Land Title of America, Inc. celebrates two decades of business in St. Augustine in 2017. The best part, according to company president, Stephen Collins, is the homeowners they have helped in that time. Since 1997, Land Title has performed title searches, assisted in real estate transactions, and offered title insurance to protect homeowners from financial loss due to a challenge against their real estate ownership.
In 1997, the first Harry Potter book came out, the stock market hit record highs, and Stephen Collins opened Land Title of America, Inc. in St. Augustine, Florida. He credits his aunt and uncle, John and Faye Gullett, who financed his venture, and Robert Mooney who granted him an agency agreement through Fidelity National Title Insurance Company. These people provided him with the infrastructure to make his company a reality.
Stephen Collins was no stranger to the title industry, having grown up in the family business, Collins Title & Abstract Co., Inc., which had served Northeast Florida since 1979. Stephen remembers being a human fax machine: biking documents from one office to another starting when he was in middle school. Raised with a foundation of family values hand in hand with solid business practices, Stephen carried the tradition forward to meet the challenges of today’s real estate market.
“On the one hand, I can’t believe it’s been twenty years,” says president and owner, Stephen Collins, “but on the other hand, so much has changed.”
Twenty years is a major milestone given the real estate market over the past two decades. Land Title opened when the Dow Jones and New York Stock Exchange hit record highs and real estate was booming too, but then the subprime mortgage crisis began in 2007, which led to the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010. Land Title not only had to shift its focus within the market, it also had to adjust how it did business according to the new regulations.
Flexibility and creativity became keys to survival and success. Stephen Collins expanded the company’s online presence with social media and a new website (www.GoLandTitle.com/). Also he and his brother, Rusty, began to host the bi-monthly radio show, “Land Title Talk” on 102.1 FM WFOY (first and third Fridays at 8:00 a.m.) The on-air discussions keep the public informed about real estate and legal issues affecting our area, and helps Stephen to know the concerns of homeowners living here.
Probably the most creative business strategy was the music marketing. In 2011 the Collins brothers started a band called Old Enough-2-Know Better (OE-2-KB), which gave Stephen another way to reach out to customers and potential customers. Now OE-2-KB performs every third Wednesday at Gypsy Cab’s Corner Bar, and every third Friday at the Orioles Nest #324, plus special events, like the Blue Crab Festival and St. Augustine Beach Blast (www.oe-2-kb.com).
Over the last twenty years, Land Title of America has played an important role to solidify property value in Northeast Florida. Their commitment to customer satisfaction and their dedication to homeowner rights remain unchanged into their future. You may contact Land Title at (904) 797-9600 or visit their website at www.GoLandTitle.com.