TitleBytes News & Happenings

MLTA Summit 2020 in the Rear View Mirror

May 26, 2020

By Tom Lico, MLTA President

The MLTA kicked off its second annual Spring Summit with what turned out to be inauspicious timing. Our Education and Summit Committees put together a fabulous agenda that was the perfect kick-off to what was gearing up to be a strong year for the housing market. Registration response was strong, but as the March 10 date came closer, the Corona Virus Pandemic was lurking in the distance. With the virus impacting the west coast first, Michigan still seemed a distance away. A few registrants decided not to attend, but certainly not enough to affect the conference.

We opened up the Tuesday afternoon with a data and humor filled presentation from Dr. Ted Jones, the Chief Economist for Stewart Title. Obviously, Dr. Jones could not have foreseen the impending economic shutdown that has impacted all of us over the past several weeks. What he did outline was the strong economic fundamentals in place at the time that would help serve up a strong housing market for Michigan. The encouraging lesson in this – once we reopen the economy and we rebound from this Pandemic induced recession, those fundamentals come back setting us up for what could be a record 2021. At this time, we can only hope.

After Patti Tremblay (our new MLC Lobbyist) gave a brief legislative update we heard from Bill Svoboda. Mr. Svoboda, accomplished speaker and entrepreneur, presented an inspiring and thought provoking lecture entitled – “Push Through – How to Stand Out in a Crowded Market”. His premise was based on the differences between Customer Service and Customer Care. Always entertaining, Bill did a great job of keeping the audience engaged and participating.

The day closed out with various committee meetings followed by a March Madness themed dinner/networking reception. Little did anyone know, the actual March Madness would be cancelled in less than 48 hours.

Wednesday morning opened up with break-out sessions featuring two dedicated toward Escrow and two dedicated toward Title. The diversity of topics was well received by the audience as each could pick and choose which topic met their interest. Closing out the morning was a group session on Lady Bird Deeds, Trusts, & Estates. All of Tuesday morning sessions were presented by panels made up of our membership. While each presenter had direct competitors in the audience, it was so encouraging (once again) to see everyone come together for the good of our industry. It’s one of the things that makes the MLTA so special.

By the time lunch was over and everyone gathered for the final presentation of the Summit, the Pandemic officially hit Michigan. It was announced by the Governor some Michigan residents had tested positive, and that the top universities announced no more in-person classes. As fate would have it, the final presentation was on “Developing A Leadership Mindset” by a former title industry alumnus Ann Davis. In the weeks that have ensued, all of our leadership skills would be tested as we all have had to navigate through various unprecedented changes and Executive Orders as our economy was quickly slowed to a crawl. Ann’s lessons would be put to immediate use.

We cannot thank enough the great job our Committees did on putting this event together. We look forward to the Spring Summit in 2021 as it may well be the next in-person MLTA event.

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