This post is part of Qualia’s Future of Work Series, where we spotlight leaders who are inspiring new talent to join the real estate industry.
With a strong housing market and a major digital transformation happening in the title industry right now, the title & escrow space is ripe with opportunities to deliver new and innovative services. For a self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur like Denetria Burris, the opportunity to fill a gap and start her own title business was an enticing venture. We recently connected with Burris, a business owner, Notary Public, and Escrow Officer based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. We asked Burris about the path that led her to the title industry.
An entrepreneurial path into the title industry
Burris first discovered the title industry through one of her first endeavors as a notary. Her mother had received a notary commission, and Burris was inspired to follow in her footsteps after her mother’s death. Burris’ natural entrepreneurial spirit prompted her to create a business plan for a mobile notary service, and she started Geaux Mobile Notary, along with her co-founder, Shakita Billups. The mobile notary business quickly gained momentum with title transfers and quick claim deeds.
During her time running Geaux Mobile Notary, Burris met Myrna Arroyo, an estate planning attorney who leveraged Geaux Mobile Notary services for her own business, Myrna Arroyo LLC. At the onset of the pandemic, Burris’ natural business sense kicked in once more. She realized the need for more title businesses to support the record refinance activity and general housing market demand. So, while still running her mobile notary services, she approached Arroyo, who previously owned a title company, about becoming business partners in a new title company and changing her current business name for consistency in branding. And in 2020, that is when Progeny Title, LLC was born and Myrna Arroyo LLC became known as Progeny Law Firm.
Finding her niche
“Buying a piece of property is the biggest item people will purchase, but what comes along with that are lots of opportunities and challenges. So any time there’s chaos and lots of demand, that’s an opportunity for us to fix problems, and do it better and quicker than someone else, there’s business potential there,” said Burris.
For Progeny Title, the opportunity was with investors. Burris and Arroyo had the knowledge and expertise to help investors through the complications of the title process. Progeny Title also derives a major source of business from Geaux Mobile Notary. With so many customers requesting title transfer through Geaux Mobile Notary, Burris carved out a niche in working with cash buyers, investors and wholesalers. Working with these clients presented many opportunities for both Progeny Title for closing and Progeny Law Firm on the curative/advisory/ and estate planning side of transactions. While Progeny Title focuses on closing, Progeny Law firm focuses on real estate law, estate planning and successions contributing to synergy in services provided to their customers. Today, the majority of Progeny Title’s business comes from investors and their repeat business. Burris’s motto is “to have a few people that I do a lot for.”
Burris’ entrepreneurial spirit is constantly pushing her to evolve her business, finding new opportunities and ways to improve efficiency. She believes digital closings are the way forward and an opportunity for her business. “The pandemic taught us that we can’t go back to the way it was before. As a result, more people are becoming comfortable with technology, and adaptation is growing,” said Burris.
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