Efficiency is the backbone of every business, especially in a title company with rigid deadlines to meet. If things aren’t running smoothly, it can impact your customers and your reputation. As the market slows down, it creates a perfect window to focus on efficiency in preparation for weathering future booms.
Building efficiency may seem easy, but it requires a well-thought-out strategy and adjustments in your day-to-day operations that take time to implement. Your company should focus on investing in smarter technology and training staff to be savvy on the technology being implemented.
We sat with Brie McDaniel and Kay Underwood-Zach, two consultants with decades of experience helping title companies improve their operations. Here is a recap of what they believe is the best way to achieve operational efficiency in your company.
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What Does Having an Efficient Title Company Mean?
According to Brie, efficiency means keeping your company’s expenses to a minimum while ensuring profits remain high. In other words, it’s finding ways to do more with less time, less money, and fewer resources. You want your company to be lean and productive without sacrificing quality or service.
Efficiency means utilizing your technology effectively and supporting staff to reach their greatest potential. The goal is to ensure you increase customer satisfaction so they can continue doing business with you.
Ways to Attain Efficiency in Your Title Company
Attaining efficiency in your title company takes more than just ensuring you keep your costs down. A comprehensive strategy should be utilized to boost technology, cultivate a culture where staff is continuously learning, and analyze the day-to-day tasks being completed. Here are a few things you can do to make your company more efficient.
Invest in the Right Technology
You should ensure that you are using all the tools and technological solutions that can make different tasks in your company more efficient. According to Kay, title companies must invest in network infrastructure and production software. This means leveraging all software that can bolster the functionality of your company.
The goal is to go paperless to ensure you manage and distribute resources and workloads more effectively. Examples of software that you can explore include SoftPro and ResWare. You can use ResWare for workflow automation and SoftPro to make your closing processes faster and more efficient.
Kay asserts that having the right technology is only half the battle. You should ensure you get the most out of the technology by implementing it correctly. “It’s always a good idea to ensure that you’re getting the most from the money you’re spending,” says Kay.
This is where having the help of a technical expert comes in handy. Don’t be afraid to utilize the resources available to you like a technical trainer or outsourcing professional who knows the platforms and how to ensure they’re seamlessly integrated into your daily operations. It’s equally in their best interest to ensure their customers are utilizing their services to their fullest potential. The best thing is to work with a consultant or outsourcing provider to assist you in implementing your technology solutions.
Train Your Staff Properly
Your team is one of your greatest assets, and you need to ensure they are adequately trained to attain optimum efficiency. The two consultants agree on having a comprehensive training program to ensure your staff understands how to use the technology you have invested in. In Kay’s words, training is the best way to ensure you don’t spend money on technology that ends up sitting on the shelf.
Not only that but maintaining communication within your team is something to include in training. Closings involve many people in the process, so maintaining communication is elemental to staying efficient. Open communication should be not only something clearly defined in training but reinforced in the culture of your company.
The training will ensure that the technology you spent so much money on benefits your team and clients. In turn, your company will be more efficient because your entire team will be able to work more quickly and effectively to meet your client’s needs.
Eliminate Repetitive Tasks
Brie McDaniel notes that when striving for efficiency in your title company, the first question should be, “Is there repetitive work in your process that you can eliminate?” The goal is to eliminate duplication of effort. Such duplication often leads to inefficiency because it causes your team to waste time on tasks that don’t necessarily add value.
One way to eliminate repetitive tasks is to eliminate workarounds. These are processes that your team has put in place to work around an obstacle. An example is having a team member call clients to remind them of an upcoming appointment instead of building a system that would automate the reminders.
When workarounds become ingrained in your company culture, they can waste time and resources. The best way to deal with them is to identify them and find a permanent solution. A good practice would be to ensure that your technology matches your processes.
Review Your Work Process to Determine Where to Improve
Brie notes that with the current state of the real estate market, it’s an excellent time to review their work processes. The review will help you see what’s happening and how you can tweak things to make your company function better. She recommends conducting a process analysis to see where your company wastes time and resources.
Consider the following questions:
- Which steps in the process create roadblocks?
- Which step requires the most time to complete?
- Which step causes the most delays?
- Are there any steps that cause costs/resources to go up?
- Are there any steps that cause quality to go down?
After conducting the analysis, work with your team to determine how you can change things to make your company more efficient. Making changes as early as now will prepare your company for when the real estate market eventually picks back up.
Watch Your Analytics
You can’t manage what can’t be measured. Track your company’s analytics and KPIs to ensure you’re on the right path. Doing so will allow you to identify inefficiencies early on and take corrective action. It will also help you set goals for your team and measure their performance.