Do you own your own Title Insurance Agency? Is your real estate office participating in a “Controlled Business Arrangement” or an “Affiliated Business Arrangement”? Do you “steer” all your buyers to your “In House” title company? Do you promise your buyers that YOU have control over the process IF they use your title company but not one of their own choosing? At the end of the month do you receive a nice check for your stock ownership of the new company? Do you really have anything to do with the title company or is it just a convenient way to siphon money from the title company and profit from it.
NOW THAT’S A LOT OF QUESTIONS!!!
As an independent Title Insurance Agent for 26 years I am often asked by the Realtors, “So if I give you this deal, whats in it for me”?
- Crazily enough, amazing service is not the number one answer.
- A dedicated staff of 22 licensed professionals working tirelessly to get the deal to the table and closed is not number 2.
- Home closings, at the bequest of your buyer or borrower at any time day or night or on any day for that matter, never enters the equation.
- Electronic Signature capabilities, not on the list.
- Internet ordering,
- Combined 200 years of title experience,
- No claims,
- Policies in 30 days after closing,
And you guessed it…. NO ONE CARES!!! Cash is KING and the Mercedes monthly payment book is Queen.
There was a time that a simple thank you was enough, that a Twenty dollar bill and the offer for drinks and a little snack was great, but as a way of ending the “Illegal Kickbacks” the $20.00 honor among thieves became a 50/50 split of all profits. On it’s face this seems like an OK plan. The Realtor Broker gets to profit by 50 % of the bottom line while the title agent is guaranteed that the Realtor will push their buyers to the co-owned agency, thereby creating a symbiotic relationship.
Money is tight. Loans are hard to get. Every dollar matters. When the Government reaches the title section on the HUD1 as they have done with every other major service provider and reviews the charges, the very fact that the title agent can give away 50% of it’s profits and still be profitable should be reason enough to cut the PA premiums in half and abolish the CBA’s and ABA’s. We have argued and faught to raise the premiums because we need to have enough money for the “Brokers” half, without the title premiums, some Brokerages would not make it. Some Brokerages need the title and the mortgage profits in order to survive.
So, in the end, it may be back to business as usual, No more “partnerships” and all the parties to the transaction remaining in their own field and their own pockets. Can we all survive?