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  • Mary Anne Harris

Year’s End is a Time to Reflect on What’s Important and Look Ahead as Well

Admittedly, it’s been a tough year for many in the title and settlement services industry. The contrast between the chaotic, high volume days of 2021 and the sudden plunge in orders in 2022 caught many of us off guard, at least in terms of how rapidly things changed.

But these are the times when the best leaders and most successful businesses don’t just look inward and ahead. They also plan for how they’ll get to their goals, in spite of adversity.

We’re getting ready for 2023 here at Positively Balanced. And we have our own wish list for the industry in the New Year.

Some predictability and stability.

We’re pretty sure this is at the top of everyone’s wish list in some form or another. Orders have been down. Really down. We’re seeing mass layoffs and uncertainty about the new year. But there are also plenty of indicators that suggest that, while not exactly turning around and heading back to 2021 levels, we will have opportunities. Some even suggest that conditions will improve in 2023, to some degree. True or not, ours is a risk averse industry (for the most part…see below). It’s tough to plan and tough to invest when we’re not sure exactly what the order count will be in January or February, and when the range of possibilities seems nearly infinite. If nothing else, we hope the more optimistic predictions are true, and that at least some stability in terms of the Federal rate help us all adapt to the “new normal.”

The widespread realization that, even though tech is fantastic, the quality of the people behind that tech is even more important.

This is very important to us at Positively Balanced. We often have prospects tell us that they don’t need expert escrow reconciliation services or back office support because they use a popular software to handle those matters. Well, we use that same software. It’s fantastic. But no technology is great if the people using it aren’t trained to do what they’re using it for. Turbo Tax does not make one a CPA.

That even more title and settlement services firms better understand how important compliance is before they’re forced to deal with the consequences.

Here’s the exception to the statement that title professionals are risk averse. They are, except for the more than a few who don’t take things like compliance, cyber threats or even escrow reconciliation seriously. It’s usually explained away with some variation of “that will never happen here” or “it costs too much.” But a bad audit from your underwriter or E&O provider, not to mention a state or federal regulator, can create costs that were not only unplanned, but which could even be crippling. Don’t play with fire. Be sure you have qualified, experienced professionals managing your risks. Don’t make those bullet points on the job description of someone who has neither the time nor the experience to do them well.

We wish you all health and success in 2023! And we hope to hear from you if we can be of service helping you up your compliance and escrow reconciliation security.



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