Founder, CEO and Chairman of the Board
Q. What gave you the idea to start a new title company in 1974?
A. The idea came to me when I was working in the title business and realized there were no Orange County based title companies, only national companies. I felt that a locally based service would be much more responsive to the needs of local Realtors. I also realized that Orange County was emerging as a strong financial service center on it's own. So, I talked with some of the local real estate business owners to see if they thought they would like to have a local company to give them local service.
At age 30, I opened the doors with a small bank loan and lots of support from my friends in the industry.
Q. What was the turning point for Orange Coast Title's long term success?
A. In 1980 we began to educate and hire people to handle all phases of the market. We shifted from strictly residential resale into other markets, including building/commercial, direct lender, trustee sales guarantees, and government agencies. In 1994, we began expansion as we began in 1974. I offered real estate brokers a shared interest in some of our existing title entities and new entities in geographical areas in the Western United States, thus going back to our roots and creating Affiliated Business Arrangements (ABA's).
Q. Why has Orange Coast Title been so successful during the past 30 years?
A. Our success can be attributed to the long term loyalty of our customers. We accomplished this by requiring management to deal directly with customers. Each customer personally knows an Orange Coast title manager.
In addition, we developed a conservative business expansion plan to diversify into new markets, and which created little debt.
Q. Did you ever have any doubts about surviving the slumps of the real estate market?
A. Yes, I have had doubts, especially prior to us entering into all phases of the market. But the important thing is that we have successfully survived. In fact, our true strength as a company has been most evident during weaker economic times.
Q. What is your management philosophy and how has that changed over the years?
A. My management philosophy really hasn't changed over the years. I have shifted, out of necessity, from "hands on" with staff to being "hands on" with executives and managers.
Q. What are your company's values and how have they evolved as the company has grown?
A. We have always based our company's values on a family concept. Our values and policies are home grown and are built on mutual respect for one another.
Q. What key factors do you believe will play a role in the turnaround of the real estate/building industry?
A. The size and scope of California's economy and that of the five Western States that we operate in, has certainly been an asset and a major factor in the turnaround. I believe that home ownership is still the single biggest desire of a family and remains the cornerstone of the American dream.
Q. How do you view Orange Coast Title's role in the industry?
A. Because of our high volume and size, we are a very visible title company. We are often counseled on decisions that effect the entire industry. Myself and Rich Macaluso - President and Chief Operating Officer, are members of the CLTA Board of Governors. He and other Orange Coast Title executives are active in other industry associations such as, RESPRO, CEA, BIA, HB, MBIA and others.