If you are a Title Company owner or have decision-making powers at some level in 2023, you might notice that the thing you used to talk about and sell, is becoming the last thing you talk about and sell. I remember when part of a Title rep’s elevator speech was about how great their escrow team was and how clearing Title was important. They even offered a very smooth closing experience with the top escrow officer in town. That was sooo– 2019 (sigh). Speaking to Title Company owners and sales reps all over the country, it is becoming more clear how Title Companies are being perceived is changing dramatically.
I’m the first person to tell you that “pivoting” in your business is always necessary, but the fairly drastic changes that I have seen in my own market and heard about from all of you have my head shaking negatively and also in a positive outlook. Here are 3 ways to show that in many ways, Title Companies aren’t being looked at as “Title Companies” anymore.
Drastic times = Drastic Behaviors
Times have changed since the booming COVID years. The rain of money falling from the sky has ended and for many Title Companies and Realtors, a drought has occurred. When this happens drastic things can happen to make sure business continues in whatever way possible. This is when it went from Title and Escrow and “best service possible” to Title Companies approaching every top agent in their market and offering joint ventures or “shares,” but anyway you skin it, it’s transactions for dollars. I’m not going to go into the legality of this as that is an entirely different article but I always raise the question–“Why weren’t these companies approaching agents in 2021 but now they are?” The unfortunate part is agents are steering their unknowing clients to these less-than-stellar Title Companies for their own gain and leaving good Title relationships. Title Companies are becoming revenue streams for agents.
Many Title Companies have always had Title Reps but in today’s crazy competitive market, many have gone to great lengths to help and create extra value for their Realtor and lender partners. I have seen pretty incredible things by various Title Reps around the country. There are several that have a large following on Instagram and leveraged that platform to hit thousands of people in their markets with value messages.
I have seen reps do podcasts and land some pretty well-known Realtors around the country. All of this adds value and brings brand awareness to their respective Title Companies. There are other reps that are outworking everyone in their markets by doing events, making the calls needed, and learning how to close top agents and teams. Title Companies are becoming marketing juggernauts in their markets. Title Reps are evolving.
Concierge isn’t Dead
I feel like an “in the middle” of the two mentioned above is the concierge Title Company. They are there to serve at the pleasure of the real estate brokerage or top agent. Yes, we all add value and provide the best service possible but there is a difference in teaching and educating clients vs accommodating their every wish in hopes that you will generate business.
You know it–if I bring the food they will like me. If I take them to coffee, I have the business! If I pick up their open house flyers and drop them off, then I’m amazing! Or my favorite–If I take the girls to get pedicures, then that is value and my client will NEVER leave me. Do you know any of these? These are ALL false fronts. The only true thing is you are now an extension of the agent or brokerage’s assistant and you have not shown clear value to retain these clients. Hope they don’t meet the Title reps from above. Title Companies are also concierge outlets for brokerages and agents.
Where Does Your Title Company Fall?
Look at your own business model. How do Realtors and lenders perceive you? How do you WANT them to perceive you? As a revenue stream that potentially violates RESPA? As a trusted advisor with escrow and marketing expertise to help build the business. Or do you work really hard trying to please every agent by being their glorified assistant in hopes of gaining business? Or….are you a mix of all three?
In some states like California and New York the noose has been tightened and regulations put in place in hopes of putting everyone on a more equal playing ground. Is that the answer? Not sure, but as things continue to change there are many instances where Title Companies aren’t looked at as the job they really do, which is to provide Title and Escrow services with a kick-butt marketing team to add value where applicable.
Please feel free to add any feedback you have in the comments below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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