Think Big Movement Podcast - Jon Dwoskin Interviews Jeff Gunsberg

Jeff Gunsberg is a Principal Partner & Director of Business Development at Title Connect. During his time in the title insurance industry, he has become a leading producer and most recently, a state accredited educator. Jeff is a very well rounded individual with a vast knowledge of the real estate industry, which enables him to assist clients effectively and efficiently.

*E – explicit language may be used in this podcast.
Read the transcript

Jon Dwoskin:
Hey, everybody. I’m Jon Dwoskin, an executive advisor and business coach. I work with successful business people who are stuck and want to take their company to the next level. Today, though, get ready to grow your business big, very big. In just a few seconds, you’ll meet a dynamic business owner, execu-tive, or sales person willing to share the best practices that fuel their growth and success. Each interview is no more than 15-ish minutes long so you can quickly learn effective tools to put into your business today. Please listen with new ears and let’s get to learning, let’s get to growing and let’s get to thinking big.

Hey, everybody. I want to welcome Jeff Gunsberg, co-founder of Title Connect, a title company that is a full service title and escrow service company.

I know Jeff from back in my real estate days. He is a class act. One of a kind and one of the best title people I’ve ever met. I wanted to have him on the show so he can share some of his best practices with you, tell you about how he came to start Title Connect and how he services his clients to give them the ultimate ex-perience. Jess, welcome to the show. How are you?

Jeff Gunsberg:
Thank you so much. I’m great. Thanks for having me on.

Jon Dwoskin:
Yeah, of course, of course. Take us back and tell us a little bit about Title Con-nect, where it started from and the foundation and just tell us all about Title Connect and some best practices that the people listening can put right into their day as well and infuse some inspiration as well because I think your story is pretty inspiring.

Jeff Gunsberg:
Yeah, of course. I began working with my current partner Walter Quilico at an-other title agency. At the time that we started, I was 26 years old when we be-gan Title Connect. That was in 2004. We were working together at another agency, like I said, and we decided to join forces. The title company we were working at was going down the tubes and all of a sudden I had a choice to make at 26. I go to this huge conglomerate title company where one of the partners was trying to drag me or start from scratch on my own. Obviously we started on our own. That’s what I chose. I didn’t want to be another cog in the machine and I just was looking for something to start. We began in 2004 as I mentioned. We’ve grown our title company from three people.

We started from nothing and we currently have seven offices with 45 staff. It’s just been an amazing experience.

Jon Dwoskin:
Jeff, talk a little bit about this because I think a lot of people listening are stuck in that corporate conglomerate that you’re talking about. To make the jump, especially in your twenties or, really, even in your thirties or forties, it doesn’t matter, but how did you have the courage to make that jump? That’s a big leap. It’s easy to hear now that you have seven offices and people think, “Oh, it must have been easy.” Talk about that jump that you made and how you made it.

Jeff Gunsberg:
Yeah. It’s funny. There are people that are around now that I talk to and they’re like, “Man, you just came out of nowhere.” Well, it’s not how it happens. It’s like an actor who you’ve never seen before and all of a sudden they’re like, “Oh my God. This guy’s in everything.” I mean you’re working day in and day out and years and years and years and then you make your breaks. I think that it takes a certain personality, obviously, to be able to do that and feel comfortable doing it. It’s obviously much easier, too, when you’re in your twenties and you don’t have family to support and things of that nature, but I just think that it’s just so much more rewarding.

When you start something from scratch, it just gives you a feeling that you can’t get it by going in every day and nine to five and just mundane. It’s different every day for me and it’s a really great experience. We have great people work-ing for us. We obviously have our challenges, but at the same time it definitely makes it worthwhile.

Jon Dwoskin:
Those are great stories. One of my favorite quotes by Anthony Robbins is “suc-cess without fulfillment is failure.” I think a lot of people get stuck in that. Kudos to you for making the jump. It’s outstanding. Let’s talk about your business. You’ve grown to seven offices. You have a ton of people that you manage. You are very involved in sales. You are one of the best salespeople I’ve encoun-tered as far as your hands on this and you’re willing to go the extra, forget mile, the extra 10 miles for a client. Talk about the culture of your business and your company and how you really just create that experience for the client.

Jeff Gunsberg:
Well, as far as the salespeople are concerned, it’s extremely hard. You’ve done this, too, to motivate salespeople. How do you motivate salespeople to have the same passion that you do? I love what I do. It’s extremely stressful, but I get to go out every day and do it. In my viewpoint, in what I try and instill in my people is, listen, you’re going to have these challenges. There’s all these things going on. You got this and that and it’s negative. I lost a deal. There’s just so much of that, but pair that back and look at the fact that you can come out here and give yourself a raise every single day by just going out and getting more business.

You’re the luckiest person on the face of the planet that you have the ability to go out there and support your family in that manner. There’s a ton of people who don’t sell anything who make the same dollars. It’s something that I have a huge passion for myself. Everybody doesn’t view that the same way that I do, but it’s just one of those things that you got to keep fighting for and we try and have our company set up in a way where everyone feels part of it. They have a say in what we do and how we do it. I think the other piece of it and the reason that I’ve had as much success as I have in sales is by creating an experience for the client.

Who wants to just go to a title company and deal with this guy who’s not giving it their all and doing everything and anything in their power to make them suc-ceed as well. I take enjoyment in other people’s success also. When I can get a deal done, it’s obviously, yeah, we’re making money and we’re making things happen, but it’s more about having that person be like, “Listen man, you’re the one who can get it done. I come to you because I trust you and you created an experience for us and my client. You made me look good.” I’m the last stop on the train. That’s just a huge important piece of who we are and we do.

Jon Dwoskin:
I’ve done business with you. I know a lot of people who have done business with you and I would say you are one of the most get-it-done people that I know. Tell people a little bit about in a quick summary – a minute or so – exactly what Title is. For those listening who don’t really know, tell them a little bit about more what you do and who you serve and who your ideal client is and what you do to attract that client as well.

Jeff Gunsberg:
That’s a little more boring than our other conversation, of course.

Jon Dwoskin:
That’s why I said make it short.

Jeff Gunsberg:
Title is super exciting. Basically what I do is I provide insurance for real estate transactions. We service mortgage brokers, lenders, builders, attorneys han-dling transactions. A large portion of what I do is commercial work. We handle brokers on those ends, bankers. There’s individual consumers that we deal with as well who come to us. We basically are the ones who will execute all the doc-uments with people at the closing table and finalize their transactions when they’re purchasing a home or any other type of real estate.

Jon Dwoskin:
Nice. When you’re in a business that isn’t super exciting like you were talking earlier, you got to make the experience super exciting. You give people a rea-son to come to you so you don’t get looked at as a commodity. What do you do to differentiate yourself if you can talk a little bit more about the experience that you provide your clients? Because I think people who are listening are al-ways looking for the nuance of what they can do within their company to really differentiate themselves and sometimes it’s just the obvious nuances.

Jeff Gunsberg:
Sure. Yeah. You know what? I think it’s extremely complex and simple at the same time. We have so much email and tech, Facebooking and Instagram and all these other ways that people communicate and try and sell themselves. I don’t do it. I know that it’s an important piece. Yeah, we have a Facebook fan page, but I don’t do that. I go out. I meet people. I shake their hands. I look them in the eye and we build a level of trust. The way to do that, too, is that I work extremely hard for my clients for them not to contact me first and ask me a question. Where is my title commitment? When is it closing? I haven’t heard anything about it. Every time that happens where I’m calling up, “By the way, listen, I don’t have anything to tell you.

I just want to let you know everything’s moving along at the normal pace. We’re looking good. Closing’s going to be scheduled in the next couple weeks. Just wanted to let you know I’m here. If you need anything at all, let me know.”

Jon Dwoskin:
Your proactiveness is what I’m hearing you say. You and I have done business together. When I was in real estate – I can just share a quick story -Jeff did title work on a lot of work in the office that I worked in. There was a transaction where there was a big issue going on with the city. We won’t bore anybody with the content, but somebody had to go down and talk to the city and I think it was pay, I can’t remember exact amount, let’s just say it was $100, to cure an issue that most people wouldn’t have done. Jeff took it upon himself to just do it so we could move the transaction forward. I don’t know many people who would have done that especially when I don’t even think it was your job in the transaction. You are full service, hands-on and just a good person in general.

Jeff Gunsberg:
I appreciate that.

Jon Dwoskin:
I think what you and Walter have built is tremendous and you continue to build it. In the last couple of minutes together, what’s the next steps for Title Con-nect? Where you going? Share with us.

Jeff Gunsberg:
Yes. We’re constantly working to improve and grow. We’ve been focusing on bettering ourselves so that we can have a better environment in our office. I think at this point in time we’ve had a lot of success and a lot of growth. We’re trying to take our company to the next level. The way to do that is to make cer-tain that we have the right bodies in the right seats and we’re in a place where we’re servicing our clients in a better manner. Like I said, title insurance can be boring sometimes, so I definitely don’t want to do it forever. We’d like to posi-tion ourselves some 10 years down the road here with an exit strategy.

The way to do that is to grow yourself to a point where you look attractive to another title company or an underwriter that may want to come in and take over our operation. I love what I do. We continue to push it forward every day and work to make a great environment for our staff. We treat our people great. I think that’s a huge piece of it. We value everybody that works for us. We like to set that environment.

Jon Dwoskin:
That’s great. Everybody wants to matter. It’s so important to treat your people right. You said earlier, you got to make sure that the right people are in the right seats. It is so critical to the growth of any organization because when you have the wrong people in the wrong seats, it’s almost impossible to grow. Kudos to you for having that mindset. In our last couple of minutes together, share any best advice that you’ve ever gotten from anybody – a favorite article, a favorite book, a favorite podcast. Just something that is top of mind for you.

Jeff Gunsberg:
Well, first off, you’ve always been amazing to me. You and I talked and you give us great advice and are an amazing guy.

Jon Dwoskin:
I appreciate that.

Jeff Gunsberg:
Kudos to you there.

Jon Dwoskin:
Thanks.

Jeff Gunsberg:
I think one of the main things that people don’t do enough of is listen. I love to talk. For me it’s a little bit of a challenge. I have to force myself to focus in on what people are saying and slow myself down and try and listen to what’s going on around me. When you do that, you can assess the appropriate reaction to any situation. That brings me to the next piece: don’t react. People get emo-tional in my business. In transactions and deals when money’s on the line and there’s a deadline. I think the other piece is to just remain calm and work through the situation. Figure it out. When you get emotional, you get erratic and you can’t make good decisions that way.

I always work to just be calm, work through the situation and try and figure out the best course through it and be upfront and honest with everybody in the deal about what’s going on. I think that would be it.

Jon Dwoskin:
That’s a great piece of advice. That’s a great piece of advice. Jeff, tell everybody how to get a hold of you, Title Connect, your websites and anybody who’s look-ing for a title whether it’s residential or commercial and give your information and any parting words.

Jeff Gunsberg:
For sure, yeah. Our main office is in Farmington Hills. The phone number is 248-642-3256. My cellphone, which is always on and available, is 248-563-7919. Our website is www.Title-Connect.com. As far as parting words, I truly appreciate the opportunity to be on and share some of what I do with you and your audi-ence. I really had a great time talking.

Jon Dwoskin:
Well, great. I appreciate you coming on and you shared some incredible busi-ness practices that I know people will be impacted by. Thanks for sharing. Jeff, I really appreciate it. Thanks so much. Have an amazing day.

Jeff Gunsberg:
Thank you. You too.

Jon Dwoskin:
All right. Thank you for listening to The Think Big Movement Podcast. For show notes and links to anything we talked about, please visit JonDwoskin.com. For additional best business practices, you may enjoy my latest book The Think Big Movement: Grow Your Business Big. Very Big! Lastly, if you want to talk to me advising and coaching your business, please email me Jon@JonDwoskin.com. Text or call me at 248-535-7796. Have an amazing day, an amazing week and as always think big.

 

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