Bundled Services 'Becoming the Norm'

Steven Hunt, vice president for specialized sales at First American Real Estate Information Services, says that potential RESPA changes are generating buzz around the concept of bundled services.

The trend has gone online, with "numerous portals" entering the market to offer combined services to their unique user groups.

"But the concept of bundled services has been around for quite a while," he said. "Select multiproduct companies have long made product bundling available to the marketplace, but often with mixed results during the early going. As technology and comfort in the concept continue to grow in the industry (with some not-so-meek regulatory prodding), product bundling is poised to become the norm, rather than the exception, with lenders and vendors across the nation," Mr. Hunt said in an article about the trend.

Technology has enabled bundling to mature in the "ordering method of choice within the mortgage industry," he said, citing First American's own SourceMaster as an example.

SourceMaster is VAN-independent and is linked to loan programs that can anticipate and deliver on the emerging need for bundled services, according to Mr. Hunt.

"But beyond control of vendor and transaction management capabilities, the industry will also be looking to the efficiencies that should accompany one-stop shopping. From start to finish the menu of products must be able to be bundled as needed, when needed through a single interface. This technology and these capabilities exist now and will only become more efficient and easier to use," he said.

The convergence of dramatically improving technology, governmental pressures and comfort with the idea of changing ordering practices are converging to give a boost to bundled services offerings, he said.

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