quality services, so is it for an outsourcing company to do the same.
Myth #4: Outsourcing Is for Big Businesses
Although outsourcing companies are more attracted to big clients, they don’t shut the door to small and medium-sized enterprises. The outsourcing industry chooses no size because of the cost savings that SMEs can get from outsourcing.
At PropLogix, we serve a variety of title businesses, from small law offices with one closer/paralegal to big, national title companies.
A successful vendor-partner knows to diversify their client type by serving some large and many small-to-medium sized companies so that losing one large client doesn’t collapse their operations. When vetting an outsourcing partner, ensure you’re asking about their client mix too.
Myth #5: Outsourcing Is Unethical
In many western countries, offshoring is considered unethical as it’s often associated with job loss, not to forget the outsourced workforce’s low pay. However, if the well-being of the employees is taken into consideration, outsourcing can be the most ethical action a business can take.
Outsourcing doesn’t necessarily mean off-shoring the work. There are many outsourcing companies within the US that must abide by the labor standards within our country – i.e. fair pair, benefits, healthcare, and so on. PropLogix prides itself on supporting our employees and creating a strong culture that helps our teams succeed in their careers.
Is Outsourcing a Good Option?
Depending on your business needs and the current title industry dynamics, outsourcing may be an excellent option for your title business. For instance, it can be a good option if the cost of expanding or performing specific tasks in-house is too expensive or would otherwise take too long.
It’s important to note that outsourcing may not be the right option for your business now but could be at a future time. That is one of the major benefits of outsourcing is having the flexibility to decide when it’s complementary to your business needs.
As highlighted in the 2021 State of the Title Industry Report, key challenges among industry professionals are:
- Unexpected delays
- Juggling too many different responsibilities
- Educating buyers, sellers, and realtors
- Hiring and training new staff
- Limited time to complete critical tasks
Outsourcing can help tackle some of these challenges head-on and bring positive change to your business. For instance, those running successful title companies and gaining new clients every day might have to contend with:
- More orders than their in-house staff can handle
- New territory with unfamiliar title and property search processes
In such cases, outsourcing a team can help solve both problems. First, outsourcing can help you meet demands beyond your internal capacity. Secondly, outsourcing can help you ease the skill shortage burden within your organization. One of the primary reasons a company may want to outsource a task is when it requires skilled expertise not available in-house.
By outsourcing, you can fill skill gaps in your teams and benefit from those high levels of expertise without having to pay annual salaries and benefits or spend more time training new employees. In other words, you’ll no longer have to worry about new territories with unfamiliar title and property search processes.
Plus, outsourcing provides your in-house team ample time to focus on other areas of title work or long-term business goals. According to the State of the Title industry Report, 69% of title professionals surveyed said outsourcing allows them to focus on other important aspects of closing.
However, just as with any other change in the business strategy, outsourcing needs to be carefully considered. If not well managed and monitored, outsourcing may subject your business to security risks and lead to reduced quality control.
How to Outsource Title Production
If you’ve made the decision that outsourcing is right for your business, then you can proceed to develop a plan of action for selecting the right partner. The initial decision is slightly easier to make than the process of vetting partners, negotiating contracts, and other details.
Every company operates slightly differently, so there is no perfect method. However, follow these steps to help ensure you’re getting the most out of outsourcing.
Step 1: Identify Which Tasks You Need to Outsource
Title companies juggle many tasks at once, so it’s crucial to determine which tasks to outsource to a third party.
Just because an opportunity to assign tasks to someone else is available doesn’t mean you should outsource all your business needs. Some tasks will have higher security risks than others. And there are those that only you or some of your in-house staff can do expertly.
To identify which tasks to outsource, create a list with two columns.
- Tasks your team can do expertly
- Task you need help with
Only outsource tasks that you need help with. You’ll also want to evaluate the amount of work to outsource and the complexity of the tasks. This will help you estimate your outsourcing budget and the possible completion time.
Step 2: Look for the Right Outsourcing Partner
Next, look for a company, like PropLogix, that provides due diligence for title agents and has a strong reputation in the industry.
Today, the market is flooded with due diligence companies that claim to offer top-notch services. But the best outsourcing companies have unique features that set them apart from the crowd, including:
- An easy-to-use ordering platform where one can request, track, cancel, and pay for services that best suit their operations
- Title production software integrations
- Teams highly specialized in their areas of service and geographical niche
- Timely communication
- Use of technology for effective coordination and data collection
You’ll want to shortlist at least five companies that fit this criterion before settling on the right outsourcing partner.
Pro Tip: Before outsourcing, ask yourself these six questions.
Step 3: Strike a Deal With the Right Partner
Now that you’ve identified a few companies that fit your ideal profile, it’s time to look for the best outsourcing partner for your business needs.
Conduct your own level of due diligence to ensure you’ve settled on the right company.
Don’t fall for cheap pricing, fancy websites, or smooth-talking salespeople with promises that seem too good to be true. Instead, ask around, check the company’s track records, and read online reviews to see what other people are saying about the company.
Why Do People Outsource Title Work?
In the proper context, outsourcing can be a fantastic way for title companies to improve operational efficiency and bolster their bottom line.
Working with third parties to supplement research efforts is a great way to give you more time to recruit and train and ensure your team doesn’t experience burnout. Many title professionals say that outsourcing:
- Allows them to focus on other vital aspects of title work
- Saves time and is more efficient
- Gives them access to resources (and talent) not available in-house
- Reduces cost – outsourcing work is cheaper than hiring a permanent staff
- Offer staffing flexibility
- Provides continuity and risk management
- Gives them peace of mind
Outsourcing your title production work can benefit your business in many ways. It’s cost-effective, gives you access to resources not available in-house, saves time, and allows your team to focus more on other aspects of title work. If deployed properly and at the right time, outsourcing can be the gateway to business growth and expansion.