Nate Baker, CEO of Qualia and Ben Rubenstein, founder of Opcity (acquired by realtor.com for $210m) joined the American Land Title Association for an exclusive webinar to discuss how title companies can expand their revenue and how to optimize for cost savings.
Ben and Nate have a lively 45-minute discussion on how title companies must evolve to keep up with consumer demands that didn’t exist 15 year ago. Click here to listen to the full webinar.
A few suggestions for growing your title business in 2019:
- Meet the consumer earlier in the home search or sales process
- Maximize your marketing dollars by targeting the right agents at the right time to form relationships and gain repeat business
- Differentiate yourself by delivering a premium closing experience
Real estate brokers and agents have become accustomed to buying leads from online portals, such as realtor.com, to connect with interested home buyers and sellers. However, purchasing consumer leads is a relatively new concept for the title industry.
Purchasing consumer leads is a very top of the funnel marketing tactic, but title companies typically do not come into sales cycle until at the end of the transaction, because of course that’s where their services are needed, so it makes sense that this isn’t something they’ve spent money on in the past.
If I'm a title company, it might be hard to grasp why would I want to speak with a consumer who is just starting their home search and who won't close on a home for 1-3 months, when I could focus directly on attracting agents who will bring me leads when I need them, at the time of the close.
Well, as the title of this webinar suggests, the real estate customer experience is changing. Consumers are more educated than ever, and in the past, might not have known they could choose which title company handles their closing, and they might not have cared. But as consumers are getting smarter and have access to more resources, every vendor they use is heavily scrutinized.
Title companies need to speak with the consumer early on in their buying process to be an available resource to them, and secure their spot on the contract.
When an agent brings a consumer to the title company, it's when they're ready to meet at the closing table. Title companies aren't used to receiving a high volume of top-of-the-funnel leads, where a large percentage of the leads don’t actually make it that far. Purchasing consumer leads changes the sales cycle, which means:
- The sales cycle is longer
- The leads you meet won’t always close
- You have more control over winning the business
- You can be more targeted with your marketing dollars
When a prospect is earlier in the buying process, getting to a decision could take 3+ months, and many times they don't make it all the way to close. These leads are more than about getting that one, specific close. It's about seeing the bigger picture, and delivering high quality service so the agent will use you again, and the consumer, whether they closed or not, will remember you for future transactions and for word of mouth referrals.
Title companies are less dependent on that agent and where they bring their consumer. When you have more of a consumer relationship you're in the driver’s seat a little bit more.
This doesn't mean you shouldn't spend money on agents, but when you do, to get the most out of your marketing dollars it's best to spend money on top agents who actually transact, or on agents who are in the middle of transactions.
A lot of traditional marketing in title is spent wining and dining agents, such as hosting a training, or bringing in lunch. This blanket approach works to an extent, but there isn’t a huge prospecting list for title companies to choose from, and many real estate agents don’t actually close a high volume of transactions. There are new ways title companies can track their ROI and have more bang for their marketing dollars.
Opcity connects title companies with consumers early in the sales process—at the same time that the consumer meets their agent—to allow them to deliver phenomenal customer service to the agent and the consumer, and we also connect them directly to the agent working on the account who they can work with not only on this transaction, but many times over.
We find the title companies who are the most successful call the agents right away to begin marketing themselves and speak to them about the specifics of the consumer’s timeline to buy/sell and see how they can help.
And once you connect with those agents, delivering a premium closing experience is a great way to ensure repeat business.
Most consumers, especially younger, first time homebuyers, are used to purchasing things online with a seamless checkout experience. Qualia provides title companies the tools to deliver that premium closing experience that’s as easy for customers as checking out on Amazon.
The ability to e-sign is a great example of that. Realtors and consumers can sign documents ahead of the transactions; they can even do so from their phones.
Any title company can be successful with these tactics, it's not a matter of size of the business. It's more about how innovative the title companies are, and how willing they are to try new things. Some people are complacent and are okay with how their business is running, and that's okay, but the companies that Opcity sees are the most successful are always looking for how to get bigger and expand their business. Complacent vs. non-complacent or innovative vs. non-innovative.
To hear the rest of Ben and Nate's conversation and how you can not only generate new revenue, but optimize for cost savings, click here.
About Qualia: Qualia is the real estate industry's leading title, closing, and escrow platform, bringing lenders, title companies, consumers, and realtors together. They have a strong focus on improving the customer experience. Approximately 10% of all closings nationwide happen with Qualia and more than 1,000 title companies utilize the platform. Click here to learn more.
Opcity helps consumers through their home search or sale by connecting them with the right real estate professional at the right time, including brokers, agents, loan officers, and title companies. We build out a team to service each consumer, and we select this team based on the consumer’s needs and our proprietary matching algorithm. After a team is assembled, we introduce all the real estate professionals to each other, creating a local network that helps our partners build their book of business. Click here to request a demo to see how you can grow your title business with Opcity.