Author Archives: Trey Dittmann

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Jennifer Landers Proud to Join Local Board

Frontier Title and Closing Services is proud to celebrate our very own Jennifer Landers on her new position on the board of the Women’s Council of Realtors, Milwaukee Metro. The Women’s Council of REALTORS provides an environment of collaboration in which members can build relationships for business and personal success.

The camaraderie, energy, and collaboration among members are unparalleled in the industry, resulting in an experience like no other.

Jennifer had previously been a member of the board and will now serve 1 year as Treasurer. When asked why the organization’s mission spoke to her, she responded, “At Women’s Council, you’ll experience a world-class support system like no other. You’ll belong to a network of more than 11,000 motivated, professional and high-achieving real estate professionals — women (and men) who understand that you’re never too experienced to learn something new or too successful to provide sound advice to your peers.”

Jennifer is excited to serve with a team of leaders and help grow not only the organization but also her business here at Frontier Title.

Frontier Title is Thrilled to Welcome New Employee

Veteran commercial real estate broker, Nicole Allard, joins Frontier Title & Closing Services as Commercial Account Executive

Nicole-Allard-Frontier-Title

Frontier Title & Closing Services is thrilled to announce that Nicole Allard has joined our Milwaukee office as Commercial Account Executive. In this new role, she is charged with growing the commercial title insurance and escrow segment of Frontier’s business.  Nicole brings 30 years of commercial real estate and banking experience to Frontier. As a seasoned commercial real estate broker, she possesses a thorough understanding of the commercial transactional process and is known industry-wide for outstanding customer service.

Prior to joining Frontier Title, Nicole worked for Chicago Title as a Commercial Account Executive. Nicole’s transition to the world of title began after serving for 5 years as Compliance and Marketing/Administrative Manager for a full service commercial real estate company downtown Milwaukee, WI. Back in 2011, Nicole was a key participant in the formation of Anderson Commercial Group, LLC, a small, local full-service commercial real estate and management firm in Greenfield, WI. In 1996, Nicole joined NAI MLG Commercial and specialized in industrial and investment brokerage for 15 years. Nicole’s real estate career began in banking where she obtained a Wisconsin Real Estate Broker’s license in 1987 while working in the REO division.

Nicole has received numerous awards for sales, service and transactional volume in the Commercial Real Estate industry.  During her tenure, she diligently built long-standing relationships through the boards and committees that she has devoted time to grow.  

In addition to an extensive professional history, Nicole has affiliations with and or has received recognition as:

  • Member of Commercial Association of Realtors — Wisconsin and the National Association of Realtors
  • Member of National Association of Office and Industrial Professionals — Milwaukee Chapter
  • Chapter Co-President for WCREW (the Wisconsin Chapter of CREW Network – a global network of 74 chapters and nearly 12,000 members representing all disciplines in commercial real estate) 2018 & 2019
  • Recipient of WCREW Patty McConnell Networking Award in 2010 for outstanding leadership in networking
  • Board Director for the Alliance Francaise de Milwaukee — Wisconsin Chapter
  • Co-Chair of the Lakefront Festival of Arts Hospitality Committee in 2014 & 2015
  • Co-Chair of Wisconsin Breast Cancer Showhouse Preview Planning Party 2010

“When we opened our downtown office, we saw an opportunity to bring our strong reputation on the residential title side to the growing commercial development space in Southeastern Wisconsin,” said Trey Dittmann, President of Frontier Title & Closing Services.  “Hiring someone with Nicole’s experience and reputation is another big step for our company.”

Nicole added “I’m thrilled to represent such a great local company and demonstrate what we’re capable of to the commercial real estate and development community. It was most certainly an opportunity I couldn’t pass up and a natural next step at this point in my career. As a long-time member of WCREW and Chapter Co-President, I am also committed to working with the younger women entering into the commercial real estate industry as a mentor and resource for guidance and direction as they travel down their professional path”

Employee Spotlight – Jason Gullett

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Jason Gullett, Commercial Underwriter/Counsel at Frontier Title & Closing Services, has been with the company since September 2016. He graduated from DePaul University College of Law in 2013 and passed the bar that same year. While initially working in his own private practice, a family member introduced him to title insurance. He became interested and the right opportunity to join the industry came as an underwriter in the Waukesha area.

Jason worked for about a year and a half doing commercial examining. As an attorney, he was new to this side of the real estate transaction. While learning a lot, Jason began looking for the right opportunity to grow further within the industry, utilizing his law degree in a more significant way. That’s when Trey Dittman, owner of Frontier Title & Closing Services, reached out to him to discuss how he was looking to establish commercial underwriting in the Milwaukee area. It appealed to Jason that there would be more flexibility in terms of being able to help the customer. “It’s nice to be able to be a larger part of each deal on the commercial side.” He liked how Frontier Title and Trey were making this new commitment in the commercial space. So Jason committed to Frontier Title, moving with his wife and son to the Milwaukee area from Madison.  

It’s unique for a company like Frontier Title to have an attorney full-time on staff. “It’s not as common to have somebody in my position running the commercial side of things,” said Jason. In terms of the day-to-day role, the largest thing Jason does is examining. “It’s putting together a commitment, and then making sure that everything on the commitment is as accurate as possible and accommodates the customer’s needs.”

Jason enjoys working at Frontier Title with his attorney background. “The biggest thing to me is that I have the chance to still work with clients in a customer service environment.” He adds, “It’s refreshing to work with clients in a way that is actively helping them get something that’s going to see a definite result.” He mentions that he and his team ultimately try to get the customers to ‘yes.’ That is when the closing goes through successfully. “Sometimes getting to ‘yes’ involves more complicated problems and problem-solving.”

Part of Jason’s role also involves serving as in-house counsel. He enjoys the variety in his job. What he also appreciates about title insurance versus private practices is that there is an end to his day. He’s able to go home to spend time with his family. “Frontier is a really great company for being able to make sure you have that home balance.” He adds, “It’s a far more relaxing setting to be in and it makes work far more enjoyable.” Outside of Frontier Title, he enjoys spending time with his wife and newborn son. He’s a rugby player so he will oftentimes travel to neighboring states to compete.

Jason enjoys seeing the closing process all the way through. His customers know they’re getting him and not one to two other examiners. It’s a personal experience. He also prides himself on building relationships with customers and makes sure to get in touch immediately with them to answer any questions or concerns. “You can really develop a trust in the products you’re getting. I feel like I have a strong background to be able to do that.” He adds “The consistency and the availability, and the communication I’m able to give, I think it’s been a very positive impact for our customers.”

Many of the employees of Frontier Title have been in the industry for numerous years. They’ve been a great resource and wealth of knowledge to Jason and each other. “Not only do we try to get to ‘yes’, we try our best to make it a really smooth and enjoyable process.” He adds, “Our goal is to get you to the closing table as stress-free as possible and with the outcome you desire. We’re on your team.”

Frontier in the Field: June

Our Escrow Manager/Inspector was busy in June visiting many job sites. It’s not uncommon for her to do nearly 100 inspections per week, making sure that every dollar disbursed represents product that’s onsite and installed. It’s just one of the many ways Frontier Title & Closing Services works hard on behalf of the homeowner and lender to ensure a smooth process to closing. Exciting to see all the new development happening in Southeastern Wisconsin!

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Employee Spotlight: Dawn Starbuck

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Dawn Starbuck, VP of Business Development at Frontier Title, has been in the title industry since 1985. Prior to that, she worked as a travel agent. When Dawn transitioned into the title industry, she worked in many different departments. She started as a file clerk and quickly moved through posting, typing, order-entry, searching, letter reports, recordings, and final policies.

In 2002, Dawn was recruited to Gatewood Title which later became Frontier Title in 2010. At the time, the company needed assistance with their recordings so that was the department Dawn started in. Later she worked in order entry and then became an assistant in the closing department. She quickly went from being a closing assistant to a closer.

Dawn eventually moved into sales. She has been in sales for about 7 years and has been a manager for 3 years. When asked if she liked the transition from being behind the scenes, processing the titles, to being more client-facing in sales, Dawn said, “I love it. It was an easy transition because I had so many people I had built relationships with that trusted me and liked my work ethic.” She added, “Cold calling customers was easy because I had so much knowledge of what I was talking about. They believed me. They saw the genuine honesty.”

In her role as Sales Manager. she loves seeing how the team has grown through the years and attracted great talent to the industry. Dawn has the experience to help the sales reps with any situation they may encounter. She also has the expertise to train them and communicates with them daily.

Dawn strongly believes in the importance of quality customer service. “When someone calls me, they get a call back right away that day.” She adds, “I constantly make it a point to be looking at my voicemails and my messages and responding, or sending an email saying ‘I’ll give you a call back’.” Dawn works hard to cultivate relationships. “I thank every client every time I get an order to let them know that we appreciate it.”

“One thing that I think is great about Frontier Title is we are more proactive than reactive.” She adds how hard Frontier Title works to have great customer communication throughout the company. For example, in the closing department, there’s always a closing assistant or closing manager who’s going to answer the phone. “Our customers are always getting attention if they need it.” The company has systems in place to make sure all inquiries that come in are addressed right away. It’s a huge team effort.

Being in sales, Dawn spends time out in the community and participates in many local organizations. “It’s a great source of networking.” Dawn stressed the importance of community and how local businesses should be supporting one another. “We should all be encouraging growth within our communities.” She emphasized, “I’m constantly looking to expand business and bring our value to new people.

“I’ve been asked over the years why I don’t switch to another title company, and it’s because I believe in what I’m selling; I believe in my backroom.”  Dawn tells her team, “We all provide the same product, but it’s the why and how we provide it that sets us apart. That’s what we sell. People don’t buy what you are selling; they buy why you are selling it.”

Dawn takes great pride in working for Frontier Title. “I know the quality, the work ethic, the years of experience, and everyone is on the same page that customers are first.” Dawn knows this may be one of the biggest investments that customers are making in their lives. “We’re here to make this transaction in their lives as stress-free, and as happy and smooth as possible.”

 

Employee Spotlight: Cheryl VanOppen

Cheryl VanOppen

Cheryl VanOppen, Commercial Closing Manager at Frontier Title & Closing Services, has been involved in the title industry for 27 years. She started in Peoria, IL working for Chicago Title doing commercial closings. She ran the closing department, the construction department, and an office for 13 years before heading to Wisconsin in 2005.

After coming to Milwaukee, WI, she went into lending which was her background prior to Chicago Title. But the title industry was always her passion so in 2007 she joined Frontier Title & Closing Services, which at the time was Gatewood Title. Cheryl worked out of the Watertown office as a closer. “Even though I had a lot of experience in title, it’s different from state to state.” Cheryl became Closing Manager in 2009, and Frontier Title was founded in 2010.  Cheryl became Commercial Closing Manager in November of 2018.  

Cheryl and her team of five closers and a closing assistant are responsible for making sure all title documents are prepared correctly, and the checklist is complete so that the closing day can proceed on time. Trey Dittman, owner of Frontier Title & Closing Services, calls the team “traffic controllers.” Cheryl says, “My team comes into play once we know that we’re handling the seller side of the transaction.” They know this once an order is placed, and from there, a closer is assigned to the order.

About two years ago, Cheryl helped take the department as paperless as possible. Using a specific software, Cheryl and her team are able to communicate and access any necessary information and documents. “It’s a wonderful tool and it’s huge for the title industry who’s paper, paper, paper, paper.” Another advantage of the software is the ability to keep all customer information extremely confidential.

Cheryl credits her team for stepping up and working together to accomplish their roles at Frontier Title & Closing Services. “We all schedule. We all run and close. We do whatever we need to do to get the job done. It’s a huge, huge team effort.” They focus on being proactive as a closing comes up, letting customers know exactly what is needed from them. “The software also leads us through these steps,” which allows any closer to assist any customer because all necessary information is in the database. This allows their process to be more efficient.

Frontier Title & Closing Services stands apart according to Cheryl because “People stay here. There’s a reason that people stay here. It’s because of how they’re treated. Trey (Dittmann) is a wonderful person to work for.” She also applauds the company for their ability to work quickly and help each other out when necessary.

As closers, “We are the safety net to make sure all of the title issues have been addressed. We make sure we get the right parties that are signing. We make sure all the numbers make sense.” She states, “the customer sees the closing date but we are doing a lot of behind the scenes work to make it appear seamless.” Cheryl and her closers are the last step before customers own their homes, which is a huge day for them. “We are always working proactively and not reactively.”

Cheryl’s favorite part of her job is working with people. “I’m a people person.” She enjoys interacting face-to-face and problem-solving. She has many favorite memories of the closing process. Some involve the excitement and genuine hugs she receives after the closing is complete. Others involve the connections she makes with her customers. “It gets in your blood,” Cheryl says about the title business. At closings, “There’s lots of funny stories, interesting stories. People will pray. They want to hug.” Cheryl remarks. “Homeownership is part of the American Dream and it’s a privilege for us to be part of the process.”

 

Employee Spotlight: Callie Snyder

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Callie Snyder, the Production Supervisor at Frontier Title, graduated from UW-Madison with a BA in Social Welfare and has worked in the title industry for 16 years. She has been at Frontier Title since 2010 where she says, “I think I’m in the perfect spot in this company.”

Frontier Title’s Production Team conducts title research on properties to help determine legal ownership. Says Callie, “We’re the first step of the process.” As part of this research, the team must determine if there are any outstanding mortgages, liens, judgments or unpaid taxes associated with the property, as well as any restrictions, easements, leases, or other issues that might impact ownership. This entails a thorough examination of property records to make certain that the person or company claiming to own the property does, in fact, legally own the property and that no one else can claim full or partial ownership. The research is a critical service to those who wish to buy or sell property and must be accurate -– the team can’t miss anything.

It can be challenging detective work. In cases where there is no prior title on the property, Callie’s team often has to search back 60 years. Sometimes mortgages are posted incorrectly or don’t show up properly in county records which requires additional research. The work can be repetitive, but the type of search varies. Says Callie,  “We’ll do some research on farms out in Dodge and Jefferson County that are huge parcels of land. Those searches take a long time but really change up the type of work we do.” Once Callie’s team completes their research, they prepare an abstract of title, which is a summary of what they found during the title search (i.e., the history of the ownership of the property).

Callie’s workdays are varied. “On a day-to-day basis my schedule can change on a dime,” she says. Callie is focused on helping out her team wherever help is needed. “What keeps my job from being monotonous is that I have the ability to work in different departments, and each day is never the same,” says Callie. “I enjoy the variety of the work. I’ve created this little niche for myself at Frontier, and I able to jump in and help out – whatever needs to be done.”

Callie enjoys being part of a constantly evolving industry that allows her to continue learning. For example, she has spent considerable time understanding one of Frontier Title’s software interfaces and has learned how to customize it, “because I like to teach myself things.”

When asked about Frontier Title’s strengths, Callie cites its hard working, knowledgeable team players. Callie believes the employees at Frontier Title are critical to its success and help to differentiate Frontier from its competitors. We have a very loyal staff that has been in the industry a long time,” she says. “The people here have the expertise and knowledge to answer questions for customers promptly. I can’t say enough good things about my department. When I set a goal for them, there is no question in my mind that they will work as hard as they can to achieve that goal.”

Callie and her team help Frontier Title deliver strong customer service. Says Callie, “We’re very consistent in our work and we get our reports out when people ask for them.” The Production Team serves a critical role at Frontier Title, and Callie and her team relish being quietly behind the scenes. Says Callie, “So many of us have worked together for so many years. I think there’s comfort in working with the same people and trusting the results you’re going to get. I’m very fortunate – and our customers are very fortunate.”

Frontier Title Welcomes New Employees

Frontier Title is thrilled to welcome three new employees. We are excited to have the following new additions to the Frontier Family:

Sales TeamJennifer – Jennifer Landers, Account Executive

Jennifer is a native of California and has spent 4 years in the title/real estate industry where she has loved working with clients who’ve turned into friends. Since moving to Wisconsin over 9 years ago, she joined Frontier Title recently and is motivated by the fact that everyone here loves what they do, making it easy to want to come to work every day. Jennifer enjoys outdoor activities and spending time with her 9-year-old son.

AngelaConstruction Escrow Team – Angela Gasiamis, Escrow Assistant

Angela has worked in the construction industry since 2005. She is energetic, friendly, and embraces any challenges thrown her way. Angela strives to always make the client feel like her number one priority. She is dedicated to providing the best possible service and experience for her clients. Angela is a mother of two and enjoys spending time with her family in the outdoors enjoying all that Wisconsin has to offer.

Hannah

Production Team – Hannah Mueller, Title Examiner

Thanks for a Great 2017!

It’s been an exciting year at Frontier Title & Closing Services. We continued to grow as an organization and in 2017, and we were excited to open our companies third office, located in downtown Milwaukee. A lot of people asked us why the expansion into the Third Ward? Who better to answer that question than our President, Trey Dittmann.

 

Frontier Title Employment Opportunities

Frontier Title and Closing Services, LLC is seeking a Full-Time Title Examiner to join our dynamic and growing team. Main duties include, but are not limited to, reviewing title information searched at the county courthouse, determining the accuracy of materials, and creating a title commitment.

In addition, we are also seeking a Full-Time Escrow Assistant. Main duties include, but are not limited to, work with Frontier office staff in addition to lenders, builders & homeowners to complete draws for residential, agricultural and commercial new construction and remodel projects.

Interested? Visit Career Opportunities to apply or view the full job description below!

Title Examiner

Escrow Assistant