Title Insurance

A Conversation With: Lisa Robertson

Lisa Robertson
August 5, 2022
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At Spruce, we remain at the forefront of innovation for real estate transactions by keeping our eyes and ears open to the latest trends, new technology and ideas. It’s one of the many ways we deliver meaningful value to our clients. This content series is built to share insight from industry experts and trailblazers who are revolutionizing the real estate space, both within our own company and across the industry. 

In today’s (first ever) A Conversation with series, we’re speaking with our very own Lisa Robertson, Chief Client Officer at Spruce. Lisa has been an integral part of the Spruce team for nearly 4 years, building many of our teams, our processes, and the vision for our clients and their customers' experience. With 35 years of experience, Lisa shares her expert insight on the evolving world of real estate transactions.

What is the biggest challenge you hear from our clients?

Our clients typically turn to us to help address their challenges with scalability and the ability to tailor services around their individual needs and nuances. We serve many different market segments and we often hear that many title companies are not accustomed to serving a more diverse client base. 

From the specific transaction perspective, the number one challenge we hear is communication and transparency during the fulfillment process. This is exactly why Spruce’s technology and APIs were built–to solve this problem and improve the overall experience of buying a home–and it’s why we remain focused on constantly iterating on and improving these capabilities.

What do you see as the biggest trend, or biggest demand, in the title industry today?

Tech adoption.

It’s not necessarily a new trend, but it’s what prompted my career change a few years ago. It has gone from a nice to have to a need to have in our industry. Many title companies tend to focus on different initiatives depending on the time of the year or market conditions. During a refinance boom, as an example, the demands become “go faster,” then when rates rise its “lower costs” and the focus on innovation tends to go by the wayside because of this vicious circle. My approach is to lead with innovation in all forms and create a mindset that is focused on the client experience. Digitizing the process results in opportunities to address all the desired business outcomes and create a truly customer centric service model.

We’re seeing an increase in tech adoption at every phase of the transaction process, end-to-end,  because people are finally taking chances on new developments–and seeing that they’re working. Companies of all sizes are now seeing the massive benefit that technology can offer their business and their customers. 

How is technology impacting the real estate industry?

Overall, the adoption of technology within the real estate and finance sectors is driven by the need to create a better customer experience. Innovations are stemming from new homeowner offerings, improving mortgage origination platforms, loan cycle times, cost optimization efforts, and simply a better borrower and homeowner experience. When things work more seamlessly on the backend, that efficiency is passed along to the consumer at the end of the transaction. The outcome is a more efficient and predictable process for all involved.

Technology can also play the role of improving the human to human interactions that are critically important in some scenarios. Our business is very complex: borrowers, buyers, and sellers often want to hear from someone with experience and knowledge to support them through the process, especially for those who might be new to the process of buying a home. Our team is mindful that in some transactions, it may have been years since a person purchased or sold a home. It’s important to not lose sight of the fact that we are still doing business with people and those people often need someone to turn to for answers. The power of technology for us is that the person in the purchasing (or selling) seat can learn the exact status of a transaction and what to expect through both communication mechanisms because we share the access to this key information and can work together. Each individual has their own preference of communication, so it's important to capture and accommodate all styles of communicaiton.

Who or what is having the biggest influence in real estate, title, and our clients over the next five years?

There are a number of factors that have an influence on real estate and investment potential in the market. Interest rates impact the price and demand of buying, selling and investing in real estate. Lower rates bring in more buyers, reflecting the lower cost of getting a mortgage, but also expands the demand for real estate, which can then drive up prices which is what have seen in the past six months. Real estate prices often follow the cycles of the economy. I have been in this business for 35 years and seen all four real estate cycles occur at least twice. Whether we are in a Recovery, Expansion, Hyper Supply, or Recession cycle, the need to implement technology solutions to manage speed, costs, and create a customer-centric approach are here to stay.

What is the cost of not adopting or exploring new technology?

When technology is not one of the foundational pillars in your business, you are not able to deliver most effectively for your clients and their customers. Having a diverse set of clients with varying needs, our technology helps us to architect around their requirements and expectations in the most meaningful, secure, and efficient way. With a programmatic approach to workflow and use of data science algorithms, we’re able to save time and reduce costs that we can, in turn, pass along to our clients–who then pass it along to their customers.

Interested in learning more about Spruce's tech and service capabilities? Get in touch with our team here.

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Article by
Lisa Robertson

A Conversation With: Lisa Robertson

At Spruce, we remain at the forefront of innovation for real estate transactions by keeping our eyes and ears open to the latest trends, new technology and ideas. It’s one of the many ways we deliver meaningful value to our clients. This content series is built to share insight from industry experts and trailblazers who are revolutionizing the real estate space, both within our own company and across the industry. 

In today’s (first ever) A Conversation with series, we’re speaking with our very own Lisa Robertson, Chief Client Officer at Spruce. Lisa has been an integral part of the Spruce team for nearly 4 years, building many of our teams, our processes, and the vision for our clients and their customers' experience. With 35 years of experience, Lisa shares her expert insight on the evolving world of real estate transactions.

What is the biggest challenge you hear from our clients?

Our clients typically turn to us to help address their challenges with scalability and the ability to tailor services around their individual needs and nuances. We serve many different market segments and we often hear that many title companies are not accustomed to serving a more diverse client base. 

From the specific transaction perspective, the number one challenge we hear is communication and transparency during the fulfillment process. This is exactly why Spruce’s technology and APIs were built–to solve this problem and improve the overall experience of buying a home–and it’s why we remain focused on constantly iterating on and improving these capabilities.

What do you see as the biggest trend, or biggest demand, in the title industry today?

Tech adoption.

It’s not necessarily a new trend, but it’s what prompted my career change a few years ago. It has gone from a nice to have to a need to have in our industry. Many title companies tend to focus on different initiatives depending on the time of the year or market conditions. During a refinance boom, as an example, the demands become “go faster,” then when rates rise its “lower costs” and the focus on innovation tends to go by the wayside because of this vicious circle. My approach is to lead with innovation in all forms and create a mindset that is focused on the client experience. Digitizing the process results in opportunities to address all the desired business outcomes and create a truly customer centric service model.

We’re seeing an increase in tech adoption at every phase of the transaction process, end-to-end,  because people are finally taking chances on new developments–and seeing that they’re working. Companies of all sizes are now seeing the massive benefit that technology can offer their business and their customers. 

How is technology impacting the real estate industry?

Overall, the adoption of technology within the real estate and finance sectors is driven by the need to create a better customer experience. Innovations are stemming from new homeowner offerings, improving mortgage origination platforms, loan cycle times, cost optimization efforts, and simply a better borrower and homeowner experience. When things work more seamlessly on the backend, that efficiency is passed along to the consumer at the end of the transaction. The outcome is a more efficient and predictable process for all involved.

Technology can also play the role of improving the human to human interactions that are critically important in some scenarios. Our business is very complex: borrowers, buyers, and sellers often want to hear from someone with experience and knowledge to support them through the process, especially for those who might be new to the process of buying a home. Our team is mindful that in some transactions, it may have been years since a person purchased or sold a home. It’s important to not lose sight of the fact that we are still doing business with people and those people often need someone to turn to for answers. The power of technology for us is that the person in the purchasing (or selling) seat can learn the exact status of a transaction and what to expect through both communication mechanisms because we share the access to this key information and can work together. Each individual has their own preference of communication, so it's important to capture and accommodate all styles of communicaiton.

Who or what is having the biggest influence in real estate, title, and our clients over the next five years?

There are a number of factors that have an influence on real estate and investment potential in the market. Interest rates impact the price and demand of buying, selling and investing in real estate. Lower rates bring in more buyers, reflecting the lower cost of getting a mortgage, but also expands the demand for real estate, which can then drive up prices which is what have seen in the past six months. Real estate prices often follow the cycles of the economy. I have been in this business for 35 years and seen all four real estate cycles occur at least twice. Whether we are in a Recovery, Expansion, Hyper Supply, or Recession cycle, the need to implement technology solutions to manage speed, costs, and create a customer-centric approach are here to stay.

What is the cost of not adopting or exploring new technology?

When technology is not one of the foundational pillars in your business, you are not able to deliver most effectively for your clients and their customers. Having a diverse set of clients with varying needs, our technology helps us to architect around their requirements and expectations in the most meaningful, secure, and efficient way. With a programmatic approach to workflow and use of data science algorithms, we’re able to save time and reduce costs that we can, in turn, pass along to our clients–who then pass it along to their customers.

Interested in learning more about Spruce's tech and service capabilities? Get in touch with our team here.