Client Highlight: Guaranty Commercial Title
Guaranty Commercial Title (GCT), is passionate about creating rewarding relationships. GCT closes commercial real estate transactions including the purchase and sale, refinance and construction projects for commercial buildings. CEO Wendy Ethen acquired the company in 2004 and since then has revamped its core focus and way of doing business. As a boutique firm, GCT offers a team approach to commercial closing with all attorney closers who are engaged from the very start. Integrator Michelle Kolling has been with Wendy since the beginning and jokes that her first day of work was “probably a Saturday!” Wendy and Michelle have niched GCT and now focus almost solely on commercial real estate, their clear area of expertise.
Under Wendy and Michelle’s leadership, GCT has grown every year since 2004, including 30% growth during the 2009 downturn. Through their consistent growth, the leadership team realized they needed a system and processes in place in order to continue to serve their clients in the same high touch, relational way they had as a smaller company. “We consider ourselves partners, not people who just come in at the end to sign the deal,” says Michelle. “We want to understand our clients’ goals both for the transaction as well as their larger company goals. We wanted a different way of doing business.” The need for structure and processes lead the GCT team to implement the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS), and now they’ve been using the system for over a year.
Identifying and documenting core processes in the company has allowed the entire leadership team to focus on what matters – serving their clients; which builds and fosters the meaningful relationships GCT is known for. “Having processes has made it easier to identify some of the communication gaps and breakdowns that have occurred in the past,” shares Director of Marketing Kelle Lang Staats. Understanding client goals is easier because “we’re more efficient and involved,” says Wendy.“ We are communicating better so everyone has our clients’ information and is able to help them.” Sharing information this way encourages the team approach GCT emphasizes.
The leadership team sets the example by sticking to the processes themselves as well as working with their team to ensure the processes are being followed by all employees. “This can be difficult at times,” shares Kelle, because “it’s not about how things are getting done, but how they need to be done to ensure we’re consistent in our execution and follow through.” In addition to setting an example, the GCT leadership team also adheres to the EOS teachings reminding us people need to hear something seven times in order to hear it the first time. “Our team is great at reminding each other,” says Kelle. Wendy also recognizes that “it can be hard to admit your business isn’t so complicated that it can’t be written down on paper,” but affirms the EOS philosophy of “focusing on the 20% to get you the 80%.” Michelle does this as well, sharing that she will “go back and simplify” a process after it’s been documented.
In addition to improving processes, EOS has helped the GCT leadership team identify and share their Vision and Core Values with their entire company. After Wendy shared the Core Values at their State of the Company meeting, Michelle noticed one employee had written them down and taped them up by her desk. “It made my heart sing and proved we are on the right track,” she shares. Wendy also believes EOS has shown employees how much they matter. “EOS has helped me emphasize how much I care and want our team to work in a great environment,” she says. Kelle agrees, noting that sharing the Vision and subsequent 3-Year Picture and 1-Year Plan “has shown our employees how much the big picture matters and that we are all working on it and in it together.”
Through their work with EOS and also the warm way they speak about each other, it’s clear that the Guaranty Commercial Title leadership team is passionate about creating rewarding relationships both inside and outside of the company.
Do you know of someone in need of commercial closing services? Contact the experts at Guaranty Commercial Title today.