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    Celebrating 30 Years of Resilience and Innovation

    Certified Title Corporation: Celebrating 30 Years of Resilience and Innovation

    By Abby Isaacs | Photos by Maryland Photography Inc.

    30 years for Certified Title

    Stephen Millstein doesn’t back down from a challenge. It wasn’t easy, but his determination got him to the finish line of three marathons. Even still, his most demanding feat has been steering his business, Certified Title Corporation, through the ever-changing landscape of the real estate industry for a remarkable 30 years. As the company prepares to celebrate this significant milestone, Stephen attributes their enduring success to a dynamic and dedicated team, cutting-edge technology, and an unwavering commitment to exceptional customer service.

    “There is a deep level of commitment to your company and employees required to survive the ups and downs of the real estate market. Surviving 30 years in this industry is a mark of a company that has been through many battles and found ways to weather the storms. I have a tremendous sense of pride. We have been blessed with many amazing employees over the years, especially now, who consistently go above and beyond to provide the best client experience possible,” Stephen said.

    Certified Title Corporation’s longevity in the market is not only a testament to resilience but also to the wealth of experience and knowledge amassed by the team. With staff members boasting tenures of 10, 15, and even 20+ years, the collective wisdom contributes to a robust foundation that is brought to every closing.

    His fully-staffed main office is located in Owings Mills, but as a cloud-based entity for over a decade, they have handled tens of thousands of residential and commercial purchase transactions throughout the state of Maryland and the entire country.

    “We are wherever your deal is,” Stephen said.

    Reflecting on the unexpected trajectory of Certified Title, Stephen recalls its humble beginnings. After graduating from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 1993, Stephen was a general practice attorney handling real estate settlements as well as debt collection and criminal and civil litigation. Many clients encouraged him to start his own title company, so Certified Title opened in 1994.

    “I like this area of the law because it’s helping people reach their dream of home ownership rather than other areas of the law that are more conflict-driven. I also enjoy the business aspect of running a title company,” Stephen said.

    Stephen’s journey includes a pivotal partnership with Michael Segal in 2009, marking a turning point in Certified Title’s trajectory. Together, they navigated economic cycles, market fluctuations, and the ever-evolving landscape of real estate.

    “We’ve survived many economic cycles over these 30 years, and we will continue to thrive by picking up market share as some of our competitors close up shop,” said Michael.

    Over the years, the company has transformed from a more refinance-focused title company to a versatile entity that excels in purchases. Adding a commercial division and expanding into emerging markets, such as Cannabis, showcases their adaptability and foresight.

    They have gone almost entirely paperless and have employees nationwide. In pursuing excellence, the company has embraced technological innovation, achieving ALTA Best Practices certification and introducing an AI-driven app named “Buddy.” This app streamlines the transaction process, delivering data seamlessly to involved parties to enhance efficiency leading up to closings.

    “There’s probably nothing we haven’t seen and we’ve seen a lot. We’ve closed loans everywhere to accommodate people because our business model is to go anywhere, anytime, anyhow, whatever it takes to get the deal done,” Stephen said.

    For Stephen, the key to success lies in assembling a dedicated team that supports and motivates him to continue growing the business, even in challenging times. Recognizing the pivotal role of individuals like partner Michael Segal and Director of Operations Julia Nolan, Stephen acknowledges their contributions.

    “I feel a deep sense of responsibility to the amazing people who work here. Just like me, they rely on CTC for their paycheck. They put their heart and soul into this place, and I desperately want it to be here for as long as they want to work here. Michael has a good forward-looking vision, and he pushes me. Julia is the glue that keeps us performing at the highest possible level. She came in about 20 years ago and basically sacrificed everything in her life to make sure Certified Title was successful. They’re incredibly important to the story of CTC,” said Stephen.

    Looking ahead to the next decade, Stephen’s focus is on continued growth.

    “The goal today is to stay busy and find ways to grow our business in this difficult market. This is when many people would fold up their tents and move along. It’s hard to find new business right now, but it’s how this business is. Rates will come down at some point. Our industry will improve, and our mindset is that everything we’re doing right now to build and strengthen Certified Title will pay off when that happens,” Stephen said.




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