Working at Transnation Title

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In April of 1983, six months after Kelly was born and Chad was two and a half years old, Mark and I decided Chad needed some sharing experiences by playing with other children so I started looking for a part-time job and thought Chad and Kelly could go to a babysitter. After looking for a couple of weeks, I landed a full-time job at Transamerica Title, now known as Transnation Title. I wasn’t sure what title insurance was and certainly did not understand my new job, but I accepted it thinking it would be a great opportunity for my family and me.

My new job was full of learning experiences and I worked with some great people that were very patient with me and taught me what they knew. Our home life was an adjustment with two little kids, but Mark and I managed like everyone does.

About three months into my job we were eating fish and I thought I swallowed a small fish bone. A week went by and the feeling of the bone in my throat didn’t go away so I visited an ear, nose and throat specialist. After the doctor scoped my throat and didn’t find anything he asked, “Have you experienced anything new in your life lately?” I said, “I started a new job about three months ago.” He asked if it was stressful and I said it was. He told me that stress can show up in many ways in our body and he thought the feeling of a bone in my throat might be because of stress. A week after my doctor’s appointment my fish bone feeling went away. It was stress related.

Throughout my 27 and a half years at Transnation Title as a Marketing Representative I learned so much about myself. Today I look back at my career and this is what I feel. My job in sales was life-changing for me. I met so many wonderful friends in the business. Working at a title company helped me gain knowledge about real estate, which is still valuable in my life today. My job challenged me outside of my comfort zone but I tried not to let it show. I was stressed giving a presentation to a room full of people, I was nervous when I had to golf with my boss and two vice presidents from Community Shores, but I survived. I loved coordinating client events but was nervous walking into a real estate office or bank on a cold call. I felt great after I did it.

Even though Transnation gave me great tools and superb sales training I still struggled asking my clients for their business. I finally figured out why it was so difficult for me. My parents taught me it wasn’t polite to ask for something unless it was a necessity. I know this sounds silly but to ask my customers for title orders just didn’t seem right to me. I knew if they gave me an order, my co-workers would give them a great product and great service but asking never came natural to me. So the only way I felt comfortable was by getting to know my potential customers first as a person and a friend and then as a customer. I made many friends over my years at Transnation, even if they didn’t give me their business.

Another thing I had a hard time with was recognition awards. Because I was in sales, for some reason sales people and managers were the only ones in the company that could qualify for spectacular awards. Because I worked with great people, my sales numbers looked wonderful and I happened to earn two amazing vacations, one to The Ritz Carlton in Orlando and another to The Ritz Carlton in the Camine Islands. Mark and I loved the trips but I thought my whole office should have been invited to join us. One person in an office does not deserve the recognition especially when you have a great team of co-workers working hard.

I want you to know that my friends at Transnation are bright, amazing and work hard. All around my job at Transnation was wonderful and the best part is I made lifelong friends. I have been retired for almost three years and when I walk into the Transnation office, I still feel at home.

Before I end my Transnation story, missing from the photo above is a special friend, Teresa LaVigne. I first met Teresa 20 years ago because she worked for my competitor, First American Title, and she was well-respected in the real estate community and my biggest competition. She finally came to her senses and came to work with me at Transnation about 12 years ago. We bonded immediately and have felt like family ever since. Pictured below is Teresa and her beautiful 100 year old Grandma, Oma.

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