Claire Hartman, Brigette Allen, David Wolff, and Will Lowery purchased First Community Title in April 2017. And since then, they have provided top-notch real estate settlement and title insurance services for companies, individuals, and government entities in Temple and throughout Bell County.
Hartman has been in the industry for 37 years and still operates with the notion that every transaction can be closed –it’s just a matter of time.
“FCT shines in our knowledge and ability to get things done,” Hartman said. “With eight underwriters, we can be creative in our approach to solutions where other title companies may turn away a client.”
Since taking over the business, the FCT team has closed on various property types, from condos to airports to the I-35 Right of Way Project.
“Title insurance is a unique product as it provides coverage for ‘back in time’ whereas all other insurances protect you for future events,” said Allen.
One of the main functions of title insurance is to verify that soon-to-be purchased property is clear of liens and all other owners. The title company is a neutral party in the actual real estate transactions as it operates within the contract of the real estate rather than in the interest of the buyer, seller, or lender.
Much of First Community Title’s success comes from its strong ties to the community and its history in Bell County. Its core team has more than 350 years of combined experience that spans the field of title transactions.
First Community Title first opened in the 1880s and changed ownership and hands several times since. However, it grew noticeably after Hartman was placed at its helm as president in 2002. Soon the company expanded beyond Exchange Place in Temple to Killeen with a small office and a research facility on the town square in Belton.
In 2004 FCT moved its Temple office to its current location at 4613 South 31st Street. Shortly after that came offices in Salado, Harker Heights, and Gatesville —and more than 30 employees.
“When we say real people, real service, we mean it,” Wolff explained. “We value our employees, our clients, and this community.”
Lowery added, “We pour into our team, and, in turn, they pour into our clients.”
The company demonstrates a solid belief in development with its internal training program that pays special attention to growing leaders. Allen wore several hats, including bookkeeper, escrow assistant, and operations/training manager, before becoming one of the company’s owners.
“Terri Holwerda, Cindy Sladecek, and I have been around since we were the Old Republic Title of Bell County (1989),” she said.
Take one glance at First Community’s Facebook page, and the impact of their long relationships becomes evident. The company culture resembles one of a start-up tech company rather than a title company. Birthday announcements tagged #fctfamily, TikTok dances, and invitations to their monthly First Friday meetings flood its profile.
“We can say that the success of our company is built on teamwork, communication, mutual respect between our employees, real estate agents, and lenders,” Hartman said. “It takes a team, and that takes agreement, alignment, accountability, and adjustment. Thru that, you build trust amongst all parties in the transaction.”
The Temple Chamber of Commerce thanks First Community Title for its contributions to the business community and its membership with the Chamber.