Angela Lozano, National Operations Manager & General Counsel at Title Forward, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Redfin, will be a panelist at our upcoming Future of Real Estate Summit (FORES21).
The past year has been highly unusual. As many businesses struggled to stay afloat, Title Forward maintained streamlined operations and even expanded. Lozano will join the panel on Business Resiliency in Uncertain Times to discuss how her business has weathered changes to grow during an uncertain year.
We connected with Angela before our annual event to discuss this year’s summit’s theme and the importance of resilience in 2021.
Qualia: This year’s summit theme is “Real Estate is Local.” What does “Real Estate is Local” mean to you and your business?
LOZANO: At Title Forward, we’ve expanded our geographical footprint multiple times. I’ve found that you can research and know all the rules of a state or a county, but your business likely won’t succeed without understanding the local customs. These are the things that you have to learn through conversation and meeting with agents and customers face-to-face.
For example, in Illinois, we found that while there was no law requiring attorneys to be on real estate transactions, it was a local custom that attorneys were used. Once you understand both the local customs as well as the laws and regulations, you can figure out a way to combine the two worlds so that yes, we’re abiding by all the rules and procedures, but we also account for the customs from the local people that have worked in the area.
Qualia: Title Forward provides services in 14 states. Plus, you are still growing. What playbook did you employ to understand local markets and expand to multi-state operations?
LOZANO: I wish there was a playbook. It would have probably saved me many sleepless nights. Because we are Redfin’s title company, our strategy was to follow Redfin’s geographical footprint as much as possible and focus on the purchase and sale business versus refinancing. We went little by little to learn each state.
As a Redfin company, we could also leverage Redfin’s brokerage teams. We’d meet with our local real estate agents, leaders, and managers at Redfin to understand the local nuances. Then, we talked with notaries to find out what’s happening at the closing tables. We also looked to outside vendors such as tax companies, title searchers and said, “tell us everything we need to know.”
Qualia: Your panel at FORES21 focuses on how to build a resilient organization. How do you think the pandemic changed what it means to be “resilient”?
LOZANO: The silver lining is that this pandemic has hit the fast-forward button for our industry, and it really demonstrated how important it is to be able to be remote, keep production going and do things electronically. In the day where Amazon can deliver something to your door in a matter of hours, consumers should be able to sign paperwork to purchase or sell a home just as efficiently without driving for hours or sitting in a conference room with a massive stack of papers. I think resilience is all about moving with these changes rather than against them.
Qualia: Why would you encourage people to attend FORES21?
LOZANO: I feel like Qualia has been on this progressive track and mindset for a while. And I believe Qualia is the platform that is really bringing the industry out of the antiquated, paper-based world we’ve been living in. The speed at which Qualia is growing right now is amazing. We’re just excited to be partnered with them and to share that vision of the future, and I think that’s what attendees can expect from the summit too.
To hear more about business resiliency and preparedness for change, join us for our 2nd annual Future of Real Estate Summit on Thursday, March 11, 2021.