What I learned opening a Title Company.
Back when I was a younger, slimmer Title Salesperson who was just getting ramped up in the business, I knew that I wanted to open a Title Company. As the years rolled by, my desire to make it happen, overshadowed the financial risks associated with opening a new business. So one day, I sat down with my wife and we talked about turning my dream into a reality. She must have had a lot of faith in me because she was on board with the idea. You'll never know how much faith someone has in you, until you ask them to risk the security of their financial future for a vision that only you can see. Armed with my wife's blessing, I set out on a mission to create the perfect Title Company. I found investors and I created business and marketing plans. I had marketing plans, projections, charts and graphs showing our potential profits. We signed a lease and created a corporation. Our dream was becoming a reality or so I thought. After committing to a lease and planning to open in a few weeks, we lost both of our investors. We were now very under-capitalized and already indebted. So I went to a family member and asked for a loan. I had placed myself, and my family, in the position that the only way to survive was to be a success. There was no other option. After all this... and a few other "near death" experiences, we opened our doors as a Title Company. Once we actually were approved to do business, and a had a few closings under our belt, my blood pressure started to return to an acceptable level. For the first few months I stayed busy marketing the company. I didn't pay much attention to service levels or the actual processes of closing transactions, until it became obvious that I needed to do so. For about the next year, that's all I focused on. It turns out having a Title Company that doesn't provide exceptional service, is the worst marketing plan ever. Which is something that even I can understand. So we made some changes, implemented policies and procedures that helped us achieve better service. During the first 2 years in business, I think we made every mistake imaginable. In the Title Business when you make a mistake, it generally involves writing checks to correct those mistakes. Fortunately for us we learned fairly quickly. Expensive lessons generally make for fast learners. Finally, one day while going thru the daily grind of trying to keep the company headed in the right direction, I received a phone call from the person who gave me my start in the Title business. He asked me if I had his desk ready. I told him that his desk had been waiting for him since we opened. We had a meeting and by the time it was over, we had become business partners. Since then we have made a lot of changes to make our transactions smoother and easier for everyone involved. Change is never easy. Particularly for a hardheaded Irishman like myself. The best change that we have made was to focus on becoming a team, who have a common goal rather than a group of individuals, who had a job to do. Since then our team has grown. Things are running smoother than ever and the future looks bright. In January we will be starting our 3rd year in business, which given the statistics of businesses that fail within the first 2 years is quite an accomplishment. To our team members: Shannon, Joe, Dinorah and Simone thank you for your hard work and diligence. To our Agents, Loan Officers and Homeowners, we thank you! We couldn't do it without you. So far this hasn't been an "easy ride" but difficult journeys often lead to the most amazing places! I know that if we can continue making the progress that we have made to date, one day, we will be an almost perfect Title Company.