Nationwide Title Clearing CEO John Hillman has been honored as one of the housing industry's most noteworthy executives by HousingWire (HW) Magazine in its December/January issue.
Since becoming Nationwide Title Clearing’s chief executive in 2006, John Hillman has increased individual productivity by 300%, increased NTC’s e-recordings from 11% to 70% and achieved triple-digit revenue growth over several years.
Hillman joined the Palm Harbor, Florida-based research and document-processing service provider 19 years ago and has held various leadership roles during that time. NTC services mortgage lenders, servicers and investors, including eight of the top 10 residential mortgage servicers in the country, for the entire lifecycle of a loan.
NTC believes that every mortgage process begins with “verifying clear chain of title and repairing any encumbrance before taking any action that would further cloud title,” Hillman said, noting that a clear title helps set the stage for a more efficient and compliant mortgage process.
Founded in 1991, NTC is the largest lien release and assignments provider in the world, processing more than 16.5 million lien releases.
“We have now entertained for several months a 99.8% compliance on every single one,” he said. “I don’t think there’s anyone else out there that has perfected the information necessary at a county-by-county level to be able to have that level of quality and what is sent out the door to record.”
Hillman attributes that high compliance rate to NTC’s commitment to quality data at the county level. The company’s land records and document experts are able to track and fulfill county document requirements in all 3,600-plus recording jurisdictions nationwide.
“We’re practically obsessed at perfecting our county data,” he said. “The best source of information is always the county.”
E-recording affects compliance, so a few years ago NTC became a front-runner for e-recording initiatives, increasing its e-recording capability to nearly 70% of total volume, establishing benchmark compliance systems and developing compliance tracking on all of its processes. What would normally be a 30- to 90-day recording process is cut down to single-digit days or, in some cases, less than 24 hours.
NTC also is big on training for its employees. It offers more than 100 different training courses that pertain to about 50 company positions. About two-thirds of NTC employees are actively engaged in training related to their roles, and about 70% of the workforce is in the process of training for advancement or cross-training.
One of Hillman’s biggest challenges is finding enough well-trained and innovative IT resources to meet demand.
“We cannot program fast enough to keep up with the demand from the expansion,” he said.
The company’s growth trajectory shot up shortly after Hillman took the reins. Revenue growth ranged from 350% to 500% until 2011 and continues at a respectable double-digit rate. NTC continues to expand in areas such as document processing services and property reports, specifically adding more diverse reports for clients, and file audits and remediation, a newer line of business.
“We’re expanding rapidly and looking at 40% growth over last year,” he said, and employee count is hitting an all-time high of 407.
Hillman said NTC’s growth has been aided by its partnerships with clients, who “enhance us as much as we enhance them.”
“Clients offer suggestions or scorecard us,” he said. “When we adopt their suggestions then everybody wins.”
Prior to joining NTC, Hillman ran a sales and tech support team for a software company and achieved a 400% increase in revenue within two years. A deep understanding of process flows allows him to rip them apart and develop them to meet industry needs.
“It’s translated through in everything I do in assisting our clients,” Hillman said.
HW - What one habit has made a crucial difference in your success?
JH - “No matter what we do as a company, humans are involved and all of them have lives. I’ve made it a habit to truly care about those I work with because the company goals are supported by real people with real goals of their own. The best way to achieve company goals is to support the goals of those you work with.”