I want to begin this blog by stating ” I am NOT the greatest Title Sales Rep in the world.” This isn’t going to be about my accomplishments or how I built my business. Instead, this is about something that affects every organically grown Title Company and Title Sales Rep who works their butt off to earn the business of a producing Realtor and to have it potentially taken away on a technicality.
As real estate agents, you are mostly taught to market back to your sphere of influence, friends, family, etc. You should be marketing to these people to get qualified buyer and sellers leads, but there is another segment of potential clients that most Realtors don’t think to market to. People who are vendors, and professional referral sources in similar businesses who help to create business.
In this blog, I’m going to discuss how to create another silo of inbound referrals from people you are more than likely neglecting. It’s not a strategy most agents use, but when I have brought it up to my fellow clients, they raise their eyebrows and a light comes on. Let me share it with you!
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.
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.