Our friend Howard Turk with Prosperitas Forward works with title agencies like yours to help them reach their maximum potential. We've asked him to share his knowledge about what a consultant does and factors to consider when choosing the right one for your business.
Should You Hire a Consultant to Help Your Title Agency?
Owning and running a title agency poses many challenges. Are you operating as efficiently as possible? Are you leaving money on the table? Are you managing risk properly? Are you getting the most out of your people? Are you getting all the deals you should?
What a consultant can do for a title company
Title agencies of all sizes are increasingly turning to consulting firms for help. The right consultant can leverage their lifetime of industry experience to:
- Find hidden inefficiencies that stifle growth
- Diagnose problems; provide and assist with solutions that deliver quantifiable results
- Analyze and enhance workflows
- Design standard operating procedures
- Review roles and responsibilities of staff to improve production
- Develop an action plan for Best Practice Compliance
- Identify areas to consider outsourcing to streamline processes and eliminate risk
- Show you how to build, manage and inspire a high achieving sales team
- Create clear, standardized procedures for sales staff accountability
- Show you how to build a strong, high performance culture where employees are invested in the success of the company vision
What to consider when choosing a consultant
As with any group, half of all consultants are not as good as the other half. How can you tell the good from the bad? A good consulting firm will:
- Be comprised of industry veterans who have done it all before and who are able to leverage their experience to your benefit (Any problem you may have will be one they have seen before and have experience handling)
- Understand how to sell title, and how to manage the expectations of Realtors and lenders
- Know that you can lower escrow claims through culture development
- Have ACTUAL experience with a wide array of vendors and will know which ones are good fit for your firm
- Know what the best deal is that you can get from your underwriters
What to watch out for
If you would know the road ahead, ask someone who has traveled it. - Chinese Proverb
Unfortunately, the industry is full of consulting firms comprised of self-proclaimed ‘experts’ who have no idea what it’s like to deal with any of the million-and-one things that can screw up a closing. Here's what to look for when you're shopping around:
- Compare pricing. The pricing should be fair and structured in a way that your interests align with that of the consultant. It is always a good idea to structure the arrangement so that the consultant has an opportunity to prove themselves without you as the agent having to ‘bet the farm’.
- Beware of firms who have expertise in other areas (like an accounting firm) who are acually learning title on your dime.
- Do your homework and be sure your consultant has actual experience handling complex closings.
It's important that you have the tools you need to make the right decisions for your agency. The ideal consultant could be that tool that helps with everything ranging from top-line revenue growth, to bottom-line profit maximization. Sometimes, there is no underestimating the value of an outside perspective.
Howard is the President of ProsperitasForward, a consulting firm dedicated to helping title agencies nationwide. The firm focuses on three core competencies critical to success across the title industry: sales, process engineering and culture development.