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Gathering around the table: How one title company pledges to support local community

title companies

Tucked right into the end of the home-buying process is the unique opportunity for title companies to connect with borrowers on how they can give back to the community together. 

Title companies and agents are often the last people to see borrowers before their highly-anticipated move into their new home, and they’re also invested in the well-being of the community. After all, the cornerstone of the housing industry is the local community.

This level of commitment to their hometown is why Security Title Insurance Agency continues to dedicate its time and resources to the St. Louis metropolitan area, where it has a handful of offices spread across the region.

“One of the things we’re really proud of is that we’re locally owned, and we’re supporting our community by hiring people who live in the community to work for us,” said Wendy Cromer, Security Title Insurance Agency vice president of compliance, sales and marketing. “We just feel it’s important to give back and to not just be a corporation in the community.”

Every year, Security Title tries to support at least one charitable initiative. Given how each year brings a new set of challenges or needs, like the COVID-19 pandemic for example, the charity they choose to support varies depending on the year. 

The title company also uses the various initiatives as a way to work together with their customers to give back to local causes.

“Naturally, around the holidays, we typically adopt families and buy presents for them. We also would adapt ornaments at senior citizen homes, where they would put three things that they wanted on an ornament on a tree, and then, we would fulfill those ornament wishes,” Cromer said. 

But this year brought a new set of challenges when it comes to giving back. Tightened safety restrictions made it tough to physically go in-person to volunteer, host charitable events, run marathons together for a cause and more. But even with stricter guidelines in place, it didn’t stop companies, like Security Title, from finding new, creative ways to give back.

Cromer explained that Security Title chose the St. Louis Area Foodbank as its initiative this year since food banks were really struggling due to the pandemic. The food banks were also faced with an influx in demand since schools were closed.

“During the month of May, our company donated $5 for every buyer side, seller side or refi closing that we did,” she said. 

And while the pandemic forced everyone to shift how they typically operate, the St. Louis Area Foodbank was able to adapt to the new virtual world caused by the virus and created an online food bank for Security Title since they couldn’t go in person and bring canned goods. Instead, people could go online to Security Title’s virtual food bank and purchase things like a case of green beans or a case of macaroni and cheese and pay whatever the wholesale price is. That item would then be added to Security Title’s cart that went toward the food bank.

“It was really a huge effort, and we did some internal challenges between our offices to encourage the employees to participate,” Cromer said, touching on how the group effort not only rallied employees but also got some of their clients involved in the donation process. 

In total, Security Title was able to donate $4,578.40 and provide 18,314 meals to the food bank. Another big initiative that Security Title championed with the help of their employees and customers was donating to Habitat for Humanity. 

Similar to the food bank initiative, Cromer said that they donated a flat amount to Habitat for Humanity for every closing they conducted, but with this one, they also took it a step further. Since they continuously deal with people selling their homes who have to pack up all their belongings, they encouraged sellers to donate any unwanted items to the habitat ReStore.  

“It was kind of a double way of helping to support their mission,” she said. “That was a great way to just be involved, and I think that the customers really appreciated knowing that they’re supporting the community.” 

Cromer added that they would give their customers in both drives, whether it was Habitat for Humanity or the food drives, the opportunity to donate personally over and above what the title company was doing if they wanted to. 

Whether it was customers calling in to say that they’re working with the habitat ReStore to donate their unwanted items as they move or coming together as an office to adopt a senior during the holiday season, Cromer explained that these initiatives gave them a way to support their community together. 

“All of our employees have their own causes as well, and as a company, we definitely want to support them, and their individual causes,” Cromer said. “But I always think it’s good to have a greater cause for everyone to come together and be part of. It’s fun to see what we can do as a company, how we can make change, how we can lend support and the difference we can make when we as a company and our employees come together and do something.”

“It’s truly important for any company to find some way to give back, and for every company, that’s going to look different, and that’s okay. But you have to find some way to truly engage with your community,” she said.

To read the full Oct/Nov issue of HousingWire Magazine, click here.

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