As we navigate around the coronavirus in search of our new normal, my team and I remain hard at work and ready to serve our clients and the public. We closed our physical office on Friday, March 13, shifted our business model to a remote, cloud-based and virtual operation and remain well positioned to continue to serve the community in this capacity.
On March 26, 2020, Orange County Emergency Executive Order No. 2020-04 will go into effect and the large majority of businesses will shutter. People will be asked to stay home until at least April 9, 2020 when the Order expires. I am certain that will be much longer. This will bring even more changes to the way we serve. As it relates to us, section 2(b) (20) of the Order specifically exempts “legal services and notaries public,” which are two of the primary services we provide as part of our real estate closings and the issuance of title insurance policies.
We are evolving our best practices on a daily basis and honoring the direction from the CDC. Our priorities have not changed, however, and so we remain fully committed to protecting the data we possess, securing funds that we control, and maintaining the public land records with integrity. Despite the obvious challenges, we remain committed to providing the highest level of concierge-style service our clientele demand.
Please find some important information as it relates to our operations including solutions we have implemented as part of this challenging moment in time.
ESCROW: Sending an official bank wire is still the safest and preferred method for title agents. We also understand that some people prefer to make initial escrow deposits by check. Since there is no one at the office to receive physical escrow deposit checks, we are directing customers to go directly to any Fifth Third Bank branch in order to make escrow. Complete a standard deposit slip and then see any teller. We suggest using drive thru services. Please make escrow checks payable to TitleTeam and endorse the back of the check with “FOR DEPOSIT ONLY.” Our company address is 2214 Lucerne Ter., Suite 100, Orlando, Florida 32806. Buyers should save the receipt provided by the bank. We reconcile our escrow account throughout the day and will issue official deposit receipts daily. Any member of our team can provide you with the wire detail prior to your trip to the bank.
CLOSINGS: The traditional closing model involves the parties to the transaction and their representatives sitting around the closing table with one of our title agents. That is no longer ideal under today’s circumstances. Our clientele rely on our ability to provide alternatives, which is why we introduced virtual notary services over a year ago, and have executed hundreds of closings using this video technology. In situations where notaries are not necessary, for example, when we have cash buyers, we use other electronic signing platforms like DocuSign. Our network of notaries and signing agents across the globe remain available as well, and the obvious precautions are in place, per the direction of the CDC.
REAL ESTATE AGENT COMMISSIONS: We are happily wiring commissions at no cost to brokers and agents. Although some brokerages do not approve of this, we suggest that all agents inquire with their brokers to see if they will execute a directive authorizing us to wire commissions directly to all parties per the split. This saves time and honors the stay at home Order in place.
This is a moment in time. A chilling moment that is changing the way we live on a global scale. Take a moment to allow that into your heart. Then take the necessary precautions to protect yourself, your family, and your business, as best you can. No one knows how things will look on the other side of this. Please be patient with each other, try to avoid the distractions, aggressively source the information you digest and share. Be vigilant in your modified behavior and follow common sense guidelines.
For our current clients, please continue to communicate with the Team members assigned to you. For general inquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We will continue to monitor updates and recommendations from the CDC, as well as our local government to respond and communicate accordingly
Paul M. Pantozzi II
Founder & Title Agent