Last year at this time, we talked with Ryan Marrie about 2020 and all that it had thrown at Ohio Real Title and the title industry. Despite its many challenges, Marrie noted that “it has been our most successful year in our 15 years of existence.” So now that we are coming to the end of 2021, how does this year compare?
Ryan reflected on the past year, sharing some highs and lows, and provided insight on what he sees coming in 2022. “After 2020, 2021 started off on fire,” Marrie explains, “and has never stopped.” The real estate industry remains incredibly strong and he feels confident that “even if it pulls back a little bit it will remain super strong.”
As for Ohio Real Title specifically, Ryan is proud to point out that, “we’ve increased our staff by 30% since January 1, 2021, and opened or expanded 7 out of 10 offices.” The offices in Pepper Pike and Cleveland expanded, while the new offices include Columbus, Dover, North Ridgeville, and Hudson, as well as an office in Naples, Florida, which operates under the name Venture Title Services.
As for the decision to open in Naples, Marrie explains, “as a company, we felt that our existing offices in Ohio were in a great spot and we believe our models and systems are strong to build on.” VTS started doing business in October 2021 and is off to a great start. “We bring a new way of doing business to the market and I expect to grow within the office and perhaps beyond to new offices.”
The challenges that the title industry faced in 2021 were the same as in many other industries – staffing. ORT has been fortunate to avoid staff shortages and has continued to attract experienced professionals from both within and outside of the industry. “It’s been a balance of both.”
Close to 15 people from outside of the industry have joined ORT this year in a variety of roles, including HR, marketing, accounting, and escrow and they are all excelling. ORT is looking for “experienced professionals with polish – the title experience is unnecessary,” notes Marrie. ORT has a strong, internal training program that brings those people from outside of the industry along, as well as good systems, resources, and teams of people who embrace bringing people into the industry.
What should we expect in 2022? “More of the same without the uncertainty.” He goes on to say, “2021 didn’t have a lot of uncertainty and that will only continue to improve and grow in every single market.” Marrie also points out that there has been a lot of consolidation in the title industry this year, with fewer independently owned title agencies heading into 2022 than there have been in years.
Of the ORT team, Marrie says, “They took great care of each other, as a result, our clients have supported us tremendously well. No one has done it better than us.”