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The emergence of new and diverse lenders in recent years has pushed competition in the mortgage market to new heights. And while since Q2 2020 there has always been a lot of origination and refinancing activity, lenders need to prepare for the volume to stabilize. Those who prevail in the crowded arena, continuing to gain new borrowers and retain existing customers, will be the ones who understand what consumers want and deliver it seamlessly.
How competitive will the market become? Well, let’s take a look at how willing consumers are to switch from one lender to another as new needs emerge. April 2021 ServiceLink Home Purchase Status Report reveals that only 43 percent of homeowners would consider their current lender first when considering refinancing. About 30 percent say they don’t know who they would be using, and 28 percent say they would use a new provider. There is clearly a lot of room for lenders to build loyalty among these owners, as well as great potential to attract new customers who are not really committed to their current lenders.
With consumers so open to exploring new financial partners, it is essential to differentiate your brand and your offering. Instant Title can be that differentiator because it helps you create an amazing customer experience that builds loyalty and new business.
How the Instant Title is changing the game
While many lenders have recognized the potential value of instant title in streamlining their internal processes, few have yet recognized the huge positive impact it can have on a borrower. EXERCISES® Title, for example, allows lenders to provide clear instant title commitments at closing that help the borrower get to the closing table faster. This is an important point of difference, based on consumers’ desire for a faster mortgage process. Half of homeowners surveyed for the ServiceLink report said speed was a big factor in their refinancing process. In fact, speed was one of the top three factors (in addition to a lower rate) that respondents said they looked for with a refinancing partner.
It is also important to empower borrowers to engage in the process. For example, EXOS Title offers the borrower the ability to schedule closing immediately, from their own mobile device. Since 83% of respondents said they were at least fairly likely to schedule their closing date on their own if offered the option, smart lenders will work to involve them by offering them this option. .
All in all, EXOS Title allows you to provide borrowers with early engagement, set their schedule expectations, and empower them, through technology, to engage in the process. “Consumers are often frustrated because they don’t know what to expect; a lack of visibility makes them feel like they don’t know what’s going on as the process progresses, ”says Sandeepa Sasimohan, assistant vice president, ServiceLink. “When the lender is able to set expectations, telling the borrower that the process should take a number of days, for example, this is extremely helpful for the consumer and a huge win for the lender. “
Data quality is critical
While speed is what typically drives lenders to an instant title, Phillip Petrie, vice president, Product Development, ServiceLink, stresses the importance of data quality.
“With instant headline, you’re using alternative methods to produce a headline decision instantly, instead of relying on more traditional methods that take a lot longer,” says Petrie. “It requires having the right technology, reliable data sources, and background title processing capabilities to make sure nothing was missed. “
Sasimohan adds, “The industry as a whole is trying to move into the instant headlines space, but lenders really have to question the quality of the data provided. We all run towards the same goal, but the methodologies we use to achieve it, whether it’s technology, process or risk assessments, are where ServiceLink sets itself apart. We’re setting a new standard by focusing on headline quality data as the primary source, which means the data is more accurate and more aligned with the headline’s actual condition.
The technological advantage of ServiceLink includes the use of localized machine learning rules and logic, natural language processing, and OCR technology, which facilitate instant title searches and policy generation. Cloud-based automation engines access millions of previously reviewed plots of land, which can eliminate the need to rework and process claims after closing. The end result is standard ALTA title commitments and final policies that meet lender and secondary guidelines.
ServiceLink has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in innovation and spent 10 years perfecting and connecting the EXOS title. “We developed instant titles capabilities ten years ago, but it took a long time for data providers to build their repositories – millions and millions of data records – and invest in their technology,” explained Petrie. “The sheer volume of data they had to accumulate and digitize, along with the need for nationwide coverage, made this a colossal undertaking. But today we have many years of data electronically; which exponentially expands the potential and reach of instant engagements.
Support from the country’s largest securities provider
In addition to providing speed and transparency, a lender’s securities service provider should also help them instill confidence in their borrowers. ServiceLink can provide such assistance with its EXOS Title solution.
To begin with, ServiceLink and Fidelity National Financial, the leading US provider of title insurance and settlement services to the mortgage industry, worked together to develop one of the industry’s first instant securities offerings. This product was built on the basis of over 50 years of ServiceLink experience. Since its inception, EXOS Title has been used to process millions of transactions for the country’s major real estate lenders.
“Title service providers tend to have either the technology or the knowledge of the industry. ServiceLink is unique in that we have this great mix of technology and national underwriting supporting all of our decisions, ”said Sasimohan. “Our lending partners know that we understand the business and that we are rated by a national insurer. We provide a level of assurance and a breadth of coverage that small title partners simply cannot.
In addition, ServiceLink provides a level of service that goes beyond its peers in the field. Dedicated client teams provide each lender with a consistent point of contact and ensure workflows are customized to meet any unique needs. Proactive transaction-level reporting helps ensure borrower expectations are met or exceeded. And ServiceLink continually monitors volumes, market nuances and industry trends to consistently deliver the most valuable products and services to lending partners.
Explore the EXOS title
Today’s borrowers want to work with a lender who has the technology and knowledge to close quickly, meet their desire for self-service, and provide transparency throughout the mortgage process. Partnering with ServiceLink can provide the support you need. EXOS Title can help you close more loans, faster, whether volume is up or down. It is one of the oldest and most trusted instant titles products in the industry, and now includes the option of immediate digital close scheduling, paving the way for the closing table.
Want to know more about the EXOS title? Discover it all The ServiceLink Instant Title Solution has to offer.