June 28, 2023

Technology is the Fulcrum for Change in the Title Industry

Technology is the Fulcrum for Change in the Title IndustryWe’ve talked here before about the huge potential impact of Chat GPT. It’s since become the talk of our industry (and every other industry for that matter). The conversation has now shifted to “how can we best use Chat GPT in our business?

Of course, Chat GPT was quite the popular topic at our recent visit to the National Settlement Services Summit in early June. And it reminded us that the title industry has come to rely on technology more than ever. That’s a far cry from where we were not too long ago! But the days of paper files, faxes and couriers are now behind us. It’s no longer a question of whether the best title agents are automated. Instead, it’s “are they automated effectively?”

It only starts with tech.

If anything, we’ve long believed that “new” technology and “effective” technology don’t always have to be the same thing. New tech can be effective, but so can previously existing technology, used properly. The real trick is determining whether a technological investment addresses a real need in one’s operation, and whether it cost-effectively performs what it was advertised to be capable of. Our title agencies, for example, make use of a great AI technology that came on the scene two or three years ago, called Alanna. Alanna is an AI technology that has conversations—not just blasts or broadcasts—with customers, which allows our team to address more complex challenges or move their closings along the line more efficiently. Alanna is what you might call a “sexy” technology.

People and strategy still make the difference.

And yet, it takes more than the shiny new technology to create a world-class operation. We’ve long been focused on using scalable resources at FAN—which has been to our great benefit throughout this ever-changing market cycle. We were among the first title firms to make use of centralized resources and eliminate true redundancies. For some of those efficiencies, we used new tech. For others, we used proprietary or existing tech. But just as important to the centralized resources approach is the team we built along with their skills, experience and talent. Today, for example, PDS isn’t just our top flight IT team. It has also become one of the top managed IT services and cyber defense firms in the industry!

It was quite interesting to see how other title firms are combining strategy, technology and other resources for improved efficiency and performance. In talking to a number of other professionals at NS3, we were amazed at how far the title industry—perhaps from necessity—has come in just a few short years. We’re seeing agents becoming increasingly open minded when it comes to JVs or affiliated arrangements. We’re seeing more and more new technology coming into the market—and it’s not all growing out of other title agents’ proprietary solutions. All of this is to the betterment of our industry. Mortgage lending is changing. It will be our duty to change and evolve along with our clients.

We at FAN, PDS and the entire FAN family will only continue to look ahead; to ask ourselves “how can we do this better?” And we welcome your ideas, input and questions as well!


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