3/14/24 10:54 AM

4 Ways to Effectively Train Your Team

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As a title agency owner or professional, you're likely aware of the need for well-trained and knowledgeable employees to create a successful team. Yet, despite your best intentions, you inevitably run into roadblocks that keep you from establishing a consistent method for training. You might be asking:

  • How do I find the time?
  • How do I decipher the most impactful methods?
  • How do we even afford it?

These hurdles cast a shadow over the undeniable benefits of well-trained employees. Consider:

And in today's real estate market, the importance of more education cannot be overstated. Trying to stay on top of the changing housing landscape is tough right now. However, there's a silver lining peeking over the horizon—the anticipated rebound thanks to an expected drop in mortgage rates this year. Preparing your team now means being ready to capitalize on this upswing, separating your agency from the competition.

That’s why we're here to provide you with four effective strategies to best train your team. These four tips will help you navigate the challenges of finding the time and resources for training so that you can seize the opportunities ahead.


1. Use a Blended Learning Approach

Everybody learns differently. So, when it comes to teaching your team effectively, you must work to cater to different learning styles. These include:

    • Visual learners who prefer to absorb information through graphics and video
    • Auditory learners who learn best through listening to content
    • Reading-focused learners who are best engaged through text-based education
    • Kinesthetic learners who understand best by employing their senses


With these diverse learning styles, how do you ensure your training methods are effective without designing a custom plan for each employee? One approach is to employ blended learning, which combines traditional instruction with online educational materials and interactive activities. Blended learning incorporates multiple learning styles, accommodating different preferences and enabling learners to access materials conveniently.


For example, this might look like a comprehensive training program where employees attend in-person training sessions on the fundamentals of title insurance, legal considerations, claims processing and customer service, followed by online modules or tutorials that reinforce and add further context. This blend of methods ensures a well-rounded understanding of the industry while also creating a collaborative and adaptable team capable of meeting the needs of the market.



2. Develop a Mentoring or Coaching Program

Developing a mentoring or coaching program is another powerful strategy to enhance skill sets and bridge knowledge gaps. This is particularly valuable in addressing the long-discussed concern over the title industry’s "silver tsunami"—the anticipated departure of seasoned professionals due to retirement. Pairing less experienced title agents with veteran professionals allows for the sharing of insight, expertise and knowledge that can be found nowhere else.

While mentoring and coaching go hand-in-hand, there are differences. Coaching focuses on developing specific skills with clear objectives, feedback, and practice training. On the other hand, a well-structured mentoring program offers a broader developmental relationship because a mentor is expected to guide mentees through career paths, professional goals, and industry networking and understanding.

To effectively set up, monitor and evaluate a mentoring or coaching program within your agency, here are some tips:

    • Identify clear goals for what the program aims to achieve
    • Match mentors and mentees based on complementary skills and professional aspirations
    • Set up regular check-ins and feedback sessions to monitor progress
    • Establish metrics to gauge early success
    • Evaluate and modify the program as needed

How does this play out practically? It might look like pairing new agents with experienced ones to shadow complex transaction processes, navigate regulation requirements, or manage client relationships. Encouraging mentors to share their experiences in overcoming industry-specific challenges can equip mentees with strategies to handle similar situations.


3. Implement Hands-on Training and Experiential Learning

The British entrepreneur, philanthropist, and adventurer Richard Branson is famous for saying, “The best way of learning about anything is by doing.”

We agree. That’s why hands-on training and experiential learning are crucial for developing a deep, practical understanding of the often complex transactions and procedures of title work. Unlike theoretical learning, hands-on experience allows employees to navigate the nuances of real-life scenarios. It not only clarifies abstract concepts but also immerses the learner in the process, giving them a deeper comprehension of the tasks at hand.

Hands-on learning can also significantly enhance problem-solving abilities. By facing actual challenges and working through them, employees build a repertoire of solutions and strategies. This inevitably boosts confidence, as team members gain firsthand experience in overcoming obstacles, making informed decisions, and seeing the tangible results of their efforts.

How do you implement hands-on and experiential training into your efforts? Here are a few suggestions:

    • Develop simulation exercises that mimic the end-to-end process of real estate transactions, including title searches, document preparation and closing procedures
    • Pair less experienced employees with seasoned professionals for shadowing opportunities, allowing them to observe real-life client interactions, title searches, and closings
    • Host regular discussions with your team focusing on new and emerging challenges in the industry, such as regulation changes, advancements in fraud prevention technologies, or evolving customer expectations

Implementing these ideas provides a safe environment for employees to practice and hone their skills without the pressure of real-world consequences. Such hands-on experiences are invaluable for reinforcing learning, improving performance, and ensuring employees are equipped to handle the complexities of their day-to-day responsibilities.

SoftPro-February-Blog-Header-Image (Hands-on Training)

4. Provide Opportunities for Outside Professional Development

Given all these suggestions, you may still be thinking, “Great, but who has the time to do all this?” The good news? You don’t have to. You can save time and energy by leveraging resources from industry underwriters, vendors, and associations for continuous education and training for your team.

American Land Title Association

The American Land Title Association (ALTA) is a prime resource for classes covering foundational subjects relevant to all title professionals nationwide. ALTA's online courses on the basics of the title industry and the ethics necessary for safeguarding clients and companies are invaluable, especially for newcomers. For more advanced topics, ALTA offers in-person classes across the country, providing deeper insights into the industry's complexities.

State Title Associations and State Bar Associations

State Title Associations and State Bar Associations both play crucial roles in providing vital continuing education for professionals in the title and real property industries. State Title Associations can ensure compliance with state-specific regulations and mandates, while State Bar Associations offer continuing legal education (CLE), which is particularly important in states where title agents must also be qualified attorneys. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is an excellent resource for identifying state-specific continuing education requirements.

Title Industry Vendors

Title insurance professionals can also benefit from leveraging industry vendors as a resource for comprehensive training and education. SoftPro, for example, provides dedicated training options tailored for different editions of SoftPro software while also providing rich, informative resources such as:

      • SoftPro's Blog, where professionals can access the latest information on industry trends, regulatory changes, and practical tips for navigating the complexities of the title insurance market
      • Saved You a Seat Webinars, designed to keep you at the forefront of industry knowledge and best practices, covering a wide range of topics from regulatory compliance to enhancing customer satisfaction and operational efficiency

When it comes to selecting topics for external professional development, consider the needs of your team and the specific challenges they face. Find speakers and sessions that not only provide immediate value but also offer opportunities for networking with peers and experts in the field. This not only boosts your team’s confidence but also enhances your agency’s reputation.

SoftPro-February-Blog-Header-Image (Outside Professional Development)

The Bottom Line 

These four tactics are pivotal strategies for effectively training your team. By leveraging these approaches, your agency can boost your employees’ skills, increase their confidence, and build a culture of continuous improvement. 

Embrace these strategies to empower your team and drive your agency's success. Start transforming your training approach today—your team's future depends on it!


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