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Agency Team after Unwind at ALTA One 2019

Agency Team after Unwind at ALTA One 2019

President & CEO David Sinclair

President & CEO David Sinclair

Southwest Region Agency Manager Rodney Anderson

Southwest Region Agency Manager Rodney Anderson

Compliance Officer Elyce Schweitzer and IT Director Bryan Johnson

Compliance Officer Elyce Schweitzer and IT Director Bryan Johnson

Agency Reps Mark Szenas and Tim Tillman

Agency Reps Mark Szenas and Tim Tillman

Latest Blog Posts

  • Why the Press Release Matters (and How to Write One)

    Releases serve more purposes today than they ever have before.

    A lot of independent agents know what a press release is – many even write them and distribute their press releases to regional or even national press.

    What a lot of title insurance professionals don’t necessarily understand, however, is (a) what the press release is; (b) why it pays to write one; and (c) where to send it and why.

    The mighty press release is a 1- to 2-page document that trumpets news. It tells an audience that something important has happened, usually to a company and why it is important. There are tactical elements to a press release: who is sending it; the date it is sent, the geographical place of origin (city and state); the headline and the body.

    The best press releases keep it simple: they have three to four paragraphs that tell what the news is, why that news is important, what that news means to the company and customers, and a small amount of background on the company sending the press release. Persons from whom the press release is sent are often quoted.

    Editors, reporters, TV anchors and radio broadcast people have traditionally relied upon the press release to alert them to news. Today, social media experts also use press release material to populate social media platforms and to include in inner-company and outside-company newsletters and other communication vehicles.

    The press release is actually a celebration of a company. Done right – meaning well-written, regularly sent press releases – showcase a company’s strengths and help to tell a company’s story. A new hire, a new product, a company move, surpassing growth goals – the news is virtually limitless. It need only be true and told well.

    The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) says about press releases:

    Purpose

    Releases serve more purposes today than they ever have before. They provide valuable SEO for your website, serve as a primary source of information for your investors, and help align your internal teams on critical messages — all while advising the media of important changes and events at your company.

    Content

    No more boring, text-only content on the latest corporate announcements. The press release today can be an engaging, multimedia experience. This is where you can make a journalist’s job easy and increase your changes of getting coverage by including great B-roll footage, embeddable video and compelling, high-resolution images with your release.

    Yes! B-roll can be dropped into a press release, as can YouTube links, photos, even animation.

    But there’s really no need to reinvent the wheel. Go online to a company’s website that you admire. Look at their press releases usually housed under a “News” tab. Read it and mimic it (but don’t copy and paste – that plagiarism, is unethical and opens up potential worlds of trouble).

    Take a look at some of Alliant National’s press releases:  https://alliantnational.com/category/press/. Read one or two. They are carefully written, thoughtfully edited and purposefully distributed to appropriate media.

    Feel free to follow the “formula” of a press release and then distribute to media you want to reach via email. You’ll be surprised when, done regularly and well, the attention (the good kind) your company ultimately receives.

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  • Self-fulfilling prophecy?

    One expert says fear of a recession could lead to one.

    Increasing anxieties over a recession could be the cause of the next recession, according to Analyticom President Dan Geller, developer of the theory of money anxiety.

    Geller’s theory explains that an increase in money anxiety can lower consumer confidence and cause a recession by reducing consumer consumption by just 5%. Since consumer consumption makes up about 70% of gross domestic product, a 5% reduction in spending equals 3.5% of GDP, which is greater than the projected GDP for 2019.

    In July 2019, the Money Anxiety Index was flat at 44, the same as June, but slightly higher than May’s 42.7 points. While these figures are relatively low and don’t point to an immediate recession, Geller explained that the constant hype about a recession could increase the level of money anxiety.

    “An example of how recession hype can increase peoples’ perceived anxiety and reduce their confidence in the economy can be seen in the preliminary August figures of the Michigan Survey of Consumer Sentiment,” Geller explained. “The August index decreased 6.4% from the previous month indicating that the level of consumer confidence in the economy dropped in the first couple weeks of August.”

    “Since the Michigan index is based on what people think about the economy, in the form of a questionnaire, it is highly likely that the recent recession hype influenced the respondents’ confidence about the economy,” he explained.

    Nearly half of experts surveyed by Zillow back in 2018 said they expect the next recession to begin sometime in 2020, according to the company’s Home Price Expectations Survey, a quarterly survey of more than 100 real estate experts and economists.

    Since then, the talk surrounding recession has only increased as more and more experts begin to predict a recession by late 2019 or early 2020.

    There were several dire warnings this week about the economic dangers posed by President Donald Trump’s ramped-up trade war with China.

    “On a scale of 1-10, it’s an 11,” Cowen Managing Director Chris Krueger said in a note to investors, describing the economic ramifications of the trade war. 

    In July, Zillow’s panel of more than 100 housing experts and economists said the next recession is expected to hit in 2020. A few even said it may begin later in 2019, while another substantial portion predict that a recession will occur in 2021. But unlike last time, the housing market won’t be the cause.

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  • Offering Hope, Compassion and Promise: Patrick Hagler’s Five Years With Atlanta’s Homeless Teens

    Patrick Hagler, Esq., Alliant National State Counsel-Georgia, walks the streets of Atlanta handing out blankets, hygiene kits, and gloves to any and all homeless teenagers he comes across. Doing so has been his mission and passion for over five years.

    Not only does he not ever see himself stopping this philanthropic effort, he has 2020 plans to start his own non-profit 501(c)(3) in order to broaden the scope of recipients to include everyone–women, children, and men of all ages. “I started volunteering with the group Lost and Found Youth in Atlanta five years ago,” he says. “The organization provides counseling and services to homeless youth and young adults in the Atlanta area and surrounding region. I also work their 24-hour hotline. Kids need a place to go, to find a meal, and this is an effort that helps them do that.”

    Patrick Hagler

    Why does

    Patrick do it?

    Patrick does it because he cannot help himself. “Doing street outreach with Lost and Found Youth and seeing all the people living on the streets affected me deeply and broke my heart,” he says. “You see these people, human beings, with sullen faces and desperate eyes just looking for some compassion. When it is cold in the winter and brutally hot in the summers, giving my time and spreading some love, human touch, compassion and hope is the least we can offer.”

    Some might wonder if Patrick ever felt threatened or if he ever found himself in a dangerous situation. In the five years Patrick’s been working the streets, he’s never been afraid. “Most people I have encountered welcome the support and only take what they need,” he says. “I have gone into places with some reservation, sure. But showing people you are there to help and just providing some compassion, well, any fears subside. They are living human beings that are down on their luck.”

    What began as a simple helping effort, has morphed into Patrick soliciting donations from friends and family. Those efforts now make his second bedroom a sort of ad hoc stock room. The outpouring of support from the Facebook page he currently keeps up, has been one of his biggest surprises (Loving Hands of Hope @Haglers

    “I began collecting money and then collecting hygiene kits,” he says. “We began hitting the streets, looking for kids in different locations where they typically stay.

    “What I found so often, especially when it’s cold,” he adds, “is that the men typically defer to the women and children so they get into shelters first. Literally everyone is out there.

    Hagler's donations

    “Today I have a spare room and two cars full of stuff,” he says. “And after reaching out to friends on Facebook, their friends now donate. Alliant National is also donating 150 hygiene kits. It all began as a way to give back and it’s slowly grown.”

    Patrick hopes his planned, 2020 new organization will continue to assist not only the youth and young adults that Lost and Found Youth of Atlanta serves, but to all people who never thought they would be on the streets. “One of the things I have found it that not all the people that are homeless want to be there,” he says. “They are not all deadbeats and drug addicts just living on the streets because that’s what they planned for their life. “We are all just one job loss or one bad decision from being there ourselves,” says Patrick. “There is no demographic for the homeless. They are simply trying to survive.”

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  • Why online reviews matter

    There’s been a huge shift in the way businesses receive feedback. In today’s fast-moving digital orbit, recommendations are dictated by online reviews (think Yelp, Google My Business and Facebook).

    For those willing to invest the effort, it’s clear that paying attention—and responding when appropriate—to online reviews is a powerful tool to boost credibility, authenticity and transparency.

    Learn more

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  • Congratulations Mary Ann Howard!

    Thank you Mary Ann for your legacy of professionalism and support, you will be missed.

    After more than 40 years in the title business, Mary Ann Howard has made the decision to join the ranks of those who get to wake up every day saying, “What am I going to do today?” Yes, she is officially retired.

    Mary Ann built a very successful career by always being accessible, not only to her agents, but to anyone and everyone in the industry who needed help.

    - MORE -

Company News

  • Alliant National Announces Addition of Executive Vice-President and National Agency Manager
    Anderson brings over 30 years’ experience in agency operations and leadership LONGMONT, Colo. (Feb. 20, 2020) – Alliant National Title Insurance Company, a unique title insurance underwriter that partners with independent agents to improve their competitive position in the marketplace, announces that Rodney Anderson has been promoted to Executive Vice President and National Agency Manager, effective […]
  • Alliant National Announces Hiring of David Hoffman
    Hoffman brings over 25 years’ experience in all aspects of title insurance as Assistant Vice President and State Agency Manager: Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska LONGMONT, Colo. (Feb. 10, 2020) – Alliant National Title Insurance Company, a unique title insurance underwriter that partners with independent agents to improve their competitive position in the marketplace, announces the hiring […]
  • Margaret Cook Receives Outstanding Achievement Award from the Land Title Association of Colorado
    LONGMONT, Colo. (Oct. 10, 2019) – Margaret M. Cook, Deputy General Counsel and Sr. Vice President of Alliant National Title Insurance Co., recently received an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Land Title Association of Colorado (LTAC). The award is given to honor recipients who have provided significant contributions in the title insurance industry. Meghan Pfanstiel, Executive […]

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