Clark County at Work: Columbia Title Agency

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photoBob Cano, CEO of Columbia Title

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Business name: Columbia Title Agency.

President/CEO: Bob Cano.

Address: 5101 N.E. 82nd Ave., Suite 102.

What the business does: Columbia Title is an issuing policy agent for a national title insurance company for all types of real estate transactions. The office's escrow staff also closes most transactions that it insures.

Steps to build the business: The company's focus, Cano said, is to build relationships with real estate brokers, lenders, builders, and attorneys. Its sales team is constantly pursuing new clients through networking and making calls to producers in the real estate industry.

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Greatest challenge in running the business: The economic uncertainty of the past few years is the biggest challenge the company has faced, Cano said. High unemployment and the decline in family wages are obstacles that affect people's ability to purchase homes, he noted.

What's ahead in the next six to eight months: With near historic low interest rates, the market should continue to show improvement, Cano believes. The lack of home inventory will drive the new construction market upward and prices will rise, he said.

A favorite part of the job: Solving problems, Cano said. Real estate transactions are not created equally, he said, and once in a while challenges arise that need to be resolved before a transaction can close. The company's experienced staff is eager to help customers resolve any issues that arise prior to closing, he said.

Owner's business history: Cano started in the title and escrow industry in 1974 for a large national title company. In 1980 he helped open a privately held title company in Vancouver and worked there until he retired in 2004. In 2005 he was approached by some investors who wanted to open a new title company in Clark County. He saw the idea as an exciting challenge, and opened Columbia Title Agency in December 2005. "It has been the most rewarding career decision that I have ever made," he said.

Year established in Clark County: 2005.

Number of employees: 21.

Phone: 360-891-5454.

Fax: 891-5455.

Email: dennisgish@ctawa.com.

Website:http://www.ctawa.com/.

Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.