Over the past year, workers across all industries have reached a breaking point. Burnout is more pronounced in certain industries like tech and healthcare. Dubbed the Great Resignation, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 4 million Americans quit their jobs in July 2021.
In addition to these workers giving notice, a new generation of recent college graduates are entering the workforce looking for opportunities to grow with companies that reflect their values and communities.
Regardless of your background, age, personality, or work experience, you’re likely to find an exciting in the title insurance industry. Here are some reasons why you should consider pursuing a career in this field.
What is it like working in the title and escrow industry?
If you haven’t bought a house yet, you may not be familiar with title insurance. Before a homebuyer reaches the closing table, a title company or real estate law firm researches the property’s history to confirm the person selling the property is the owner with the authority to transfer the property title. Title agents also check for any outstanding debts or liens against the property and ensure they are paid off before or at the closing.
Additionally, these professionals act as a neutral intermediary between buyers and sellers and set up escrow accounts to transfer funds.
Clearing title defects and settling funds are the primary responsibility of the title company, but within each organization, there are many roles requiring different skillsets and personalities. There’s a need for people with high attention to detail, a love of customer service, and creative problem-solving.
Do you have the personality traits to succeed in the title industry? Listen to this podcast episode to find out.
No college degree to start
You don’t need a college degree to get started in the title industry, but you do need a willingness to learn. Entry-level jobs in title operations and administration are trained on the job. Real estate is a nuanced business since each property has a unique ownership history. Each state sets the rules for how real estate transactions are conducted, so what is customary varies from one region to the next. Even within the same state, local governments heavily influence how property research is performed and what types of common issues are likely to affect a property.
Because of these local complexities, title isn’t something you can learn in college. The industry heavily relies on mentorship and one-on-one training.
While many companies are willing to train, they will be looking for some specific skills and qualifications. To set yourself apart from other candidates consider adding these items to your resume:
- Notary commission
- Computer proficiency and knowledge of MS Office
- Good research, communication, and customer service skills
- A background in real estate or understanding of the closing process
If you aren’t familiar with what a title agent does, start by learning more about the important chain of title documents they handle.
After the 2008 housing crisis, hiring and training in the title insurance industry stalled out, but now, many professionals recognize the need to ramp up recruiting with a focus on diversity and inclusion. The real estate market is hot, and homebuyer demand doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. There’s also been a refinance boom thanks to low mortgage interest rates.
To keep up with the record-breaking volume, the title industry is scrambling to find the right people to train. That’s great news for people looking to change careers or jump-start their first one.
Great pay and benefits
The national average for a worker with a bachelor’s degree is $49,900, but those without a college degree make about $37,024. Meanwhile, the national average for a title processor is $42,524, which is an entry-level position only requiring a high school diploma.
The lack of experienced title workers means that companies are willing to pay top dollar once you get some training under your belt. As more workers in mid-level positions make career moves during the Great Resignation, the title industry, like other industries, continues raising their wages in response.
More title and escrow companies are also offering better benefits and the option to work from home to attract and retain workers.
Upward mobility and career development
Some title operations are small with only a handful of employees while larger organizations consist of hundreds or even thousands of employees across the nation. Because title insurance plays a key role in every real estate transaction, there are different types of professionals supporting the business goals.
While many people get their foot in the door as a processor, file originator, or receptionist, there are countless career paths to take. Many end up in management positions, sales, marketing, accounting, or even owning their own title company.
Cindy Koebel, President & CEO of TitleSmart in Minnesota, started as a closing assistant and now owns and operates title offices in nine locations. “I went to college for one year; I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, and my mom said a title company was hiring. I had an interview. I got hired; the next day I started,” explains Cindy when asked about how she got into the title industry.
After helping others establish and run title operations for several years, she decided to take a major career leap and start her own title company. “I love the industry. I love working with especially that first-time homebuyer,” Cindy says.
Make a Positive Impact on Real Estate Transactions
While the title industry isn’t well-known to a lot of homebuyers, the impact of these professionals is far-reaching. Title insurance protects homebuyers from problems that could be costly to resolve in court or result in losing their house because of a simple clerical error.
Now is an exciting time to get involved as the industry embraces major changes. Consumers are demanding more convenient closing experiences. Industry leaders are looking for outside-of-the-box thinkers from diverse backgrounds to find solutions to daily challenges. New professionals have a chance to shape the trajectory of an industry embracing more automation and technology to better serve customers.
If you want to learn more about what it’s like working in the title industry, download our 2021 State of the Title Industry report.
Visit our careers page to learn more about how PropLogix supports title professionals.