Saturday, May 9, 2009

Title Company Fail

"long day. Hate fighting with title companies for a HUD"

"What's worse - Title Companies or Home Owner Associations??? Two of the same, I'm beginning to think so these days . . . . IRRITATED!!!"

"keep plugging away, keep farming. Just keep costs down. You can't even depend on title companies to help that much as before."

"i hate having to extend contracts because title companies wait till the last mnute to clear title. whats worse, having to extend mult times"

"okay, definitely hating title companies. wont close til tuesday f'sure.. and guess i have to pay closing costs now!??! hello 3k. goodbye 3k."

"Title companies suck. No urgency. Mostly in thiseconomy. Aren't they trying to keep business and a job?"

"tired of title companies that can't prepare a HUD correctly. Is it really surprising a REO has delinquent water bill buried in prop taxes?"

"Hate title companies. Hate this. Ughhhh"

So I set up a search in www.Search.Twitter.Com to tell me when the phrase “Title Companies” is mentioned in Twitter. These results feed into my Google Reader. The notes above are actual tweets I copied and pasted from that search. The timeline is between April 22nd and May 7th. While I did not copy all of them over, rest assured the others were “neutral” at best. Example: “Looking at local title companies to contact for some lead lists.” None were glowing recommendations.

Let’s get the obvious out of the way first: It is (unfortunately) not human nature to express those things we are happy about, especially on the internet. It’s the “Evening News” mentality. People are loudest when they are complaining. I didn’t expect this query to turn up “Title companies are the cog that holds society together!”

But even given that fact, it strikes me how negatively folks think of us in title. I have a little bit of insider’s knowledge having been brought up in the family title business, so I’m more than biased. I know how hard it is to own and run a title company, and also know how hard each employee in a title company works to get to closing. So why the disconnect between effort and perceived value?

The easy answer – the cop-out post – would be to ask you as a real estate agent what you think. But it’s not a real estate agent’s job to figure that out, it’s mine. So, with that, I’ll take a stab at where I believe we (as an industry) need to do a better job:

1. Set better expectations up front

2. Over-communicate

3. Pick up the phone when it rings

4. Pretend the only file we have is the one you are calling about

5. Reinforce – every day – that our internal employees have clients

I will hit each one of these in separate posts in the future to give more detail, but I believe this little 5-point “program” could help restore some faith in title companies. Like good real estate agents and lending professionals, there are some seriously great people who perform miracles every day to get deals to closing – we just need to get those stories to the forefront and make them commonplace.

So........What are your thoughts?