Growing the Community

March 25, 2014

Richard Welshons, MLTA’s secretary-treasurer, said it’s important to build a grassroots network in each state so when a bill is introduced the industry can respond quickly and provide input. He encouraged current TAN members to invite co-workers and other industry friends to join.

“Once people join they can see the Network’s worth in the messaging they receive and how it keeps them informed,” said Welshons, who also is president of DCA Title. “Engagement is critical, but you can’t overwhelm the participants. If there’s too much info, people will tune it out.”

The more individuals that join TAN within each state, the stronger the network. Welshons encourages title professionals to start company campaigns or state-level campaigns through their state land title association—that’s a critical component of the equation.

At DCA Title, Welshons said all of his employees are TAN members and receive the action alerts. He encourages everyone to respond, not just managers.

“It’s pertinent everyone gets involved,” he added. “I can’t always take the time to explain in detail to my staff the issue at hand, but the calls to action make it easy.”

Some title company owners or managers may worry about what employees say in responses to action alerts. Marty Henschel, chair of TAN and vice president and chief title officer of Edina Realty Title, however, encourages his staff to provide comments in their own words when writing a letter.

“Members of Congress like hearing responses in the words of their constituents rather than a bunch of legalese in a form letter,” Henschel said.

Henschel and Welshons both praised the ease of the TAN system and how it connects participants with their member of Congress.

“You don’t have to go look them up and find out how to contact your legislator,” Henschel said. “It’s all on the platform.”

Leslie Wyatt, director of industry relations for SoftPro, said it’s important for vendors serving the title insurance industry to be involved with TAN as well because the software provider’s customers are impacted by regulation and legislation.

“We spend a lot of money, time and effort making sure our software and customers are compliant, so it’s important we know what’s going on,” she said.

Being a member of TAN helps Wyatt provide enhanced customer service, not just software.

“We want our staff to be educated as much as the professionals sitting at the closing table,” she said. “We had all our employees join TAN. So instead of all the information coming to me and then distributing the information, our employees get their own emails. This has made a significant change. Now, when I send an email, they already have the background and are already educated.”

Wyatt would like to see more vendors participate in TAN because there are many involved in the transaction beyond the title or settlement agent sitting at the closing table. Any person who provides a service is encouraged to join TAN to ensure the best services are provided to consumers.

“Building out the network and having more people educated is important to success,” Wyatt added.

The number of TAN members and state partners continues to grow. Through June, TAN had more than 6,000 members and 40 state partners.

“We are appreciative for the leadership these associations are providing to the development of the Title Action Network,” said Evans, past chair of TAN and president of Evans Title Agency. “Building a broader network of people gives us a more effective voice in the legislative process.”

Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or