Today, we’re continuing to spotlight our Strategic Partners with Tom Konkel of First Integrity Title Company. Tom has had an impressive career in the title industry and is excited for his new role as a partner with First Integrity.
- Listen to the podcast “#360: Why Relationships with Your Title Company Matter” on the Denver Real Estate Investing Podcast
- Watch the YouTube video (at the bottom).
- Read the blog post. Note, the blog is an executive summary. Get the in-depth breakdown from the podcast or video.
What Is Title?
For a lot of people, title isn’t the most exciting or easy to understand part of real estate. In fact, most people only think about title when there’s a problem and it prevents them from closing on time.
While other forms of insurance protect against what could happen in the future, title insurance is focused on protecting you from the past. It ensures that lien holders and property owners have a clean title to their property and that there aren’t any access issues.
A lot of potential issues come up when purchasing a property: judgments, easements, even child support and divorces, that could affect ownership of the property.
Title is all about making sure the buyer knows what they’re getting a marketable title.
How I Know First Integrity
Funny story: The first time I met my neighbor, who’s a different partner with First Integrity, he was telling me about how he just had to write a check because the company forgot to pay property taxes on a deal. Turns out that was my deal. I’ve worked with First Integrity for 10 years, done hundreds of deals with them, and am impressed by how they own up to any mistakes and make it right.
I first started working with First Integrity when I was flipping houses. This was back when you could still buy foreclosures, and I saw that they know how to work with every type of transaction and can handle any challenges directly. They’ve helped me figure out judgements, easements, and anything else that comes up.
One time, a credit card issue on the seller’s end was preventing me from closing. My closer Dawn Alexander figured out where the card was, who owned the judgment, and how to pay it off. It didn’t even end up delaying closing.
I always choose First Integrity as my title company every time I have the opportunity because I value their dedication and attention to detail.
Tom is similarly impressed by First Integrity, and that’s why he chose to become a partner with the company.
Tom’s Path to First Integrity
Tom got into the title business by accident: he needed a job, and someone mentioned that a title company was hiring for a management trainee position. Over the years, Tom moved up through the ladder. At one point, he was in charge of all United States commercial transactions for a major underwriter.
Last September, he decided it was time to make a change. He knew First Integrity well—he tried to buy them at one point! They didn’t want to be part of a public setting, but they did want Tom to become a partner. While he could have gone anywhere thanks to his massive resume, he chose First Integrity because of the people.
What Sets First Integrity Apart?
Title policies are all the same price and provide the same product. So, what’s the difference between title companies? Relationships, value, and customer service.
First Integrity prides itself on providing these qualities to its customers. They want to get to know their customers in order to understand how they can add value to their next transaction. Title companies see every real estate transaction that takes place, which puts them in a unique position to understand all of the trends. First Integrity shares this information with their clients to ensure they have a full picture of the market.
Last year, I was closing on one of my biggest deals yet, and the attorneys picked a different title company. We were in the office for three or four hours because the notary left. It can be mind boggling how other companies do business without the attention to detail or customer service that First Integrity provides.
Since all title companies provide the same services for the same price, why wouldn’t you go with the one who puts their clients first and values their relationship with you?
First Integrity has multiple underwriters that can help a wide variety of clients with their transactions. If there’s one underwriter who doesn’t want to take on a certain risk or finds the transaction too tricky, agents can take it to another one who can get the deal done. With so much money on the line and time invested, clients want to know they can get to the closing table.
One of the things I love about First Integrity is that they send updated closing statements every day the week before closing. I feel better knowing exactly what will be in my closing documents and any changes ahead of time.
Adding the Right People to the Team
First Integrity is looking to hire people on their commercial team. But they’re not just looking for anyone; they’re very selective on who they bring on board. The most important attributes of prospective employees is how they fit in with the company culture and clients.
On the first day of interviews, Tom likes to spend time getting to know candidates. He wants to know if the candidate will be the right fit for the company before he wants to know their specific skill set.
While it may sound overly simplistic, First Integrity knows who they are and wants people who understand that going in. They aren’t going to be the biggest and compete on size. Rather, they compete on the quality they provide and the strong relationships they build with clients.
Connect with Tom and First Integrity
You can reach out to Tom directly using email, cell, or direct line. He’s happy to answer any questions you may have about title, even if you’re not using First Integrity.
You can also get in touch with Victoria Chapman, who oversees the commercial side of the business.
For their complete contact information visit their website.
Thomas L. Konkel Partner:
- Mobile: 303.358.3319
Connect with Us
We’re going to be creating a lot more content with Tom going forward. We’ll peel back all of the layers and explain more about how title works and how to add the right people to your real estate team. If you have any questions or want help finding a property, reach out to us.