If you are looking for another blog on real estate marketing or some tech secret to gain clients–this is not one of those posts. For over six years, I have spent hours and hours pumping content into this website to create an interested audience. If you are brand new to the site and reading for the first time, click around when you are done, you will find some good stuff to assist in your business needs. Now back to it–How I was able to create success in Title sales was not an easy one, in fact at one point I was completely unsure of my goals, and where my professional life would take me. I have received many questions over the years, about my background, how I built my business, and on and on. These people had no clue that someone who had smarts and talent was only an average student (at best). It started in middle school when my personal struggles with learning and development.
I grew up in Pella, Iowa (see photo). A great town and my childhood overall was very good. With that said, it is clear to me now that I was ADHD as a kid–some of that still persists now. I was in a “gifted and talented” program as a 5th grader for math and I did well in elementary school. Then middle school came and I started to fall behind. Part of that was my parents were not very school conscious. My father dropped out of school in the 10th grade and got his GED in the service. He later became a truck driver and was home only 5-7 days a month. He was not involved in my schooling at all.
My mother was a high school graduate and went to nursing school. She became a stay at home mother as I was one of three children. Most of my friends had parents that were college graduates and heavily emphasized good grades. As I got older, it was clear that I wanted to be like my friends, but I was only interested in a few subjects, was not organized so I would miss assignments, and I played basketball, golf, and baseball night and day–that was my main focus. I think you can see where this is going. Getting F’s in Geometry had me scared. How did I go from G&T to this? I just couldn’t get it…at least at the rate and how the teacher was explaining it…to me.
With a goal of wanting to play high-level college basketball, grades were important. I remember a teacher telling me that I was probably destined to go to junior college and maybe get a job at a YMCA or something similar. I was terrified.
Surround Yourself with Good People
My teacher did have something right–I did attend junior college for one year on a full ride basketball scholarship. Our team that year went 38-1 and we won the National Championship Division 1 NJCAA. There, I put more focus on academics because I wanted to get to a four-year school as fast as possible. The next year I transferred and was accepted into a very nice school (Central College). I would be lying if my basketball talent didn’t also have something to do with that, but using your gifts is a good thing right? At Central College, I was surrounded by great people who were smart, helpful, and wanted me to succeed. For once, I felt that I had the support I was always lacking. I knew at this point I was ADHD and probably had some other learning disability. I had the smarts to succeed, I just learned in a different way.
I graduated college in 4 years (2000) and was happy to have that diploma in my hand. I would be lying if I said I got straight A’s, but my grades dramatically improved. Knowing that I was smart and intelligent but learned differently dramatically helped my self-esteem and made me look back at my childhood, wishing that I would have been diagnosed early and treated accordingly by my teachers.
Helping Kids and Mortgages…
I worked with kids my first 18 months in Peoria, Illinois at a residential treatment center who were sex offenders but with development/personality disorders.(that was quite the experience). My best friend then moved to Phoenix, AZ and wanted me to come out. Being 23 years old and single there was nothing holding me back. I moved to Phoenix in 2002 and got a job at CPS (Child Protective Services). I did that job for 3 years and then wanted to do something different. I knew I was good with people because I quickly became the person who was given harder cases by Judges so I could “fix them.” I made great relationships with attorneys and even the parents who had their children taken away. At one point near the end of my time there I spoke to a father/mother and got them to agree to adoption of their two children with other family members. The reason I left is I wanted the opportunity to make more money and not live paycheck to paycheck.
My friend told me about a mortgage company job and how “easy” it was. Keep in mind, this is 2004 in Phoenix, so business was everywhere and loans were easy to obtain. I went into this “commission only” job knowing very little about mortgages. Looking back, I’m shocked and proud that I made such a leap of faith. Talking about having to learn very fast! My first month, I closed 6 loans, and 6 more the next month. I continued this job for another 8 months closing loans and becoming a top producer. I was even asked to help teach new LO’s how to structure deals and call back customers and pitch loans. I became a favorite of my mortgage company owner.
How I Got Into Title Sales
Six months or so into my mortgage job, my broker shop decided to become a bank and lend their own money. The transition was very bad and it caused issues. During that time, we would have people come into our office and bring lunch and talk to us about their Title Company, and why we should be sending them business. We already used a Title Company but as I saw the writing on the wall with the crappy transition, I asked them if they knew of any Title Company marketing jobs available. I was in luck because Capital Title was hiring, so I applied for the job…not knowing anything about how to create success in Title sales. And so it began…