Our 2018 Affiliate Club Members are some of the best in the industry, so we're excited to put the spotlight on them in our Affiliate Club Member Spotlight Series! This month, get to know Old Republic Home Protection and Commission Express.
Old Republic Home Protection
Silver Affiliate Club Member
Q: What sets Old Republic Home Protection apart from other home warranty providers?
A: No two homes are exactly alike—the same can be said about our home warranties. We offer three plans that can be customized to fit the needs of homebuyers and sellers: Standard, Ultimate Protection, and Platinum Protection. Platinum Protection, our most comprehensive plan, delivers industry-exclusive coverage. Old Republic Home Protection has provided caring, dependable service for more than 40 years, and our vision of "People Helping People" is reflected in our A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. We’ve been a BBB accredited business for over 20 years, and we’re proud to operate under their high service standards.
Q: Can you describe the benefit of securing a home warranty for a first-time homebuyer?
A: Buying a first home is a huge investment! Most homeowners don’t have the extra cash available to cover unexpected household breakdowns after the close of sale. A home warranty really makes sense because of the cost savings on potential covered repairs or replacements, at a time when most buyers don’t have extra cash to spare. In addition to budget protection, a home warranty also reduces the stress of researching and hiring a reputable contractor. All a Plan Holder has to do is place a service request with us, and we’ll find an experienced service technician for them, so they can get back to enjoying their new home!
Q: What services does Old Republic Home Protection provide for REALTORS®?
A: A home warranty is an important part of any agent’s risk management strategy. Having a warranty in place can decrease the chance of after-sale disputes. A home warranty can also give an agent’s listings a competitive edge over the competition, as well as peace of mind for everyone involved in the transaction. We have complimentary, innovative, and effective marketing tools designed specifically for agents, including customizable calendars, newsletters, open house tools, and more. Our online ordering process is easy, and REALTORS® receive responsive, personal service from their local Account Executives! Most importantly, a home warranty can lead to satisfied clients, and satisfied clients are happy to offer referrals.
Q: In your opinion, what are some of the most common mistakes that first-time homebuyers make?
A: Many first-time homebuyers aren’t doing enough research when choosing a home warranty provider. There are many home warranty companies in the state of Texas, and they don’t all offer the same level of coverage. A homebuyer shouldn’t pick a home warranty based on price alone. They need to consider the coverage provided, available plan options, plan limits, and the quality of service.
It’s also very important that buyers know the right questions to ask: Is there a dollar limit on HVAC coverage? Does the plan have an aggregate limit? If so, what is the limit? What is the charge for refrigerant recapture and reclaim? Does the warranty cover multiple home systems and appliances? What’s included in the standard plan? What are the upgrade options? How long has the company been in business? Is the company a member of the National Home Service Contract Association? Does the company have a good BBB rating? Homebuyers have a lot to consider when choosing a home warranty.
Q: What value does Old Republic Home Protection get from being an Affiliate Club Member with ABoR?
A: Our membership is of great value. It allows us to sponsor multiple classes throughout the year and to have a presence on social media and in various publications. ABoR is always innovating for the benefit of its agents and affiliates, and it bridges the gap between the real estate agents it serves and the affiliate club members. ABoR makes it easy for us to cultivate and nurture relationships with other affiliates, agents, and staff, so we can share our love for Old Republic Home Protection’s home warranty product.
Gold Affiliate Club Member
Q: What distinguishes Commission Express from other commission advance companies?
A: There are three reasons an agent or broker should choose us over one of the internet-based national advance companies. First off, our fees are typically 40 percent lower so the agent retains more of their hard-earned commissions. Secondly, our service is unparalleled—we process all applications fast and stay in contact so you always know the status of your advance. Finally, we offer a set of agent-friendly policies that provide flexibility without imposing onerous fees, which really comes into play if a contract closing is delayed or terminated. We only work with Central Texas agents so the customer relationship is more important to us than anything else.
Q: How can REALTORS® benefit from the services offered by Commission Express?
A: Commission advances allow a REALTOR® to manage cash flow so they can grow their business. Our customers control how and when they get paid commissions, enabling them to cover expenses, invest in marketing, etc. Basically, we help them access their earned income when they need it.
Q: Should issues arise with an impending settlement, how might this impact a client?
A: It is very common for a closing to be delayed or a contract to terminate. We offer a free 30-day grace period on all of our advances (the longest in the industry), which is typically plenty of time to deal with delays that invariably come up. We also do not charge extra fees to replace a terminated contract — the agent would simply submit another contract they are working on if the original contract falls through.
Q: What tips can you provide to REALTORS® trying to better manage their cash flow?
A: The first tip I would offer is to only get an advance for the amount you really need. For example, you will save a lot of money on the fee if you request an advance for half of your earned commission, and, in effect, you will have two paydays — the day of the advance and the closing date! The second tip is to consider how you can use the advance to really make an impact on your business: boost your brand, invest in marketing, improve a listing, etc. We only succeed when our customers succeed!
Q: What value does Commission Express get from being an Affiliate Club Member with ABoR?
A: We decided to invest our marketing budget into Austin Board of REALTORS® as a way to build awareness of our service and get to know real estate professionals in a more direct and personal way. We feel that partnering with ABoR gives us a chance to grow our business while also giving back to the real estate community in Austin. It's been the best decision we have ever made!