Do you guage your Title Company by their sports tickets?

By
Title Insurance with The Title Company of Jersey

I recently spoke with a very successful REALTOR about how they choose a Title Company. 

I was told right up front that he/she did not prefer the company that I work for.  Rather he/she preferred a competitor because they have great sports tickets which they would give out to induce business.

This was troubling, because we all know that it is against regulations to give anything of that value to a client to induce (or reward) business.  However, this type of practice will likely remain until the regulators decide to enforce things of this nature.

These gifts (or bribes,...if you will) are frequently used by companies which do not have the depth of experience or resources available to provide great service.  Rather, they are tactics which are used to hide an honest commitment to excellence, or an excuse for not hiring the most experienced employees. 

I really believe that the "Serious Real Estate Professional" can see through this smoke screen and chooses the Title Company which is best suited to provide the service that they and their clients REQUIRE.  

When you choose a Title Company, please consider that affiliate becaue they do the best job, not because they have great seats at the professional sports venues.

Comments (16)

The MyHomeHouston Team
Keller Williams Realty - Houston, TX

I have a local sales rep from a title company that was replaced, and his replacement called me the very same week asking to meet with me to talk.

Simply, I said, "Why?  Just keep open communication with me, have a quick turn around time for opening title and doc prep, and great personality with my client and you'll have plenty of business from me."

I agree; sports tickets are usually a sign of a lack resources to provide good service to you and your clients.        

Apr 02, 2007 03:07 PM
Roger Stensland
Keller Williams Realty Puget Sound - Maple Valley, WA
Let's Move!
Nope, I judge them on how good they make me look.  If I look good to my clients when my job is finished, then the vendors I use look good to me.  
Apr 02, 2007 04:00 PM
Tom Giansante
The Title Company of Jersey - Wildwood, NJ

Steve and Roger:

Thank you for confirming my thoughts,...there is still hope!

 

Apr 03, 2007 11:58 AM
Matt Pendleton
Realty ONE Group - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Real Estate
Return my calls, return my e-mails, and be honest with me.  That wins my business, not soft drink cozies, pens, and notepads.  Great post.
Apr 03, 2007 01:48 PM
Heather Saul
Weichert Realtors Hoey Group - Wildwood, NJ
Wow!!  It's hard to believe that they actually said that to you. How can you even respond to that??  I wonder if their customers know what is important to them?  Forget about customer service, it looks like it's all about them.
Apr 03, 2007 03:33 PM
Jan DeGiorgio
CENTURY 21 Southern Idaho Realty - Mountain Home, ID
Mountain Home Idaho Real Estate

Yikes!  In Idaho title companies are limited to business gifts or promotions of no more than $10 per year per person and the Idaho Insurance Commission enforces it.  We're lucky to get a second cube of sticky notes without having to sign a waiver.

JanDG

 

Apr 03, 2007 05:08 PM
Tom Giansante
The Title Company of Jersey - Wildwood, NJ

Matt:  That is how it's supposed to work

Heather: appalling,..isn't it?

Jan:  There are fairly strict regulations in NJ as well, and the criteria is similar.  It's just that there are Title Companies that are essentially "buying the business" while the regulators are asleep at the wheel.

It's interesting that some individuals would compromise their standards for various "give aways".  I don't know how you can justify sitting through a 3 hour settlement, or put up with a diminished service experience for a couple of tickets to a ballgame or a restaurant gift certificate, etc.... 

 

Apr 04, 2007 12:07 PM
Rob Robinson- Lehigh Valley PA
Bertrum Settlements (Title & Abstract) - Allentown, PA

After years of a relationship - would picking up the tab for a round of golf be considered unethical/illegal? 

Just curious. The cost of course can be quite significant (= to a sporting event ticket)

Apr 11, 2007 04:36 AM
Tom Giansante
The Title Company of Jersey - Wildwood, NJ

Rob:

There is a flyer which was provided by our local board of Realtors titled RESPA do's & dont's.  You may be able to view at www.REALTOR.org/RESPA . 

It states that Realtors are prohibited from accepting gifts such as payment for greens fees and tickets to a sporting event. (I wonder if a donation to a charitable organization's event would permit the invite?)

There are lots of other items included, and there are a few exceptions.  Check it out, it makes for a good read!

 

Apr 11, 2007 11:31 PM
Rob Robinson- Lehigh Valley PA
Bertrum Settlements (Title & Abstract) - Allentown, PA

Thks Tom,

I know a guy that's anxious to get out and smack some balls around. We didn't discuss greens fees at all, but I was PLANNING to just pay.  It's almost as if the guy is both a friend and a client.  Hhhmmm.....

Apr 12, 2007 12:26 AM
Anonymous
Christian

You guys should check out Southern California on RESPA violations.  It would blow your mind!  I've been in Title for 11 years and if the DOI ever decided to take a look at the Palos Verdes Peninsula they would find one particular Title Company (cough...Progressive Title) violating more than I have room here to write.  As a whole it runs ramped around here.  It's almost necessary for anyone that's new and wants to break ground as a new rep to roll in and use bribes such as this or die on the vine within six months.  My client base is loyal and have been with me for a long time.  I'm fortunate to be able to sit and watch the vultures cannibalize our industry this way.  It's pretty sick.  Good luck to you guys!

Christian Stefferud

www.MyTitleRep.com

1.866.4MY.TITLE

May 10, 2007 03:22 PM
#11
Simon Rosenzweig
Real Estate and Marketing - Lakewood, NJ

Giving sports tickets, kickbacks and what not is ridicules. The benefit of using me is my service, my commitment to helping you , and our expertise. Our benefit is NOT the Yankees, Mets, Nets, Knicks or that we pay you to do business with us! 

Best wishes for a relationship with a title company thats has the expertise and service you deserve and a sales representative that is committed to helping you with every aspect of title insurance.

Simon Rosenzweig

 

May 14, 2007 06:43 AM
Rob Robinson- Lehigh Valley PA
Bertrum Settlements (Title & Abstract) - Allentown, PA

I JUST ran into a Mortgage Broker Owner at his office last Thursday.  Had never met the guy and was waiting for one of his agents.  I heard his voice coming from his office and asked the receptionist if she could check and see if the guy had 'a minute or 2'.  Well he did.

As soon as I walked in, he was moving a jacket , held it up and said "this is what my last Title company gave me", then pointed to some artwork and said "another gave me that"..."what are you going to give me?"

I responded immediatly... "Excellent service".

He smiled, said "good answer - have a seat"  And we chatted for 30 minutes.  He said he WILL try our company.

May 14, 2007 06:56 AM
Chris Breck,
Advantage Title Company - Nationwide - Baltimore, MD
Advantage Title Company

Great post, that is one of the worst aspects of this business. Prospects that demand lunch, tickets, golf etc., are not worth it. Even if they send you business they are typically impossible to work with and constantly threaten to stop using you.  I will stick to providing good service and developing longterm relationships.

May 15, 2007 04:43 AM
Tom Giansante
The Title Company of Jersey - Wildwood, NJ

Chris, Rob, Simon & Christian:

Thanks so much for your feedback.   This sort of "business model" is becoming the standard for many of our competitiors in the area I service.  

Probably the most troubling aspect is when you see a long term relationship slip away to "THE DARK SIDE",...and you absolutely know that they are sacrificing SERVICE to do so...

However, there are still enough professionals who will not budge from their ethics and standards to keep us moving forward,....thankfully!

 

 

May 15, 2007 08:07 AM
Ann Guy
NA - Allentown, PA

It doesn't matter how many games you send me to, and how good the seats are, if you are not good at your job, I am not going to use you.  Plain and simple.  Now, and title comapny that we often used did have tickets to sporting event that they would use for current cliensts.  However, there was never any pressure to continue using them.  They did stop doing that, and we still use them.

May 16, 2007 10:21 AM