What Customer Service can do for you: Developing the next generation of industry leaders
Customer service is at the core of our company’s values. Whether it’s a warm smile as you walk to the front desk or a friendly phone call, we strive to provide the best experience possible. But is that all that Customer Service does? Far from it! Shannon Murray, our Customer Service Manager and Learning and Development Coordinator, takes us on a deep dive into what Customer Service can offer you! She also shares a never-before-seen glimpse into the programs that make PNWT one of the most progressive leaders in our industry in all of Kitsap County.
Can you share your journey a little bit into the world of Title and Escrow?
I was working in a coffee shop that was on the first floor of our building for about a year and a half. I found out that I was having my daughter, so I started looking for other opportunities. I already knew everybody [at PNWT], so when they heard that I was looking, they suggested I come upstairs to work in Customer Service. I started at the front desk and never left. It’s easy to say it’s because every day is different, but I really like being in a versatile position. The Customer Service department is the hub of the wheel for all activities that take place. We’re in the middle of the office surrounded by all the processes of each department and we are, in some way, involved with all of it.
I’ve been managing the department for about two and a half years. I really love helping people get their start in the company and then to branch out to find their passion. I love seeing people being promoted to a place where they feel they can truly thrive.
What is the primary role of Customer Service department?
A lot of what Customer Service does takes place prior to a sale happening or a contract being signed. There is a lot of information we can provide prior to preliminary title being completed, which is a detailed, comprehensive examination of the property and supporting documents. Our most requested product is called a “listing package,” which provides general information about a property based on county records. The information we can provide prior to prelim includes listing packages, documents like the CC&Rs (covenants, conditions, and restrictions of a property), surveys, and easements. We also cultivate farming lists, or circle prospecting lists, for clients based on specific criteria so that they can generate leads and market to their potential customers.
What other resources are available?
Home books are a fantastic resource. They’re similar to a listing package and include all property information, vesting deed, surveys, as-built information, CC&Rs, and maps of the property. They also include other valuable information, such as community resources, local utility companies, demographics, school districts, restaurants, entertainment, and parks.
Real estate agents often have them displayed at an open house for people to view. They also make great gifts for first time homebuyers. We have multiple home book styles and options to meet everyone’s needs.
As the Learning and Development Coordinator, you have done a lot of work implementing the Leaders in Learning program for PNWT. Can you tell me a little about that project?
We are so fortunate to have employees who have been here or in this industry for over 20 years, and some for more than 40 years. Our LPOs alone have over 114 years of shared Escrow experience. In our company, there is cumulatively over 1,000 years of experience. These individuals and the knowledge they bring is immensely valuable and I saw that as an incredible opportunity not only to highlight our more experienced staff, but to also give those who are new to the industry an avenue to grow.
When I first started at PNWT, my expertise was in making and serving coffee. With no prior industry experience, I felt limited. I was grateful to have all these knowledgeable, subject-matter experts around me who were willing to pass that knowledge onto me. As I grew in the company and learned about each department, I felt it was important to enhance that interaction. [The PNWT executive team and I] worked to create programs that support new employees so that they immediately have access to the resources and people that will help them to be successful in their career.
Learning never stops, especially in this industry, so we also focus on continuously expanding our knowledge base through continued training and development. Focusing on internal education gives every employee insight into every step in the process of title and escrow. This not only improves our skills and ability to perform our job well, but also helps us to understand each other as a team and to be more empathetic.
Our goal as a company is to empower our current staff and bolster the next generation of people to maintain the PNWT standard and thrive. Because of these learning programs, the experience of an individual employee at PNWT can become a legacy for generations to come.
What do you do outside of work? What do you enjoy about the Kitsap area?
I have a four-year-old daughter, so it’s fun to have a built-in playmate and best friend. If I want to go exploring, she’s always there with me. I also like board games and baking bread- those are the things I really love. Andrea, [our Executive Assistant], and I found a bread baking book. We were trying to make every bread recipe from cover to cover. Then I got to sourdough and just couldn’t figure it out. I recently made an amazing chimichurri focaccia, though, and Andrea loved it!
What makes PNWT special?
The reason I am here is because of the support I have received from our leadership. I love implementing change and helping people grow. Working with a group of people who share those values has been extremely rewarding. I’ve been supported in my growth and now, I want to pay it forward.