In 2003, Pioneer National Title of Nevada became Ticor Title of Nevada. By then, it supported five offices in Las Vegas providing title insurance and escrow services for both residential and real estate transactions. Although Ticor is more than 100 years old, it was bought during the 1990s and its name disappeared, resurfacing in 2003 after Pioneer was purchased by Fidelity National Financial, the nation’s largest title insurer.
The following year, Ticor opened four offices in Reno, then doubled its size in Las Vegas by adding five more offices to accommodate the city’s growth. With 185 employees throughout Nevada, the company now insures hundreds of properties each month and is among the state’s leading title companies.
But such rapid growth comes at a hefty price. “We had such a hot market in 2004 and 2005 that our whole industry suffered, as far as finding talent,” said the firm’s Nevada-state president Diana Steiner, at Ticor Title in Las Vegas.
Since the products and services offered by title companies are very similar, Ticor focused on internal ways to distinguish itself. Steiner said it began making decisions at the local level to expedite the closing process, developed a comprehensive employee training program, and built a strong culture that embraces teamwork and values employee contributions.
For example, mid- to upper-level positions are mostly filled from within the organization, which has impacted its ability to recruit and retain experienced employees. Most of its staff has been with the same management team for at least five years – some as long as 10 – something unheard of in this market, according to Steiner. Each year, Ticor sponsors a company rally where everyone focuses on common goals, making it a very powerful experience. “We want our employees for life,” said Steiner. “There’s a definite growth pattern they can achieve here.”
Likewise, its management team is very hands-on, helping employees reach their own career goals. Besides Steiner, the team includes Bill Rohrbaugh, senior vice president/Clark County manager, and Jodi Grover, vice president/Clark County escrow manager.
The company is also making its mark in the commercial market. Within the last year, Steiner said it has insured hundreds of commercial projects, such as the Spectrum commercial subdivision in Las Vegas, Kerr-McGee industrial plant in Henderson and land acquisition transactions by Station Casinos in Clark County.
In Reno’s tight market, Ticor has insured Meadowood Mall, Bank of America Plaza and Boomtown Casino, as well as closing the largest land deal in Northern Nevada’s history– the Double B Barker Coleman sale of Washoe County communities to Lennar Homes. Ticor’s Reno management team includes Steve Schiller, senior vice president/Northern Nevada regional manager, and Don Polly, vice president/operations manager.
Back in Las Vegas, Ticor has captured some of the high-rise condominium business. The company closed Soho Lofts, one of the first large high-rise condo projects in the downtown area. Over the next two years, Ticor will also handle Newport Lofts and Cielo Vista, both downtown residential high-rises.
Condominium developments present different challenges than other properties because they all close virtually within the same week. In order to expedite closings within each developer’s timeframe, Steiner said her company has formed a special condo team.
Despite tight deadlines and the hundreds of financial and legal details involved in each transaction, Steiner believes title insurance is still a people business, and that Ticor will continue penetrating other markets throughout Nevada because of its unique employee culture. “Our employees buy into the fact that they are all contributing factors and essential pieces of our success,” Steiner said. “It takes a whole team of people working together to accomplish our goals.”