Chamber member Sarah Neale, Branch Manager/Escrow Officer of Republic Title of Texas Inc. in McKinney, shares her business insights.

What inspired you to start your business?

To be in Collin County is just the logical next step, with McKinney growing so quickly and development happening on every corner, we knew years ago that having a McKinney location was a solid plan. We offer something different for the residential consumer, a special experience in their community. Our desire for each client is to drive by our offices after their closing, see our building and recall their experience as positive, local, and personal. We want them to think of us as a real value to the community we serve.

What services or products do you offer?

We offer full escrow and title services.

What is unique about your business?

Republic Title is a wholly-owned subsidiary of First American, but we are based in the DFW area. This means the power of a national underwriter backing us for peace of mind and security, but with local underwriting and decision-making that allows us to close a transaction quickly and effectively. There’s not a “chain of command” we have to go through to get an approval to close a deal, we use in-house counsel and every business decision is just a quick phone call away. This makes a big difference when trying to close the more complex sales. I think it really sets us apart to be able to work directly with one another, regardless of our position in the company, to get results.

What obstacles did you have to overcome to get where are today?

Our main obstacle has always been (and will always be) the market fluctuations that come with an ever-changing economy. There are several ways to look at it, but the main thing we’ve learned over time is don’t panic, things will be okay! There will always be bull and bear markets, there will always be better selling seasons than others. We had to decide how we want to react to the changes, and a long time ago we chose to just focus on serving the customers and the real estate community at large. If we focus on serving our clients no matter what the current real estate market feels like, we come out the other side with long-lasting relationships, which is paramount.

What methods have you used to grow your business?

Republic Title has been incredibly involved with giving back to the community through the years. Right now, we are hosting a school supply drive to donate to area schools and students in need. Donations can be dropped off at our office at 6051 Virginia Parkway through August 10th. Also, in the spirit of back-to-school time, we want to celebrate the extra special teachers in our area. We are hosting a call for nominations for deserving A+ teachers through August 10th and will be giving away Visa gift cards to incredible teachers in McKinney ISD, Princeton ISD, Van Alstyne ISD, Melissa ISD and Anna ISD.

What is the secret to keeping happy customers?

Never stop earning their business! Complacency is the killer to any relationship in life or in business. Never take the loyal client for granted, never assume any contract is yours to close. Always treat your clients like it’s the first deal you’ve ever closed for them. They need to know they remain that important to you, even if you’ve helped them grow their business for years.

What is your most/least favorite thing about your business?

I can tell you I struggle the most with the administrative and technology parts of this position. I really prefer to be out in the lobby chatting with a new homeowner. I want to hear the real estate agent stories about their listings and their interesting homes for sale. I want to hear about their success closing their first deal ever. I also really enjoy the history of the work we do, searching titles and helping problem solve land issues. My favorite thing is getting to know the people that we get to serve in the area.

Where do you see your business going in the future?

Obviously, everyone talks about Collin County exploding with development. It’s an exciting time to be in McKinney. I hope to establish a larger presence here, and help the city grow into its contemporary vision while keeping a space held for the past and honor what came before.

To what do you attribute your success?

Our founders have a motto that has been passed down to all of the Republic Title employees, and I’m a big believer in it. “Take care of the customer, and the rest will follow.” I believe in it so strongly because I’ve put it into practice for almost 18 years and it’s always been true. If we simply take care of our customers, then the rest (i.e. the financial provision, the relationships, the closings, and the community involvement) will absolutely follow. Never chase the money, that is the wrong road every time.

How are you involved in the chamber and what is the effect on your business?

Republic Title McKinney has proudly been a member of the McKinney Chamber of Commerce since 1998. Employees in our office have served on several committees throughout the years including Leadership McKinney, Leadership Alumni, the Government and Legislative Issues Committee and the Women’s Alliance of McKinney. Through our involvement with the McKinney Chamber of Commerce, we have made many business connections, strengthened our relationships with others in real estate and stayed informed on what is happening in McKinney.