Researching property history, especially Texas property history, can be a daunting task. Amongst Texas's 254 counties, there is a lot of variety in terms of how property records are recorded and archived. One of the first steps to understanding the work we do at Hollerbach & Associates is understanding the basics of each county's record-keeping techniques and documentation. We want our clients to be informed on how to interpret their property history to minimize risk.
At Hollerbach & Associates, when we say that We Know Texas BetterTM, it's more than just a catchy phrase — we mean it. With our large network of Texas professionals and our 35 years of experience in title researching, how could we not? The truth is that Texas's 254 counties, with their broad variety of record-keeping practices, make title research a tricky beast to tackle — and that's why you need a company that knows Texas better.
As you know by now, the sky is falling on the mortgage industry. It has been for a few years. Nobody’s borrowing. Fewer still are lending.
But I have a secret to share. They will be borrowing (and lending) again soon. And when they do, you’ll see more business than ever in Texas. Why, you ask?
It’s hard to believe that Hollerbach & Associates opened its doors for the first time almost 3 decades ago. Now that makes me feel old! In 1985, a 30 year fixed mortgage could run some borrowers over 12 percent. Countrywide had just gone public, and the industry was on the verge of a secondary market spurred down-cycle. “Freddy” and “Fannie” did not quite mean the same things that they do today.
I guess the moral of the story is that this is a cyclical industry. Good times are always followed by bad. Bad times will always come to an end. But if I‘ve learned anything in my first 25 years as owner of Hollerbach & Associates, it’s that good business happens when one works with good people. We’ll continue to work with, and seek out, good, honest people to deliver our products. And we’re confident that this is the approach that will see firms like ours through to the next “up-cycle.” After all, it’s worked for the first 25 years.
We read a lot these days about the “consolidation” of the real estate industry. Usually, that means that the big fish are gobbling up the little fish, and that’s a natural part of business everywhere. Technology and other processes are being used to improve efficiencies. From a positive perspective, that means working smarter in an industry with historically narrow margins. For the naysayer, that means jobs are being eliminated. Both are true—such is business.
We hear a lot every day from the national trade publications that the real estate industry is “consolidating.” It’s becoming a struggle for independent, local market title and settlement services firms to compete with larger national outfits. But is this the beginning of the end for the small, local shop? I’m here to argue that it isn’t. And here’s why.