November 3, 2020

Every day I have heard people ask for a “do over” for 2020.

I participate in Zoom calls, phone calls and more all day long and people say, “I’m so sorry. I bet this was a crummy year to be ALTA President.”

It has been quite the opposite.

The way our industry responded to COVID-19 were extraordinary. I feel extremely lucky to have been on the ALTA Board, with this ALTA staff, in this moment.

Last year, when I took over the throne of the presidency, I talked about the pressures we face in our day-to-day and the need to really amp up our customer service. I told the story about the legendary service customers receive at the best supermarket of them all, Publix.

I think it’s safe to say we gave Publix a run for their money with the level of service we’ve implemented in the last 7 months! Our Westcor agents have told me so many stories of their team going above and beyond to ensure that closings weren’t only on time but also as safe as possible.

I’ve been floored by the innovative and creative ways that our agents have stepped up to the plate, whether that is through drive-thru closings, plexiglass divided conference rooms or adjusting to the ever-evolving world of Remote Online Notarization.

So no, I’m not sad I was President this year of all years. I am proud. Participation in the association is at an all-time high. We celebrated another year of amazing membership, with more than 6,400 member companies.

We added more webinars, calls and committee work. Engagement with our industry peers is up too. With all the ways we demonstrated leadership during the pandemic, ALTA is now the “go to” source for our regulators, Realtors, legislators and others when it comes to real estate transactions during the pandemic. The federal government down to our local governments were using our tracker for courthouse closings and other updates during the quarantine. This was incredible.

We had a plan, we communicated, and we took action.

So, yes, 2020 has been heartbreaking but I’ve never been so hopeful for the future after watching everyone adapt, evolve and succeed in such a difficult time. As an industry, we can truly conquer anything.