The Alimond Show

Karen Daily - Full Service Title & Escrow

December 12, 2023 Alimond Studio
The Alimond Show
Karen Daily - Full Service Title & Escrow
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

What would you do if you weren't in your current profession? This week, we have an engaging chat with Karen, a real estate attorney who almost pursued a career in music. She gives us a peek into her journey navigating the competitive world of law and real estate, and how she stays ahead of the game amid shifting markets through continuous learning and networking. 

Put on your headsets as we deep-dive into the power of video in business and how it can help build substantial relationships, whether you're in real estate or any other sector. We also pick Karen's brain on how she's built a customer service oriented team, the importance of donning a student mentality, and how to learn from mistakes to improve processes. From the benefits of being part of a community to the American Dream, join us as Karen sheds light on these topics and more. Whether you're seeking business tips or simply love a compelling story, this episode promises to be a fascinating listen. Tune in!

Speaker 1:

So what's been your experience with video stuff so far? Love it, hate it.

Speaker 2:

Oh no, I love it. It's great. It's really good to get out in front of people, because people get to know who you are as a person. They can hear your name, they can hear what other people say about you, but until they see your face and see you're talking, and then it also gives them a chance, in a way, I think, to interact with you, yeah, for sure.

Speaker 1:

Do you like it more than networking or saying, oh, yes, hands down.

Speaker 2:

Me too, hands down. My husband is great at networking. He walks into the room, he knows how to work it. I'm probably a little more introverted that way. It's really I have to really say, ok, I'm going to go do this.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you're going to hike yourself up.

Speaker 2:

Huh, yes yes, yes, all right, do the little pep talk, you know.

Speaker 1:

Got this what's been the hardest thing that you've done within your business, Like what's something like a big struggle that you've recently went through.

Speaker 2:

That's a good question. Well, the market obviously is shifting, real estate is shifting. So what do you do really quickly? Oh sorry, yes, yes, no, that's a good question. And so I'm a real estate attorney, so I sit at the table with you when you either buy or sell, explain all the paperwork, all the numbers, walk you through the process, sign the documents, things like that. So, whatever it takes to sell the house or buy the house, that's what I do.

Speaker 1:

And so, now that the market is shifting, Right.

Speaker 2:

So it's learning new ways to get the message out to consumers that, hey, it's still a good time to buy. You know, don't be alarmed by what you see in the news. There's lots of great opportunities out there. And then looking for those opportunities, so you, you look for them, but I think you also have to go out and be there, because then when they come up, then you're in the position to say, okay, let's take this and run with it.

Speaker 1:

Do you guys mark it like when you're doing content? Are you talking mostly to real estate agents or do you talk to the consumers?

Speaker 2:

So I do both. Actually, I do both to. I want to put the information out there so that the consumer can understand it, because a lot of times I have to remind myself hey, they don't buy or sell every day, they're not in this every day. So I have to take that step back and go okay, how can I help them get to where they need to be? And then, obviously, realtors, too. It's a great way to educate realtors. Hey, this is what we're seeing. These are issues that we see that we overcome. Here's how you can overcome and provide these tools for your clients.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, how are you liking it so far? I love it yeah it's good.

Speaker 2:

It's good there's so many people that you get to meet that you wouldn't normally meet, and that's that's what I love about the job. You know, I mean everybody. Why did you become an attorney?

Speaker 1:

This is like 20 questions. Yeah, I know.

Speaker 2:

It's good. Oddly enough, it was, when I was in college, one of my professors because I have a Bachelor of Music, so my goal was to be in music performance, right. So somehow in the music industry there was something that I wanted to do. I didn't know, but I knew that's where I wanted to go. And one of my professors told me. She said Karen, I think you should consider law school because there's more opportunity for you as a lawyer. And I had never even considered that or even thought that I could be a lawyer. So I said, all right, well, I'll give it a year after I graduate and then, if nothing comes up, I'll go to law school.

Speaker 1:

So that's what I did. That's awesome. And then had you fallen to real estate because law school, you could have gone. You could have went in lots of different areas.

Speaker 2:

For sure. So when I went to law school, I was again going to be in the music industry, so intellectual property was my focus and a lot of the elective classes that I took dealt with intellectual property. Of course you had to take your basic core classes. You know criminal law, constitutional law, property, and actually property is the one that I've stuck with. Then, when I graduated from law school, it was 2002. So that was in WorldCom and Enron had their big you know, they just went belly up. So we had a slight there was a slight recession at that time finding a job pretty hard, and so the first job that came along was insurance defense. So I did that for about maybe six or seven years and then started looking for other opportunities, got with a headhunter and then got connected to a law firm that did, oddly enough, for closure law and it was right about the time that the Great Recession hit, and that's how I got into real estate and then just sort of meandered. Now, where I'm doing settlements, I'm on the other side helping people buy houses.

Speaker 1:

This is getting them taken away. Yes, yes, that was not fun. Not fun at all. If you weren't a lawyer, what would you be?

Speaker 2:

So I probably because, again, music like I grew up and I know music, I love music it's great I would probably be involved in probably concert production and promotion, because it's just such an awesome, thrilling experience to be out there putting a show together, you know, and then seeing people and just seeing them see the show through their eyes is amazing.

Speaker 2:

Dive into that? What do you mean? So I did an internship at Wolf Trap after I think it was after I graduated. It was either right after I graduated from JMU or before my senior year. So I did a summer internship. Wolf Trap is an amazing place, we all know that it was great. But one of the shows that came was Riverdance, and I think it was when they were first starting to become very popular. And I'll never forget, I worked the concession stand, I think like a couple nights, and so the first night I saw it I was like, wow, this is incredible. And then the second night, or having already seen it, I could then step back and watch the audience and then just you feel the excitement that the audience has, how they react to the show. And so since that I've worked a couple other concerts and it's been the same feeling. Just stepping back and experiencing it with the audience is incredible. That's awesome.

Speaker 1:

You like to feel like? Yes, it's this rush.

Speaker 2:

I mean some people may not, I don't know but when someone is up there and they're performing and it's, I mean I know how hard it is to get up and perform. It's hard and you know some people do it really well. Some people have to hype themselves up. You know it's okay and you can do it. You can do this right, because you're getting out there on stage and you know, in a way it's a vulnerable position right, because your music you expose. You don't realize how much you reveal through music and it's also just the common language that you can join everybody together. And so you know, I really feel that and I really appreciate when a good artist is up there and they're just really they're doing a great job and the audience is loving it. I mean it's just, it's a great experience.

Speaker 1:

It creates like a symbiotic energy or something.

Speaker 2:

It is yes, yes, yes, yeah. They feed off each other and even even like, say, if I'm in class and I'm teaching a class, you know as sometimes, as thrilling as that may sound, right, you still feel the energy from the people who are taking the class and then you feed off of that and that's you know. It makes it just a great experience for everyone.

Speaker 1:

Oh, I love that. That's so much fun In terms of like balance because you're a mom Yep, you've got some, got two boys and some athletic smart boys yes, but then also having your business like what's the what's the what's that look like for you.

Speaker 2:

So I try intentionally to carve out time for myself, and typically it tends to be early in the morning. I get up early, so I try to. How early I mean six o'clock, that's not that but when my husband is traveling and then, you know, my oldest son says hey, mom, I gotta be at school at 6.45. Wow, might be up around 5.30. You know.

Speaker 2:

But so I try to do that because I find that that really helps me to center. You know, I try to have some meditation time where I can just be quiet and have some reflection, and then I find that if I do that, it's easier to go throughout my day and handle whatever gets thrown at me. I really worked hard recently to try to say when an email comes through because I do see my emails on the weekend and I look at it and I go okay, is this something that I need to answer right now or can it wait till Monday? So I'm trying to be better about that. Sometimes I'm not, but it's really something I'm working hard on, so that way I can then focus on spending time with my boys, who right now like to watch stranger things.

Speaker 1:

So so you sit down and watch with them.

Speaker 2:

Yup, sit down and watch, cause they want me, they want me to be present and kids can tell when you're not present, you know. And then when they talk to you about things is to put the phone down and listen to what they're saying.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you know, my son can. Even my eight year old son can, even even if I don't have my phone out. If he sees me kind of doing this, like I'm thinking about something and he's telling me something, he'll just stop talking and I'll be like oh, finish your story. He's like why you weren't listening. Yeah, I'm like, you're right, I wasn't. Let's start over. I'm so sorry, right, right.

Speaker 2:

They pick up on that right. So I have to. You just have to tell yourself okay, stop and focus, even if it's right before bed and you're like you need to get in bed. Yeah, cause school's coming, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Can we both yes, really yes, yes, yes.

Speaker 2:

But I'm like I need to hear it. So I'll say, okay, let's wrap it up quickly, I want to hear what you're saying. Then we got to get to bed, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, no, that's good, yeah, so just, I don't even like to use the word balance. Right, okay, it's so trite, it's a trite word, yeah, exactly, so it's like how do you do it? So that's.

Speaker 2:

Right, how do you navigate? And some weeks are better than others. Even some days are better than others. So it's just sometimes I just say, okay, try to give myself some grace now, do it with my hands. Yeah, and my mom helps me.

Speaker 2:

And sometimes, as I go through a scenario, I think, oh my gosh, my mom went through this and she had five kids. I've got two, and just the respect that I have for her just grows because I realize if it's hard for me with two kids, it must have been so much harder for her with five kids. Yeah, did your mom work? Did she stay at home? She was, she stayed at home. My dad worked and he traveled, so oftentimes it was just her and us, and I think it was just incredible how she managed to keep the house running, make sure we got our homework done, got the school, things like that. And it's hard when you're, I think, when you're the only parent, because you have to play both roles. Yeah, you have to be the dad and then the mom, yeah, so You're a chering, and then you've got stern Ten seconds.

Speaker 2:

Yes, your teacher sent me this email. Well, they sent it to. I don't care that they sent it to everybody.

Speaker 1:

I know, you know Exactly. Yeah, I know it is. It's a fun struggle In terms of your business. Can you dive into? What does that look like? What's your day-to-day, what are you spending your time doing?

Speaker 2:

So, again, it'll depend on the market. It'll depend on the spring market. It can look a lot different from the fall and even the winter market. One of the things that we are being sensitive to right now is there's just been a lot of fraud happening and we've been seeing contracts come through where a seller's identity has been stolen. So we're learning how to become the Sherlock Holmes of real estate to investigate and go okay, is this person really who they say they are? And learning how to spot those red flags that pop up, because it's some pretty serious stuff that could happen where money can be sent to a criminal for land.

Speaker 2:

I mean, we all saw the story, I think, about the property. I think it was in Connecticut, where the land, the identity, was stolen and the property got sold twice and then the owner didn't find out about it until a house was almost finished being built. That's my property. Yes, I mean you got a funny little hole. In a way, you kind of laugh, but then the other hand, it's like, oh my gosh, that's just, that's crazy Real estate.

Speaker 2:

I think it's so unique and that's what it really drives home. Right, real estate is unique. You'll see, when you read court cases they'll say it's unique, it's not anything that can be replicated, so that's why it's valuable. And so that's why, as a title company, you have to say, all right, this is not a commodity. Right, we have to use our brains, we have to question and we have to pay attention to the details, because that could make or break a title company. If you send money to the wrong person I mean we're not talking small amounts of money here either that money doesn't belong to the title company, and so if the wrong person gets that and that could have been prevented and that comes out, I mean that could be really serious for a title company.

Speaker 2:

Yeah it's scary, it is scary it is, and it's just it really drives that point home when you're like, oh my gosh Talk to me about hiring.

Speaker 1:

Have you had your core team? You've got other people that support you. Yeah, yes, yes. How have you tell me how that process building a team has been for you?

Speaker 2:

So it's so learning how you want to find the right fit, obviously, and you want to find someone who has the understanding of this is a customer service, because it is customer service right. Someone who is eager to learn, tech savvy right, and it really has a, I think, a student mentality, because you're always learning things.

Speaker 1:

Things are always changing too.

Speaker 2:

Yes, yes, yes, you always learn something new, and someone, too, you want to look at. Do they understand the concept of being a team player? Right? Some people are really good at just solo, right? You put them behind a desk, say here's your job, and they go and do that In real estate. It's a little bit harder to have that type of you can, and it does exist, but you want someone who's like okay, this is going to be a team, like we're all in a team. We don't throw each other under the bus.

Speaker 1:

You know we all have each other, because that'd be easy to do. It would, oh, it would.

Speaker 2:

Yes, it would. So you know so-and-so, you know forgot to do it, and it's really easy to do that. So you want to make sure that. Hey, the message is, at least for me, is we all have each other's back. I have your back, I'm not going to throw you under the bus. You know, I will support you, and I think that also empowers them to understand hey, we are part of the team.

Speaker 1:

I won't throw you under the bus, but don't go crawling under the bus Moving on.

Speaker 2:

Let's stay out of it. But you know, the other thing too is like look, mistakes happen, we're all human right. So my approach is like look, if you make a mistake, just let me know. Right, we all make mistakes. I just want you to acknowledge that a mistake was made. How did the mistake happen, and then what can we do to prevent it from happening again?

Speaker 1:

Can we put it in place so that it doesn't happen again.

Speaker 2:

That's a big thing, right? Right, it's the failure of the process, right?

Speaker 1:

So just identifying Most of the time it is, but in my case, at least most of the time, we got to change our process because this will work.

Speaker 2:

Yes, or how can we tighten this up, you know, to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah. That's awesome In terms of where you see yourself in the next 10 years. Oh.

Speaker 2:

Well, it would be nice to have, I think, have a few more offices running, you know, just like we have the one-in-one lounge We've got in Middleburg that I opened during COVID.

Speaker 1:

So everyone else is showing down and you're popping up. You can't say no.

Speaker 2:

So that would be good, you know, just to have probably a few more offices and to know that we're serving the community. So I joined the lounge chamber because I think it's important that we be part of the community and to know that we're there, because we're not just a business. You know, we're here helping realtors who are helping people find homes, and that's really that's part of the American dream. Yeah, you know. Do you have your own home? Yeah, that's awesome.

Speaker 1:

Any last tips, stories, anything you'd like to share with our listeners in terms of a message you'd like to share with the world, or just anything internal.

Speaker 2:

Or anything in your heart. Well, real estate is. I think it's a great place, it's a great industry. I know that there's a lot of you know different, like. We've got the commission lawsuits that are happening right now and everybody's going oh my gosh, you know what's going to happen with that. We've got real estate. You know rates that are increasing. Are you going to be able to buy a home? You know my message is like look, let's all just take a deep breath. We're all going to be here. Nobody's birthday is going to be lost. You know so. My dad would always say when you feel like the world is crashing, you still have your birthday right. Nobody could take that away from you. You know we'll figure out how to navigate that. Interest rates will come down. We're here to help you through the process. You know we handle the tough deals. We handle the easy deals. Our goal is to help you move on to your next journey. So if you need a good title company, think of us for your next transaction. Who's us? Echo title.

Speaker 1:

There we go. Is that the B&I fit?

Speaker 2:

No, Did you see the B&I?

Speaker 1:

I used to yes, I heard it too.

Speaker 2:

Anybody is in the market Right, right, yeah, love it.

Speaker 1:

Thank you so much for being a guest here on the All in One show. It's so good to see you again, and you've got your own podcast too, I do.

Speaker 2:

Real estate junkies of the DMV. There we go. Yes, thank you for having me. Thanks for your first slide.

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Building a Customer Service Oriented Team
Echo Title - Real Estate Junkies