Did you know St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in more places throughout the globe than any other national festival? Show us how you celebrate!
Submit a photo of yourself enjoying a St. Patrick’s Day celebration to firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to win a prize.
Photos will be uploaded to a photo album on the Alliant National Facebook page as we receive them, and fans of the page will have a chance to vote for their favorite photo. You can invite your Facebook friends to vote for your favorite entry also.
The art of business development is identifying and creating relationships that lead to increased revenue for your business.
Relationships may include business organization memberships, partnerships between one or more entities or simply one-on-one referral relationships.
For most successful businesses, business development is a combination of all the above. Here are 10 business development activities you should be doing today.
Ask for referrals, from your clients (current and former), non-competing peers, friends, neighbors and other influencers in your network. Acknowledge your appreciation by thanking all of those who refer business to you.
Join an organization (i.e., Rotary Club, industry/trade association, local chamber of commerce, etc.) where your target clients are likely to be members.Get involved with the organization, beyond just attending meetings. Join a committee, become a leader in the organization and network often with members.Once members get to know you and build a relationship with you, they are likely to contact you when they’re ready to do business.
Become a good networker. Networking is about getting to know others and their needs so you can connect them to potential clients and influencers that will help their business grow. They will return the favor!
Become a good social networker. Create business accounts and participate in the big social media sites (LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter). Publish great content that is helpful, informative, insightful and relevant to readers. Engage with your followers.
Always carry current, clean and organized business cards in ample supply.
Use easy-to-review infographics as part of your sales arsenal. Infographics are memorable and easy for prospective clients to refer to when calling you for more details.
Remember important dates, including client business anniversaries, vacation trips, births and other important happenings in your network’s business and life. Keep a calendar to help you remember to send them a short note or bring it up in conversation when you see them.
Host an open house at your business. Invite an eclectic group of people who will benefit by meeting and conversing with each other.Think of helping others to connect with prospective clients and influencers, as well. Develop a brief welcome to “break the ice” and get the conversations started.
Have a clear understanding of your business offerings and be able to confidently and concisely share at a moment’s notice.
Be curious. Get to know your prospective and current clients, their goals, their fears and their reason for existing in business. When you know them, you are in a great position to help them.
One additional note: Remember Alliant National is a great resource to advise and educate independent agents on business development best practices.
Looking to avoid title claims related to unpaid mortgages and deeds of trust? We offer 4 tips
Our Claims Team has received various claims related to unpaid mortgages and deeds of trust. Here are two scenarios we have seen arise in the context of a claim:
The agent receives a payoff statement from the seller. The seller sends an email requesting the payoff from the lender and copies the agent on the email.
The agent relies on the email and the payoff statement to wire funds to the lender.
Later, it is discovered that the email address for the lender is fake, and the bank account receiving the payment was held by the seller, not the lender.
The agent reaches out to the lender for a payoff statement. However, the closing date is approaching, and the lender has not responded.
The seller provides the agent with a printout showing a zero-balance owed on the account. The agent contacts the lender once again for a payoff statement.
The lender confirms over the phone that a zero balance is owed. The agent closes the transaction based on these representations.
Later, it is determined the original lender confirmed a zero-balance due because the loan had been sold to another lender.
An assignment of the mortgage had been recorded, and the current holder of the notes filed to foreclose.
Here are 4 tips to help you avoid these types of claims:
Always obtain a payoff statement directly from the lender. Do not rely on payoff statements provided by other parties. Your request for a payoff should include a letter of authorization from the borrower, the loan number, the property address, the borrower’s name and your fax number or email address.
Only rely on a payoff statement sent by the current holder of the note. Check the MERS system, (if the mortgage is a MERS loan), and the public records for the last assignee.
Obtain separate payoff statements directly from each lender with an interest in the property being sold or refinanced. Do not rely on representations from the borrower or other institutions regarding the balance of a loan.
Many lawyers representing creditors record their money judgments and let escrow companies collect the judgment amount for them when the debtor sells real property.
But after a recent published opinion in Arizona applying its homestead protection laws, that practice may soon come to an end if the real property is protected by the homestead statutes.
In Pac. W. Bank v. Castleton, No. 1 CA-CV 17-0667, 2018 WL 6815531 (Ariz. Ct. App. Dec. 27, 2018), the Arizona Court of Appeals considered the effect of a $5.2 million recorded judgment on a subsequent conveyance of a personal residence by the judgment debtor to a third-party buyer.
After the close of escrow, the judgment creditor sought to collect its judgment against the buyer by filing a judicial foreclosure complaint.
Such action triggered coverage under a title insurance policy (not an Alliant National policy!) because the judgment was not listed in Schedule B.
The Arizona Court of Appeals had to decide the purely legal question: Is a recorded judgment a lien that encumbers homestead property? If so, the insured would lose its property.
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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The Independent Underwriter for the Independent AgentSM