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Title Company Marketing- The Emergence of the Beta Rep

Title Company MarketingI was a title rep from 2001 to 2011, 10 years of joy, frustration, stress, anxiety, did I say frustration? I worked for 5 different title companies over those 10 years – all in Phoenix, one of the most competitive real estate and title markets in the country.

I’ve met and worked with a lot of title reps over those 10 years. Great people. Let me say that again – great people. It takes a certain amount of gusto to go forward with the rejection that title reps are often subjected to. Hang ups, no shows, over promises and a ton of under delivering.

Marketing title is not easy. Being a title rep is not easy. When I first started in the title industry being a title rep was primarily a marketing position – show up, bring lunch, make a speech about your title company, your escrow officers, leave some branded literature [pens, pads, tri fold brochures about financial strength, buyers books, sellers books, for sale by owner books, listing kits] and “stuff” [coffee mugs, battery powered fans, mouse pads, golf balls etc].

That was back in the days.

When the housing market got tough, more competition forced title reps to learn more sales skills – being a title rep then became a sales & marketing position – features and benefits, the 4 P’s of marketing, why your mouse trap is bigger, better and more efficient than another title companies. Listening skills became paramount. Listen to the client, ask the right questions and they will tell you everything they like and more importantly – what they don’t about their current title company.

Fast forward to today, there is a new kind of title rep emerging. This one is a technology position.  I call them the BETA Rep

The BETA rep understands sales and marketing. They have taken numerous sales classes and mastered the Consultative Sales Approach, they know how to HELP a real estate agent realize they are the best option for their business. What makes this rep so dangerous is technology. Technology is dangerous because for the first time in a long time this rep will have tools that the real estate community not only wants and needs but will actually seek out.

While the traditional reps tools are in the trunk of their car, the BETA reps tool box is in his/her head. The BETA Rep knows how to help real estate agents get “found” online where consumers naturally turn when they have a need.  The BETA Rep knows how to use tools like WordPress, Video, SEO, SEM, Social Media for BUSINESS, IDX technology, Craigslist and more.

Change is inevitable and real estate marketing must change as well. It must change in response to a shift in consumer behavior. When is the last time you reached for the yellow pages when you needed information? Bought a physical DVD or CD? Bought a physical copy of a software? Bought a car recently? Did you do your research by calling a sales person or did you start online? Today real estate agents and title reps alike need technical skills to succeed in the real estate industry. 10 years ago you didn’t – now you do. The Beta Rep is a trend setter.

I'm Ready To Switch To You

Business is business, service is an expectation and I'm ready to learn how to use tools like WordPress, Video, Screencast, GetFoundIDX, Social Media to get found online where over 90% of consumers start their home search.
  • Feel free to tell me ahead of time what you want help with. I look forward to speaking with you.


Hi I'm Stephen Garner, I'm just a guy in the title industry {in Phoenix} trying to change how real estate agents market themselves and their services. To that end, I teach my clients HOW TO leverage sales technologies like WordPress, Content, Video, Camtasia, Final Cut X, iMovie and indexable IDX solutions to convey value and help your ideal client find you online when they are most interested in learning about you and your services. I work for escrows. Hire me!

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  • Tucker

    I sort of agree with you. Having been this “beta” rep myself, one of the things I’ve found is that if your whole company isn’t on board and involved with the online world, you’re just a lone ranger out their with your own business model. Unfortunately, this typically causes a brand disconnect for your clients. Even if your providing all of these fancy new services like websites and marketing help, a title company is ultimately not a marketing-services company (maybe that’s why you started you’re own). What I think needs to happen is title companies need to do some actual, real inbound marketing; not having sales reps doing marketing.

    The sales rep model is a broken model. We’re seeing that in both real estate and in title and in mortgage and and and. I’ve always likened it to reps being a commercial and Tevo just came out. The question is, can a title company actually be innovative, actually do real marketing, actually draw people in like what you were saying the “beta” rep does, but more the whole company does this. What are your thoughts? 

    • Stephen Garner

      Thanks for your comment Tucker. I think we are on 2 different pages. It appears you are talking about the actual title company marketing. In that respect I agree, there needs to be a concerted effort to build a brand. Consumers for the most part do not look for title companies online. You can have the most amazing inbound marketing for a title company and it wont matter if your target audience – consumers, real estate agents, lenders- are not looking for you online. That is my experience in AZ, maybe it’s different in Colorado. What I am referring to is title reps that are sought out because they can help real estate agents get found online – resulting in more business for the rep and the title company. Its been my experience that real estate agents don’t necessarily care about brand. Most of the agents I did business with didn’t care what title company I was with.

      • Tucker

        I agree with you that most real estate agents don’t care about brand and that is because there are no real differentiators and title has ultimately been commoditized in my opinion. You’re also right that title reps who legitimately help real estate and mortgage people get found online will be sought out. Unfortunately, guys like you and me are both FORMER title reps who were frustrated(as you said above) with the sales process in title. Having guys like you and me not there anymore is a model that doesn’t really work for the title company.

        Again, I think the sales rep model is just flat out a broken model. The question is then, how can a title company change their ways to more of a marketing approach where people do look for them online, or at the very least they build up and nurture their community online. And also how that marketing is not just a pitch, but is part of the overall great experience the title company has to offer. 

        How can they become the Zappo’s of the title industry where Zappo’s took completely commoditized products and built an incredible company out of being “powered by service” as their tagline says. They were and are ongoingly innovative with their marketing and their customer/brand experience. 

        If I was a title company owner, I would think very hard about the amount of time/money wasted on the old model of having “title reps” and then about how we could be innovative with our marketing and customer/brand experience in an industry that lacks it. 

        • Stephen Garner

          This is the million dollar question. The problem is, unlike Zappos there is no differentiation between one title company over another. You have 60, 100, 1000 companies all providing the same exact product. How can you build a brand around something that is not only not well understood by the consumer but is also [in most cases]  exactly the same? It makes sense to go directly to the consumer through traditional outbound means to create interest and state value like TV, Radio, Magazines etc but ultimately the trusted adviser the consumer has hired (real estate agent) will choose the title company – often times not selected by value proposition or fees but relationship.

          I am working on a few things I would love to tell you about that I believe will change the title industry significantly – launching in about 60 days. I will hit you on Twitter in about 30 days when I have something to show you. You didnt think I left the title business to sell websites – did you? The technology we are working on will be one step closer to the consumer model you referenced above.

          • Tucker

            Zappo’s does have an industry where you can can get exactly the same product anywhere. Shoes. They had to legitimately differentiate in another area. Service. and they did differentiate like crazy. I was trying to think of ways a title company could be truly innovative with service to real estate agents and consumers. Do you think this could happen??

            I am so on board with you about going direct to consumer… I was always thinking about how drug companies went direct to consumer even in an area where they didn’t have the choice! Would the tagline for title be, “ask your realtor about ….?” I have been thinking about this for a while now myself. I’d love to hear about what you’re working on! From following you for a little while now, i figured your weren’t leaving your title career for I’m sure another equally fruHow can I be of service?

  • Andrew

    I am a real estate agent and a new title sales rep in NY. Any advice on how I can use both roles to acquire more business. NY real estate is more attorney focused with the buyer’s lawyer normally picking the title company.

    • Stephen Garner

      Thanks for your question Andrew, what part of NY, I am from Central New York. To your question, title insurance is different back there compared to the west coast where it is dominated by underwriters. Back east it’s what I call mom and pop, family owned title companies run by attorneys. I’ve had enough of them, owners, office managers and real estate attorneys to know that they have the same problems – getting found on the Internet. Unlike the west coast where title insurance is largely directed by the real estate agent, it is more apt to be directed by consumers, that means PPC would be a good option. I also know from my experience with real estate attorneys that they like to speak in legal ease, there is no gray, it’s all black and white – this poses a significant problem because legal ease is confusing and extremely boring. You can help them adjust their message to the consumer level, I find 8th grade is best. You should learn everything you can about WordPress and Video and it’s role in marketing – I recommend 2 books, Purple Cow by Seth Godin and Content Rules. These two books will give you some guidance as to best practices and designing compelling messages. Ultimately, consumers go online to A: Gather Information and B: Solve a problem. You found me when you did one of these, right? getting found on the Internet begins and ends with content.