I’m hearing this morning that local real estate brokerage, John L. Scott has decided to terminate their joint venture business arrangement with Rainier Title and Escrow. After seven to eight years of touting that business arrangements like this benefit the consumer, apparently they’re singing another tune.
My stance has always been that arrangements such as this do not benefit the consumer. They can actually prevent consumers from receiving the lowest title and escrow rates and it discourages the consumer from shopping when the real estate agent does their best to please their broker and keep that title or escrow with their pre-arranged company. Typically the real estate companies who have business arrangements discourage their real estate agents from using any other company and will often make it difficult (if not impossible) for outside companies to attempt to have contact with their real estate agents.
So if the argument big companies like John L. Scott, to hold interest in title and escrow companies, like Rainier, is that it’s an advantage for the consumer – what’s changed? Could it possibly be that these arrangements are no longer the cash-cows they once were for the managing brokers?
It will be interesting to see if the other local real estate companies who have title and escrow business arrangements, like Windermere and Coldwell Banker Bain, follow John L. Scott.