One weird issue in our business that we deal with is how to get an earnest money deposit check to a Title Company. In some states, real estate offices hold the EMD, but due to potential liability issues, the trend has moved to the Title Company holding EMD checks. In the past, we have always had clients drop off checks, mail them in, wire the money, or yours truly would drive to the Realtor’s office and pick them up. In the age of being able to scan or take a picture of checks and have them deposited into bank accounts–something had to be done to make things easier for our Realtor clients.
I was in a large real estate office recently, meeting with two new clients, and it was teaming with people walking up and down halls, doing all kinds of “Realtor” activities. I had a thought as I walked to my meeting room…” most of these people aren’t going to be successful long term.” Many of them need help and guidance to not go the way of the dodo bird. It seems every month something is trying to disrupt the real estate industry and change upon change is coming right at us. Many people forget to dodge and weave when these adaptations and changes find our business. These people are heading towards extinction in the real estate business, but they don’t know it. Here are 5 traits of the soon to be extinct Realtor.
Every month, there are thousands of new Realtors entering the profession. Statistically, most new real estate agents won’t make it a long career–many won’t make it past the first 18 months. Why? There are many reasons, but the main reason is new agents don’t know how to generate their own clients. This is information they don’t teach in real estate school. You pass a test and they say “good luck!” This is also why many new agents join teams so they can gain experience, work with active clients, and learn to generate their own business with guidance from a team leader. If you don’t want to join a team or work at a brokerage where teams don’t exist, then you better be a self-starter and eager to become a marketing king. I want to cover some of the basic ways new real estate agents can have a banner first couple years and get their business off the ground by generating their own clients at zero to little cost.
One way to know the real estate market is doing well is when you hear Realtor teams mentioning they are going to open their own Title Company. Now, I must preface by saying I don’t hear this on a regular occasion but in reality, I should hear this zero times…ever. There are many Realtors who don’t fully know or understand the full scope of what a Title Company does, let alone under the full scope of detail and liability they will be assuming by having ownership in…or fully owning a Title Company. Many see us Title Companies like the “piggy bank” and we rarely pay claims so we must be swimming in cash. That statement is far from the truth. In the hierarchy of real estate, we make less profit than the Realtor and the lender on a transaction. With this said, here are what Realtors don’t know about opening their own Title Company.
Instagram has been around for a while, but really took off once it was purchased by Facebook back in 2012 for $1 Billion. Looking back it was a smart move as Instagram now has over 500 Million active users worldwide. One of the best features that’s added to the platform are its “stories.” Stories are a series of 15 second videos or pictures that are posted for 24 hours then disappears. If you are thinking this sounds like SnapChat, you would be correct. Instagram has done a great job of pulling over the SnapChat users who want the luxury of posting on a larger platform that also allows content to funnel to Facebook. Hence touching a much larger audience for their content. Users have discovered it’s more effective to keep producing short-term content on a regular basis, than post a picture or video that sits on your account indefinitely.
I got an interesting email the other day from a person new to the Title business. He had “discovered me” online and wanted to know–can a Title sales rep make over six figures per year? Having been in the business since 2005 I thought perhaps the answer to this question was well known–but then again perhaps not? There are several variables to production and income, such as your market, average fees per file, your own compensation plan, and more. With that said, the overall short answer to this question is YES. I want to preface this by saying many people who enter the Title Sales profession fail. There are a variety of reasons for this which I have discussed before but wanted to convey that being successful in this job is not easy. Let’s discuss how top Title sales reps make their money and why this is such a fun and lucrative career.
I get asked a lot of questions over the course of a week. Many of them involve real estate marketing, websites, or how to do something. In some instances, I direct a Realtor or Lender to another website that can help them with that question or teach them something new. When you know or use these sites on a regular basis, you think most people in the industry know them…far from the truth. Here are some super helpful real estate websites that can enhance your business…but you probably didn’t know existed.
When someone buys or sells a home there are fees charged to both the buyer and seller. The buyer pays most of the fees in my area (Northern VA-Washington DC), with the seller paying commissions and some other smaller fees. One of those fees is the seller settlement fee. This charge sometimes gets lost in the shuffle as the buyer fees dominate conversation in the transaction. Just the other day, I had a crazy transaction where the listing agent through a huge fit because he thought our seller settlement fee was frivolous and as a Title Company, we represent the buyer, so the buyer should pay it. Far from the truth! I still find it interesting how many Realtors still don’t understand the charges on a settlement statement or where it says in a purchase contract, who pays for what. In this blog, I want to go over the seller settlement statement and explain the charges so anyone selling a home knows what that charge means at closing.
As a licensed Realtor, mortgage lender, or Title Company escrow officer, you see various real estate contract language that has you cringing. It also has you wondering WHY someone would structure a deal a certain way. Sometimes there is a direct intent, sometimes not. There are many ways to create transactions through language, but others that create not only confusion and stress for the parties involved. The other potential major issue is other “ramifications” down the road for the Realtor and/or clients.
I want to start off 2019 by dedicating a blog post to my people…the Title Insurance Sales reps. Having been in the business since 2005, and now managing a team of Title sales reps myself, I see the job from the angle of a newbie starting from scratch trying to find their way and develop their own value proposition. The view of this job is one of ease. All you need to do is wine and dine Realtors and viola--the business just comes over. WRONG! The realization is this job is hard, has lots of competition and most people have trouble standing out in a crowd of Title Companies. If you are struggling in Title Insurance Sales, don’t fret as you are not alone. The good news, help is available (read this site!) and if you do a handful of items and stop doing others, your business will start to take off. I want to share with you what I share with my team to assist in your growth for 2019. Here are the reasons you are struggling in Title Insurance sales, and how you can break through and start building success.