Massachusetts Agencies

Positioning Market

Articles from The Massachusetts Focus

Newsletter of Stewart Title Guaranty Company, Massachusetts Offices
Fall 2007, Volume 6, Number 4

Positioning Market
by Craig J. Celli, Vice President and State Manager

I hope all of our readers and customers are doing well.

Stewart Title Guaranty Company here in Massachusetts has enjoyed a remarkable success over the past six months despite the challenging times before us. I believe it is because we have a rejuvenated spirit amongst our staff. We can thank you, our customers, for that rejuvenation. The loyalty and spirit upon which you have chosen Stewart Title to be your preferred underwriter is humbling. Once again…THANK YOU. If you noticed, I used the word “customer” when referring to you and not agent. An agent denotes a certain cold, legal, corporate relationship and not a “partnership.” A customer is someone that deserves action, attention and care. At Stewart Title we consider each of you our customers.

In the current real estate market, it is hard to find any agent that is doing “well” with their real estate practice. It is challenging out there and I know we all look forward to the days when the challenge will once again be about wondering how are we going to get all the work done rather than wondering how are we going to get the work in.

The current market is challenging. But with every challenge comes an opportunity. The opportunity here is to use these times to position your closing practice for the next wave of business that eventually will come. During the “boom,” there was very little time to market your firm. We were all so busy closing the loans we did not pay much attention to where the business might come from when the market eventually slowed down. Now that time is here.

My former closing practice consisted of somewhere between 30 to 40 closings per month. In this market, I am quite sure that number may have been cut in half. I was probably spending 40+ hours a week just on my closing practice, where today it would be around 20 hours. So instead of waiting around for the market to change I would be using those 20 hours to market to new mortgage brokers or banks. I would be spending time strengthening relationships with loan officers that were sending me business that I probably have not been paying the same amount of attention to. I would be reviewing, correcting and streamlining my office practices to be better prepared for busier times. I would be cleaning up title issues, tracking discharges and completing title insurance policies so that when business did pick up, I was not being bogged down by requests for the same. Most importantly, I would also be investing some valuable time with family and friends, especially those relationships that may have in some way fallen victim to craziness that was “refi boom.”

Stewart Title wants to be your “partner” while you are positioning your office for the future. Our team of local professionals is prepared to assist with the marketing with new and existing lenders. We are prepared to assist you and your staff with certain office tasks directly relate to the title insurance process. As I have said many times, to many of our agents, when I came to Stewart Title, I thought my job was simply to chase “the premium.” But what I found out, and now very much believe, is that if Stewart Title can better your life by allowing you to spend more time with your family and if Stewart Title can assist you with increasing your profits by assisting you with services related to the industry, then “the premium” will follow. I believe that with all my heart and mind and each day we will try to deliver on those thoughts.

Thank you again for your loyalty and business. In a very short time, Stewart Title has transformed itself into the title insurance company of TODAY and TOMORROW. Trust in our efforts and together we will enjoy tremendous success.

Have a great fall. Go Sox and Pats!