Kings River Title Opens a New Office
As you may know, I am one of the owners of Kings River Title Company, which we purchased in 2006. Known as Berryville Abstract and Title Company (or Berryville Title and Abstract, I can’t remember which), we purchased it from a family who had run it for decades.
Looking back, they were smarter sellers than we were buyers, given that they sold at almost the very top of the market, but even so I don’t regret the buy. The company originally just wrote exclusively in the Eastern District of Carroll County (Carroll County is one of ten Arkansas counties with two county seats), it had the majority of the market. And the market was relatively stable. Carroll County never flew as high as Benton and Washington, so it didn’t have as far to fall, especially in the Eastern District, which is primarily agricultural with a few stable light industries.
Our first step was to remake the business and improve our technology, which has been fairly successful and markedly improved our speed. We set specific goals for turnaround times which we have reached consistently since the first 6 months.
From the beginning we knew we wanted to expand as you can only do so much in our limited geographic area. So we have taken the next logical step of opening an office in the Western District of Carroll County, whose county seat is Eureka Springs. While just 10 miles apart, these two district which are divided by the Kings River could be divided by the Atlantic Ocean in culture and attitude. And in property values.
So a month ago, we opened an office right where you turn off 62 to go into historic downtown Eureka on Hwy 23 in Community First Plaza at 105B West Van Buren. While it may seem like a bad time to expand, particularly given the title companies shutting down in Northwest Arkansas and the overall market, we feel like it’s an opportunity for growth. If we can even just break even, although we have bigger goals than that, in this market, we should be well positioned when the market shifts. As it inevitably will, even if it takes a year or two. The trick will be finding the balance of smart growth with reasonable overhead costs that are supported by increased market share.
And we are not done expanding. . . .