Michael J. Rooney
Real Estate & Title Attorney

Michael J. Rooney

Consulting Services


Whether you represent the plaintiff or the defense, a view of your case from an “outside” person who’s been inside the title insurance industry for many years may be helpful. How does the other side see the case and how do you value its worth for your client? Are there reported decisions from other jurisdictions that help or hurt your side and, if so, how close are they to your fact pattern? Are there other parties who ought to be defendants, too and, if so, who are they and what theory do you rely upon to bring them in as parties?

Expert Witness

With over thirty years of experience in the industry, I know the practices and procedures title insurance companies and agents use to perform their work and the standards of care to which they are held. Sometimes, federal or state statutes establish the standard in the industry and sometimes those standards are honored more in the breach than in the following of them. There are also standards of care and practice followed by other parties to real estate transactions. In your particular case, what are the appropriate standards and were they followed?


In many cases, building your business requires hiring the right staff. And hiring the right staff may mean you need help in identifying what your potential hires want from an employer. Perhaps an approach to a potential new hire needs to be made without disclosing who the interested company is or where the potential new office is to be located. Whenever confidential information or strategy is involved, an independent contractor might just be your best solution.

Sales Management

Do you have a sales manager? If not, how do you set your goals and make sure you are on track to achieve them? Maybe the sales manager is you or maybe it’s your one and only salesperson (or maybe, like so many, you’ve made the mistake of making your best sales person the sales manager and that person’s sales have dwindled), but you need someone to keep track. Oh, by the way, you also need to keep track of the right things! Who are our Customers? Who do we want as new Customers? Which current Customers can become sources of additional revenue and how? What is our “share of wallet” of current Customers and are we getting their best orders or their worst? How do you know? Often some fairly simple conversations and analyses can bring positive results.

Title and Escrow Management

Similar to the sales manager problem, sometimes we take the best escrow officer and make that person a manager. If it works out, chalk it up to luck. With a little planning, you can put those escrow officers who think they want to manage on a path to management and teach them what it’s really all about. When they see the hard side of it, they may decide “management” is not all it’s cracked up to be. But you need to reward their service on the escrow side. Title operations are no different: the best examiner is not necessarily the right person to manage the title operations, or even the other examiners! Do you have a plan

Title Industry Financial Analysis

Sometimes important financial data do not appear with dollar signs in front of the numbers, though without question the numbers will lead to dollar signs. What is your current mix of business? Residential vs. commercial; resale vs. refinance; repeat Customers vs. new Customers? How do you define solid Customers and how much of their business do you currently receive? What is any Customer’s average size transaction and what is your average size transaction from that same Customer? What about expenses, and are yours in line with the general percentages within the industry? Should they be? Are you providing appropriate endorsements for the policies?

Title Company Revenue Growth

Often the financial analysis will reveal areas that need to grow to develop either new sources of revenue or additional revenue from current sources. Maybe you know where you want to see more revenue, but just are not quite sure how to go about it or how to construct and put in place solid incentives to your staff that will generate that revenue growth without adding unnecessarily to costs and without alienating those staff who might not have the same incentive opportunities.

Title Company Profit Growth

More revenue coupled with lower costs results in greater profit: easy to say and harder to do. But there are ways, some tied to the financial analysis and industry-standard percentages, some tied to new sources of revenue or careful examination of current costs. The secret is that costs to generate additional revenue cannot exceed that additional revenue. Period.

Title Plant Operations

Title plants may all look and feel and operate in slightly different fashions, but they all serve the same principal function. Smooth operations are attributable to sound operating and reporting structures and consistent management designed to serve Customers, support teammates and strengthen the company. Great title plant operations are valuable to your Customers and to you. Are you taking advantage?

Regulation and Compliance

The title insurance industry is regulated in every state. Owners and managers need to assure themselves that they are in compliance with both federal and state regulations. Customers may wonder whether a provider is in compliance and, if not, what remedies are available to customers aggrieved or injured by such noncompliance. As a former state title insurance regulator I can help answer those questions.

Michael J. Rooney
P.O.Box 6034
St. Charles, IL 60174
phone: 312-401-3454