Summer 2009: The requests come in from all over Chicagoland: An engineering firm needs to establish property right-of-way before roadwork can begin; a surveyor wants a plat map in Will County; an attorney has to contact property owners near an address that’s undergoing a zoning change.
No request is too arcane for the Special Search team. Or too urgent.Property Insight once received a call from a customer who was going into surgery. He was being taken into the operating room on a gurney and he called in and said his search needed to be completed by the time he was out of surgery.
The procedure went well, and his order was waiting for him when he was wheeled into recovery.
Property Insight is well known as a provider of automated title plants in eight Chicagoland counties. Its Cook County plant is recognized as the official public record, with transactions dating back to 1840.
Less known, perhaps, is its Special Search team, which each day scours electronic and paper-based files to meet customer demand for information to file a lien, confirm property ownership or create a chain of title.
Mostly they do tract searches for the most current mortgage and liens, but they also work with customers who may not know what information they need to solve a problem. So, the team talks it through with them and recommends a solution.
Most requests come from attorneys. One special search is a Zoning Variance Notification list, where a customer pro-vides a property address and Special Search provides ownership information within a specific radius around the subject property. The customer uses that information to notify owners that zoning is changing for a particular property.
A growing number of orders come from investors seeking to purchase tax liens and foreclosed property. These requests are fulfilled using custom extracts from the plant, filtered using the client’s specifications for geography, lien type and filing date.
The accessibility to electronic data combined with title search expertise means that orders are handled quickly. A simple residential search can take as little as 24 hours. Customers usually expect and receive three- to five-day fulfillment—unless it’s a complex order.
Why do customers seek out Property Insight for special searches? It has the most experienced staff in both Chicago and the suburbs. Armed with knowledge of the local communities, they know the warning signs… the pitfalls. They can anticipate if there are going to be problems or difficulties with a search.
Another benefit is that Property Insight can handle searches for eight counties from its Carol Stream office. This gives a client a single point of contact for multiple counties. They can make one call instead of seven.
Making things easy for customers is what makes these searches special.