COVER STORY: Prestige Title of Brevard Has Recipe For Success – Love, Serve and Care for Clients
By Space Coast Daily // February 26, 2018
NOW one of the top title insurance companies ON the Space Coast
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Tiffany Fortenberry and her sister, Tonya Bader, have a simple formula for doing business: to love, serve and care for their clients and their staff.
The recipe has worked for the siblings, who have operated Prestige Title of Brevard for more than a decade, growing the business from a mom-and-pop company launched during the depths of an economic recession into one of the top title insurance companies in the Space Coast.
Not bad for two young entrepreneurs who still have several yeas to go before hitting 40.
When Fortenberry and her husband, Shawn, decided to open Prestige in 2007 in a critically declining real estate market, naysayers were quick to emphasize what they thought was a huge mistake.
Fortenberry is glad they didn’t listen.
“We did not want to pass up the opportunity to open a company and work hard to make it a success,” he said.
“We would have rather failed trying than not try at all.”
Tonya was in the Prestige picture from the beginning.
“We always knew Tonya would be included, as I would need her help to run the company and work the transactions,” said Fortenberry.
Tiffany and Shawn honed their career skills in South Florida under the mentorship of James and Doreen Jobbitt at Town & Country Title of Coral Springs. The Jobbitts later launched their own company, Preferred Land Title of Coral Springs, and the Fortenberrys received job offers they couldn’t refuse to come join the Jobbitts at their new venture.
“This opportunity taught us a lot that later would help us do the same for ourselves,” said Fortenberry.
Tonya, who was searching for a career after high school graduation, also joined the Preferred Land Title team as a receptionist.
“Shawn and I enjoyed our careers in the industry and knew the industry could definitely be a career for Tonya as well,” said Fortenberry.
“We loved the relationships we gained with the customers and staff. We loved the feeling of helping homeowners in the process to purchase their dream home. Most importantly, we saw a career where we loved coming to work every day.”
Although real estate buyers may not realize it, title companies are critical parts of the real estate business. You could compare a title company to your eyes, which helps you understand intricacies in the world around you. We don’t routinely think about our eyes, but we sure notice if they’re not working properly.
Like the eyes, a title company discloses information, in this case, the history of a particular property. Without a reputable title company exploring the history of a property, buyers could face serious trouble.
“Working with a title insurance company is of great importance when buying or selling a home,” said Fortenberry.
“A title company is an agency whose primary focus is issuing title insurance policies to homeowners to protect their home from any unforeseen circumstance that could affect their financial investment. To do this, we must search the property records, the owner’s’ names, tax records, municipal records and much more to eliminate any matters which must be cleared before closing.”
What is Title Insurance?
Title companies run multiple searches on the property to insure the seller has the right to sell and that there are no issues with the property that would affect the new owners. Purchasing property without using a title company could be an expensive proposition.
“If not working with a title company, a homeowner may spend hundreds of thousands of dollars defending title to their property on their own should something come up,” said Fortenberry.
A title insurance policy covers any errors in the land records, unsatisfied mortgages, deeds executed under expired powers of attorney, the right for heirs to sell after probate and many more possibilities that the average consumer may not realize even exist.
“It is always best to work with an experienced company that has been in the industry for many years and is licensed and insured,” said Fortenberry.
Prestige Title is licensed and insured with more than $1 million in E&O coverage backed by the industry’s largest title insurance underwriting companies. All of its title closing agents have undergone extensive training and are individually licensed. The company is experienced in both residential and commercial real estate transactions.
“We continue to train every month and keep up with industry standards and vet practices to be competitive in our market,” said Fortenberry.
Fortenberry and Bader have nurtured an office culture that encourages excellence and a “can-do” team attitude, where everyone’s job is an important piece of the whole. The company currently employs 16 team members.
“Each position with the office is integral at some point in the transaction,” she said. “We are a close-knit team. The receptionist is our director of first impressions. We work in teams within our office so processors and closers work together to help them gather all information, review services and clear titles.”
The company recently added a new business development director to help Prestige continue to grow.
To celebrate Prestige’s 10th-anniversary last year, the company treated the entire Prestige team and their families to a cruise to the Bahamas.
Prestige’s roots in the community run deep. Both Tiffany and Tonya, two of four siblings in the family, graduated from Palm Bay High School and Eastern Florida State College. Sister Tina also works at Prestige as a title processor.
All four sisters grew up in Brevard and continue to call the Space Coast home.
Tiffany and Shawn’s family includes Brianna, 12, and Kasey, 8, plus “fur children” Bear the black Labrador Retriever and Marley, a Jack Russell mix. Tonya and her husband, Andrew Bader, have two daughters, Kendall, 10, and Kayleigh, age 5. Time outside the office is spent with family and friends.
“We also enjoy traveling with our family and friends to places we have never been,” said Fortenberry.
She also volunteers to teach fifth, sixth and seventh-grade girls at Church at Viera.
“I love watching them grow up and strengthen their relationship with the Lord,” she said.
The philosophy of loving, serving and caring – in and out of the office – has proven the perfect way to do business for Prestige Title of Brevard.
“With over 1,300 closed sales in Brevard County, McCoy-Freeman Group is very familiar with the title and escrow process,” said Bobby Freeman, Realtor with RE/MAX Elite’s McCoy-Freeman Group.
“The professionals at Prestige Title handle every transaction with care and make the last phase of the home buying/selling experience very enjoyable. Other companies could benefit from following Prestige’s lead.”
For more information, visit PrestigeClosingsBrevard.com, or call 321-242-7660.
ABOVE MAP: PRESTIGE TITLE OF BREVARD is located at 5120 N. Highway US 1, Suite 103, in Palm Shores, Florida.
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