July 2019

  • Networking: How to Reach Out to Someone Whose Career You Admire
  • TLTA's Courthouse Preservation Investment Continues
  • Round Rock Family Scammed Out of $471,000, But How Did Detectives Retrieve That Money?
  • This Texas Town Is the Most Affordable Housing Market of the Year
  • ICYMI: TDI Issues Annual Title Agent Data Call
  • Professional Voices: Celebrating TLTA's Certification Program
  • A Warm Welcome to Our Newest TLTA Members

Networking: How to Reach Out to Someone Whose Career You Admire

Dorie Clark | Harvard Business Review | July 18, 2019
We all have professional idols we’d like to meet. Sometimes we might luck into getting to say hello at a conference or having a mutual friend who can introduce us. But often, despite our suspicions that we have a lot in common with and could even be friends with our heroes, they remain out of reach.

I’ve been on both sides of the equation. Readers have emailed me about wanting to connect, and I’ve done my share of approaching people I admire without seeming like a groupie or a stalker. I’ve found four strategies to be effective in connecting with high-profile strangers, even without the benefit of a warm introduction.

Establish your credibility. When you send a networking request, it’s important to immediately set yourself apart as someone worth knowing. For instance, when I recently wrote to a prominent film director, I started the note by citing our shared alumni affiliation and — because I wanted to inquire about adapting one of his films into a musical — mentioning the prominent shows that had been created by graduates of the musical theater workshop I’m in. He responded, expressed interest in talking further, and noted that a composer friend had told him that “many exciting works have come out of this program.” By establishing your credibility up front, you make it clear that the interaction will be fruitful.

Offer value. To break through your idol’s skepticism (since the person likely gets a lot of random requests), you need to demonstrate that you understand how you can help them. That was certainly the case with one message I received the week before I was scheduled to speak in Denmark. “Copenhagen is known for being a city full of great clothing and interior design and decorations,” my correspondent wrote. “I am a fashion designer with a master’s degree in marketing and international business, and I have over 14 years’ experience working as a stylist.” 
Read More »

TLTA's Courthouse Preservation Investment Continues

Leigh Kirby, Vice President of Title & Escrow Operations and Special Projects at Lone Star Title, attended a Texas Historical Commission (THC) Stewardship Workshop in Alpine on July 16. Leigh represented TLTA and our partnership with THC by welcoming participants to the workshop.

THC hosts and organizes maintenance and stewardship training workshops for county officials and staff. Since March 2007, the Texas Land Title Association has partnered with THC as a sponsor of the annual Texas Courthouse Stewardship Workshop. The workshop is designed for counties that have received funding through the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program and have completed their projects, or are in the process of doing so. The workshop is a unique opportunity to hear from guest speakers and THC staff on the preventive maintenance challenges and solutions for historic county courthouses.

The Texas Land Title Association and its members have provided funding for the Texas Courthouse Stewardship Awards, as well as the Texas Courthouse Stewardship Workshops. On Oct. 10, 2016, TLTA received the 2015 Texas Historical Commission Governor's Award for Historic Preservation for our industry's continued support for the Texas Courthouse Stewardship Program.

Round Rock Family Scammed Out of $471,000, But How Did Detectives Retrieve That Money?

Yoojin Cho | KXAN | July 10, 2019
For one Round Rock family, almost half a million dollars of their hard-earned money disappeared in an instant, but this story has a rare happy ending.

“We are really lucky,” said Jim Jarrett. “And the only explanation I have is God. He decided we were going to be the lucky ones.”

Jim and Cheryl Jarrett said they worked hard for three decades to pay off a mortgage. “We sold our home of 29 years. We had enough cash to be able to buy the next home,” Jim explained.

He said, a week before closing, he received an email from the title company about wiring them money. “It was supported that this was the title company by my realtor,” Jim told KXAN.

When they went to meet with the company in person to close, Jim said, “They said what are you doing here? Then they said we need your money. We said we already wire it to you. And they said no, we received an email from you saying you weren’t going to be here until 3 in the afternoon.”

Turns out, the email Jim received came from a scammer, and the Jarretts believe the scammer managed to trick him, the title company and the realtor by sending all of them fake emails.
Read More »
Learn More via TLTA's Cyberfraud Resources Page »

This Texas Town Is the Most Affordable Housing Market of the Year

Alcynna Lloyd | HousingWire | July 8, 2019
Housing affordability has been a major cause of concern for many homebuyers around the country. And although the era of unusually affordable housing has ended, Redfin indicates one Southern market is thriving.

According to the company’s latest analysis, El Paso, Texas, is the nation’s most affordable housing market of the year.

In this metro, 89% of homes for sale are affordable on the national median income, which currently sits around $61,400. This means that about nine out of every 10 homes are available to the housing market’s average homebuyer.

Redfin Agent Maggie Garcia said a lot of people are moving to El Paso because of the affordable quality of life.

“The cost of living has been reasonable for many years and as a result, the rest of the U.S. has noticed our border town more and more,” Garcia said. “El Paso is also home to a busy military base, Fort Bliss, which fuels our local economy by creating many jobs onsite.”

According to Redfin, income growth in El Paso has boosted affordability tremendously.

In fact, the average income in El Paso has grown by 16% from 2014 to 2017. However, income growth has increased by only 9% for the rest of Texas and 12% for the nation overall.
Read More »

ICYMI: TDI Issues Annual Title Agent Data Call

The Texas Department of Insurance has issued its call for agent statistical data. Texas Insurance Code §2703.153 requires each title insurance company and title insurance agent engaged in the business of title insurance in Texas to annually submit business data to TDI. TDI uses this data to set title insurance premium rates. This report should be completed with data generated during calendar year 2018.

You must respond to this data call using the provided instructions and forms no later than Aug. 27, 2019.  
If you are unable to download the forms or have questions about this data call, contact TDI's Joshua Fellers at 512.676.6687 or PCDataCallTitle@tdi.texas.gov
Be in compliance – TLTA can help! In the On-Time and Error-Free TDI Experience Reporting webinar on Monday, July 29, our team of experts will be on hand once again to walk you through the Texas Title Insurance Experience Report and provide a clear, basic overview for finding the information you need.

If you have concerns or questions, please call us at 512.472.6593 or email tlta@tlta.com.

Professional Voices: Celebrating TLTA's Certification Program

TLTA's Professional Certification Program is celebrating its 10-year anniversary. We launched the certification program in 2009, and since that time we have awarded 343 title professionals with one or more of our three designations.
The exams are rigorous for even the most seasoned professional, and the rewards for successfully earning certification include attracting new clients and increasing your value for employers. 
Ready to take the next step in your career? These exemplary title professionals have the answers: 

Professional Voices:
How Do You Use Your Professional Designations to Market Yourself? 

Allison Mayo,
Capital Title
"I inform my prospective clients of the designations I
have earned...and direct them to the TLTA website to see what
the designations mean to professionals and how few of the hundreds
of title professionals in Texas hold such recognition."

Brad Honn,
Envision Title
 "My designations go on every email signature, my business cards,
LinkedIn profile, etc. I wear my pins on my sport coats, and my
designation certificates hang on the wall in my
office. It’s a great conversation starter and a great way
to set yourself apart." 

Randy Pearson,
Town Square Title
"In a crowded marketplace, differentiation is critical...
Certification is validation of uncommon proficiency, and
lends instant credibility." 

Meet All Our TLTA Certified Professionals »
FAQs »
Apply Today »

A Warm Welcome to Our Newest TLTA Members

Agent Members  

Iron Crest National Title, LLC
Contact: Katrina Cotton
3300 N IH‐35, Ste. 149
Austin, TX 78705
Del Sol Title Company
Contact: Hector Phillips
11125 La Quinta, Ste. B
El Paso, TX 79936
Broadway Title, LLC
Contact: Lauri Robertson
10010 San Pedro, Ste. 101
San Antonio, TX 78216

Associate Member  

Creel Law Group, PLLC
Contact: J. Christopher Creel
4301 Westbank D, Bldg. B, Ste. 220
Austin, TX 78746

Explore our library of more than 80 On-Demand webinars and videos covering the title industry topics you need to earn continuing education credits and stay ahead of the curve on the latest industry trends.