This post originally appeared on Qualia
Lenders get to choose title & escrow partners for refinance transactions which can make partner collaboration during a refi boom simpler. It’s predicted that 2021 will bring a strong purchase market which will require greater coordination with title & escrow companies.
At Qualia’s Future of Real Estate Summit, Jamie Kump, Director of High Growth Accounts at Qualia, sat down with title & escrow and lender leaders to discuss how lenders can build a smart title, escrow, and closing strategy that fits into their production technology stack. Kevin Peranio, Chief Lending Officer at PRMG, Mark Young, President at Allied Title, LLC, and Andrew McElroy, Senior VP of Operations at American Federal Mortgage Corporation, joined Kump to discuss.
Working with title companies: a significant workflow challenge
There are several points of interaction between title companies and lenders across the processing, closing, and post-closing continuum. This creates a challenging dynamic when lender and title systems don’t “talk” to one another. This workflow challenge is compounded by the fact that lenders often work with hundreds to even thousands of different title companies in a given month.
The solution is “system interoperability,” which is defined as “the ability of computer systems or software to exchange and make use of information.” Lenders must invest in the right technology that dovetails with key transaction partners to deliver an end-to-end experience that meets borrower expectations. As more systems come online across the real estate ecosystem, the ability of different transaction participants to interact and operate in conjunction with one another will be paramount.
Evaluating technology solutions to solve lender-title workflow challenges
Peranio explained that PRMG is a relatively smaller lender that—unlike larger lenders with proprietary systems—needs to rely on outside, third-party technology vendors. PRMG relies primarily on ICE Mortgage Technology’s loan origination system (LOS). “That’s an ecosystem we’ve been in for 7 going on 8 years and we continue to build around that ecosystem,” he said.
In addition to evaluating interoperability with ICE Mortgage Technology, Peranio also looks for new and “disruptive” technology when evaluating new solutions to add to PRMG’s tech stack. He noted that these are businesses that are getting significant financing, spending more research and development (R&D) dollars, and are keeping up with the pace of change.
McElroy also takes a standardized approach to evaluating technology solutions for American Federal Mortgage’s business. As a whole, he looks at technology solutions from two different lenses (in addition to understanding which solutions will integrate well with his core LOS).
Customer experience. “We’re 100% retail and direct-to-consumer, so the customer experience is paramount,” McElroy said. He evaluates whether the technology can enable quicker speed, reduced costs, and transparency for the consumer.
Productivity. Efficiency-driving technology helps American Federal Mortgage manage the variability that occurs in the real estate market. “The mortgage industry is cyclical. 2020 was a tremendous year but you’ll have 2018 [where the market was hit hard],” McElroy said. “We try to keep a consistent level of staff to allow the technology to do more with the same number of people.”
Qualia as a solution to bridge the lender-title relationship
American Federal Mortgage and Allied Title work closely together on many transactions where the lender can select the title company. “[This partnership] always makes us more efficient,” Young said. “Having a reliable [lender] partner helps us have a consistent pricing and deliver the best customer service we can.”
While working with a partner consistently provides obvious benefits, Allied Title and American Federal Mortgage also rely on technology, specifically Qualia’s platform, to bridge the gap between their operations and ensure their systems can exchange and make use of information.
Allied Title uses Qualia as its core system of record. “Qualia allows us to integrate directly with the mortgage company,” Young said. “During the mortgage refinance boom in 2020, being able to send files over, not having to rekey data [from system to system], and having a secure portal… has been tremendous.”
McElroy agreed that Qualia’s platform has been a game-changer. With Qualia, American Federal Mortgage can place orders directly with Allied and other title partners and seamlessly manage all the title-related touchpoints during closing and post-closing. Qualia integrates directly with American Federal Mortgage’s LOS which allows the business to “cut time and improve operations.”