In this second half of the blog, I’m going to focus on how I overcame the struggles of Title Sales and emerge. Many of you reading this might be looking for answers to WHY you might be struggling in the business or that golden nugget that leads to big success. There is no golden nugget other than hard work and lots of innovation. In late August of 2005, I went for an interview at Capital Title in Phoenix Arizona. Not knowing at the time, but Capital was the largest Title Company in Phoenix with almost 30 offices and 20 Title Sales Reps. Realize that in 2005 the housing market was on fire and taking a chance on a kid with no Title Sales experience was a very low risk. The office in which I was assigned already had lots of clients and success. I honestly think back then, my main role was just to maintain all the business we had. When people can buy homes with 100% financing and no income/no asset loans, everyone was a potential buyer. Obviously, that wasn’t sustainable and the market headed south and with it the business.
I recently had a top Realtor attend one of my classes. I followed up like a good Title Rep and she ignored my email, as she gets bombarded all the time (as any top producer does). I let it stir for a few days then gave her a phone call. During the conversation, she stated she liked my class and got a lot out of it…BUT she is loyal to another Title Company where there is a joint venture. I kept her on the phone asking her business questions about what she direction she was trying to go and how Stewart Title could assist. She agreed to meet. We met the next day and she was very happy with the services we offer and the relationship we bring. The JV Title Company didn’t help her with her business. As we spoke in a coffee shop about her business needs, she explained that in her third year in business, she had done 31 buyer deals and 8 listings (in the first 8 months of the year). Very impressive! Though she was happy with her business growth, she said that her largest fear in real estate was…
This is not a blog about how amazing Stewart Title is because we have the best service, escrow staff, etc. Everyone says that about their company. I want to talk about the REAL differences that influence and affect YOU…our clients. Settlement and Title Companies are everywhere in each market. Figuring out who to use to support your business can be tough, especially if they essentially all do the same things. Realtors are viewed the same way. If you don’t have at least one strong value proposition, you are in trouble as consumers will view you as the same as other Realtors.
For quite a while, there have been rumblings in our industry about eClosings. If you are unaware about eClosings, they allow us to conduct a settlement with a buyer/borrower electronically over a computer. Essentially we are doing a “face-time” with the buyer and they sign their closing documents similar to DocuSign. The documents are “e-notarized” and “e-recorded.” If you think this is too outside the box, keep in mind, this technology has been used for years for many things we do in our normal lives. I can pay my mortgage on my phone through an app, or I can order Domino’s Pizza and know online exactly when it goes into the oven. Why not closing on a home? The eClosing process is very easy and Stewart Title has partnered with Pavaso to make things even easier for our clients. Here is a press release that just came out:
It’s a new year, which means new goals and the implementation of new ideas. Having been in the Title business since 2005 and interacting with thousands of Realtors, many like to keep their business models and success secrets close to the chest. I admire people who take the time to share their story and how they built their business, whether that be in real estate or anything else. Last year, at a Realtor “Master Mind Event” I met Karen Briscoe from Keller Williams in McLean, VA. She had just finished writing a real estate book entitled“Real Estate Success in 5 Minutes a Day-Secrets of a Top Agent Revealed.” I found this as pretty remarkable, since most high producing Realtors don’t want to share how they became so successful, let alone in a 400 page book!
Having been in the Title industry since 2005, I have seen many Title Sales Reps come and go with only a handful really “making it” and taking their business to truly lucrative levels. With thousands of Title Salespeople in the US, that means a huge majority either wash out or never find the level of success they are seeking. Why is that? The main reason is a massive lack of training for Title Insurance Sales Reps. When I started in the business, I received little to no training. Being the newest Title Rep of 20 for my Phoenix, AZ company, I “shadowed” a few people but none were eager to share how they grew a book of business or their success secrets. I was left floundering around for a while before actually learning the job and finding my way. That learning curve could have shortened if there was training available. Thankfully for me, I kept working hard and grew a successful business in not only Phoenix but 2000 miles away in the Washington DC area. With many Title sales reps reaching out for assistance for this very reason, let’s chat about why there is a lack of training for Title Insurance Sales reps and how we can fix it.
Ever 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.
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.
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.
Over the last few years, I have received many emails and calls from Title Companies and Title Insurance Sales reps. Washington State to Florida, most of their questions and work struggles have a similar tone. This shows that no matter how business is done in your area, the concepts of sales and marketing strategies to gain Realtor, Lender, or Attorney clients is the same. When I moved to the Washington DC area in 2012, I did “start over” in the Title Insurance sales business. I moved to a brand new area, 2000 miles away from my former market (Phoenix, AZ) and I had zero clients. The positive thing is that I had seven years of Title Sales experience and had a proven track record building a book of business. With that said, what if I had to start over in Title Sales…right now? Would I do things the exact same or differently? Hmm…if I started over today.