MARCH 2021 ISSUE
While housing market predictions are always tricky, one trend appears to be holding strong—whether welcomed or bemoaned, digital service offerings and closings are here to stay. According to data from the MBA’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey, mortgage applications increased 0.5 percent for the week ending February 26th. Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting, noted, “[t]he housing market is entering the busy spring buying season with strong demand. Purchase applications increased, with a rise in government applications (likely first-time buyers) pulling down the average loan size for the first time in six weeks.”
And for those applying for mortgages during the pandemic, digital offerings are largely what have enabled vital business to continue. For some, the transformation COVID has ushered in is moving too far too fast; but for others, the rest of the title industry is only starting to catch up with how they have operated for years—digital, adaptable and aligned with the needs of physically remote clientele. This month we sat down with Passport Title Services, who have been ahead of the digital curve since day one. Read this interview to see what it means to their organization to be true “digital natives.”
CLIENT SPOTLIGHT: John and Susan Cotter,
Passport Title Services, LLC
CLIENT SPOTLIGHT: John and Susan Cotter, Passport Title Services, LLC
This month we are spotlighting Passport Title Services, LLC with the help of John Cotter, President and CEO, and Susan Cotter, Chief Growth Officer. Passport Title is a title insurance agency and real estate settlement services provider. Established in 2005 as a traditional title company, Passport became well known for pioneering the title agency partnership model in 2008. Since this pivot, Passport has continued to grow their footprint nationwide using an innovative digital offering and highly tailored solutions, most recently expanding into North Carolina in early 2021.
Q: Can you tell us a little about Passport Title? Why do you define yourselves as “digital natives”?
A: While this term certainly isn’t new, we consider ourselves a digital native title company because we were built with technology at the core of our operating models. We were very early adaptors of cloud technology—Passport Title was one of if not the first—and we worked remotely well before COVID forced other companies to adapt. All our functions at the outset were designed to be modular, portable and paperless; we developed software to support a distributed operation—to support staff and distribution that works across multiple states. A lot of companies tout digital transformation, but we like to focus on digital acceleration because digital is native to who Passport Title is and has been since day one.
Q: Throughout the pandemic, you’ve been able to not only provide digital closings for your clients across the States, but also US citizens abroad. Have reQuire’s Release Tracking Plus services helped play a role in this?
A: Both here and abroad, reQuire helps support our digital closings as our preferred vendor for release tracking services and is able to support our United States clients wherever they may be located, the Azores, United Kingdom, India, etc. Ultimately, reQuire has been there with us every step of the way.
Q: What would you say to prospects about your experience using Release Tracking Plus?
A: Some might question the need for release tracking services, even we have at times. But we are constantly reminded of why we really need this product. It takes the pressure off us as a company. We view reQuire as a valuable extension of our operations—helping us be more productive and focus on our core competencies. The customer service commitment at reQuire is very much aligned with ours here at Passport Title and we find their responsiveness and professionalism are second to none.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share about your experience with reQuire?
A: Our relationship started a while back but we are pleased with the excellent job reQuire has done retaining us as a client. We are often approached by other service providers in the marketplace and we choose to use reQuire not only because of the product they offer, but because of the service they deliver.
Congratulations to Melissa Canalichio from CCN Real Estate Title & Escrow. Ms. Canalichio was our drawing winner, receiving a $100 VISA gift card from reQuire for her participation in our recent survey. Thank you to all those who provided feedback—both clients and non-clients alike!
Did you know reQuire can help prepare pre- and post-closing documents? Don’t underestimate this seemingly simple task—there are several important aspects of doc prep that, if managed incorrectly, could have a negative effect on how the recorded ownership of the property is determined. Call or email us today to find out how. Learn more >