The Evolution of the Title Insurance Agency


Rob Young-President,
Benefit Title Services

Back in the day, blank HUD statements were loaded in triplicate into the typewriter with the hope that all last minute changes had been called in. Paper documents were mailed or sent by courier if the customer was local. Then paper documents were sent to our thermal fax machine and we eventually learned to make a paper copy so it wouldn’t fade. Federal Express and UPS promised overnight delivery of your paper documents, in case the U.S. Mail wasn’t fast enough. Next came e-mail, so we could immediately receive a .pdf file, and then print the documents for the file. Ah, the good old days!

Today, we transmit data electronically and receive immediate feedback via XML data file transfers. We drag-and-drop e-mailed file attachments into the electronic file in our cloud-based title production system, skipping the printing process altogether – and that’s only if the files didn’t attach themselves automatically! If I wanted to, I could design the workflows in our title production system to automatically engage a data collection team in the Philippines upon receiving a web-based order entry at 8 p.m. – alert the title search team in India to begin their work shortly thereafter – and arrive at work the next morning to a new file that is ready for me to sign-off on the commitment. Now that’s efficiency!

Long gone are the days “wondering” if the title company received your title order. With Immediate e-mail confirmation and a draft HUD upon online order entry, and with realtime online access – you can see that all the documents you sent are now a permanent part of the file.

We’ve replaced walls full of tape cartridges and reader/printer machines with electronic soundex and web crawling techniques that produce quicker, more thorough search results. We’ve replaced typewriters with laser printers and bulky desktop computers with smartphones. We’ve replaced 3×5 index cards in filing cabinets with SQL databases that instantly index every keystroke we make.

When you call Benefit Title Services, any one of our professionals can quickly pull up your transaction, review all the common notes, documents, and progress along the pre-determined workflow to better help you with your question. We’ve done away with the words “Let me go find your file” because the file now exists anywhere you have internet access. Our title production system is entirely paperless, until we have to print the loan package. Soon, electronic signatures and notarizations of all closing documents will be done from an iPad!

I’m proud to say that Benefit Title now delivers an automated, weekly status report to the referring client and to every key participant in a closing transaction.  These reports detail completion status of the milestones toward closing, and are delivered every Friday afternoon like clockwork. No more wondering about how title is coming along with your closing. We’re opening the window to our office so you won’t be kept in the dark, and I think you’ll enjoy the view!

I’ve seen a lot of change over my last 21 years in the title insurance industry. One thing that hasn’t changed is the underlying job we do as title agents. We search and examine the documents recorded in the public records to determine ownership, identify liens or clouds on title that need to be eliminated, and we disclose those items which restrict or enhance land use. We help coordinate the many moving parts in a real estate transaction into a memorable closing and exchange of keys and checks.

Another thing that hasn’t changed is my deep desire to provide you with the smoothest, most uneventful, stress-free closing process you’ve ever experienced. I invite you to experience a new level of service in the title insurance industry. I invite you to experience Benefit Title!