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Simplifying the Real Estate Transaction from Contract to Close

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By Paige Tepping

RISMEDIA, July 23, 2011—As advancements in technology continue to provide real estate professionals with the tools they need to work smarter and stay connected no matter where they are, the focus on eliminating the copious amounts of paper involved in a real estate transaction is greater than ever before. Not only is transitioning from the tried and true pencil-and-paper system to an online system good for the environment, it’s also the way of the future, according to Tom Groom, chief technology officer, PropertyInfo Corporation, a Stewart company. As the primary technology provider for the tools Stewart Title offices use in production and sales operations, PropertyInfo Corporation provides all the technology that a title operation would need if it were to open its doors and get started today, including online quotes and ordering, title search services, policy production, document management, mobile applications, fraud prevention, customer-facing technologies and services, and more.

Creating an Online Footprint
“PropertyInfo Corporation was formed to focus on providing solutions to the real estate and title industries, both in their back office and their front office—all in an effort to improve the end-customer’s experience,” says Groom. While the company offers numerous technology services that complement the day-to-day operations of title companies, it has focused its attention on products that help make the process from contract to close—and beyond—as seamless as possible.

“For Stewart Title, we have invested a lot of time and effort into our online workflow and document management system Stewart Online™, powered by SureClose®, which enables our clients to work smarter and more efficiently,” says Groom. “The program allows real estate professionals to get rid of all the paperwork associated with a transaction and work completely online, providing a seamless process for all parties involved.”

As real estate professionals continue to become increasingly mobile, being able to easily access transaction information is more crucial than ever. “Our REALTOR® and lender clients need to be able to access information about transactions anytime, anywhere,” says Groom. “Not only does SureClose give real estate professionals the ability to always know what’s going on when it comes to specific transactions, it also enables them to provide magnificent customer service to their home buyers and sellers by giving them access to their transactions via Stewart Online.” By getting rid of the entire paper trail and storing all the pertinent forms in an online folder, real estate professionals can access the information 24/7—while at the office or on-the-go.

PropertyInfo also works directly with real estate brokers, MLSs and associations to further develop and offer its SureClose platform to brokerages and associations across the U.S. so that they can provide their real estate professionals and membership base with the online experience. “At every layer of the real estate transaction and with every party—title operation, real estate professional, lender, home buyer and seller—we are changing the real estate experience,” Groom continues.

Working Smarter
“As the needs of real estate professionals continue to evolve, it is important that we stay ahead of the curve in terms of being accessible and transparent,” says Groom. Building a good mobile interface is one way PropertyInfo Corporation is keeping up with the needs of today’s busy real estate professionals. “While our mobile apps for iPhone and Android (launched in June) are very popular, we have to reach out to our clients in a lot of different ways since not everyone is going to read an email or visit a website to get information.”

While PropertyInfo Corporation has spent the last 30 years—in some shape or form—systematically building the systems, people and processes to make them the best at delivering title information, the last four years have been instrumental in growing their offerings.

“We have spent the past four years actively consolidating our technologies into the company so that we can offer all these services under one umbrella,” says Groom. This hard work and determination has enabled PropertyInfo Corporation to build an operation that focuses on the core technology that isn’t necessarily a part of the typical day-to-day title operations.

In addition to its popular document management system, the company also offers its title and escrow production systems to the title industry—AIM®. “We put a lot of effort into the latest version of our title production system AIM+—literally decades of experience building title production systems—so we have a good understanding of what needs to get done and how we can build efficiencies into the software to continuously improve the product.”

AIM is the company’s title and escrow production system that is designed to efficiently execute real estate transactions for residential and commercial properties. “By listening to our clients and implementing the features that would help them the most on a daily basis, we have built a system that allows them to create forms and keep things up-to-date, all while minimizing the number of key strokes it takes to get the job done.”

Looking Toward the Future
As we continue toward the future, PropertyInfo Corporation’s vision is to eliminate paper entirely from the beginning of the real estate transaction through the closing process. “By taking the time to work closely with our clients and listen to their needs, we have built a system that gives REALTORS® and lenders the information they need, when they need it, ensuring that the real estate transaction be completed in a timely manner,” concludes Groom. “As the real estate industry continues to evolve online and Internet-based systems maintain their prevalence, we are positioned in a great place when it comes to providing our clients and our clients’ clients with the tools and technology they need to improve their customer service and find success well into the future.”

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