Once upon a time, there were three very different mortgage lenders that worked with States Title: A large, national mortgage lender; a regional, retail bank; and a boutique lender specializing in high-net worth clientele.
If these scenarios seem familiar, perhaps you recall reading Goldilocks and the Three Bears in your youth – a fairy tale in which a young girl walking through a forest stumbles upon a bear family’s empty home and tests out their porridge, chairs, and beds until she finds those that feel “just right.”
In the business world, the Goldilocks Principle is applied to a wide range of disciplines – including machine intelligence, which is at the heart of States Title’s instant title solutions – to contemplate and fulfill a wide range of customer needs and values. Akin to the three bears in the story, our lender clients vary by size, customer base, transaction volume, geographic footprint, and more – and the service they require to ensure a smooth real estate closing and high customer satisfaction differs based on those variables.
Rather than offer a “one-size-fits-all” title and escrow solution, States Title tailors our customer service and success approach to each lender’s needs and preferences to ensure they achieve their goals and provide a friction-free consumer experience. This innovative approach features States Title’s patented instant title solutions, including Instant Underwriting – which can deliver a final title commitment, free of defects, in less than a minute – as well as our recently released Instant Closing Disclosure solution, which leverages machine intelligence to return a complete, accurate settlement statement to lenders, also in less than 60 seconds.
But putting this game-changing technology into lenders’ hands is only part of our mission of easing the stress and confusion that have plagued mortgage closings for decades. During the onboarding process, the lender completes an extensive questionnaire, noting their preferences for service and communication. These preferences are housed and continuously updated in our online knowledge base, and they serve as the foundation for how we fulfill each order.
A dedicated team ushers each closing from beginning to end, led by a concierge manager who serves as a single point of contact for the customer. A knowledgeable production team tackles tricky or complex title issues. Emails are routed to a communication system built into our closing platform, and all exchanges, files, and records are conveniently stored in one secure location.
As the closing progresses, the file is continually monitored each stage of the journey against the lender’s predefined SLAs, and the team shares metrics to ensure the lenders’ needs are being met. This ensures that Closing Disclosure preparation is complete within two hours in 90 percent of transactions and that each order is clear to close within 12 hours in 95 percent of transactions.
When closings conclude, we track and share metrics on various aspects of the order to ensure the lenders needs and expectations are met – or exceeded.
“The idea was to enable customers to be informed about the entire closing process – not just the title and escrow aspects, but also to get answers to any questions they had from the beginning of the order through to policy issuance,” said Kristin Miller, Head of Service Strategy at States Title.
The interaction between the concierge associate and the customer is based on the lender’s profile. Some lenders may only want to hear from the concierge if there is a serious issue, while others prefer constant communication and status updates throughout the closing process.
Large, national lenders may favor quick turnaround and response to complex title matters only. Smaller, regional lenders may find that a 50/50 blend of industry-leading technology and concierge-level service is a good fit for their needs. Lenders with complex, niche, or high-touch customer bases tend to prioritize prompt, responsive customer service.
“Some more nuanced, high-maintenance clients ask for something and expect an immediate response without having to go through different levels and get manager approval,” Kristin said. “This model is a good fit for lenders with a wider breadth of products that may potentially pose challenges, such as high-net-worth clients involved in a trust.”
For this type of customer, the concierge associate owns each file from beginning to end, but is more of a decision-maker, Kristin noted.
“The position requires more comprehensive, situational-type training,” she said. “The concierge is an integrated part of the lender’s team, is part of their weekly meetings, and provides updates and advises on potential process changes. The concierge has total ownership of the file and pushes it along, ensuring the production team is delivering the title commitment, balancing the Closing Disclosure, making sure signings go well and that the funding authorization is happening.”