There’s No “I” In Escrow
It takes a village. We know this. But, do we really?
When a real estate contract is written, the parties involved decide on a title company and often will write in their preferred escrow officer. The escrow officer is licensed with the State of Nevada Insurance Division, and may or may not have years (and years) of experience. This experience, however, is key to choosing a good escrow officer.
But, what is an escrow officer without the backing and the behind-the-scenes support of his or her assistants? The title department? Marketing? Management and leadership? And customer service? I am an escrow officer, but I am nothing without the people that work in these departments. An escrow officer is only as good as his or her colleagues in all these departments. I like to call it “team smarts.”
A knowledgeable title department is crucial to the success of the escrow staff. You may not see or talk to the people in the title department, but they are the ones who support the escrow staff in the day-to-day closing of escrows, answering property and vesting questions, as well as policy pricing. They answer questions and provide explanations regarding how recorded documents affect title to real property, either negatively or positively.
In a more sophisticated way, the title department supports the escrow staff in figuring out different ways to insure a piece of property, what best suits a buyer, and finding the most affordable insurance product for the client’s needs.
The title department, together with the customer service department, is the very basis of property research and discovery. It is only through spending years of research on various properties, that the title staff gains the knowledge on how to deal with every situation a property might be subject to. Clients need this critical information — usually quickly. Our motto is we don’t like to say no. We like to approach a situation with, “how can we make your transaction work.”
One of the most demanding aspects of leadership is to create a positive culture that engages employees at a personal level. Every company — even different departments of companies — can be like its own country, with its unique characteristics and culture. That culture is partly the product of the people who work there, and the infinite shadings of interactions that result when you bring a certain group of people together. But, it is mostly a product of leadership.
Creating an effective culture is an art — the kind of culture where people want to come to work — and where they don’t check a good portion of themselves at the door. The company can generate exceptional results and outperform competitors with great leaders. Does management have your back? Is management present? Do you need a burning question answered stat? No one likes to be micromanaged, but knowing a manager is accessible to answer questions for a client is not only impressive, but it is also a feeling of security.
Marketing is also a tough job, but someone has to do it. A good marketing team interacts with the client and escrow officer. They respond to client complaints, and handle the escrow staff diplomatically and fairly. The marketing team creates relationships and trust, and is the source to the resource.
Nothing today is about one individual. This is all about the team, the family and relationships. In the end, doing good business is about caring for your customers, your company and the people around you. The team is the reason why the “escrow officer” (or anyone in business) can succeed and shine for their clients.
Suzanne Abbott-Silverman is an escrow officer for First Centennial Title Company of Nevada.