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Win-Win-Win: Why Our Post-Closing QC Is Thrice as Nice

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By Amy Tankersley

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For mortgage lenders, real estate and title insurance providers, and consumers alike, a fast, frictionless real estate closing is the holy grail. For States Title, transforming a slow, cumbersome, century-old process means combining our machine intelligence capabilities with exemplary customer service to ensure that every transaction is efficient and less stressful. Our operations team has a holistic approach to offer fast turnaround times, error-free files, and a delightful experience for all parties involved.

This bespoke title solution begins with a thorough customer onboarding process that documents lender preferences for communication and service. These define the service level agreements (SLAs) that provide the architecture of every closing.

With lender needs and preferences documented, our nimble concierge team ushers the closing from end to end, serving as a single point of contact for the lender and consulting with our knowledgeable production team to quickly resolve complex title issues. Concierge managers deliver prompt, complete responses to customer inquiries, anticipating and fulfilling requests before they even come to mind.

As the closing progresses, we continually track each stage of the file against the customer’s predefined SLAs to ensure we are supporting their needs and their customers’ needs. Leveraging our data analytics expertise, we share metrics on everything from customer response times to title commitment delivery in a transparent manner with lenders to resolve concerns and ensure we exceed their service expectations.

But this white-glove service solution doesn’t end when closings are clear to close. After fund disbursement occurs, our job is hardly complete. Once a transaction is consummated, States Title’s operations excellence team conducts a thorough audit of every file to identify areas of improvement and further streamline processes. Once again applying data analytics to measure the success of 27 different milestones across the life of a file, this post-closing quality management step ensures that all legal and regulatory requirements are met and a high-quality standard of care for every transaction is maintained.

“We check files as they transition through the closing process as close to real time as we can possibly get,” said Jessica Shamoun, States Title’s senior director of business operations. “We consider these metrics on a holistic level, considering service, title and curative, and post-closing issues.”

The result of this bespoke title service is a threefold victory: An efficient, exceptional experience for lenders; a convenient, hassle-free closing for borrowers; and continuous evaluation and accountability of our dedicated team.

Here’s how our post-closing quality management guarantees a win-win-win for all parties on every transaction.

A win for our customers

In building this premier service solution, States Title conducted thorough market research to assess the needs and values of our customers. Although the mortgage executives, loan officers, and processors we surveyed admitted they had little long-term loyalty to title and escrow providers, more than half of responders shared that they would either consider switching to a new partner or stay with their current partner based on the quality of service delivery. Listed among their top service differentiators were accurate title searches; knowledgeable representatives and agents; timely problem resolution; error-free processing and closings; fast document turnaround time and clear to close; and – perhaps most notably – having a strong personal relationship with their partners.

“Our service solution arose from those results,” Jessica said. “Our post-closing quality review measures all of those elements and ensures that we really are more on top of them than any other company. We are not just focused on honoring our lenders’ SLAs, but we drill down even further to maintain the quality of our service and our accuracy.”

The post-closing QC process compiles data that provide insights on varied transactional details, including:

  • When issuing a title commitment, was the vesting accurate? Was the legal description complete?
  • Did we capture everything we should have from a lien perspective?
  • Did we use the lender’s preferred notary service? Were there any holdups in the notarization process?
  • Were all appropriate documents dispersed? Was everything balanced properly? Were all signature lines correct?
  • When closing documents were received, did we confirm that all required signatures were included?
  • Did disbursement occur on time? Were all fees correct? If we shorted any fees, did we have to pay out any additional funds? How often do we have to collect extra fees?

“These elements ensure that every event in the closing is happening consistently and correctly,” Jessica said.

This process identifies any deficiencies that can be corrected to ensure lender satisfaction, she noted.

“For example, on one file, we found that obtaining tax information was taking longer than the agreed-upon four hours in the lender’s SLA,” she said. “When we dug deeper, we discovered that it was because the associate was manually entering the tax information, and then the tax service was coming behind them to manually enter information as well. To rectify that, we automated that process. This level of oversight allows us to pivot quickly and resolve issues.”

A win for your customers

Reviewing each transaction in this thorough manner ensures that 95 percent of our orders are completed without any customer-impacting issues.

“This ensures that there are no delays or issues with the borrowers’ signing,” Jessica said.

As noted in a recent case study with a top-five mortgage lender, many banks are focused on reducing time to close and improving profit margins, while simultaneously passing savings of both time and money onto consumers. After a nine-month pilot program that combined States Title’s instant underwriting solution with our exceptional service process, the lender received an instant clear-to-close for 84 percent of transactions. This resulted in a 23-percent reduction in business days to close, a 15-percent savings on fees for mortgage customers, and a 93-percent customer satisfaction (CSAT) score that far surpassed the industry average of 77 percent.

A win for our team

Finally, our post-closing QC process identifies opportunities for our team’s growth and advancement. In line with one of States Title’s core values – People Leaders – this process reveals cause for additional training and development.

“The operations excellence team is responsible for ensuring that we run the most efficient, accurate title operation we possibly can,” Jessica said. “We don’t view this process as focusing on our weaknesses, but instead, it’s an opportunity for us to be better. We have a very fluid training program that allows us to make modifications to the way we service files. This provides us with an opportunity to push our employees to be better and to feel responsible for the work they are doing.”

What does this end-to-end closing service ultimately mean for our company’s long-term vision for success and customer obsession? Find out in our next blog post.