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Boring Title: Childhood Friends

Title insurance is boring, but Allied Title & Escrow is here to decode the jargon and make it (somewhat) more interesting. This biweekly column will explore the mundane (but very necessary!) world of title insurance while sharing interesting stories of two friends’ entrepreneurial careers. 

What did two childhood friends see in the title industry to make them think there was a big opportunity and a better way to serve agents, builders, lenders and home buyers?

We (Matt Paulson and Latane Meade) have known each other since a basketball league for 7 years olds in Virginia Beach where our dads coached and sometimes got kicked out of games for yelling at 16 year old refs.

Yep, it’s true.

We always discussed different businesses and finally teamed up to start Allied Title & Escrow a couple years ago. We saw an archaic industry which we thought we could shake up.

Today’s article is what we thought could be done better and what we put in place to make sure we could achieve those goals.

As we looked at the industry, we noticed a few consistent themes with title companies:

  • On the technology front, most companies seemed to behind the ball. Websites were outdated, not mobile friendly and most companies didn’t have a social media presence and weren’t engaging with their customers.
  • Reactive (vs proactive) communication — within the industry, title companies have a reputation for being hard to get in touch with and not responding quickly.
  • On a similar note, clients could rarely get in touch with the owners of the title company if a significant issue arose.
  • Feedback from customers — title companies weren’t consistently reaching out to clients to find out how their settlement experience went and how they could get better.
  • Flexibility — many times people buying or selling a home were too busy to come to the title company for the closing during a work day.
  • Atmosphere — the old law firm office feel (mahogany wood panels) from the 90’s still held true in many cases. Sure it’s title insurance and boring but why can’t the settlement experience be fun and cool?

How did we solve or improve on the industry?

  • We hired marketing experts to help create engaging content (blogs, social media posts) where we can interact with our customers and provide them marketing ideas that can improve their sales. A mobile friendly website was an easy fix!
  • Consistent lunch and learns educating agents and builders on hot topics (eg., TOPA in DC, IZ (Inclusionary Zoning) regulations, what marketing does and doesn’t work for agents.
  • Internally, we preach over-communicating and pro-active communication with our clients (agents, builders, lenders and consumers). Whether it’s responding immediately after a contract comes in or answering questions from agents, lenders or the buyers/sellers themselves, we always try to respond timely to questions.
  • Matt and Latane provide our clients with our cell phone numbers so they can get in touch with us 24/7 if they need to. We have a great team in place who typically can solve their questions or issues but if not we are always available.
  • Continuous feedback — we continuously reach out to our clients to ask them how we did. We might not always hit the mark perfectly but by learning how we can improve and constantly making tweaks, we are always going above and beyond to make a client’s experience top notch. Click here to see our Google Reviews from actual customers.
  • We provide remote settlements and will do a settlement anytime and anywhere so buyers and sellers can continue on with their busy lives.
  • Fun office atmosphere. Raised ceilings, Silicon Valley feel, coffee and beer on tap for buyers to celebrate their new home. Click here to see our office!

Although we believe that we have built a great company and provide a great experience for our customers, we are always looking to improve. We try to follow a specific vision, mission statement and values, which you can find here.

Title Tip of the Week

How to avoid wire fraud!

Wire fraud is more and more prevalent in today’s culture. The main thing you can do to avoid wire fraud is to call the title company’s office and receive the wire instructions over the phone. You should not just accept wire instructions over email in case a scammer has hacked an email and has begun corresponding with you.

When calling the title company, search them on Google and call the phone number listed on Google or on their website. The reason you do this is in case a scammer is emailing you and telling you to call his number to get the wire instructions over the phone.

Have questions related to title insurance? Email Latane and Matt at [email protected].

Want to use Allied Title & Escrow when you buy a home? Tell your agent when you buy a house to write in Allied Title & Escrow as your settlement company!

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