Benchmark Title Company, LLC


This week's Title Tip discusses the dying art of Customer Service and what you can expect to get when dealing with Benchmark Title for your title and escrow needs.     

Focus on Customer Service
by John Howe, President

The definition of Customer is "a buyer of goods or services."  One of the definitions of Service is "friendly help."  So why is it so hard to find these days?  Customer Service, where have you gone?

When you place an order for title work do you always get the best possible Customer Service? Do you always get to talk to the nicest people on the phone who are ready and willing to help?  Does this very important part of the transaction help you to feel confident about whether the title company is getting it right?

The same question applies to receiving your title commitment in a timely manner, and receiving an accurate product; scheduling the closing and getting your closing figures in an appropriate time frame so everyone knows what to bring to closing.  These things are important parts of a sale of real estate and need to be completed in a manner acceptable to you and your clients, buyer or seller.

Delays and problems are somewhat inherent to a real estate transaction, so the thing that sometimes become most important is how well your title company handles those problems that crop up.  Do they notify you in a timely manner when there are problems in the chain of title which may cause a delay?  Are they friendly and courteous when working with you to resolve title clearance issues or problems with escrows or funding?  Some of the things you can do to assist the title company in providing you with excellent customer service is to order the title work early in the process and send in a complete copy of the sales contract, including any addendums, changes, adjustments, counter offers, etc. along with copies of prior title policies if available.  There is no worse feeling at the closing table when we find out that the sales price has chanced and we didn't know about it, or worse yet, the lender doesn't know.   A last minute change like that could cause the transaction to be reviewed or recast by the lender's underwriting department, which could create a very unwelcome delay, a lot of stress for the parties, and a collapse of Customer Service.

At Benchmark Title our motto is "Quality, Accuracy, Service."  There is that word, "service" again, and we pride ourselves on hitting the mark on each and every deal we handle for you, our valued customer.  Which is why we've developed the "ONLYS."  The "ONLYS" are the extra things we do for you that you can't get anywhere else.  These are the things that help Benchmark outshine our competition, and help you to provide the best possible Customer Service to your clients.   ONLY Benchmark has SureClose, an online transaction management system which gives you free access to your title and escrow documents 24/7. ONLY Benchmark offers you Docs on Disc, providing copies of your closing documents on a CD at closing.  ONLY Benchmark gives "Policy at the Table", allowing you to leave the closing table with owners and loan policies of title insurance in hand.  That is our definition of Customer Service - going above and beyond to give you the best, so you in turn can give the best to your clients.  "Benchmark Title - Simply the best!"

Any questions can be directed to Benchmark Title at 618-239-3750. Please feel free to call or email: 

John Howe

Doreen Miller, Esq.
Commercial Division Manager

Sarah Holdener, Esq.
General Counsel,
VP Production

Michelle Null
VP Escrow Operations

Serving you from three convenient locations:

Main Office:
1124 Hartman Lane
Shiloh, IL 62221
Ph: 618-239-3750
Escrow Fax: 618-239-3707
Title Fax: 618-239-3757
Fax Orders: 618-310-1589
President: John Howe

318 North Main St.
Columbia, IL 62236
Ph: 618-281-9700
Fax: 618-281-9705
Manager: Randi Schur

4215 S. State Rte 159
Glen Carbon, IL 62034
Ph: 618-288-1695
Fax: 618-288-1852
Manager: Sara Sowell

Upcoming Title Tips

More 2006 ALTA Policy Changes

 Did you say free?

Be the first in your office to try out, Benchmark Title's new FREE online transaction management system. Why waste time making status phone calls or standing by the fax waiting for your title commitment when you can get what you need instantly from your own computer. Visit for more information or call April Tolan, our SureClose Specialist, at 618-239-3750 for your sign-on so you can start saving yourself time and money today. We'll even give you and your clients a free CD at closing containing copies of their closing documents.

Give me my policy!

Did you know that lenders and home buyers now receive their title policies at the closing table? Call Michelle Null, VP Escrow Operations, to learn more about this exciting new program.

Ready to refi?

Lenders and homeowners will want to hear about our fantastically low new refinance rates. Call today for a quote!

Why wait?

You can place your next title order now by clicking here.


   Employee Spotlight

 Sara Sowell

Sara Sowell joined Benchmark Title in January of this year as Escrow Officer and Manager of our Glen Carbon office.  Sara first worked in banking as a loan processor and then mortgage loan officer before venturing into title insurance with Benchmark.  With her lending experience, she has taken very naturally to her role as closer.  Sara was recently recognized by the Illinois Business Journal as one of Southern Illinois' Rising Stars, for being one of the areas young up and coming business professionals.  She resides in Edwardsville with her husband, Sean, and her two children, Ethan, 6, and Zachary, 3.   Sara can be reached at 618-288-1695 or by email at 

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