After more than 30 years in the public records research industry, Capitol Lien has grown many Due Diligence Gurus in-house. These tremendously knowledgeable people work hard every day ensuring no stone is left unturned and data is as correct as possible from the source.
We reached out to our team of Gurus for some insight on their path of Due Diligence enlightenment. Like all journeys, the adventure is always unfolding and continues well beyond the initial training.
Introducing our Gurus
Joe Emerson is a Director for our Property Research Division and has been with Capitol Lien for 17 years as of this July 2021. When asked about his origin story Joe replied: “You could say I fell into it as I had friends already working here and they needed a researcher.”
One of our Research Supervisors expressed, “I was looking for a career change and the opportunity appeared.” said Lisa Stalberger who has now been working at Capitol Lien for 12 years.
With nearly 13 years of experience, our Property Research Manager Tom Hauer stated that “I got started in this industry the way most do, I knew people in it and they liked who they worked for and with.”
And lastly, we were able to hear from Mandy Dietz, Operations Director with 16+ years of experience in the industry. “After obtaining my degree, I worked with a fast-paced business litigation law firm for a while. Because I had legal research knowledge and experience due to obtaining my paralegal certification, Brad (currently Vice President) thought I would be a good fit for the Capitol Lien team.”
Moving on to the specifics, we asked Joe about the education and certifications he and his team have. “An abstractors license is required to be able to certify an abstract or report where certification is requested. The majority of our abstracters have their abstractors license. The company is also required to have a “Company” abstractors license. I currently have my abstracters license and am a Notary in Minnesota. I attend various real estate courses and conferences throughout the years as well. The MNCLE Real Estate Institute has some great speakers each year and those courses can be helpful as well.” It is amazing how many people on our staff have their notary public in addition to all of our licensed abstractors.
Tom added that “Every day is a learning process, as different situations present themselves. The MN State Bar Association does a nice job of putting on real estate-related training.” Nicely said. Each day is definitely a learning process.
Mandy has obtained her paralegal degree, “it’s helped me understand what our clients need as I have been exposed to that industry. I also read a lot of industry news and articles, stay familiar with industry-related associations and organizations, and participate in webinars given by others in the field.”
Searching for Success
To be successful in this industry you have to apply many levels of logic and discernment even if delivering the results for others to make their own determinations. There are many nuances for each jurisdiction to understand. That is precisely why we have our researchers and abstractors in specific roles of expertise. They know their areas’ processes and jurisdictions inside and out to uncover the definitive results that we build our reputation on.
Not every search is going to be “open and shut”. Some require sleuthing at the source to get proper documents due to it not being readily available or the information being too old to be deemed reputable by our staff. Watch out for bad through dates!
There are times when the recorded document is incorrect or missing. Human error by the state offices does happen sometimes. Also, when it became common for digital archives to be available, not all data populated seamlessly without error. Always best for us to double and triple check. Not to worry if you have a search that is less than seamless, we are very transparent, and always communicate any issues with our clients.
Our abstractors and researchers are the front lines of our company. This past year has been a testament to their capabilities and willingness to band together during these difficult times. Led by great masters in Due Diligence, our team can stay centered.
To conclude, here is some sage advice from the gurus themselves: “Double and triple check and there is no such thing as a stupid question.” – Joe Emerson. “Accuracy and Accountability are core principles, my philosophy in regards to Due Diligence is just that, do it right the first time. Make sure to go through everything and read it so there are never surprises within your control.” – Lisa Stalberger. “ I never lose, I either win or I learn. i.e. every day is a chance to learn.” – Tom Hauer. And a mantra we all stand behind, “Do the right thing and follow the Golden Rule.” – Mandy Dietz.
These are just a few wise words from some of our many Due Diligence Gurus. We look forward to putting our expertise to task for you and your team, you can contact us at any time with questions or to place an order.