Are You Correctly Showcasing the Way You Do Real Estate Closings?
The pressing need for real estate attorneys and title companies to market themselves to the public continues to grow. To some, the task of marketing yourself and telling your real estate closing story is daunting. Striving for great “content creation” does not mean you have to reinvent the wheel. Think about how you already provide a great closing experience. It is important to explain and showcase if you are using software such as Easysoft that provides a faster fully compliant closing which sets you apart from the competition. By telling the story of what you are already doing, it will enhance the way you market your company.
Do not just say that you help customers close fast. It is important to explain how your business invests in software that provides the technology needed to offer the best closing experience. Such consumer- friendly explanations will also help with your search results online, because Google and other search engines factor readability of content into their rankings. This means your website appears higher up in search results if you use language that is easily understood by the public. Cut down on your jargon and explain any concepts that those outside of the industry might not be aware of or understand. Just because you know what something means because you have been doing this for years, does not mean your average website visitor who is looking into real estate closings will understand. Remember that, if you fail to connect with that person, it could be a potential customer lost.
Make sure consumers understand your compliance with ALTA's best practices
One of the trends in the title industry is making sure that your practice or company follows ALTA's Best Practices. Any company that has implemented these standards should be proudly displaying the seven pillars on their website. They have earned it, and it will give clients peace of mind. Have you ever had anyone not familiar with title read all seven of them? Their eyes will certainly glaze over. Here are the ALTA’s Best Practices listed below:
- Establish and maintain current license(s) as required to conduct the business of title insurance and settlement services.
- Adopt and maintain appropriate written procedures and controls for Escrow Trust Accounts allowing for electronic verification of reconciliation.
- Adopt and maintain a written privacy and information security program to protect Non-Public Personal Information (NPI) as required by local, state, and federal law.
- Adopt standard real estate settlement procedures and policies that help ensure compliance with Federal and State Consumer Financial Laws as applicable to the Settlement process.
- Adopt and maintain written procedures related to title policy production, delivery, reporting and premium remittance.
- Maintain appropriate professional liability insurance and fidelity coverage.
- Adopt and maintain written procedures for resolving consumer complaints.
Potential customers are likely going to have two reactions to reading these best practices if they simply stand alone on your website, either “aren’t all of these common sense,” or “what do they actually mean?” There is a simple solution to both responses. First, tell your customer that many of these things sound like simply good business suggestions and that before you officially adopted the best practices as a guide, you were already encouraging your staff to do some of the things laid out by these seven standards. Secondly, explain what these guidelines mean for the consumer experience when explaining the best practices adoption.
For example, tell them it means that they should expect their closing documents are delivered to them in “x” amount of days, also, explicitly state how you have implemented extra safeguards to ensure their personal information is safe and assure them that their transaction is covered by more than enough insurance if something goes wrong. Providing a company-specific explanation of your unique adoption of the ALTA Best Practices not only helps the consumer better understand what the seven best practices are, it also gives you an opportunity to spotlight what you and your team do well. And extra points for transparency as an effective selling tool.
The effort will also likely catch the eye of at least a few potential real estate transaction partners who will enjoy passing on the clear explanation of what makes you unique to their clients.
Compliance with ALTA Best Practices is not a legal requirement, but it is becoming an overwhelming demand in the mortgage production market. With careful planning and implementation, ALTA Best Practices implementation can be an invaluable tool for business growth as long as you can explain what it means. If your real estate partners and potential clients do not understand why these standards benefit them, you are not taking full marketing advantage of the work you have already done.
Automation adoption is a marketing-plus too
Marketing is a necessary component for anyone competing for the attention of customers. That is why it can be very expensive and overwhelming for someone who has never invested in efforts before now. For small law firms or solo real estate attorneys, having a good return on investment for everything you do is paramount. Trumpeting your efforts to be secure, good stewards of the industry to the public is a way to market yourself because you are highlighting something you have already done and can set you apart from the competition. The same can be said about programs that you use to make your job easier.
Think about how using automation tools with a company like Easysoft can fit the bill of something you can doubly use as a marketing tool. There is a great amount of time spent explaining to attorneys and other closers how automation can make their jobs easier and the real estate closing process more secure. However, is that same message is being conveyed from Easysoft users to their customers. After all, the endgame of why you are using – or at least considering – automation is so that you can attract more business and make your life easier. Show and tell the people that visit your website that you are streamlining the process for your customers with automation. It’s a move that is certainly appreciated if explained properly, as well as one that most people might not realize that it is not universally adopted in the real estate settlement/closing industry.
Closings and title are still unfamiliar topics to most
The bottom line of this lesson is to remember that the people coming to your website or your office for a closing do not have the industry knowledge that you have. They are not going to appreciate why your tools or professionalism is important. You are going to have to tell them in a way that conveys that belonging to a civic organization or using a tool for efficiency enhances the consumer experience. That means having readable content.
How businesses (including law firms) utilize their web resources needs to change and showing that you embrace your role as an educator for a space not everyone understands is one of the best things you can do as a real estate attorney or other type of closing agent.
Inside the industry, there is a feeling that attorneys and others need to have a digital presence, but there has not been enough education on how to make that an effective web presence. The closing and title work sphere is not one that a lot of people know much about, (hence the push for transparency) and a website (and social media) are a great place to start the explanation process. Think of yourself not just as an expert but also as a teacher. To achieve this, don’t be afraid to talk to family and friends outside of the title industry to see if they not only understand your content but are moved by it. When you move the needle in a consumer’s mind, you make an important impression, and they could be your next client.