Dear TLTA members,
 
I was at TLTA recently, and as I walked from workstation to workstation visiting with TLTA staff hard at work, I was impressed by two things:

  1. The energetic pace at which our TLTA team are working to advance some of the title industry’s highest priority projects, and
  2. The eagerness with which the professionals at TLTA responded to the new initiatives I was there to discuss.
The whirl of productive activity reminded me of a quote most often attributed to Benjamin Franklin (although I’ve heard it attributed to Lucille Ball and others):   

If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.
 
The squad at TLTA would certainly qualify as busy. Among the staff projects operational or in motion is the careful crafting of correspondence with the Texas Real Estate Commission's (TREC) Broker Lawyer Committee regarding proposed changes to the termination option language included in TREC contract forms. 

And, a year-long series of interactions with stakeholders and regulators regarding payoff statements continued with the production of this letter from TLTA to state regulators seeking the inclusion of additional information on payoff statements. 

Our TLTA crew are also knee-deep in the orchestration and production of our association’s annual education and networking events, including Land Title School of Texas , a new abstracting & examination fundamentals course scheduled May 14, our Annual Conference and Business Meeting , the South Texas Seminar , and Texas Land Title Institute next winter. Although I didn’t list them above, the education department at TLTA is also developing 2-3 live webinars per month to increase professionalism industry-wide and keep our members ahead of the curve on marketplace trends. 

Other perennial responsibilities on TLTA’s worktable are related to the continued success of TLTAPAC . If you don’t follow state politics (i.e., the election of the state office holders who govern our regulated industry) you might not be aware that the Texas Legislature is in the middle of primary election season, and the general election in November is right around the corner. Our government affairs team and grassroots specialists are working double-time to organize meet-and-greets, deliver checks, and make sure our industry’s allies know that we are ready, willing and able to do our part to help them carry our banner. 

As you probably know whether you follow politics or not, TLTAPAC investments equipped us to defeat legislation filed during the last legislative session that threatened our Texas title insurance system. Our TLTAPAC fundraising team has raised the bar with new fundraising goals this year, and they’re hard at work calling previous and potential donors – so please answer the phone when they call. If you are an existing donor, you should have already received communication from TLTA regarding renewal.

If you haven’t already done do, please consider donating to our PAC now . With sustained financial support, TLTAPAC can continue to maintain healthy, effective lines of communication with the legislators who govern our regulated industry. Then, when the next legislative challenge appears on the horizon, a strong PAC will serve as our best offense and our best defense against changes in law that could harm our profession. Be sure to take advantage of the opportunity for your company to set up a payroll deduction program for PAC contributions. Payroll deductions are simple to set up and manage, and they equip your team to invest at whatever level they can afford. Most importantly, they help us grow the number of donors who contribute to TLTAPAC – strengthening the PAC’s sustainability. To set up a program, please contact Paula Thomas

As I alluded to at the beginning of this message, in the midst of all this high-yield toil at TLTA’s office in Austin, I slowed the system down for a few minutes to discuss some new initiatives with the team. While the new ideas discussed require TLTA staff to tackle responsibilities above and beyond their normal job requirements, their response was enthusiastic, creative and 100% on board with helping advance these innovative initiatives, which could produce significant returns for our association in the years ahead.

First, our industry needs better tools to recruit young people to pursue a future with us. Among the tools TLTA staff will work to produce are simple instructions for owners and managers who aren’t sure where to start their recruiting efforts, as well as basic career path maps that could be used internally or externally. We also explored the development of pitch materials capable of helping recruits see that our industry bolsters the state’s real estate economy, giving title professionals a sense of purpose, the opportunity to connect with other powerful industries, and profitable opportunities to succeed.  

Second, I discussed with TLTA staff additional ways we could advance one of our most crucial, ongoing goals - recruiting, training and developing the next generation of title industry leaders. Included among the ideas we discussed is a leadership academy alumni reunion, a special event for young title agency owners, and an interview series to be published in TLTA publications that provide side-by-side commentary from new and seasoned title professionals. 

Finally, we touched on how to help our industry’s professionals prepare for our changing real estate and mortgage landscape. I am pleased to report we have educational opportunities in the works on this subject, and I’ll alert you when I know more.

Don’t be mistaken. The fact that I’m president of TLTA this year is not what inspired the team at TLTA to be attentive to my ideas. When we hosted a series of successful town hall meeting and membership luncheons at the end of 2019, I watched our association’s staff jump up to record new ideas shared by TLTA members we encountered on the road, and the car rides home always included brainstorming on how to implement the best of what we heard from you.  

In other words, the suggestions box remains accessible to all of us, and will remain open as long as I serve this organization. Volunteer for a committee, attend TLTA events, or just fill out this form to share your ideas with your team at TLTA; we can handle it! 

Thank you for the opportunity to serve our association this year. As I continue working with staff and members to support the continued success and health of our industry, I develop a deeper appreciation for all the good work done long before I arrived. May our industry’s strength and success continue for generations.

Respectfully,

Michael C. Savas, CTIP
President
Texas Land Title Association Texas Land Title Association