Real estate services bundling grows

June 4, 2004

Old Republic creates new division

Inman News

Old Republic National Title Insurance Co. has launched a new division dedicated to providing bundled services to its network of independent agents and direct operations.

The new division will operate as Old Republic Packaged Services Division, or ORPAK, as part of the National Services Group headed by SVP Patrick Conner. ORPAK is an outgrowth of the Agency Services Department of Old Republic Title, Residential Information Services, a division of the National Services Group that has provided vendor management and bundled services to the residential lending community since 1998.

"As the business of this department grew, it became increasingly evident that eventually we needed to treat this department as a business in its own right," Old Republic CEO Rande Yeager said.

He added, "The elevation of ORPAK to division status underscores the importance of bundling as a trend and the continuing importance of the local agent to the company's future. ORPAK will leverage the technologies and vendor management capabilities that we have had for years."

The move toward bundled services was sparked by the Department of Housing and Urban Development's proposed changes to the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act. Although HUD has withdrawn the proposed rule, efforts by lenders and others to bundle settlement services and pricing continues to move forward.

Services offered in the bundling division include flood reporting, credit reporting services, appraisal services, automated valuation models, bankruptcy reporting, home warranty, 1031 exchange services, relocation services and site management services. ORPAK will offer the capability of ordering, tracking and receiving those services electronically through a secure Web site.

ORPAK targets the title agent's local customers, including mortgage brokers, community banks, savings institutions, credit unions and smaller mortgage companies.

"Companies that are moving toward providing a package and a fixed price for the closing are certainly gaining traction and ORPAK will satisfy a definite need because the local providers need a way to compete with the large lenders," Yeager said.

ORPAK will be based in Akron, Ohio, as part of the Residential Information Services division, which is directed by Lee Baskey, Senior Vice President and General Manager.

Copyright: Inman News Features

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