Noteworthy – ALTA Business Strategies 2016

By Nicole Plath

This year’s American Land Title Association (ALTA) Business Strategies Conference (BSC) was by far the best BSC we have ever attended and unfortunately will be the last. ALTA is retiring the BSC in place of something new and exciting!

Every year ALTA has hosted a Business Strategies Conference in the spring. The conference has always been an incredible opportunity to learn about our industry, network with peers, and ultimately find new ways to improve our business.  It historically has kicked off with a Social Media Summit that outlines all the various ways technology and social media can help expand business opportunities and then is followed by several days of a variety of seminars and presentations.

This year I had the honor of speaking with three other title agents from around the country on the topic “Compliance is a Culture, Not Just a Policy.” Our class discussed all the various regulations that a title agent is expected to comply with and how being compliant is a competitive tool, not just a regulatory standard.  We talked about how to embrace compliance and integrate it into your culture.  Fortune Title is compliant with ALTA’s Best Practices and our next step is a third party certification.  We strongly believe in ALTA’s Best Practices and beyond!

I also tried to soak up as much knowledge as I possibly could. With everything going on in our industry today I was really looking forward to hearing the perspectives of lenders, software providers, and title agents around the country as to how they were dealing with TRID and compliance.  Here are some thoughts that I found particularly interesting:

  • Lenders are reconsidering Uniform Closing Instructions to streamline the closing process for Lenders and Title Agents alike.
  • Some Lenders don’t want to share anything with anyone but the borrower, including the borrower’s real estate agent and real estate attorney.
  • Some Title Agents are providing separate Closing Disclosures and separate ALTA Settlement Statements to the buyer and seller respectively to protect their privacy.
  • Some Lenders are requiring proof that the Seller’s Closing Disclosure was signed at closing.
  • Third Party Certification of a Title Agency’s conformity to ALTA’s Best Practices could improve their chances at being whitelisted by a Lender.
  • Millennials are the future of our industry and we need to learn how to attract and retain them.

I could go into more detail, but then this would be a book and not a blog post! I am really looking forward to next year, when a whole new agenda is in play!

ALTA’s retirement of the Business Strategies Conference has resulted in the birth of two new programs, ALTA Boot Camp and ALTA Springboard. ALTA Boot Camp will be held once a year in three different locations across the country.  It will be a combination of the Social Media Summit and the Homebuyer’s Outreach Program.  ALTA Springboard will be similar to Business Strategies, but involve more engagement versus listening.  As per ALTA “The schedule of events will be different.  The content will be stronger and more focused. The education will be more interactive. The networking will be second to none. [And] Vendors will showcase their game-changing solutions in more user-friendly ways.”  I am really looking forward to attending the Boot Camp and Springboard next year to continue to bring fresh knowledge and perspective to our company.

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