Introduction to Holli Swanson from Instar Title

TNT Guest – Holli Swanson Hello, hello, hello. Hey, Holly, it is nice to see you today. Q Yes, so you’re in the studio and that’s kind of a big deal. We’ve been waiting for this day. There’s been a lot of things going on Covid changed, changed several items for us. And so we’re happy to be able to bring you in. So tell me a little bit about who you are and you know who you work for and find a little bit about me.

So, again, my name is Holly Swanson. I am with Instar Title here in Salt Lake, and I have been in the title industry for a while since 1997. I’m not going to say too much more about that because I don’t share my age 97, OK?

Our son was born. All right. So keep going. So you said South lake.

Yeah, we have an office in Salt Lake where we do our production. We are a very mobile based company. With the onset covered, the traditional closing platform is kind of going by the wayside. I think, Mike, I think more and more people want to be mobile. They don’t want to go into an office to close.

And we’re providing that to our clients, which is really cool.

And we’re really excited to to give that, you know, as long as I’ve been in the business, they were like, oh, like all these closings are going to be completely digitized and you’re going to be all that going on. And the technology’s been there for a period of time. So there’s been this adoption rate on it. There was something about physically, it’s like a big day.

It is a big day. And people like to have that pen in hand and put their signature on that note and take on that responsibility.

Oh, yeah. No, it’s kind of like one of those thresholds that you cross, right. And you want to go ahead and do it. Yeah. So the topic that we brought you to want to speak about today is to discuss different challenges that come up during closing. So, you know, us being real estate brokers, what happens is there’s just like issues that happen at last minute. And whatever those things are when they come up, how to kind of hold that deal together. There’s so much time, energy and effort that goes into, you know, getting a client to start with and then to find him the right home and negotiating and do all those steps.

And then all of a sudden the agent gets super close and there’s a party on the other side and then something happens. And there’s a challenge in whatever that challenge is. It’s coming down like down the pipe right at the end. Yes. And you see it from a different perspective than we do. Right. So we have certain things we deal with. But at the same time, you’re somewhere else, right? And like we forget that, you know what I mean? Like from our side, you know, trying to hold this deal together. And you also are on the other side trying to help and facilitate it. Right. You have responsibilities there, but you also have things you’re going through. So you’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly as far as that goes. So kind of tell us some things that can help us out.

Well, my buying a house, that’s the biggest thing. Anyone is going to do it pretty much in their life. That’s a big investment. And they people don’t take that lightly. So just as you said, you have things as an agent and a broker that you have to do on your side. We have things that we have to do on our side. And just like you’re trying to keep a deal together, we’re trying to keep it together as well. I think probably the biggest thing I would say is communication.

Build a team with communicate to people that you trust.

These partners are going to help your transaction go the distance. These are people that are going to communicate with you what is going on throughout the entire transaction, which I think is the most important thing. Over the years, I’ve heard agents say when I asked them what is the most important thing for you? And it’s communication and your lender partner is going to help with that. And your title partner is going to help with that.

Ok, so are you ready for a shameless plug? Let’s go ahead and take and show off your website. I think you’re here real quick and we’ll scroll over there and we’ll just kind of take a look. So tell us about this, what we’re looking at here.

Well, and our title, we started again, as I said, with the platform of we’re trying we want to be mobile. We want to service everyone in the state of Texas. We can work all 254 counties in the state of Texas. We are partnered with Fidelity. Title is our underwriter. Everybody knows Fidelity. They’re national. So we have a lot of partners that we can work with to help the transaction go smoothly. We have underwriting attorneys that we work with on a daily basis because, again, you’re going to have those challenging contracts and transactions where we have to partner with our folks. Make sure that they go smoothly.

Yeah, no communication is super important and that probably why you see sometimes you argue as an agent over where the title work is going. You have people that you know, like and trust, and it’s an important deal to you as an agent.

So working with people you know, with good people that will speak with you correctly is important and truthful information. You kind of hit on that quite a bit, right?

Yes, I think that. So for me, if, for example, if I have a sticky situation and maybe I or someone on my team dropped the ball and we missed a critical date here or something didn’t happen the way it was supposed to, you know, not be transparent, be honest, tell everybody upfront, this is where we are. This is why this happened. This is what we’re doing to fix it. Because if you, again, goes back to communication, if you communicate that it’s going to de-escalate the situation and you are being transparent and they can sometimes the agents can come back with solutions that maybe I haven’t thought of.

Yeah, it’s kind of like walking through a minefield sometimes, right? You don’t know what’s going to happen next. So it’s like just identify the landmine for everybody and be like, there’s a problem over here. And here’s what the issue is. Then you can kind of get past it. Yeah. And you’ll be able to steer clear of some problem, but you have to address whatever that is. Not disclosing certain things will only hurt you right. For your client. But in doing so, so it all has to come out, right. Absolutely. Everything.

Everything. And it will in the end, everything is going to come out in the end. So you might as well just put it out there in the beginning.

Yeah, I agree with that. You know, in the past, when I grew up in New York, they used to do this crazy thing and I’m not sure why in the world that happened, but at the attorney. So they closed an attorney. And what would happen is the buyer and the seller would sit down together at the closing table and they would all sign together.

How often does something like that just like blow up? Right. And it’s like so much better here.

It gets contentious and sometimes it’s like make sure their schedule not at the same time.
 Yeah, sure. No one sees each other major, like all of that. And that’s kind of the mobile thing.

It is. It is. And I’ve always taken the stance that I want to close my buyers and myself separately. This is a very personal transaction. Yes, there is a lot of personal and secure information on the documents that are passing in front of people. And the last thing I want is for someone to see some personal information that someone else is not comfortable with. But you put all that aside. You don’t know what has happened to lead up to closing. You don’t know. Buyers and sellers are not happy with one another. If there’s an issue between the agents, if there’s something we just don’t know.

So I think it’s easier if both parties are separate and this is their moment, the buyers. This is a big deal. I don’t want to make them share that with the sellers.

No, I agree. And they do deserve to be front and center. Are there any other things that you’d like to point out that will help you get to  a successful closing?

I think I like to say the squeaky wheel gets the grease. OK, I think that you can tell what’s going on in a situation. You can give feedback what’s going on in a situation if something’s not going right. I think that you need to speak up about it without being annoying again. Going back to communication. I think the biggest thing, Mike, is to show gratitude to those who helped you. OK, because this industry and I and I tell my assistants and I’ve told people this for years, this industry is very small. You never know who you’re going to be working with or for a year or two years, five years down the road.

So show grace, have patience. And don’t forget who helped to get there. Don’t forget who you passed on the way up the hill because you’re going to pass them on the way back down the hill. And I think the most important thing I I was told this and I thought this was a really good thing for all of us to remember, to treat the shoeshine boy as if you were the bank president, because you don’t know everyone’s situation and you don’t know who you’re dealing with. And everybody deserves that level of respect, you know, and that’s a funny one.

They’re some of our best clients have come from situations where you’re like, wow, that’s really. And it was the person that you do the least for that becomes the huge client. It’s the person that sometimes we’ve had happen, calls in and wants to look at one hundred thousand dollar home and see how you’ll deal with them for that and then turns around. It’s like actually now that we’ve looked at one and I enjoy what we’re doing and you really, truly showed me that you care. Now let’s go look at the million dollar home that we’re really qualified for and that we’re paying cash for. Right. And you’re like, oh, OK. And it just comes from kind of doing the right thing all the time in treating everybody fairly equally and like they’re human and like you would want to be treated, it goes back to a lot of the  simple basics. And that ends up working really well. Absolutely. I speak all the time and we did a lot during Farm Fest that you want to make sure that the person that you care about is an agent that matters to you. Right. And we also spoke about how Shana does a really good job to help all of our agents.

Whenever there’s a challenge that comes up and you go to Shana and you’re like, hey, I have this challenge and we need to hold this deal together, here’s the problems. Right. And that’s one of the key things that the agents kind of have access to here. So if they haven’t been with us for a long time and there are newer agent and all of a sudden they need some assistance. That’s where Shauna helps put those deals back together and she’s able to make a phone call and call the other broker and be like, hey, here’s what’s going on. Can we can we work through this and often give us a suggestion based on experience. Sure. To kind of get us past whatever those are and good industry partners do the same thing. Absolutely. So I’ll always be looking for people that care and have experience and they can help point out where that land mine is. And as long as you do those things, then you’ll have a successful closing. You are so correct. Very well put. Is there anything else that you would like to bring up?

I don’t think so. I just want to thank you for allowing me to come on this morning. I enjoyed talking about this. This is something that I know very well. There’s there’s so much about it.

And it’s again, it’s the biggest investment someone’s going to make. And it’s very important to them. And it’s important work that you guys are doing to share that. So thank you.

And then think about your commission check, because that’s also important to you as an agent. Right? You have so many closings that you’re going to have on an annual basis. Right. You go through all that effort that I discussed earlier and then all of a sudden you get to this point where statistically there’s going to be a challenge from time to time. And now when that problem comes up, what people are going to get you through that problem to a payday, because in real estate, the options are payday or no payday. Right. And it’s kind of a big deal. So you go through all that effort and you want to close, right? You want to put that money in your bank. You want to help your client get into that property that they really wanted. You want to do what’s best for them. And it comes down to great people and being able to address that in kind of tie it all together. But it does mean money in your pocket. So thank you very much for joining us.

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