Whenever you buy or sell a piece of real estate, or even if you’re refinancing your mortgage, you’re likely to do business with a title company.
Title companies play an essential role in real estate transactions. They make sure the title to a piece of real estate is legitimate by conducting a search of records so the buyer is confident they are the rightful owner once the transaction takes place.
As part of the process, the title company also issues title insurance, which protects the lender and the owner against claims against the property.
“If you think you own your property, we make sure that’s the case,” said Trina Maurer, assistant manager at American Title & Escrow.
Title companies clarify all kinds of issues. Perhaps your neighbor has an easement across your property. Or maybe the person you’re buying a piece of property from was widowed and it’s her deceased husband’s name on the deed. A title company clears that up, as well.
Maurer notes that American Title & Escrow was the first Billings company to go paperless. Records are kept electronically, eliminating the need for large file cabinets.
Describe how you got to where you are in your job today: This has been 15 years in the making; I went to school in South Dakota and received a degree in legal assistant and paralegal studies. I started work with North American Title Co. in Denver in 2000 as an assistant and was promoted to title officer within nine months. In 2003 my family moved to Billings, where I began working at Chicago Title Insurance Co. but found my real home at American Title & Escrow. In 2006 I moved to Hardin to become the branch manager of American Title & Escrow of Big Horn County for four years. After this I returned to American Title & Escrow in Billings as the assistant manager, and I now assist in supervising four offices and 25 people.
What’s the toughest challenge that you have faced in your business? Just the changes in the past five to six years have been the biggest challenge. Our industry is consistently under pressure from several government agencies to be more efficient, more effective, more secure with our information and more aware of protecting our customers.
What did you learn from that challenge? Change is good, and when you can handle it with care and leadership, your team will stand by you and make it a pleasure.
What’s the best business advice you have received? From mistakes comes wisdom.
Who gave you that advice? Ted Lovec, our owner and president.
Here’s what I’d like to do to improve my community: There are so many things missing from our schools that could be funded in other ways than using property taxes. We should be looking at our neighboring states and how they fund so much through the state’s natural resources.
Aside from profit and loss, how do you measure success in your job? I ask myself, do I like my job? Do I look at the clock all day long? Can I laugh with my co-workers and employees? It always feels that when I can do those things, I am a better friend, a better co-worker and a better leader.
Which living person do you most admire? Sarah Palin. She faced a tough road and still put her family and faith first.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? My kids and grandson.
I’m happiest when I’m … being crafty and making gifts for friends and family. Crocheting and jewelry making are my current obsessions.