Kevin Tacher | From NY Firefighter to Crime Fighter, FBI Stings, and Networking Strategies
Smart Business Revolution

Kevin Tacher is the Founder and CEO of Independence Title, a title insurance company. Also known as the “Title King,” Kevin has been featured in various media outlets including Fox News and NBC. He is a three-time best-selling author and national real estate speaker. He has shared the stage with some of the country’s best real estate and motivational speakers and has worked closely with the FBI, Florida’s Attorney General, and local, state, and federal agencies to uncover real estate fraud across Florida. 

In this episode of the Smart Business Revolution Podcast, John Corcoran interviews Kevin Tacher, the Founder and CEO of Independence Title, about his experience as a firefighter and his work uncovering real estate fraud. They also discuss Kevin’s strategies for marketing his business and how he kept his company going during the 2008 economic crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Here’s a Glimpse of What You’ll Hear:

  • Kevin Tacher shares his background as a firefighter during the 9/11 tragedy
  • How Kevin started and grew an in-house title company
  • How the 2008 economic crisis impacted Kevin’s company 
  • Kevin talks about networking to market his business 
  • The strategies Kevin used to keep his company going when the pandemic hit
  • What does uncovering fraud entail?
  • The peers Kevin acknowledges for their support

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Sponsor: Rise25

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Cofounders Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran credit podcasting as being the best thing they have ever done for their businesses. Podcasting connected them with the founders/CEOs of P90xAtariEinstein BagelsMattelRx BarsYPO, EO, Lending Tree, Freshdesk,  and many more.  

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Rise25 Cofounders, Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran, have been podcasting and advising about podcasting since 2008.

Episode Transcript

Intro 0:14

Welcome to the revolution, the Smart Business Revolution Podcast, where we ask today’s most successful entrepreneurs to share the tools and strategies they use to build relationships and connections to grow their revenue. Now, your host for the revolution, John Corcoran.

John Corcoran 0:40

All right, welcome everyone, John Corcoran. Here are the hosts of this show. If you are new to listening to this program, go check out some of our archives because we got some great upcoming interviews and great past interviews with intelligent CEOs, founders and entrepreneurs of companies and organizations ranging from Netflix to Kinkos’, YPO, EO, Activision Blizzard, LendingTree, we have Redfin coming up soon, Quicken recently, Grub Hub coming up really soon. All kinds of interesting entrepreneurs who share their perspectives. I’m also the Co-founder of Rise25 where we help connect b2b business owners to their ideal prospects. My guest here today, Kevin Tacher, he is known as the title king. He’s the founder and CEO of Independence Title Inc. He’s a Three Times best-selling author, national real estate speaker. He’s been featured on all kinds of media outlets from Fox News and NBC, he shared the stage with some of the country’s best real estate and motivational speakers. And another interesting piece, which we’ll dive into in this interview is that he’s worked closely with the FBI, Florida’s Attorney General, and local and state and federal agencies to uncover real estate fraud across the state of Florida. So we’ll talk about that. And now how we got involved in that in the first place. 

This episode, of course, is brought to you by Rise25 where we help b2b business get client referrals and strategic partnerships with done for you podcasts and content marketing. And if you’re listening to this and wondering if you should do a podcast, I say, yes, one of the best things I’ve ever done, get to talk to interesting guys like Kevin, all the time to go to resume, you can learn all about how to do it. All right, Kevin, pleasure to have you here. And first of all, I want to start with a piece of your story, which kind of jumped out at me when I was reading about you. You were a firefighter in New York City 20 years ago. And for some reason, coincidence of fate, you might say 20 days before 911 decided to move to Florida. What motivated that? What was that? Just just you’d have enough and ready for change?

Kevin Tacher 2:42

Yeah, well, first, thanks for inviting me on the podcast. I appreciate it. It’s always good to talk to like-minded entrepreneurs and educate people. And yeah, you’re right, I moved down 20 days before 911. My uncle actually owned a mortgage company in Florida. I was young, I was only on the job about six years. And he said, listen, moved down to Florida, get into the mortgage business. It’s super hot, you’ll make more in a month than you made in a year. And I didn’t really know what to do. sighs I just got married at the time. And I said, You know what, I’m gonna give it a chance I’ll take a leave of absence and hopped in the car drove down to Florida. And it was August 20 of 2001. And unfortunately, that dais is holds a big place in my heart. And you know, I always think to myself, well, I should have been there. Maybe I should have been here. So you never know why.

John Corcoran 3:31

Yeah. So your station? I believe it was somewhere around Midtown Manhattan. Is that right? Somewhere on Time Square. So

Kevin Tacher 3:41

I rent I actually work on the island. So it’s up on Long Island, but I did run fire safety and security for the Crowne Plaza Hotel, right in time square. So, you know, it’s hard to know whether that day I would have been in Times Square, and I would have just ran straight down there. Or I would have been out on the island. And I would have went with the crew that went down. I have photos of them, of you know, my crew, they went down the next day. And were there so you know, where I would have been that day, but either way I would have been the day of or the day after? And I always said like, I’m always one that runs in when everyone’s running out? Yes, for sure. I would have been there.

John Corcoran 4:16

You know, I’m someone who has had a lot of transitions in his career, I’ve gone from one industry to another, and there’s always a piece of you even if you’re excited about moving to the new industry. Maybe you miss friends, maybe you miss camaraderie you miss pieces of something you did before. But for you was such an a momentous event happening. There must have been a part of you as you watch the news unfold feeling like you know, I should have been in the middle of this. What kind of emotions were you experiencing as that unfolded after 911? Yeah,

Kevin Tacher 4:50

the number of 10,000 comes to mind because I always tell my best friend who was up there. I think I called them probably 10,000 times that day. And I remember just sitting there watching the news. And, and just wondering, like, should I hop in the car and drive back up there? But I was like, I really don’t know, I don’t know what to do. I wasn’t really sure what if I get up there and I’d be allowed anywhere near there to be able to help. So I didn’t know really what to do, until a few days passed. And then my guys were like, don’t worry about it, there’s, there’s no reason to have to come up here. But that’s what sparked me into the business I’m in today. And I go in with that same philosophy of we go in the deal, and we leave the deal. And we’ll leave no one behind because I’ll never forget, one time in a house fire a guy saved my life, he literally grabbed me and pulled me down the steps and out the front door. Otherwise, I may not have made it out. So you know, that’s the philosophy of my business. That’s the philosophy of my life. We’ll go in together and we leave together.

John Corcoran 5:45

And I want to in a moment, we’ll get to talking about some of the work you’ve been doing with uncovering wire fraud, title fraud. Sounds like some people taking advantage as seniors, that sort of thing. But first, so you end up down in Florida. How long before you started thinking about starting your own company? How long were you working for your uncle first?

Kevin Tacher 6:07

I was yeah, I worked for him for a while. And then didn’t open my own title company until 2003. So it’s about two years. Yeah. Two years later that I decided that I needed to just do my own thing, be my own boss, make my own decisions, and change my own lives, as opposed to you know, working with everyone else.

John Corcoran 6:26

Even then, you know, looking back, reflecting back on it now. Being brand new to estate only being there for two years. That can be a tall order to establish a new business where you need to rely on on your network. What did you do to generate business for the business? No, for the for the new company?

Kevin Tacher 6:46

Yeah, cold calling was was the biggest thing for me. I had no problem. You know, I mean, I’m a hard worker, and I was a firefighter, I worked two different jobs, I have no problem working hard. So for me, you know, we have on all of our logoed material. Now it says, work hard, stay focused, never quit. And that’s just what I’ve done. That’s all I know, right out of high school, I just I just worked. So I basically bought a list of names. And I started cold calling till nine o’clock at night, and eventually got one loan two loan three loans for loans, because I was a mortgage broker at the time, and then eventually moved into the real estate space, because I said, You know what, I’m tired of, of deals getting messed up. So that got my real estate license, and I basically help a client find a home, I would do their loan for them. And then eventually, I just added the closing piece. So I was doing all three sides of the deal. And I was just helping my clients and saying, You know what, if something goes wrong, call me because you’re gonna call me anyway. So I’d rather at least be responsible for everything that happens, good, bad or indifferent. And it wasn’t until I had an opportunity, which I know, you know, about their networking to drop everything and just stick to the title business. From Oh, three on?

John Corcoran 7:52

Yeah, so there was a real estate broker that you’d connected with. And what you were alluding to was she basically approached you and asked you to be your their exclusive title company. It sounds like though, part of the deal was you had to drop the other work that you were doing. So for some that, you know, could be a trade off, or they’re not willing to make Why Were you willing to do that? Why did you say, Okay, I’m gonna alter what I do is accompany and drop two thirds of what I do, and just focus on this one piece.

Kevin Tacher 8:23

I mean, she was it was a large real estate brokerage, and I knew her for many years. I mean, we’ve not many years, but two years, I basically built a relationship with her, I used to actually help build her PowerPoint for her new agents when they come in for her new agent orientation. So she needed help with PowerPoint. So I was just friendly with her and I built her PowerPoint, even for my competitor, the other title agency that was in her office. And then two years later, she just basically called said, had a falling out with that title company, they the agents aren’t happy with her. We’d like to bring in a new person would you be interested in I said, when she said now, and I basically I’ll never forget, I got a U haul truck. My assistant at the time I hired her five sons. They came, they packed up our office and we moved right into her office, and I never looked back. And, you know, for me, it’s all about relationships. So I said here, if I have a lady who built us a very successful real estate brokerage with 800 agents, she’s saying, Come be my exclusive title company. So I’m going to take the chance, just like I took a chance to move down to Florida, something just told me that that relationship was gonna last a long time. And now to this day, she’s like a second mother to me, and I’m still in her office as their title company.

John Corcoran 9:31

That’s, that’s amazing. It’s worked out so well. A part of me when I hear that kind of situation gets a little fearful because, you know, there’s there have been many instances of companies where they have too many eggs in one basket. And then if that relationship goes sour, it can you know, torpedo the whole company. What were your thoughts going into that? Were there ways in which you may be protected against that sort of thing happening? Or is it just, you know, doing a good job Maintaining that strong relationship with her.

Kevin Tacher 10:02

So usually in Florida, there’s a lot of like joint venture agreements, there’s there’s operating agreements where the real estate broker owns part of the title company, and they have these arrangements. And I’ll tell you to this day, 18 years later, we never had an arrangement other than a lease and a handshake. And you’re here on your own merit, you build your own relationships, you get your own business. It’s a unique relationship that most people thrive for, like they would love to have it. And it’s all really built on hard work and relationships. And it’s very, very rare to see something like that most of the brokerages in town at least in South Florida, and I think North Florida as well all have an in house title company, and they all get paid. They all pay the broker to be there, whether it’s a joint venture and affiliate marketing agreement, and ours is simply a handshake and like a mother son relationship.

John Corcoran 10:56

2008 2009 famously major real estate crash. Take me back to that moment in time. I imagine your company’s doing well, by this point. What was

Kevin Tacher 11:08

that like for you? Yeah, imagine doing well 3035 closings a month, down to three closings a month. One in one day. I wrote about in my book that I launched back in oh nine titled rescue your business. I was three quarters of a million dollars in debt. I was paying my assistant on cash advance credit cards,