In our Webinar, Designing an Exit Strategy for Your Title Business, Marcus Hunt and Pat Smith of Title Success Solutions joined us to share their insight on planning for a company’s future. Both have spent years in the title industry and help owners showcase their company, value, and market share to potential investors or buyers. While some of the details are geared toward the title industry, these basic principles are relevant to any business owner. Here’s a recap of their session.
Why Succession Planning is Important
The title and real estate industry is built on relationships. Regardless of the current owner’s age, a time for the transition will come. Planning now ensures that your hard work’s legacy continues, your employees are protected, and your clients are supported.
“We have seen some sad cases, where owners of successful agencies didn’t take time to make a succession plan, to develop and devise an exit strategy and as a result, these longstanding agencies closed their doors,” laments Pat Smith.
Assessing your company
Assessing your company and setting your goals is the first step. This is an excellent opportunity to step back and take a hard look at your current operations. As title orders pile up, the daily goal is to complete them as quickly as possible using the same method you have always used. Unfortunately, this leaves little time to evaluate if a workflow or process is inefficient or if employees are utilizing tools to their full potential.
“The things just kind of happened because that’s the way they’ve always happen. Those operations may not have been well thought out,” explains Pat.
A company with robust systems that implements efficient processes to consistently execute those systems will operate better and subsequently be more profitable than a less organized counterpart.
Marcus and Pat encourage owners not to wait. “The very first thing that every agency owner has to do is decide, I’m going to do this, and I’m going to start this today,” says Pat. Waiting until the first of the month or for the busy season to slow down often means it’ll never happen.
How can a title company start to maximize its value?
After committing to making succession planning a priority, Pat and Marcus encourage owners to take advantage of these resources:
- Your underwriter
- Software vendor
- Independent consultant
“Underwriters are more than the folks who [come] in and want to audit,” explains Pat. “They have a wealth of resources available to agents through your state offices or through their education platforms. They can help you assess and analyze where you are from the top down.”
“Even if they don’t have the resource in-house, those guys typically know where to point you,” adds Marcus. It’s worth calling your representative and investigating what resources they have to help with assessing your current workflow.
Additionally, software vendors providing the backbone of your title production can supply materials and training to optimize your use of their tool. Many companies only scratch the surface and put enough effort into understanding the product’s basic capabilities to complete their necessary work. There could be some missed opportunities to leverage robust systems more efficiently.
Lastly, independent consultants can provide customized guidance. These industry consultants often work with underwriters to help develop their processes or streamline their software systems. They have a deep understanding of the title agent’s pain points and can enrich the advice from your underwriter or software vendor.
Unexpected tragic events like illnesses, accidents, or death are only some of the reasons to have a plan now. The title industry market is still ripe for acquisitions and mergers. While your company may not be primed for a purchase today, the return on investment in assessing your company will benefit you in the years to come.
Maximizing Your Title Company’s Value with PropLogix
As you prepare and review financial statements as part of implementing a transition, working with a due diligence partner for aspects of title production can help reduce overall expenses while maintaining or increasing output.
Jason Somers explains how this partnership with outside service providers helps manage their workflows and employee count without investing a fixed operations expense.
Whether selling your company is on the horizon or not, PropLogix is here to add value to your daily work life, provide resources and education to overcome your hurdles, and simplify your operations.
Watch the complete webinar with Pat and Marcus to get more insight into designing your exit strategy and implementing your plan.