Monday, March 3, 2008

Introducing...River West National Title & Escrow LLC

I can finally tell you why I have been away from my blogging efforts more than I'd like for the last month or so. I am pleased to announce that River West National Title & Escrow LLC opened for business this morning in the building where my Chicago office is located.

No, I am not giving up my law practice. This is a completely separate operation. I will spend a small amount of time on the company but I am really more of an investor. And here's why.

For a few years now, I have been becoming more and more frustrated with the level of service I have been receiving from some title companies on deals on which I was working. The frustration only got worse when I left my last firm (which, while a smaller firm, does only real estate and is thus a player having considerable influence with title companies).

Recently, I've had deals held up and fees rise tremendously because I was dealing with people who could not think outside the box. The sentence I kept hearing was, "We can't do that."

I have for some years had a list of about half a dozen people around the country who are my go-to title folks. (That number has shrunk as people retire.) Those people know who they are. Last fall, I was playing golf at my home course with one of them, Gary Cichon. Gary has been in the business for 35 years and has, in short, seen and done it all. Sometimes there's just no substitute for experience.

Anyway, around the 16th hole (a short par-5), I told Gary that if he ever semi-retired, he should call me and my partner, Frank and that maybe we could do something together. I assumed that would not be for a while, but Gary said he would do so at the right time. (I assumed it might never happen, or if it did it would be as of counsel to our firm.)

That right time turned out to be about six weeks ago. But Gary's not semi-retiring, not at all. You see, twice in the past Gary made some people a lot of money by starting up title operations in Chicago and making them succeed. So, this is Gary's third time, and he's a co-owner. Hopefully this third time will be the charm for him and for all of us. I know many others have Gary on their "go-to" list as well, and I'm pleased to say he's still in the game.

So...for the last six weeks we've been busting our hump to get a start-up company off the ground from nothing. Was it easy? Heck no. But I have to say it has been fun. And, with the the receipt today of our license from the State of Illinois, we're open for business and taking new orders for real estate deals. What a ride it has been.

We've assembled a team of highly experienced and first rate professionals who will do their level best not to use those dreaded words I mentioned above. Their goal will be to provide exemplary customer service and to get deals done the way they ought to be: quickly, efficiently and with as little red tape as possible.

River West's phone number is 312.646.1290. Whether or not you have experienced the samep problems I have, if you need a want a deal done right, give them a call. Tell them I sent you!


Jeff Brown said...

Congrats David!

I'm figuring out how to be a beneficiary of this new firm. Let's talk later this week.

This has to have been an exciting day for you.

David Stejkowski said...

Thanks, Jeff. We're all very excited. And I am working on ways to make this beneficial for all. This is going to be a very busy spring!

Diane Cipa said...

Here's a big congrats from the world of "white noise" [thanks Jeff]. The concept of a nationwide title agency committed to a boutique style of service, rather than a commodity junk shop, has always intrigued me. Best wishes and much success.

Lisa Michelle Galley: said...


Congratulations! Much Success!