The Priority Settlement Group of Texas is an independently owned title company in Texas, sister to Priority Title and Escrow in Virginia Beach, a national company with licenses in 48 states. Marcus Overheu and Michael Schwartz established Priority Settlement Group of Texas in November 2016 with three employees in a 400 square foot office. Together they brought many years of title and mortgage experience to the company, which they grew to a little over a hundred employees during the height of the refi boom. The Austin-based company has offices in San Antonio, Houston, and Harker Heights, with plans to open an office in Dallas later this year.
At Priority we share a common goal with everyone that we serve — to simplify the closing process and meet our client’s needs on time and within budget.
When Marcus first approached Michael about starting the company, Michael was skeptical, thinking there were already enough title companies vying for customers. What could this company possibly offer to make itself stand out from the rest? Since the state regulates the title insurance premium, the endorsements and title insurance are exactly the same. Other fees are set by the agency, such as escrow, courier, and other charges. Providing they are the same for all consumers, these “junk fees” can be set at the agency’s discretion. When clients use Priority Settlement Group of Texas, they can save up to $900 on purchase transactions.
The Priority Settlement Group of Texas also believes in taking a unique approach to the title industry. According to Michael Schwartz, president of Texas Sales, “we have a very large network of highly trained mobile closers, so we can handle transactions anywhere in the state.” You will never need to visit our office in order to complete the transaction. Our team comes to you. We welcome customers to come to our offices, but traffic is terrible. In the middle of the day, why would you want to drive across town to a title company, wait for 20 or 30 minutes, sign your documents, and then drive back home? After we bring you the documents, we’ll be done in 30 to 40 minutes. You can then go about your business while we deal with everything. We use technology to simplify the process for the Texas consumer and make it more convenient for the real estate agency, too.
It is very important to Priority Settlement Group of Texas to maintain a supportive corporate culture. “We believe strongly in education and finding answers,” says Schwartz. If someone does not know something, we either find someone within the organization to teach them or bring in outside help to educate them. Moreover, we provide external support to both consumer real estate agents and loan officers. “We don’t give standard answers.” Instead of providing consumers with the standard unsatisfactory answer, “It cannot be done,” Priority Settlement Group of Texas strives to provide the answers that will lead to lasting relationships and loyal customers. In order to do things right, we dig deeply, go farther, and do everything we can to find a way to do it. Our underwriters understand that we’re not questioning their judgment when we come to them. It’s more of an understanding; how can we do this? Then we see if we can structure it to work. After five o’clock, we are the guys who answer the phone. “We take phone calls and answer emails on weekends.”
While industry knowledge and experience are helpful for escrow officers and title examiners, Priority Settlement Group of Texas loves to work with people of all levels of experience. Schwartz says that even though his company sometimes hires fresh out of college and provides training, he also supports hiring veterans. A veteran himself, he says, “While they may not know the industry, they know accountability and discipline.” We train those who show up with an attitude of “I’m going to learn” rather than “I know everything.” Our philosophy is to hire you for a specific position, and then, if you want to move forward or be promoted, or even create your own opportunity, we will work with you to find the path.
As he continues, “It’s not about resumes anymore.” Nowadays, people want to feel empowered rather than just working. Everybody wants an opportunity. If you do the job I hire you for, I am more than willing to listen to your ideas. Then, if they make sense and can be implemented, together we will make it happen.”