White label title insurance franchise Proliant Settlement Systems announced Friday the acquisition of Great Northern Title Insurance Agency (GNTIA) in Michigan as a franchisee.
The move expands Proliant further into Michigan, where it has close to a dozen franchise title firms. It also operates in Florida.
Proliant offers entrepreneurs an opportunity to set up their own title company, eliminating what it calls “traditional and difficult barriers” to entry into ownership. It also provides IT infrastructure experts, back-office support, and training for the franchisee.
“It’s an alternative to people who want to be title agents, and if you don’t have experience the underwriters aren’t really apt to appoint you,” said Michael Telford in an interview with HousingWire. “The process is quite arduous if you want to start it on your own. Some of our franchisees have been agents, escrow officers, and are tired of having to work for someone else and want to get out on their own.”
This was appealing to GNTIA owner Neville Nofar, who also counts Great Northern Tax and Great Northern Insurance Agency as part of his portfolio.
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“At the onset of a business, the upfront costs are exorbitant, and that’s why a lot of businesses fail,” Nofar said. “The Proliant model allows the franchisee to have a fighting change to be successful in the industry because they have streamlined the process of becoming a title agent. With their model, we can do everything with a small footprint and still be viable.”
Proliant officials said expansion into other states throughout 2021 is currently in the works.
“Every time we go into a new state we want to make sure there is enough interest, and then we have to work on our systems to make sure it adapts,” Telford said. “We want to make sure our model works for the franchisee in their home state.”
Proliant’s 11th Michigan expansion, Signature Title, opened in August 2020 in Clinton Township, Michigan. And in July 2020, Alliance Title of Michigan opened a second franchise office via Proliant in downtown Birmingham, Michigan. Alliance Title of Michigan opened its first Proliant franchise in February 2019.