Stewart’s growth into an end-to-end real estate experience

Stewart is one of the world’s largest title insurers and underwriters in the industry. It’s been around for over 128 years and is built on values ​​like accountability, collaboration, trust, and a fundamental commitment to delivering better experiences.

But the company is not content to look back on its long history. Instead, its leaders look to the future and focus on how the company can grow.

Our vision is to be the premier title services companysaid Beth Fowler, executive vice president of lender services at Stewart. “To do that, to be the best company in the business for lenders and corporate clients, what we offer has to go beyond the title. And it does.

Investing in people and technology

Stewart has made headlines several times over the past two years as the company has expanded its talent and made numerous acquisitions to help its growth. Among the acquisitions are securities and settlement bureaus to expand its market share and gain scale in key markets, as well as technology providers to improve customer experience and expand its data and analytics capabilities.

In the past three quarters alone, the company has added more than 3,500 employees through acquisitions and direct hires.

Over the past 18 months, the company has invested $1 billion in more than twenty companies spanning all of its businesses. Industry leaders it has added to its portfolio to expand service capabilities include ASK Services, Cloudvirga, Pro Teck Valuation Intelligence, Signature Closers, United States Appraisals, Informative Research, PropStream and NotaryCam.

“We were very intentional when looking at potential acquisition targets and products and services that would benefit our customers,” Fowler said. “Our acquisition strategy demonstrates Stewart’s commitment to delivering a better experience, no matter what. This dollar investment, tied to the intentional nature of what we brought into the Stewart fold – ultimately, we are thrilled with what this brings to our clients.

Improve services and capabilities

Stewart’s investments reflect the important role Lender Services plays in its overall plan to become the premier title services company. Stewart has shown a real commitment to providing one-stop title services to his lender and other corporate clients. Over the past two years, the lenders division has focused on two things: increasing size and scale and adding new capabilities to serve customers who need multi-state and national solutions.

According to Fowler, “As a premier partner, we deploy capital in a very thoughtful way to seek out solutions, capabilities, products and services that truly maximize and enhance the customer experience, whether for lenders, service providers, investors, buyers, etc. A big part of that, in terms of what we see, is making sure we have a strong suite of digital data and analytics services.

Provide an end-to-end experience

Stewart’s Lender Services cover the entire digital mortgage and real estate experience. That’s by design, Fowler said.

“We’re starting by leveraging our core title capabilities and expanding into other products and services in the transaction lifecycle,” she said. “We’ve added features that start at the very beginning with the consumer and then extend to the closing and financing experience and beyond. »

The result is an impressive chain. PropStream offers data for lead generation; Informative Research provides customer acquisition, prequalification, portfolio retention, credit and verification solutions; Cloudvirga’s POS system powers lenders, originators, consumers, and brokers and automates back-office tasks; United States Appraisals and Pro Teck expand Stewart’s depth in appraisal and valuation, from originations to capital markets to services; Signature Closers and NotaryCam offer enhanced signing options; and the partnership with CertifID protects funding.

Commenting on Cloudvirga, one of Stewart’s most recent acquisitions, Fowler said, “We were very attracted to the technology and mortgage expertise it brings to the table. Certainly, this is at the heart of what lenders need. We also welcome opportunities to expand its impact.

Fowler also noted that Stewart was particularly excited to pair NotaryCam, a leader in online notarization and original provider of electronic closing solutions, with Signature Closers, a signing and technology platform that is part of the Stewart family of companies. . Stewart acquired NotaryCam in late 2020, after years of partnering in the digital space and eClosing.

“Bringing these two together allows Stewart to provide our customers with any closing experience they want,” she said. “By leveraging the NotaryCam platform, which is truly one of the best in its class, [if] they want that true remote online notarization experience, we have that capability and more importantly the depth of expertise to provide.

Stewart’s partnership with CertifID is also part of the experience. CertifID is Stewart’s partner for secure funds transfer protection, as the company wants to ensure that it protects its customers, itself and its shareholders against the growing threats of wire and title fraud.

“All of these products and services are superior from a standalone perspective,” Fowler said. “Our vision is to go further, to bring these services together into a more streamlined and digitized experience that can then drive efficiencies for our customers – cost savings, better decision-making and ease of use. Now that we have brought these capabilities together, the next iteration is to turn it into a more streamlined and digitized end-to-end experience.”

Stewart’s Future

“Stewart also has two primary goals in terms of how it plans to move forward,” Fowler said, one of which is to continue to develop and expand its automated capabilities.

Part of that is focused on Stewart Accelerate, the company’s automated title and underwriting decision engine, which benefits lenders by providing them with an up-front workflow decision to help them identify loans that can be made longer. quickly. Stewart is looking to continue improving technology and decisioning capabilities over the next year.

Its second goal traces back to the company’s desire to streamline and create a platform of solutions for its clients across the real estate spectrum – lenders, investors, service providers and other corporate buyers and sellers.

“We want to continue to leverage Stewart’s assets and capabilities, finding ways to connect components to benefit our customers with more integrated solutions and intelligent decision-making that results in a best-in-class customer experience,” Fowler said.

Over the past several years, Stewart has demonstrated a commitment to growth, evolution and movement towards its goals of streamlining the mortgage or buying and selling process for its clients. It shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.

“Momentum is something you see and hear when talking about Stewart,” Fowler said. “We are investing in this momentum and it will produce other great things to come. We are definitely excited about what we have accomplished and where we are going.

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