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Innovation Blog

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SoftPro Corporation

Retaining a Competitive Advantage through a Web-Based Model

SoftPro Corporation, a North Carolina Fast 50 company that provides real estate closing and title insurance software and support, hired ITI to develop an online route for its annual maintenance customers to download documents, products, and services within a secured environment.

Through SoftPro’s Web site, ITI developed a secure, password-protected access area. Annual maintenance customers are now able to download the documents and information they need at any time of the day or night based on those products and services their firm has licensed.

Margaret Crumpler, SoftPro’s Director of Research & Development, states, “Our mission is to anticipate and rapidly respond to changes in the real estate and title insurance industries. We accomplish this by utilizing innovative and pioneering technologies, and by providing highly responsive service. ITI has been a great partner for us in fulfilling our mission. They really know the Web, as well as the different options that are available in Web programming. They have developed an ideal solution for SoftPro.”

This solution includes extendibility so that in the near future SoftPro can provide access to other offerings, like answers to user questions though an online Knowledge Base. Gil McNeill, the company’s Chief Technology Officer, says, “ITI developed a solution that can grow with us. And they provided really solid knowledge transfer to our staff so that we can take it over and manage the growth ourselves.”

SoftPro’s industry never stands still. Current technology trends include the movement towards electronic signatures and the growth in opportunities for business to business data exchange. Within the real estate and title insurance industries, there are constant regulatory changes from the IRS and other government agencies.

While SoftPro currently has the largest national market share of real estate closing and title insurance software in the industry, it has competitors. Nationally, there are title insurance under- writers who provide their agents with software, though the software is generally a sideline to their core business and does not provide as many options and underwriter documents as SoftPro’s. Regionally, small software companies fill niches in their respective areas.

To retain its competitive advantage, SoftPro sees its future on the Web. Margaret Crumpler elaborates, “Documents are being redesigned by Fannie Mae and FHA, and our customers want to quickly, easily, and securely get the most up-to-date information that they must have. Can you imagine what a massive undertaking it is providing updated documents to our large customer base? If we transferred the information using CDs or disks, it would be even more labor intensive, and the cost would be prohibitive. The Web is really the only option for us.”