2021 has been a very busy year in the title industry, and not just because of the amazing order volume. As recent headlines will confirm, M&A activity continues to remain hot as the weather cools down, and will likely continue deep into 2022. Our own resident M&A expert, Aaron Davis, in addition to speaking on a panel about the topic at the recent ALTA ONE convention, authored an article on the same topic in the November issue of ALTA’s Title News. (Membership Required).
The fun part for most owners, of course, is discovering the value of one’s own agency if one is seeking to sell. And it’s important to get expert help in that process. But the part that gets a little overlooked far too often, as Aaron will attest, is the integration of existing agencies after the ink on the merger/acquisition contract has dried.
If you had a chance to check out the M&A panel on the same topic at ALTA ONE, you’ll see it dovetails nicely with Aaron’s recent article. And if you missed the panel, but were registered for the conference, you can still see the video. (Conference Registration Required).
Some of Aaron’s critical takeaways for those thinking about getting into the M&A arena? Don’t sleep on the details. How does the workflow truly work? What kinds of long-term service contracts or contractors are you inheriting? Have a budget—it’s much more expensive than you think to simply bring an existing agency into your own operating universe. Expect to spend time, a lot of it, simply managing the integration of cultures. And, perhaps most importantly, understand the tiniest details about the operating system of the office or offices being acquired. Yes, you may both use RamQualWarePro, but if they’re different versions or, more importantly, either of you have custom features or integrations, you’re in for some big decisions and some time and effort bringing the two operations together.
Based on the participation at the convention and the early feedback on Aaron’s article, it would appear that M&A will continue to be a hot topic in the title industry for a while. We’ll be sure to weigh in again and offer a few more insights soon.