Frontier Title Continues Significant Growth, Opens New Office in Racine/Kenosha Market!

Racine Office Staff

Trey Dittmann, president and owner of Frontier Title & Closing Services, has opened an office in Racine to meet a surging demand for real estate services in the Racine-Kenosha market. It’s the latest expansion for a company that prides itself on being nimble, offering a full array of services, and cultivating a talented staff.

In an interview, Dittmann explained his drive to remove obstacles for developers and real estate professionals as they rush to meet current customer needs – needs that have escalated thanks to low interest rates and sub-optimal inventory. And he discussed the business practices that have positioned Frontier to respond swiftly to opportunities.

Frontier Title & Closing Services is headquartered in Hartland and has offices in Johnson Creek and Milwaukee. With its fourth office in Racine, Frontier’s team now covers 10 counties in southeast Wisconsin. “This has been the biggest growth year in real estate in my memory,” Dittmann said. “If your house is priced right and looks good and ready to go, it’s not uncommon to have several offers come in the first day, many of them exceeding the original asking price.”

Inventory pressures have sparked intense activity in the new-construction residential market, which is where Dittmann is seeing most of Frontier’s growth right now. “We’ve seen lots of new builders get back into the building enterprise … And those new people have got probably three to eight homes going during the course of the year and, that’s going to sustain them and grow them as this market keeps expanding over the course of the next year, which we fully expect it will do.”

Adding to the sense of urgency, says Dittmann: an anticipated rise in lumber prices. “People are getting their lot secured and trying to get contracts with builders signed before the new year to get ahead of rising lumber prices. I think people realize that now’s the time to move and a lot of them certainly have.”

With things moving so fast, buyers, sellers and lenders need a title service team that knows how to hustle. Frontier can do that.

One reason, says Dittmann, is that Frontier is a “one-stop shop” that can handle the full scope of services for commercial and residential transactions. Frontier’s expert staff handles title insurance, closings, inspections, underwriting, escrow services and more. “We’ve got every angle covered: the lender side of it, the builder side of it, the consumer who’s building a brand-new home.” Multiple offices and a deeply experienced staff enable the Frontier team to redeploy quickly to meet shifting demands.

Dittmann also credits Frontier’s closing department as “very, very experienced” and very versatile. “One of the things that sets our closing department apart is that it serves not only the lender side, but the seller side as well. And our closers have to know both sides.” In practical terms, that makes Frontier’s team able to respond quickly to unexpected needs – which in today’s environment happens more often than not.

 “All of a sudden, the lender may call up and say, hey, we don’t have anyone available. Can you close for us on our behalf? And, you know, we’re doing that on the fly constantly. That adds a lot of stress and adds a lot to the plate. But at the same time, Wisconsin’s real estate community knows that Frontier has the personnel to get the job done.”

Add in-house legal counsel to Frontier’s array of experts, and it means “a full-service title company that can handle all the production work that goes along with new construction, and can get title reports out on a timely basis. Those are important to all the players. We understand that.”

It’s clear that Dittmann takes pride in expediting the flow of money so that everyone can be successful – the builder, the builder’s vendors, the lender, the realtor, the buyer, and others. “The Builder’s Association down here wants a good title company that’s all about expediting funds and getting funds to the builder in order to keep these projects moving. And that’s what Frontier is all about. We are all about expediting the process of moving funds so you can move your project forward.” That holds just as true for lenders and realtors: Frontier’s dependability and expertise will minimize complications and ensure there are no surprises during a refinancing or on closing day. “Purchase transactions can sometimes be hectic and fast-moving,” said Dittmann. “Realtors and lenders know that we deliver accurate, prompt results no matter what the circumstances. They can count on us to smooth the process for everyone.”

Few people have as much insight into Southeastern Wisconsin real estate trends as Dittmann, who has been in the business for 29 years. He started Frontier Title & Closing in 2010 and has consistently expanded since. From where he sits, residential real estate is a bright spot right now. “There’s not really a sleeping part of the of the Milwaukee metropolitan area.”

The Racine-Kenosha area stands out, Dittmann says, for some additional factors driving growth: the completion of the I-94 north-south freeway project; new feeder highways being added; and employers such as Foxconn, Amazon, and Uline along with the industries and jobs they support. “We feel that our title company is well placed in a market like this. And we’re really looking forward to growing with the community down here.”

Frontier’s expansion into Racine-Kenosha was in part at the invitation of developers they’ve worked with who are pursuing opportunities there.  “Builders and developers that we have worked with in places like Brookfield and West Allis were saying, ‘Boy, I wish you were down in the Racine-Kenosha area.’ Now we are.”

When your customers start asking you to follow them to a new market, you’re doing something right. Dittmann gives a lot of the credit to the talent on his team, and he works hard to cultivate that talent.

“We’re all about retaining employees,” he said. “We have an immense amount of experience in our underwriting department. Our loan people have anywhere from 10 to 15 to 30 years of experience. Those are the people that you want to retain, so we want to make Frontier a good working environment.

“And that is something Frontier is known for: Good people, knowledgeable people, people you can count on.”

FRONTIER TITLE IS EXCITED TO WELCOME KAITLIN MONTALVO!

We want to welcome the newest addition to our team: Kaitlin Montalvo!

Kaitlin joined Frontier Title in early February of 2020 as Commercial Closing Coordinator.  Following graduation with a BA from the University of Colorado in 2013, Kaitlin worked as a commercial closing assistant for a title company in Colorado Springs.  She enjoys coming together and solving problems that others would see as a challenge. Outside of the office, she enjoys spending quality time with her husband and her four dogs.

We could not be happier having Kaitlin on our team.  Click here if you want to know more about Frontier Title, our services and our strong commitment to customer service, or want to contact Kaitlin directly.  

Frontier Title Employment Opportunities

Looking to join the Frontier team? Frontier Title and Closing Services, LLC is seeking a Full-Time Closing Agent to join our dynamic and growing team. Main duties include, but are not limited to, preparing buyer and seller closing statements, ensuring clear title is conveyed, and coordinating closing dates, times and locations.

If you are interested in applying for any position and would like to submit a
resume online, please visit Career Opportunities to apply, or contact the appropriate staff member listed below:

CLOSING DEPARTMENT:
Jessica Henschel, Closing Manager
, (262) 361-4697 or by email jhenschel@frontiertitlellc.com.
OR
Kim DeMartino, Closing Manager, (262) 361-4825 or by email kdemartino@frontiertitlellc.com.

SALES DEPARTMENT:
Dawn Starbuck, VP of Business Development, (262) 361-4815 or by email  dstarbuck@frontiertitlellc.com

PRODUCTION DEPARTMENT:
Callie Snyder, Production Manager, (262) 361-4510 or by email csnyder@frontiertitlellc.com.

THANK YOU!

Frontier Title is Excited to Welcome Ryan Jacobi!

We want to welcome the newest addition to our team: Ryan Jacobi! Ryan will be working with us as our Legal Counsel/Commercial Underwriter. 


Ryan knew he wanted to be a lawyer since he was about eight years old when he first started reading John Grisham novels.  Those classic books piqued his interest in law and sparked his excitement to pursue law as a career. He received his undergraduate at UW-Madison, and after graduation, decided to pursue his legal passion at Marquette University Law School.


At Marquette, he focused his studies around tax and real estate law.  Through his studies, he had the good fortune of being mentored by the now-Dean for Admissions, Vada Lindsey.  Following graduation, he decided to start his own firm, focusing on real estate and transactional law.


Ryan was initially intrigued by his own experiences working with title companies and how their roles played an integral part in his clients’ transactions.  Over the years, he had the pleasure of working closely with numerous underwriters, examiners, searchers, and closers in the field. Because of these experiences, his transition into his role with Frontier came with confidence.  


‘While I loved having my own firm, I didn’t realize how much I missed working with a team.” –  Ryan Jacobi

Ryan loves engaging with the culture that Frontier Title has to offer. He finds that our open door policy, and role specifications, meet, and exceed, his expectations. 


Since his last role did not involve working with a team, he has found a new routine that allows him to interact, support, and be able to depend on a great group of professionals. 


In Ryan’s free time he enjoys the company of his wife, Kristin. They are loving life with a new kitten that has been creating lots of hijinks!  He and his wife love to travel and are currently planning a trip to New York City where they will celebrate their first anniversary.  Ryan is also a seasoned, self-taught pianist and has been playing since fifteen years old!  When he’s not composing music or spending time with friends and family, he’s likely engaging in the one passion that started it all: reading.


We could not be happier having Ryan on our team.  Click here if you want to know more about Frontier Title, our services and our strong commitment to customer service, or want to contact Ryan directly.  Also, visit his Linkedin Page here. 

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

nicole allard

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

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”

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

dawn starbuck

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: Callie Snyder

callie snyder

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.”

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.

 

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