#182 Mail-Right Show Special Guest Scott Hoen of TitleCapture
TitleCapture The Title Quote Platform With No Long-term Contract
TitleCapture.com providing Net Sheet Calculator solutions for Direct Title Insurance Underwriters, Title Agencies, Real Estate and Mortgage Professionals. Tools to better connect with clients generating lead opportunities to grow your business.
Jonathon: Welcome back folks to the Mail Right Show. This is episode 182. We got a great special guest that`s Scott Hoen of Title Capture. Scott would you like to quickly introduce yourself to the listeners and viewers.
Scott: Yeah, thank you so much Jonathan and Robert. I’m happy that I connected with you and your podcast followers. I’ve looked at and listened to a couple of years and you guys provide a ton of value to those people who are listening to you. So I’ve been fortunate to be in the Title Insurance industry for over 25 years. I started out, for a couple of years with a title agency. And then I jumped with a major underwriter from the east coast and spent five years there. Developed a lot of the technology tools that real estate professionals use. Internet property profiles and then fidelity captured me and I was with the fidelity system for 13 years in southern California. And then work the national technology platforms that they had, like the MLS paragon platform, agent office broker office and the back office accounting systems.
Scott: And then I jumped to first American for the past eight years and started in sales management. Again working on my way all the way up into the corporate office. marketing, helping our direct sales team across the country. So quite a bit of experience working with real estate agents, brokers, mortgage professionals, attorneys. Helping them with the business and understanding what title insurance is all about. But ultimately providing the tools and systems that they could use.
Jonathon: Yes. Scott I have a little bit of experience with that technology. We are going to be talking a bit about Title Capture, why it’s a bit different than some of the other tools. And then in the second half we’re going to be talking in general on some of the trends and things Scott thinks is going to happen around technology and real estate. And I’ve got my great cohost, Robert Newman. He’s head of some few technical problems today. Can you quickly introduce yourself to the new listeners and viewers, Robert?
Robert: Sure. What if I want to take a long time though? No, I’m just kidding. My name is Robert Newman. I am the founder of Inbound Real Estate Marketing. Very similar to our guests this morning. I have got many, many years of experience inside the real estate technology sector. Specifically as it relates to online marketing. And if you want to learn more about me, you could always go to my website.
Jonathon: That’s great. So Scott tells us a bit about Title Capture and what you think of some of the things it offers that some of the competition doesn’t.
Scott: Yeah. Thank you. The platform itself, titlecapture.com has been used by right now over a thousand title agencies across the United States. And they put their closing costs, rates, fees into that to be as close and as accurate as possible when it comes to closing a transaction. So every real estate agent needs a net sheet. The buyer wants to know what the monthly payment is or what the down payment’s going to be. After all low closing costs associated with that transaction. Sellers want to know what they want to net out of the transaction. Maybe you want to compare rent versus buy in terms of that decision, what that breakeven point is.
Scott: So Title Capture is a platform that has been used in the past by real estate professionals, mortgage professionals, title agencies generate these net sheets, these closing estimates with all the associated fees in that local market area. Even down to the tax probations in terms of who pays buyer or seller or who pays buyer or seller on the title insurance side in that local market. They also just recently introduced at Inman the new tool that’s associated with Title Capture called net sheet. And that sheet.com is a way that a real estate professional can literally put a widget on their website and get connected directly to consumers. So consumers can run that net sheet them now and it ends up being a lead for the real estate professional.
Jonathon: Oh, that sounds great.
Robert: I want to make sure that I understand this, because I’m actually pretty fascinated. So if I understood, I did read the notes before the meeting today. And if I understand it correctly, if you say have a WordPress website and you’re talking to your audience about the closing costs on a transaction, you can install the widget that this site offers. And then your prospective users can go to your website, let’s say on a blog post about closing costs. And then get the actual closing costs or an estimate of the closing costs for their transaction in their particular state. Do I understand that right?
Scott: You’re right on. So when you go to netsheet.com and a real estate professional can register for free and have the tool. They’ll go into their profile, upload their photo and their contact information and then they’ll have that embed code there that they can put on their site. So the reason why a real estate professional gets it for free is when they register or sign up, they pick the title company or a title agency they work with. Because they want that company’s closing costs to come in directly to their site. They don’t have to, they can use generic estimated cost or they can build their own costs. But a lot of the agents like to directly connect with their title company. So they get that advertising branding and that’s ultimately who’s paying for it in terms of making sure that their fees are more accurately put into that closing cost estimate.
Robert: That’s pretty clever.
Scott: So it really never has been done in terms of, it’s now allowing a real estate agent to drive more traffic to the website. It’s another reason for an agent to drive traffic to their website just like you guys do. And if the buyer or seller wants to say, gosh, what would be my net? Or what would be my buyer costs in that transaction? They can fill out that quick estimate and it ends up becoming a lead for that real estate professional. So we gave them a backend tool, but a lot of people wants that data to go directly into their CRM platform. Whether it be boom town, whatever it may be. So we have some API APIs that if you want to have that conversation, we can do that too.
Robert: Okay. And you are the founder of company or?
Scott: Nope, I’ve been with Net Sheet and Title Capture for about six months. The ownership is the company’s actually located in Miami, Florida. It’s been around for five years. The president, owner, founder is Kethe Cicconi and kind of innovative in terms of getting connected to all these title agencies with their fees. Most of these small title companies across the United States don’t have real estate marketing or title websites or fee schedules like this. So it makes our job easier.
Robert: Interesting. Okay.
Scott: So it’s just a special niche, right? So it’s not the settlement software systems, it’s just the information before that transaction even starts.
Robert: Okay. And they’re pulling the data from like various title companies all over the United States and that’s how they’re getting their estimates or whatever it is. Right?
Robert: And do you have any idea how accurate it is? Like is it at 5% 10% 20% like rate of error, like margin of error when you’re getting the estimate or?
Scott: It’s probably within a couple of a hundred dollars of the actual closing costs. It can be as accurate as you want it to be. So for example, if you pick a first American relationship all over the country, we pull their title and escrow fees directly from their first American calculators. So that’s 100% accurate. So same thing with Local Republic. So some of these Api`s we have is just a hundred percent accurate to the day that their calculator is accurate too. Some of the title companies, we upload their rate schedules, but then you can get real specific. You have home warranty, have natural hazard disclosure, do you have notary fees? Do you have document recording fees? You can’t be perfect. It’s an estimate. So a lot of times you’re going to guess that hey, it may be a $200 recording fees based on the number of pages that may be in that average transaction. But it’s close and you can get as accurate as you want. So you can give consumers the choice to put in a commission rate. But then the real estate agent can say, you know what, I just want it to be 3% 3%. So it’s a total of six. But it can be as accurate as you want. And you could actually save templates. So it makes it easier.
Robert: Okay, interesting.
Jonathon: Thanks. So what`s the research has been? What`s been some of the surprises since you have been with the company?
Scott: It’s been great. So they released the net sheet tool at Inman startup alley does past a couple of weeks in New York. And the offer that ownership is being made is they’re saying we’re going to give away to the first 25,000 agents this tool. And they’ve gotten 15,000 agents already. And that means free for however long they want to use that widget. If we get past that 25,000 agent total, then an agent can get the net sheet widget on their page forever. But if they get generated more than a hundred leads a month, then I think it is $10 a month that they pay if they want to keep getting those leads. The surprising thing that we’ve found is a lot of these agents want to get the lead immediately when the address is put in.
Scott: So we’re going through some improvements within the next couple of weeks to do that. So if someone puts in an accurate address that we match when you type in Google to do that. Then we’re going to make that a lead rather than even filled out that form or not. That’s one. And the other thing obviously is everybody’s coming up saying this is great but I don’t want another CRM or another backend platform to use. Can you put my leads in Wise Agent or Top Producer or Boom Town? And the answer is yes, we met with Boomtown and there are receptive to make that happen. So it’s not that complicated for us to take our data and just dump it into their CRM.
Scott: So two good things we found out.
Jonathon: So in our pre show chat. You say that the company was originally didn’t have a lot of experience in title. What moved them into?
Scott: They came from the financial services industry and we are more on the mortgage side rather than on the direct real estate side. And they just found this niche that really has been underserved directly by the real estate agents. And when they started talking more and more to the title agents that they’ve connected to. A lot of these settlements software systems have the ability to generate a net sheet or closing an estimate, but it’s just more complicated. They make it complicated. So if you’re a title agent and you want to use and create a net sheet, a lot of times you have to use that settlement platform to open an order to do the estimate.
Scott: And then you’ve got to cancel the order or close that order. Well, you don’t want to open an order and cancel and order. It raises red flags for audit reasons, things like that. And it’s just more clicks, more. So a lot of times, let’s say a buyer is in an open house and the real estate professional wants to give them that, hey, here’s your monthly and here’s you’re closing costs. But if they wanted to kind of reverse net, say, gosh I can only afford $3,000 a month rather than $4,000 a month. What could I afford to buy? Well those estimates still need to be generated, but they needed to be generated quickly. So our tool allows them to save it and open it and revise it. And it’s also mobile optimized. It’s mobile friendly. It’s not really an APP, but you can open title capture netsheet.com on any mobile device. It’ll look just like the website and work just like the website. So they’ve been smart about it and just keeping it simple.
Jonathon: What did you think Robert? I think it was exciting. That’s why I asked Scott to come on the show. I thought it was really very, interesting.
Robert: Well, I’m actually unusually fascinated by this because and I don’t usually, wow. Every now and again I talk about my company, but part of what we do, Scott is so my company does SEO and as part of that, we often times are doing blog posts. One of my blog posts that I do for every single client in every single city is one on closing costs because we’ve discovered, I’ve discovered 12 years of being in this business. One of the things that people are searching for on Google as it relates to real estate is always what am I closing costs going to be when I close this transaction in this area? Because more and more often in the world that we live in, everybody wants all of the answers long before they get to the bargaining table. They want to know, am I going to pay 6,000 or whatever it is, whatever the number is, they want to know as close as you can get it. And so doing a blog post about all the possible fees in a particular city. And obviously you know this better than I do, even that the cities, the fees vary territory to territory, county to county, city to city. So it’s very confusing.
Scott: And who pays for what fee, right? So in some places the buyer pays for title and some places the seller pays for title.
Robert: So I’m also exceptionally fascinated, not just from an intellectual perspective, but actually depending on how the widget operates. I literally have like 20 existing clients with existing blog posts that are ranking fairly well on Google that are all talking about closing costs. And a widget like this, we’d go a long way in terms of increasing the value of the blog post. Because the more information that you can provide in today’s content marketing world, the better that piece of content probably is going to perform inside of Google. So a widget like this, which I had never heard of and I was like, is I reading that right? Do I even understand? Like, do I truly understand the concept here? And I’m fascinated.
Scott: And what we found is, I mean we do hundreds of hundreds of thousands of closing costs every month. I mean it’s probably near a million and it’s amazing how many people do that. Kind of what if analysis, right? Well what would our cost be if I bought something at 4,000? What would it be if I was at $350,000? Or just looking at the sales price. Gosh, if I sell it for 500,000 what am I actually going to cash net out of it after when I pay off my mortgage and things like that? So one thing you could do, I recommend you do Robert is. I’ve linked netsheetcalculator.com to kind of a demo site. So just go to netsheetcalculator.com and it will come up with like a sample realtor page. But you’ll see the widget in the very bottom right corner. And you can see kind of how you easily it is to navigate. So the consumer, the home buyer or seller can either get an email of the net sheet, can get a printout right then and there. And if they’re really interested, they can click on a link to say, my name and my phone number, my email address, that kind of thing.
Robert: So the net sheet character that I’m looking at something that says widget.net sheet.com forward slash demo PHP. Yeah, I’m looking at what you get, right? That’s what you’re showing me is this. So here’s the estimate.
Scott: So if you look at the very bottom right corner, it will say buying or selling. Click on that and open it up. And then you can navigate through that kind of demo or what that widget looks like. And the great thing about the widget is you can match your colors of the widget to the colors of your website too. So you can, I mean this one isn’t, but you can.
Jonathon: Oh, that’s great.
Robert: Yeah that’s really cool.
Jonathon: We going to go for our break folks. When we come back, we’re going to be discussing with Scott, some of the trends and the way he sees in general technology is going to be moving in 2019. It should be a fascinating discussion. 16:38 inaudible We will be back in a few moments folks.
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Jonathon: We’re coming back. We’ve had a fascinating discussion with Scott about Title Capture. Even Robert is impressed. So that’s how I know.
Robert: That’s great.
Scott: I’ve listened to Robert and some of his analysis good and bad analysis. Some of the Internet providers out there, whether it be the Boomtown, Real Geeks himself, Real Estate Webmasters and you know your stuff. That’s for sure.
Jonathon: Yeah, does that apply to me or?
Scott: The great thing about yours is it’s just simple. And real estate agent’s name that`s.
Jonathon: It`s not okay but we tried to keep it as reasonably usable as possible. I was successful, but I think we’ve done a reasonable job compared to some of the products out there. So Scott, what are some of the technology trends or trends in general in the real estate industry that you think you’ve noticed recently? And interesting to you?
Scott: I think two things. Seeing more and more real estate professionals go with an all-encompassing solution similar to what the two offerings you guys make. So they want to go to one place that does everything. Whether it is from the website all the way to the back end. And they’re expensive systems out there and there are reasonable systems. So I see, agents don’t want to go to here’s my CRM and here’s my website, here’s my Facebook advertising. They just want something simple that’s all integrated and well done. And I think both of you guys do that that well. And I see more of the Internet providers trying to do that, come up with that. And I see more and more of them integrating with one another in terms of data flow in and out.
Scott: That’s one thing. I see more people using the data that’s available to them, whether it is from Black Knight or core logic or first American database solutions. It just, they’re becoming more sophisticated with data and the use of data. That’s one other one. Then lastly, with all the things that are going on with the I buyer program whether it be open door, whether it be Zillow, it’ll be interesting to see if the consumer will want to pay the higher convenience commission rate. Would it be 7% 10% 12% for that transaction? I’m sure there’ll be some, and I’m sure there’ll be some market for that. When I see this bubble coming, I mean, I personally, when you look at all the cycles over the number of years and you have to try to think of what’s next, it’d be the foreclosures are going to be a downturn in the economy.
Scott: I think the next big bubble is going to be more of the baby boomers retiring or baby boomers passing on and leaving their estate or leaving their house to the younger generation. When my parents grew up and bought a house, they grow up and paid off that house and there’s a lot of hidden equity there. And when they pass on the younger generation, the millennials are going to not keep that house. They’re going to probably sell it and pay off credit card debt, student loans, whatever. So I think there’s a huge opportunity on the probate side or the living trust side. I mean, there’s, there’s a ton of property out there with value that I think it’s going to turn at some point in time. So just different markets, different ways you can approach markets. People are staying in their houses longer. So real estate agents are becoming a little bit more creative in terms of how they make that connection. What you guys do in terms of trying to reach out to those people at the BSCO or Facebook and incubate those leads and stay connected to those leads. It’s so important for real estate professionals to do that. And you just can’t turn on and quit a couple of months later. It’s a long-term game. So.
Robert: So I want to, John, do you mind if I jumped in?
Robert: I just want to run our listeners. So I’ve safely gone to the demo page that Scott directed me to and I’ve entered in my houses, the house that I live in information, the total value of the house. What I just entered in some number for the selloff fee. And so what this widget has done is it kicked out title charges, which is an escrow fee, stocking fees, dock fees, loan tying fee, messenger fees and login signup fee, all of which were maybe $500 total. Interesting thing is that the recording and transfer fees are here, which was more like 37, 24. And then it also gave me a payoff amount and that it netted me, it put into a separate bucket with the real estate agent’s commission would be, and then it put into another bucket on top of that, what the county taxes would be. Which is $5,608 in this extremely false like a demo things that I entered. And then it says at the very bottom what the net proceeds to the seller is. And at the bottom of that you have a disclaimer and then you have a, let’s talk print, email and edit.
Jonathon: Actually Robert, can you share your screen? Then when people come and watch this video now you could actually see it.
Robert: Sure, sure, sure, sure, sure. I click again.
Jonathon: At the bottom agree and share.
Robert: Yeah, well, no, because I’m actually on this ridiculous, do it out of zoom kind of thing.
Jonathon: I forgot about that sorry.
Robert: I installed it though. So let’s see if I can do it now. See, can you, allow, get rid of the adult content? Just kidding. So here we go. There we go. All right. Now here’s the demo.
Scott: We are only seeing your desktop right now.
Jonathon: We are only seeing your desktop. We’re not seeing the browser.
Robert: Hold on. How about now?
Robert: Okay, good. Okay, so then I see here that, so nobody show up to my house please. This is my address, my closing date, which is obviously just based on probably an average closing date. Like how long would it take to close? And it just meeting it at about a four.
Scott: You can set an amount for the demo. But you can set up whenever you want to be.
Robert: Okay. So I’m identifying there’s no homeowners association note property tax proration knows other seller’s expenses. And I click calculate, and this is what I was talking to everybody about this number right here. So you can see here the seller nets approximately. Here’s the sales price, the ESCO, like the fees that I was mentioning to you and the parts that I mean I’m exceptionally fascinated with this. The transfer tax that is the real estate agent’s commission. Because obviously I feel like a home owner or person getting ready to sell our home would probably want to know this stuff. Even though we all know basically what the commissions are. It’s kind of interesting to see them right in front of you. The number I think is a little bit more stark. Then when you’re entering into a negotiation, it’s like, Oh gee, I’m going to sell.
Robert: I’m going to pay somebody $40,000 and in the case where I have $500,000 of note left mortgages, essentially I’m going to net 115 which means that technically if this was a real calculation, it’s now really apparent to me that my agent is going to make $40,000. And I’m going to make 159. that would be a number that I, if I was really doing this, if it was a real example. Those would numbers that I personally would be wildly interested in. Because I’d want to know what the split was, what the state was getting, with the county was getting it would affect my decision. No doubt about it. I’m going to stop the share, but I think it’s a pretty cool widget.
Scott: You can get as specific as in your particular market area as you want. So you basically build a template and make sure that the appropriate cost for your particular local market area come in and you could change it anytime you want.
Jonathon: Great. And folks, if you join us live on their Facebook page Mail Right USA. You would’ve been able to see that demo. Or if you go to the Mail Right show at the Mail Right website. At mail-right.com, there’ll be a full set of show notes with the video. So you’d be able to see the demo. To get back to what you were saying Scott. So I buyers, what Zillow’s up to. Do you think that this is partially connected to historically a rather official market that we’ve seen for over 12, 13 years including a bubble, a very unusual bused and then semi inflation, smaller bubble by inflation again? Do you think that is one, some of the reasons for I buy and some of the other.
Scott: Maybe, maybe a little, but you know, I was interested when I attended the CEO connect at the Inman event. There was one company there that was talking about kind of his trade in program and I think he’s based in Atlanta. I’m trying to remember the name of the company. But they’ve done like, I think I was like 4,000 transactions over a relatively short period of time that basically said, hey, I want to sell my house and then I want to buy a house. And they’ve facilitated the whole transaction in terms of picked up the property. It’s almost like a trade in and they envisioned the future to be kind of like the car market kind of thing. I you want to make it easy. You want to trade in your house and go buy another one and that’s what they’re trying to do. So it even went one step further than the, I buyer program. Just interesting concept and we’ll see if that plays out.
Jonathon: But you pay you for that, don’t you?
Scott: You pay. You definitely pay. Well, it’s Robert’s point when the seller sees that amount of commission; they have to pay on selling that house. Gosh, that was at 6% probably. Gosh, what of that was 12% well, you’re not going to that very much. So maybe they wouldn’t want to do that. Then after they see it.
Jonathon: Go on Robert.
Robert: I’m sorry, I’m going to take this in a slightly different direction or I have a slightly different question. Which is, so when you partnered with this company Scott and there, because I, I have a very similar background to you. So my perception of your role is kind of like a very well connected upper echelon sales resource. Somebody that could probably figure out a way to market this broadly to the demographics that your, the technology provider is aiming for. So when you’re talking to them about coming on board and partnering with them, what was your original vision for how you were going to get this? Like what did you originally think to yourself? Like how am I going to market this product to real estate agents and brokers?
Scott: Great question. So of the 1,012 hundred agents they work with, the American Land Title Association will tell you there are probably 20,000 agents out there. Reality I think they’re more than 10 they’re probably more like 10 or 12,000 that really do the numbers. So they probably got a 10% share of the market from a title agency point of view. They weren’t in the direct title market at all. So I think there’s an opportunity in the direct title side but to connect title capture net sheet to the Boom Town, the Real Geeks, the sinks, you or Jonathan Mail Right to connect the tool to you guys. Because you guys are driving traffic to the agent’s website, which is better than an agent buying a Zillow lead for 170 or $225 that has got a 2% 4% chance of converting. You guys do a far better job getting consumers there. You just need to generate some more interest in this as a tool to do that. So to connect to your partners that you talk about all the time. That’s why I see the vision going and then who knows or maybe a sales channel with the mls directly. They started having some of those conversations. But it really is, it gets lost with the MLS. You mean you guys know how to use tools.
Robert: Gotcha. Okay. Sorry John, what were you going to say?
Jonathon: I am not as interesting as your question. We are going to wrap up the podcast part of the show folks. Scott’s agreed to stay on for another 10, 12 minutes and we’d be continuing our discussion how he sees the market and some of the new technologies. Scott, how can people find out more about you? And your product and service?
Scott: Yeah, you can reach me at my email address at scottattitlecapture.com. Or my direct cell line (714) 270-9607 or you can always go to my drift site and schedule or calendar and appointment with me. So let’s drift.me forward slash title capture and connect with me there.
Jonathon: He is an easy man to get a hold of. How can people find out more about you? And you are up to Robert?
Robert: Listen to our podcast? No, I’m just kidding. They can go to inboundrem.com. All the more information than you ever would want to know about me. And real estate technology in general is all there. Especially real estate technology platforms, which are what Scott, can get into. I do a lot of really super in depth reviews. So if any of our listeners are curious to get more information on the platforms first, that would be good place to go. But I got to say, I really, I haven’t used it and I like to use stuff before I. But I will say that in terms of technology that I’ve looked at, I’m going to throw myself under the bus here. This widget doesn’t work right, but am going to say it looks real interesting to me. And that if there are some people out there with blogs that they know are driving a lot of traffic, it’s might be something that they want to look at.
Jonathon: And folks that`s high praise. If you want go to the Mail Right website mail- right.com. There are over a hundred interviews, previous interviews. And internal shows where me and Robert talk about technology. It’s a great resource on its own. If you want to a free demo walkthrough of Mail Right. Just go to the about page. And you can book a day and time that suits you. And I will personally show you the features should say of Mail Right. And I walk you through it. And it’s not a sales call, it’s a demo. And I leave it to you to decide if Mail Right is something that you would be interested in. And we’re going to wrap up the podcast part of the show. Thanks for listening. Next week where you have a guest, so internal show, that will offer you great value to make your real estate business even more profitable for you and your family into 2019. We see you soon. Bye.