Closings with Authority

The Ladies of Authority Title & Escrow are making their presence known in an unlikely field.

They’ve been in business for less than a year, but it is no surprise that Authority Title & Escrow is appearing at more-and-more closing tables in Middle Tennessee and beyond. Co-owners Melanie Harper, Tabitha King, and Katelyn Seng have more than 40 years of combined experience and legions of satisfied customers. And as a female-owned enterprise, Authority is an anomaly in a male-dominated industry. “Most title companies are owned by men and run by women,” says Harper. “We’re changing the game! Our subcontractors are men.”

According to Harper, Authority doesn’t exist to make a statement to the world. Instead, it’s the natural progression for three professionals who know their industry, respect their craft, and who happen to be women. “Traditionally, deals have been made because men golf or socialize together, and they feel more at ease doing business with other men,” she says. “That cycle perpetuates, so it’s a challenge trying to get into those circles. But we’re smart, determined, and we’re driven to provide clients with an amazing closing experience so that they’ll call us again.”

Authority Title & Escrow traces its innocuous beginning to 2007 when Harper moved to Tennessee and landed a job at a title company where King already worked. King was well into her career, having gone to work in title with her aunt right after graduating from the University of Tennessee. Harper and King worked for different companies over the years but stayed in touch and, by 2013, reconnected at another firm. A year later, they were hired by a law firm to open a new title company. They launched the company and hired Seng, fresh out of college, to fill in while Harper was on maternity leave. Eventually, she was promoted to full-time status.

The business grew, but when ownership changed, they formed their own title company and worked for themselves, and Authority Title & Escrow was born.  Authority facilitates closings throughout Tennessee and Alabama. The company’s headquarters is in Murfreesboro, with additional offices at Cummins Station in Nashville and Athens, Alabama.

The Authority team understands that closing on a real estate transaction can be a harrowing experience because it’s something that most people don’t do very often. But their years of experience enable them to make the process seamless, if not enjoyable. “Coordinating a closing is not as simple as getting a contract and scheduling a meeting,” says King. “In the days and weeks prior to closing, we will run down the history of the property to ensure that you have a clear title to it when you receive your keys and leave the table.”  “It goes beyond the title,” says Seng. “While the property may change hands, there are many people who have an interest in it. We’re mindful of that, whether it’s the buyer, the seller, or the agent. Others may have an emotional connection to it, and that’s important, too, because title is a relationship business.”

Authority is actively involved in the community. Harper is a Diplomat for the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce, while King is set to become president of the Tennessee Land Title Association next year. On the philanthropic side, each year, Authority hosts a Trivia Night fundraiser to benefit Isaiah 117 House, where young children are sheltered and fed in a safe and clean environment while awaiting placement with their new foster families.

page 6 pull quote: We’re smart, determined, and we’re driven to provide clients with an amazing closing experience so that they’ll call us again.”

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