The Choice is Clear: Clean Title & Escrow is Now Clear Title & Abstract
Keeping it locally-owned and operated for a smooth transition
Every piece of land, every business and every home has a record. Sounds vague and ominous, and a bit like something we should all know about. That might be right, but that knowledge leads to a whole chunk of data and jargon that can make your head spin. Oddly enough, that dizzying drop of documentation is referred to as a title, but it’s a vital mix of information disclosing any restrictions or encumbrances on a real estate parcel, and it’s a safety net for anyone buying property. Perhaps the house you’re looking at has a lien on it from a contractor who was never fully paid for a remodel or addition. Maybe the previous owner of a business has back taxes, or maybe that perfect acre of land is under a legal dispute undisclosed by the seller. Whatever pertinent information you need to know before closing day is out there, but only if you know where to look.
Thankfully, there are those who have dedicated an entire industry to fulfilling the grueling task of searching and compiling title information, and Clear Title & Abstract is one such nugget in the title insurance game. Co-owner Doug Goodman, who recently purchased Clear Title from Patricia Crabb this past October, is a veteran of the lending community. He understands the benefit of buyers having everything at hand, and long gone are the days of hand written records. Like previous owner Crabb, who began the business in 2002 as Clean Title & Escrow, Goodman is dedicated to “sustaining existing client relationships in Nebraska and Iowa” as the Omaha office located on “P” Street is added to the Clear Title & Abstract family.
Maintaining employee relationships with clients was most important to Goodman during the transition.
Crabb, much like Goodman, has quite a history in the industry and began Clean Title as a way of keeping title searches and title insurance services local. “Our services are for our customer,” she says, as “there are no affiliations” with larger title companies. Therefore, customer service is impeccable, as she and her staff have had to go above and beyond to get and keep clients. It’s this same work ethic she saw in Goodman and his partner, stating that “Clean Title and Clear Title were an excellent fit, and I am delighted both will be able to continue to grow and prosper.” Not just anyone could buy her business and her client base, but Goodman and his co-owner more than fit the bill.
Clear Title & Abstract, whose main office is on West Broadway in Council Bluffs, has records dating back to 1853, making it the oldest and most complete set of records in Iowa. Serving not only Pottawattamie County, but most of Southwestern Iowa down to the Missouri border, Goodman and his co-owner can now add Omaha and surrounding communities to its roster. The advantage of acquiring an established title company is the existing staff and their experience in the community. Crabb’s staff of four have licensing and training in writing insurance policies and assisting with escrow closings and refinancing. It was important to Crabb that her crew be able to stay on after her absence, and Goodman was more than obliged to retain all employees. Goodman eagerly noted that “staff is well-trained and responsive to customer needs, and will continue to focus on providing excellent customer service.”
"When people come in to buy their dream house, of any value, they are so excited and they leave with a smile on their face."
- Pat Crabb
Above all else, the employee relationships with clients was most important to Goodman during the transition. It wasn’t so much that he and his partner were acquiring a physical business, but all the good will and satisfied clientele that came with it. Yes, it was a strategic purchase, but kudos really remains with the dedication to maintaining excellent customer service, and Crabb left a tall order to fill. Her enthusiasm for the client is palpable as she explains her favorite part of the customer experience. “When people come in to buy their dream house, of any value, they are so excited and they leave with a smile on their face,” she notes.
Goodman, who has a reliable, trained staff that includes licensed attorneys on both sides of the river, is up to the challenge, and is looking forward to working more closely with customers in the Omaha and Council Bluffs market. We can rest assured that any title, escrow and abstract needs will be well met by Clear Title, and that Crabb’s hope for a client-centered, locally-owned business will continue on. Doug Goodman wouldn’t have it any other way.
The Firm Deal Review
Seller Representative: Cremers CPA
Years in Business: 15
Reason for Sale: Retirement
Type of Sale: Assets & Acquisition