Handling the title policy on your new home purchase may not seem like the most emotionally intense job out there, and for many it probably isn’t. However, for Randy Allen and his team at Alamo Title of Boerne, they take the process seriously. And yes, they attempt to take what many might consider mundane and make it as artful as possible.
Randy Allen, whose father was in the Air Force, grew up near Castroville, amongst other places. Upon graduation from high school, he attended undergraduate classes at Virginia Commonwealth with an emphasis in Real Estate and Urban Land. He continues, “I went to 2 years of college after graduation in ’76. I then played pony polo traveling up and down the East coast and ended up in San Antonio and played out there in Retama Park. I crashed one day while playing and wrecked my knee terrible.”
With 2 years of schooling under his belt, and 8 years of polo, Allen was forced to spend the next year rehabbing his knee back to health. As his knee healed, Allen was able to complete his schooling, and marry his wife Kelley, who recently celebrated 27 years together.
At this point, Allen began to turn his attention to his future career and make decisions on where he wanted to be headed. “My grandfather built shopping centers and whatnot, and I really liked that. So I went to St Mary’s and got a joint degree including a Juris Doctorate from them. When I got out of law school, I started doing oil/gas work and real estate in the San Antonio area. Things picked up quick and Kelley was able to quit teaching, which was a blessing. For the last 22 years I’ve been doing real estate, oil/gas title issues. Anything doing with land or property was of interest to me.”
As for WHY it’s of interest to him, Allen puts it succinctly: “Really, it’s this: if you’re a land guy or a property person, then you like being out on it and studying the history of it. You love reading the chain of ownership, you love the maps and plats, and it is just infinitely fascinating. My practice is like an inch wide but a mile deep. It’s certainly a very niche industry, but with a lot of potential customers.”
And those customers see Allen and his team as a core component to their business. He explains, “With oil/gas titles, you’re telling the exploration companies who owns the surface, who owns the minerals, liens, divided ownership, ,etc. It’s a good business to be in. There’s not a winner or loser like a lot of law. You’re just a function of business. Nobody is griping about dollars because my part of their program is miniscule, but they will tell you that they’re not worried about the bill, but if you slow them down, you’re gone.”
As any oil/gas person will tell you, the industry is volatile. Allen agrees, “Oil/gas is good when it’s great. When it’s bad, it’s non-existent. Every time we’ve hit a bad spot, I’ve thought about doing a small title business. I finally said OK, I’m pulling the trigger in the summer of ’15. We thought we knew title and while we’ve had a learning curve, I’d certainly say we’ve got a pretty good business going. It’s in great hands, and there’s no way that I could ever do the things that I do without the people that I have working with me.”
Boerne and the surrounding area has proven to be a wise choice for his team, and Allen has no regrets. “The growth has been a huge factor for us. I moved here for the schools so that’s what drove us to Boerne. Once we got here, we saw what a great place this was to get a great staff and they’re all local. There’s so many subdivisions coming in and we knew that it was time to jump in. This business is 100% driven by the realtors. That’s their livelihood and I thought when I came in that it would be a bunch of divas. But I was wrong. These realtors are true professionals and I’ve so enjoyed working with them.”
While the realtors are important to Allen’s business, his internal team is just as crucial. With a hand-selected team of people, Allen has been equipped to grow his business and make what could be a cumbersome process into a smooth machine. “Cathy (Spain) is our marketing person and is just so transparent and is known all over town. Our escrow people are bilingual and super experienced and they are having to field all the calls and all the details and hold hands with the buyer through all that. We have several attorneys that finalize the deal and for the most part, they’re younger. They relate to many of our buyers and they’re our closers.”
While one might guess that Allen is a fan of the growth in Boerne as it assists his business with finding a constant stream of new clients, he adds that the growth isn’t just good for business, it’s good for the town. “We had our child christened here christened here in ’95. We didn’t move back here till ’05. We always kept up with things, but it has seen so much growth that for an old German town it could be very difficult. But the thing is that it’s hard to find a stranger here cause we’re all strangers. Castroville is still small and tight. There’s not near the growth. Boerne doesn’t have that, and so I think the growth is great because it makes people welcoming. I love it here, my family loves it here, I love this business, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”