There are a few mistakes most title companies make when it comes to marketing, and knowing them and being able to avoid them will benefit your title company in the long term.
1. Complete disregard for the online environment
It’s very dangerous to disregard the Internet, especially in 2014 and especially when the world is using Google to search and the website of a company to get an initial first impression. Given that, how is it then that a majority of title companies don’t do SEO (Search Engine Optimization) so when someone searches for let’s say “title company in Palm Beach” they don’t show up anywhere? Also, why is it that most websites of title companies look like 1999 but try to come across as being “very professional”?
Title companies need to make sure they come up in search results when people are searching for a title company in their area on Google. And when people actually come to their website, they need to feel like it’s 2014 and there’s a really professional entity waiting for their business.
2. Not caring about who the clients are and what they need
This is another major issue with most companies (not ony title companies). All you hear companies is “we do this, we are that, we have been in business since”, and so on, neverending rant about them. One thing they forget is to address their clients and their needs first and foremost, and then tell them a little about the company.
This however comes from the fact the title company doesn’t take the time to understand their clients’ personnas. Who they are, what are they looking for most of the time, what do they appreciate most when dealing with the title company, and so on.
Let’s take an example here to illustrate this better. ABC Title Company thinks all clients are the same and all they want is simply closing services and therefore they state “We offer you the best closing services”.
Now, XYZ Title Services, who is the next door neighbor to ABC, took the time to define their target audience a little better. What they realized is that their market is realtors aged 30-45, tech savvy, competitive and with a propensity of bringing large deals. So XYZ attracts them by saying “We provide all the tools you need to close that large deal in as little time as possible”. Not only that, but XYZ offers them a title quote app that allows them to generate quotes, net sheets and preHUDs while being mobile.
Guess who wins in the long run.
We’ve mentioned this in a previous post, so we won’t go over it extensively, but the idea that by offering lower prices than everyone else is an advantage has to be re-considered. While it may benefit the title company in the short run, in the long run discounts are bad for the company as well as the entire industry, forcing everyone to cut their fees, eventually driving themselves out of business.
Instead of offering discounts, title companies need to offer value-added services and products. A title quote app could be one example. Electronic closing can be another one. Also, an education center geared towards the realtors and lenders (could be a blog) would be a massive added-value resource.
4. Failure to form reliable partnerships
Whether you are starting out or you’re already an established title company, a partnership is not only a reliable source of revenue, but also of opportunity.
Let’s put it this way. In order for you to market to the general public, or to random realtors and lenders it takes a marketing budget, which sometimes is pretty hefty. You also need to travel to all sorts of tradeshows, follow up with your contacts, serious work that comes at a cost.
In contrast, if you manage to get your foot into the door of one or more realty firms and become their preferred escrow company, things are a lot easier. Title companies should make it their goal to form these kinds of partnerships for obvious reasons.
BUT FIRST, you need to not only get in touch but also adapt your business model to the specific needs of the partner. Whether it’s preferred pricing, a different revenue model that’s mutually beneficial or something else, you need to really listen to your partner’s needs and get creative.
5. Failure to centralize and data-mine existing client data
The fact that most title companies don’t have a database where they track all their clients and what they do, what they prefer, do surveys, polls, etc is another big mistake. It could be a simple Excel spreadsheet, but no, most companies don’t even go into this.
It’s funny how when the industry is changing these companies are the first to complain about how hard it is to adapt to changes and so on. But what they don’t realize is that the change, unless it’s regulatory in nature, comes from the people. And knowing your people and understanding their trends is essential to your survival.