Hollerbach & Associates, an independent title research and abstract firm based in San Antonio, will celebrate its 25th year of servicing local and national clients by continuing its long standing partnership with the Texas Bankers Association. One of a select group of settlement services firms explicitly endorsed by the organization, Hollerbach & Associates enters into its INSERT year of partnership with the prestigious organization. “The Texas Bankers Association has been a trusted partner to us for a long time,” said owner Jim Hollerbach. “We’ve seen the industry change quite a bit in the past decade, from the markets to the introduction of home equity products in Texas,” he said. “But the TBA has always remained ahead of the curve, and we are happy to continue our association.”
After starting up as a small, independent title research and abstract firm almost three decades ago, only some things have changed at Hollerbach & Associates, which is celebrating its 25th year of service to the mortgage and title insurance industry in 2010. Today, the firm is larger, better-known and serves clients from around the country with title research needs in Texas and beyond. Owner Jim Hollerbach observes that the firm’s customers today include large national mortgage lenders, national vendor management companies and title insurers as well as a wide variety of Texas-based and southwestern lending institutions and mortgage companies. But other things have remained the same. The common denominator? “Texas,” answers the owner. “We’ve stuck to what we’ve always done best—title research and abstract work with emphasis on our understanding of our own backyard.” Of course, in Hollerbach’s case, the “backyard” is the greater Southwestern U.S, and the firm has done work in most of the 50 states. However, as Hollerbach observes, “Texas is a unique state with unusual and varied regulations and processes when it comes to property data,” says Hollerbach. “If one doesn’t know a county well, it’s easy to run into unanticipated delays in the search process.” The firm remains independent and family-owned 25 years later, and plans to remain so. “Our clients are happy with us and what we do—and we still love doing it!” said Hollerbach.
Sounds simple, but a good vetting process which is reviewed and updated periodically can save a lender time and money in the long run. Your partners don’t just help you deliver a loan product. They’re also your face to the borrower in many cases. Carefully qualify your new settlement services and mortgage partners, and audit them regularly. Check references. Check their tech. Then, check again. Do they know the geographic market you are asking them to service? Are they experienced with the non-traditional lines of business such as default or commercial REO—or did they just add the services when the refi boom ended? Ask your customers how that vendor is performing. A good vendor can have a real impact on your margin. The “cheaper” option may end up costing you far more down the road.Mortgage and real estate lending success begins with the little things. From time to time, we’ll let you know what we hear from our lending partners, and refresh you on the details that make a good mortgage lender great!
I know the economy isn’t hitting on all cylinders right now. I know that we all have to work a little harder these days. But I can’t help but wonder how much our economy stutters when the media chooses to focus on the negative day after day. I’ve heard that the stock market, in particular, is as much psychology as science. Investors work with numbers, statistics and….hunches. “Confidence” is so important to our economy that the Consumer Confidence Index is actually a key economic indicator. But I can’t imagine many out there feel confident in making investments or purchases right now when they’re bombarded with negative reports and, worse, commentary. This is not to suggest that the media shouldn’t cover these things. However, we all know that how it’s covered, how often it’s covered, and how it’s analyzed by the talking heads has a real impact on the viewer.I, for one, would like to hear a little good news now and then. It’s out there. We’re just not hearing about it.