Ask These Questions Before Waiving Owners Title Insurance

Owners Title InsuranceEver since the new TRID rules came into effect in 2015 we have seen people opt-out and waive Owners Title Insurance on the final Closing Disclosure. Doesn’t help that Owners Title Insurance can be found under the “Other” section on the CD and “Optional.” It’s always been optional to obtain, but I feel they could have done a better job of not making it appear as a non-meaningful purchase. Every month, we have a handful of people that decide to waive Owners Title Insurance and find it as a useful way to save money on their real estate transaction. Waiving Owners Title Insurance may seem smart at first, but has a long-lasting impact on your largest asset, especially when you decide to sell your home. Before you decline his one time purchase–look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself these questions.

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What I Learned Teaching at the DAAR Fall Convention

The DAAR Fall Convention took place this year on October 19th. If you don’t know about DAAR–its the Dulles Area Association of Realtors. The main focus of this Realtor Association is Loudoun County and the cities along the Dulles Airport corridor. These conventions are pretty cool, in that you get to meet and talk to not only great Realtors in the area but other vendors as well. This year I was asked to not only teach a 2 hour class, but also a smaller class that lasted about half an hour. I know many vendors across the country attend their local association’s conventions, but gaining the platform to speak at length is another type of experience. I wanted to share this with you and deviate a little bit away from my normal real estate marketing/technology posts.

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Why Realtors Lose Credibility with a Crappy Business Card

Realtors Losing CredibilityEvery week I get business cards from Realtors. We meet in a class I teach, or at an event. Either way, they are handing out business cards not only to me, but many other people. I realize that a business card doesn’t 100% reflect a person’s value or level of business that they conduct, but it does provide the person receiving the card an insight and upfront perception.  Realtors are in the business of helping people buy and sell real estate, yet they usually leave 50% of their business card empty, or less than desired. I’m still curious as to why that is, but there are many things Realtors can do with their business card that can leave a far more lasting impression, AND get that person receiving the card to want to do business with them. Let’s discuss why Realtors lose credibility with and what better things are done with the business card.

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How to Forever Create Client Loyalty in Real Estate

Creating “loyalty” in almost anything these days can be hard. Why? Because we have so many options to work with people than ever before. To create that outstanding client loyalty in real estate is even harder. Thousands of Realtors in every major market, and most people who purchased a home, don’t even remember the Realtor who sold them the house a few years later. Tough to get repeat and referral business when your own clients don’t remember you. Let’s also not forget that with the internet options to pick and find a Realtor, and companies like Redfin running TV ads….Wow! In today’s world, creating client loyalty in real estate, lending, Title, and many other fields is becoming an increasing challenge. It can be done and here are several ways how.

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How to Create an Effective Fall Real Estate Marketing Plan

Fall Real Estate Marketing PlanSchool is back in session and vacation season is over. It is still technically Summer, but the Fall real estate market is officially here. Many Realtors/Lenders are refreshed and ready to make the push for a successful rest of 2017. Having an effective fall real estate marketing plan is key to ensuring that your current and past clients are touched, and the pipeline for Spring 2018 is filling up. The hard part is getting back into that business mindset and make the wheels start moving again. We all know it has to happen, but we need a plan. Running your business by design is far better than just “winging” it, so let’s chat about how we can set up a Fall marketing plan and close out the year strong.

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Tutorial for Realtors-Linking Social Media Accounts to YouTube

Starting a new “teaching theme” on my website and YouTube channel. I have spent over 5 years writing educational content on this website and doing videos on YouTube. I have decided to take another approach and do more videos and blogs showing Realtors and Lenders the actual steps to many of the online marketing processes. I’m going to be doing this by recording “screen-cast” videos from my Mac computer. The first video is about linking social media accounts to YouTube and also your website. Here we go!

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Protect Your Real Estate Transaction from Hacker Wire Scam

Computer Hacker Wire ScamRecently in the last few months we have seen a ramp up of hacking attempts to steal money from homeowners trying to close on their real estate transaction. This hacker wire scam is fairly savvy and has worked on a few occasions. Most notably, last week in the Washington DC area, a family wired $1.5 Million to whom they thought was the Title Company closing their transaction. Turns out, it was hackers trying to steal their money, and they were successful. The Title Company and FBI are working together to get the people their money back. The case is ongoing.

With this serious issue happening more and more, I wanted to make our audience aware of how the hacker wire scam works, how to spot it, and how to protect yourself.

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Ratified Purchase Contract-The Role of the Title Company

Signing Ratified Purchase ContractWhen a Realtor tells me they have a ratified purchase contract, it always make me smile. That means a Realtor has entrusted Stewart Title to handle their transaction and get their clients to closing. There are many things that happen between the day of contract ratification to closing. The lender has their job, the home inspector, appraiser, and the many items asked of the “soon to be” home buyer. The one role where many people are unsure of what happens behind the scenes is the Title Company. Ask most homeowners where they signed their closing documents and many don’t remember, let alone understand what this Title Insurance policy is all about.

When a there is a ratified purchase contract sent to Stewart Title, what happens next? What is the role of the Title Company, that ends with a homeowner signing documents?

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What If Real Estate Joint Ventures No Longer Existed?

Real Estate Joint Ventures EndingI want to begin by saying Realtors are not “forced” to use the joint venture Title Company.  With full access to the brokerage’s agents, office meetings, events, and a push from the Broker, the business capture rate on the real estate joint ventures is fairly high. Joint ventures between Title Companies and Realtor brokerages have existed for quite some time and are fairly prevalent today in the Washington DC/Northern Virginia area. Perhaps they exist in your market as well and maybe you currently participate in one. BUT…what if real estate joint ventures were told to disband and can no longer exist–effective tomorrow?

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Title Insurance Policies-Major Items Buyers Need to Know

Avoiding Risk with Title InsuranceIn the last few months, we have had some transactions in which the buyer has waved purchasing the Owners Title Insurance Policy. That is their right to do so as “technically” it is optional. What many buyers don’t take the time to learn are the many upsides and protections Title Insurance Policies provide. Not purchasing a policy on your largest asset can have lasting affects even after you sell the home.

We ran into a specific situation last week where the buyer didn’t purchase the Owners Title Insurance Policy, AND they also forgot to order their survey. The Realtor wanted to order a survey after closing, then inquired what would happen if there was a survey issue after the fact? I told her that the “Survey Exception” is part of the protections laid out in the Owners Policy…which her clients declined. She freaked out. Here are 3 major items that are helpful to buyers regarding Title Insurance Polices.

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