Graphic with Rayni Scott's picture welcoming her as Underwriting Counsel for the Southwest Region and Vice President for Alliant National

Celebrating Rayni Scott

Longmont, Colo. – (April 22, 2021) – Alliant National Title Insurance Company, a unique title insurance underwriter that partners with independent agents to improve their competitive position, announces the hiring of Rayni Scott to the position of Underwriting Counsel for the Southwest Region and Vice President.

Rayni Scott is a highly skilled real estate and title insurance attorney with more than 20 years of experience. She is well-versed in real estate matters, title insurance underwriting and contracts. Rayni is a graduate of University of Mississippi and obtained her J.D. from St. Mary’s University School of Law.

Rayni’s past experiences will serve her well in her new role with Alliant National, where she will handle underwriting inquiries, draft bulletins, develop educational materials and conduct risk assessments.

“I’m excited to join the Alliant National team, particularly considering its focus on the independent agent!” says Rayni. “I’ve previously worked with many of the Alliant National team members, and I am grateful to be collaborating again with such an outstanding team of title professionals. I look forward to reconnecting with agents I’ve worked with in the past, as well as meeting and forging bonds with new agents.”

“We are so pleased Rayni has joined our team of exceptional underwriters in the Southwest Region,” says Margaret Cook, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer. “She brings a wealth of legal knowledge, industry experience and a spirit of service to the position. Rayni is well-versed in residential, commercial, multi-use and ranch land underwriting. Her depth of knowledge and affable attitude make her a perfect fit for Alliant National.” 

Outside of her work, Rayni enjoys spending time with her two sons, particularly volunteering with 4-H, their local food bank and their church. She also has an acute interest in historical archival document study, historical site visits, archeology, reading and gardening.

Alliant National distinguishes itself from competitors by combining strong underwriting capability with independent agents’ in-depth knowledge of local markets. The result is a nationwide network with deep roots in local communities, and a wealth of expertise that is flexible, nuanced, and continuously growing.

Visit alliantnational.com for additional information.

MEDIA INQUIRIES

Cathie Beck
Capital City Public Relation
e: cathie@capitalcitypr.com
p: 303-241-0805

ABOUT ALLIANT NATIONAL TITLE INSURANCE COMPANY

The Independent Underwriter for The Independent AgentSM – Alliant National believes in empowering people to thrive. The company protects the dreams of property owners with secure title insurance and partners with 500+ trusted independent title agents as a licensed underwriter in 27 states and the District of Columbia.

Graphic with Donna More's picture congratulating her on her promotion to Vice President and Senior Underwriting Counsel - Florida for Alliant National

Celebrating Donna More!

Longmont, Colo. – (May 6, 2021) – Alliant National Title Insurance Company, a unique title insurance underwriter that partners with independent agents to improve their competitive position, announces the promotion of Donna More, Senior Underwriting Counsel, to the position of Vice President – Florida.

More is a highly skilled and knowledgeable attorney who has been practicing law since 1985 and is licensed in the states of Florida, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. During her career, she has worked on the agency side of the industry, as well as in private practice.

More is certified in real estate by the Florida Bar, and is active in several committees in the Florida Bar Real Property and Probate Law Section. She is also a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-accredited professional, having received the certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

In her new role with Alliant National, More will continue providing leadership within Alliant National’s Florida underwriting department and supporting the organization’s overall operations within the region.

“It is an incredible honor to accept additional leadership responsibilities with Alliant National,” said More. “I love our Florida-based team, and it is a great joy in my life to work for an organization committed to the success of the independent agent and, by extension, the success of individuals, families and communities across the country.”

“Donna is an incredibly knowledgeable, deeply experienced and exceptionally responsive underwriter,” said Margaret Cook, EVP, General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer of Alliant National. “She is wickedly smart, conscientious, humble and kind. Donna is a valuable part of our legal team and our Florida operations, and she has earned this well-deserved recognition for her contributions to our agents’ and the company’s success.”

Alliant National distinguishes itself from competitors by combining strong underwriting capability with independent agents’ in-depth knowledge of local markets. The result is a nationwide network with deep roots in local communities, and a wealth of expertise that is flexible, nuanced, and continuously growing.

Visit alliantnational.com for additional information.

MEDIA INQUIRIES

Cathie Beck
Capital City Public Relation
e: cathie@capitalcitypr.com
p: 303-241-0805

ABOUT ALLIANT NATIONAL TITLE INSURANCE COMPANY

The Independent Underwriter for The Independent AgentSM – Alliant National believes in empowering people to thrive. The company protects the dreams of property owners with secure title insurance and partners with 500+ trusted independent title agents as a licensed underwriter in 27 states and the District of Columbia.

Closing Issues part 3

Common Closing Issues – Part III

In the final part of our series, we explore some of the remaining routine scenarios agents will face when closing real estate transactions. 

Introduction

In the first two editions of this series, we tackled several scenarios faced by agents during the real estate closing process. These issues run the gamut, illustrating how potential problems can arise even when the finish line for a transaction is in sight. In the final edition of this series, we will address the remaining issues that agents will likely deal with throughout their careers, including existing surveys, T-47 affidavits (in Texas) and lender-required conveyances.

Existing Surveys and T-47 Affidavits 

During closings, agents may need to review an existing survey and determine if it is acceptable. In Texas, per paragraph 6.C of the TREC contract, the seller is required to provide both a survey and a fully executed T-47 affidavit, and if they fail to do so, the buyer can obtain a new survey at the seller’s expense. The T-47 affidavit must have all blanks filled in and be fully executed and notarized. If it is not filled in, it can cause problems. For example, what if the seller fills in the date with the purchase date and not the date of the survey? How would agents know that no changes were made before purchasing? A new survey may be required in this case. 

Lender-Required Conveyances and Removal of a Spouse from a Contract

Sometimes lenders may require the removal of a spouse from a contract if they cannot qualify as a borrower. The spouse who agrees to this removal amendment must do so in writing. If the spouse does not join in the amendment, they may not realize their omission from the deed until later. It comes down to classification. “Non-purchasing” means they are not on the contract so they should not be on the deed. “Non-borrowing” implies they did not qualify on the note but should join in on the deed of trust to encumber both of their interests in the property.

During refinances, home equity and reverse mortgages, lenders may also require deeds moving between spouses. Customers need to know that this is not a title company requirement and they need to sign an acknowledgment. Instead, it is a lender requirement. If this difference is not discussed, it can cause issues, especially if it was a separate property and they end up getting divorced.

Closing the Gap

Lastly, agents need to address the “gap,” the difference between the date of title search (Issued Day on a Commitment) and the date records are certified as complete (Effective Date on a Commitment). A best practice is to request the title be “brought to date” when closing is scheduled and for the gap to be brought to 10 calendar days or less. After the initial commitment is issued, time passes and the gap between the Effective Date on a Commitment and the current date continues to grow.

When preparing new title work, the agent needs to review it and issue a new commitment with additional exceptions and requirements to both parties before closing. Agents should not hesitate to stop a closing if new matters come to light. Neither agents or underwriters should assume the risk for closing or insuring in the face of an unresolved issue.

 After the transaction closes, the gap will continue to grow until the closing documents – including the deed for the owner’s policy and the deed of trust for the loan policy – are recorded, which ideally occurs the same day as funding. This is the gap insurers find most concerning. In a state like Texas, for instance, claims relating to documents recorded during this particular gap are covered by the title policies for which premiums were collected at closing.

At most, the recording should not take longer than 48 hours following funding, even if that means overnighting the documents to the recorder’s office. Agents should get confirmation on the recording of their documents and retain evidence.

Conclusion

As this blog series has shown, getting a transaction fully and successfully closed has become increasingly difficult. There is no shortage of complex issues. But by being meticulous and methodical in how they execute their responsibilities, agents can successfully rise to the challenge and ensure customer satisfaction.

Pink background with hand drawn blue envelopes. The envelopes have lines indicating forward movement. In the foreground is a young women with her right index finger on her check looking to be contemplating all the envelopes.

Don’t Dismiss the Email Campaign

Email campaigns are not dead. Here are some best practices to make the biggest impact. 

Since email was invented in the 1970s, tremendous change has occurred in the marketing world. Despite this, the tried-but-true email campaign remains a rock-solid tool to get your message out, spark awareness for your services and grow your customers and prospects. Here are some best practices for putting together an email campaign that will “wow” your audience.

List Integrity

Before you start writing, you first need to dig into the quality and integrity of your list by asking yourself a simple question: Did you organically compile your contacts, or did you purchase a list?

Purchasing a list is rarely smart. For one thing, you cannot assess the validity of the contacts until you send your first campaign. Plus, the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 includes numerous rules for how companies can or cannot market via email. Violating the CAN-SPAM act can result in serious consequences, so you want to be sure you’re compliant.

Subject Lines are Crucial 

In a previous blog post, we mentioned that email subject lines are incredibly important. Remember to keep them short, with concise language. Do not use excessive capitals or unnecessary punctuation.

There are a variety of other techniques to build a great subject line around, including urgency, timeliness or special offers. It also never hurts to personalize them by tucking the recipient’s name or other personal information into the text of the subject line.

Prime the Pump 

The average person is now exposed to somewhere between 4,000-10,000 ads in any given 24-hour period.[i] Because of this, people are much less likely to respond to a cold email from a business that they do not know.

To overcome this challenge, make your email campaigns part of a larger strategy. Market only to people you know or, at the very least, people who have explicitly agreed to give you their contact information.

You should also use other marketing channels like social media to raise your prospects’ awareness of your brand. Even better, conduct personal outreach! If you have a list of contacts, reach out and connect with them on LinkedIn before sending an email. Do whatever you can to ensure that when your email shows up in their inbox, they are going to be intrigued and excited rather than annoyed and apathetic.  

Remember the Buyer’s Journey

A best practice with any marketing campaign, email or not, is to meet people where they are. Not everyone is always in the buying mindset. Instead, prospects need to be guided through the “buyer’s journey,” a multi-step process where people move from being aware that they have a problem, to considering potential solutions, to finally making a purchasing decision.

On a practical level, that means that your initial email should be conversational and helpful, sharing thought leadership or helpful advice that is not related directly to your business. After that, you can gradually transition into discussing your offer, always reinforcing how it will help solve your prospects’ problems.

To prepare for this type of outreach, make sure you have collateral that you can attach to your emails. For example, if you are raising awareness for your agency, you could include a thought leadership piece about the benefits of title insurance, before transitioning to something like a brochure that lists your services in the second or third email. Keep trickling information out and always include a strong call to action encouraging people to get in touch and talk further.

Final Thoughts 

As you might suspect, there are a variety of best practices you’ll want to implement when preparing your email marketing campaigns. In addition to what we’ve discussed here, there are a lot of additional tips that can help you also improve the visual design of your emails. Try to incorporate as many best practices as you can. After that, you’ll be in a great place to capitalize on the power of email marketing and start converting mere recipients into reliable customers.

  [i] How Many Advertisements Is a Person Exposed to a Day? (gradschools.com)

Graphic with Brenda Cannon's picture congratulating her on her promotion to Regional Counsel Florida and Senior Vice President for Alliant National

Now that’s Something to Celebrate!

Longmont, Colo. – (April 08, 2021) – Alliant National Title Insurance Company, a unique title insurance underwriter that partners with independent agents to improve their competitive position, announces the promotion of Brenda J. Cannon to the position of Regional Counsel Florida and Senior Vice President.

Cannon is a highly-skilled attorney with more than 26 years of experience in title insurance and 35 years in real estate. During her career, she has served as both Claims Counsel and Underwriting Counsel, analyzing risk, determining how to fix title defects, resolving claims, and managing outside counsel.

Cannon received her Juris Doctorate with Honors from the University of Florida College of Law where she was a member of the Law Review. She is an active member of the Florida Bar, the American Land Title Association, the Florida Land Title Association, and the American Bar Association. She is also Board-Certified in real estate law by the Florida Bar.

Cannon’s experience will serve her well in her new role with Alliant National, where she will continue leading and expanding Alliant National’s Florida underwriting department and working with the rest of the Florida team to support the ongoing, explosive growth of the organization in the region.

“I’m excited to continue my work leading our wonderful underwriters in the Florida-area,” said Cannon. “Alliant National is currently experiencing a period of exciting and rapid growth, and it is an honor to help our underwriting team continue to offer the best service in the industry.”

“We feel incredibly lucky to have Brenda as part of our leadership team,” said Margaret Cook, EVP, General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer of Alliant National. “Her deep understanding of the law, robust industry experience and natural leadership ability make her the ideal choice to lead and grow our underwriting operations in Florida.”

Alliant National distinguishes itself from competitors by combining strong underwriting capability with independent agents’ in-depth knowledge of local markets. The result is a nationwide network with deep roots in local communities, and a wealth of expertise that is flexible, nuanced, and continuously growing.

Visit alliantnational.com for additional information.

MEDIA INQUIRIES

Cathie Beck
Capital City Public Relation
e: cathie@capitalcitypr.com
p: 303-241-0805

ABOUT ALLIANT NATIONAL TITLE INSURANCE COMPANY

The Independent Underwriter for The Independent AgentSM – Alliant National believes in empowering people to thrive. The company protects the dreams of property owners with secure title insurance and partners with 500+ trusted independent title agents as a licensed underwriter in 27 states and the District of Columbia.

This blog contains general information only, not intended to be relied upon as, nor a substitute for, specific professional advice. We accept no responsibility for loss occasioned to any purpose acting on or refraining from action as a result of any material on this blog.

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