NTP Turns Ten!
There were some naysayers who objected to placing one professional designation over another. Anastasi argued that validating knowledge, encouraging association participation and inspiring the sharing of decades of industry insights would only strengthen the industry and bring increased respect from regulators and related real estate partners.
She took her case to ALTA’s Education Committee in May 2011. The committee became convinced that the challenges in creating a national designation—when taken one step at a time—would be worth the Herculean effort. ALTA’s Board of Governors approved the creation of the program during their summer meeting in June 2012. The Education Committee went to work to bring the National Title Professional (NTP) designation to life.
“The task seemed daunting when the idea of a national designation was first discussed by the ALTA Board and the Education Committee,” said Anastasi, first vice president for Old Republic National Title. “But we also knew that the importance of the work performed by the professionals of the title industry needed to be recognized.”
Many consider Anastasi, who served as the 2011 ALTA president, the “Godmother of the NTP designation” since she was the driving force that led to the establishment of the designation. In 2013, she joined four other ALTA members who were among the first class of NTP designees. To date, 127 title professionals have earned their NTP, which is designed as a tool for ALTA members to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. NTP member benefits include recognition in ALTA publications, on the ALTA website and at ALTA events. Additionally, members who attain the NTP designation can enhance their industry credentials by using the NTP designation on their resume, in networking activities and on marketing materials, subject to any state law or bar association restrictions or limitations.
The designation has several elements, including industry and compliance prerequisites and training requirements.
“For a decade now, the National Title Professional program has afforded our members the opportunity to distinguish themselves within the land title industry,” said Diane Tomb, ALTA’s CEO. “The program promotes advanced levels of knowledge and experience that are required in a rapidly changing and increasingly competitive workplace. The professionals who have earned their designation and those who will earn it in the future illustrate the integrity and experience within the land title industry.”
Philip Janny, a title agent for the law firm Plunkett & Graver PC, joined Anastasi in the initial class of NTPs. He also testified with Anastasi and others during a hearing in 2009 in front of the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance to explain functions the industry provides to help ensure the safe and efficient transfer of real property.
“The regulator knew the ‘macros,’ the big picture about the title industry of which they regulate, such as insurance solvency, risk management and capitalization of underwriters, but they lacked serious knowledge of the ‘micros,’ the small steps, the 200 plus steps that every title agent does to get to a successful closing,” Janny said.
After the hearing, he joined the mission of helping explain what the industry does every day to deliver successful closings.
“I wanted to become active helping the title industry in some small way to be a messenger of what protections we afford consumers in real estate transactions,” Janny said. “I knew that obtaining the NTP designation and continuing to meet the requirements to keep the NTP designation, reminds me that I am not just talking the talk, but walking the walk for a profession I am passionate about. With ALTA’s leadership, along with my state’s land title association (The Pennsylvania Land Title Association), 10 years later, our industry is in a much stronger position of communication about our industry and what we do, and I am proud to be a small part of that strength.”
Janny said earning the designation helped him gain additional competence and knowledge of title-related matters. It provided him a boost of confidence that he was knowledgeable on industry topics, which in turn motivated him to help others. Janny encourages others to get more engaged in the industry and to earn their NTP.
“A title person is on a lifelong mission learning something new—so do not sell yourself short,” Janny said. “Be proud of what you do and what your industry does daily. The NTP designation is a stamp of approval that one can achieve from ALTA to demonstrate the importance of adhering to certain professional standards and achieving excellence in the title industry. Clients have told me, ‘Your professionalism has provided us with a level of care and comfort that makes us feel safer and more secure knowing we are in a professionals hand in our real estate transaction.’ That’s a pretty strong compliment.”