Choosing A Title Company For Your Self-Storage Closing

Every self-storage facility purchase requires a title company to handle the transaction – but which one should it be? The answer is that you should always steer for the largest title company in the metro area in which the property is located. There are several good reasons for this.

Big title companies have better attorneys and procedures

The whole purpose of a title company is to shepherd the transaction to a successful conclusion. And it’s the quality of the people in the title company that make smooth transactions possible. The fact is that the larger title companies have bigger budgets, bigger salaries and better performers. In addition they have IT departments, and HR departments, and rules and procedures like any large business. And those systems are often what makes all the difference.

Greater deal volume equals more depth of experience

The bigger the title company, typically the bigger the number of transactions. As a result, the largest title companies have much more information and data on some of the typical deal “killers” that might pop up, and has the best odds of solving those. For example, if there is suddenly a title issue with an old easement, they may know the methodology to get that solved while a smaller company would just let the deal die.

Better insurance in the event of a problem

If you have a problem with your title following closing – such as somebody else suddenly saying “wait, that’s my storage facility” – then it’s the job of the title company to fix that problem. And if they fail, then their insurance covers the issue within policy limits. And the bigger the title company, the bigger the insurance limits in most cases. I know of a case where the surveyor and title company messed up on the sale of a farm and they did not convey the barn. The title company, which was large, bought the barn from the neighbor and gave it to the customer. Only big companies can do that.

A reputation to uphold

Large companies have big concerns about their image and making the customer satisfied is the way they maintain a blemish-free reputation. When you are unhappy at a big company, you can ask for the person above the person who is giving you a problem. But at a small company there is nobody to appeal to. And the small title company is not as concerned too much about their image and more concerned about preserving every dollar.

Big and small title companies all basically charge the same

Here’s the big shocker on the battle between small and large title companies: they cost about the same. If you were going to get an operation from two doctors and one just got out of medical school and the other is the Dean of the faculty at the medical school, you’d expect the first doctor would cost much less than the second. However, with title companies that’s not the case. As a result, there’s really not a single reason to go with the smaller firm.

Here’s how to find the big ones in your market

Before selecting the title company to handle your self-storage facility purchase, refer to Google and look at their size. The big names in the U.S. are First American, Fidelity, Stewart and Chicago. But you can find out the largest title company in any market by sampling searching Google for “largest title company in _______”. It will show the options. Remember that you do not need a title company in the town the facility is located in, the metro is just fine and that gives you a larger number of choices (which will typically include at least one large one).


Your selection of the right title company can have a material impact on your storage purchase. For the best odds of success, you should always choose simply the largest title company in your metro market. “Bigger is better” is not true in gift boxes or VISA bills, but it’s definitely a fact with title companies.

Frank Rolfe has been an active self-storage investor for around two decades, with self-storage units in many states throughout the U.S. His nuts and bolts knowledge of what makes for a successful self-storage facility has led to a three-decade career without a single failed property.