Please introduce yourself.
My name is Eugene Reshetov, owner/operator and President of Cornerstone Title Agency. Cornerstone Title Agency is a growing title company with a growing team, but even more than that we are a full real estate consulting company with the mission of helping agents, lenders, buyers, sellers, wholesalers, investors, attorneys in talking you through every facet of every transaction as needed. Our continued focus is unmatched knowledge of title and subject matter expertise, with an ability to structure even the most complicated transactions properly. We understand and do not expect clients to work outside of their expertise, which is why we operate as the quarterback of every real estate transaction to make sure everything is structured properly and everyone is protected.
My motto is simple: I honor myself at my word, and I don’t give commitments out lightly. If I said it is going to be done, it is going to be done as expected, as this is a promise. There is no overpromising with us, we do not sleep until we have followed through on our word and commitment to you.
While other title companies focus on sales, our focus and growth has completely been dedicated to service and operations. We are continuously being told that we are the most meticulous title and real estate operation anyone has worked with, while being creative and knowledgeable enough in knowing how to properly structure deals. We are trustworthy and make sure that every party’s interest in a real estate transaction is protected. This is always our promise to you.
Furthermore, we actually get into the specific mechanics of everything we touch in a real estate transaction as needed. We absolutely qualify every statement we make, every email, every phone call, every text, with real actionable honest truth. I strongly believe that this meticulous and detail-oriented approach is critical to success in the title industry and is the absolute foundation of everything we do.
How did you get started in the real estate business?
It is a very strong belief of mine that education is the absolute cornerstone of success. This is not to say that specific education in a field will specifically lead to success in that field, as is my experience. I went to school at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, and hold a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Subsequently I worked in engineering, supply chain, leadership, operations and project management, while getting started in real estate in 2013 by going to real estate seminars, which inspired me to get my real estate license and start businesses. Over the next decade I very effectively learned real estate agency, wholesaling through several programs, property management, rehab management, invested in several properties, learned about the mortgage lending process by getting licensed with the NMLS, and very importantly also worked in a real estate legal office learning the laws and nuances of real estate law in the State of New Jersey. Naturally I had also obtained my title producer’s license, and was very quickly able to adapt title operational processes. There have been some definite growing pains, but I wholeheartedly believe that these experiences gave me the discipline and foundation for operating a real estate company more than anything else would have otherwise.
I am not afraid to pick up the phone, call/text with clients and real estate professionals at any time of day. I always promise to return a call/text, it is our commitment to the people we work with. I understand that real estate is a 24/7 business, not a 9-5 business. When you look at the most successful people in the world, it is their relentless focus and dedication to their craft that made them who they are today. I wholeheartedly believe that if you are going to grow a business, you are not going to do it by believing in a “work/life balance,” it takes 24/7 dedication to the craft.
I am also lifetime certified as a Six Sigma Green Belt, the experience of which has been instrumental in operationalizing our title company processes, as well as the real estate transaction management approach and ability to structure real estate transactions effectively.
What are some hot markets for real estate that you are excited about?
We operate in the entire State of New Jersey. Essex, Hudson, Bergen, Monmouth, and Atlantic Counties are some of the markets where we see a lot of activity. We pride ourselves in being flexible and adaptable to any environment and market in New Jersey, so when our clients operate in different areas, we very quickly become familiar with the municipality processes as needed and even personally visit the municipalities for any critical tasks.
How do you source your real estate clients?
Cornerstone Title Agency has grown organically since its inception in 2018, on a foundation of relationships built since the beginning of my experience in real estate through various facets of the business. I am also a member of several real estate investment groups in New Jersey for many years, where I am looking forward to providing more and more value to investors as time goes on. We are also working on revamping our online presence so we can reach a wider audience while keeping our focus on providing impeccable service with meticulous attention to detail.
What are some checks and balances you’ve put in place to protect your real estate transactions?
The hard truth is that there is a lot of liability in the title business, and this industry is not for the faint of heart. I strongly believe we would not be able to succeed without a very strong detailed focus on the mechanics of every single real estate transaction, with checks and balances in place through our project management process from contract to closing. We are compliant with the ALTA Best Practices, as well as New Jersey laws and strictly follow the New Jersey Rating Bureau Manual for title and settlement. As I mentioned this is also driven by my experience and certification in Six Sigma, where the commitment is to have a process that has imperfections limited to 3 parts per million. This is practically a 0 threshold for error.
What is one piece of advice you would give someone starting their real estate career?
On the face of it, real estate can be overwhelming. It is very natural for many people to be excited because it can be rewarding, but it also causes new buyers, sellers, investors, business operators to want to learn every detail about real estate before they take any action. This is very common phenomenon called analysis paralysis, and people end up wanting to research everything and never take action. As someone with an engineering background, I can tell you this was true for me as much as anyone. The truth is, no matter how hard you try, you will never learn every little nuance of it until you are in it. Even to this day, we are learning new nuances of this business every day. So my biggest advice for those getting started with their real estate career is to get a foundational education in whatever facet of real estate they are getting into, but more importantly just take action in it as soon as possible without waiting for the right moment. It will not be perfect, and you have to accept that mistakes are going to happen no matter how much you are going to prepare, and it is possible those mistakes will cost money. However, someone getting into real estate should understand that said cost is your education and your experience, and it is perfectly natural for it to be the catalyst of a successful and rewarding career.
Additionally, I would also be more than happy to help anyone and everyone who is getting started in real estate in any way, and to provide any type of advice.
What is one software you use for your business and recommend to others?
Throughout my career progression from engineering, supply chain, leadership, operations and project management, I have developed expertise in building processes and systems. Since the beginning of my real estate carrier, I applied all of that knowledge and those skills into building real estate processes and title transaction management. For title management software, throughout our research we found the software from AccuTitle to be most compatible with our operation, with additional support from Dropbox for our secure management of files and Microsoft Excel for checks and balances and meticulous tracking of every step of the process. We are carefully working on building this out with continuous improvement in every facet of the business.
What is your superpower in life?
From the beginning of my technical education through today’s business, one thing that was engrained that stood above all: in whatever capacity I was, I had to learn how to solve it any problem that came my way. Without a purpose of developing a process to solve a problem, you wouldn’t have a process to improve. Today, this has grown into a much bigger mission, as my real estate experience grew, it became more about identifying the problems that people deal with, and the challenges they face in this business, and developing solutions to solving them. I have personally experienced these challenges, and have made it the sole focus of the company to solve real estate problems in all facets of this business that clients and our partners face. Interestingly, my favorite part of the business has become when clients and our partners call us with questions about how to structure deals. There are just so many transactional mechanics to real estate transactions that people don’t talk about, so I take pride in being able to talk clients and partners through those mechanics in as much detail as they like in order to make it happen and help them succeed.
Cornerstone Title Agency was founded very much in accordance with the expression “necessity is the mother of invention.” Through my experience in real estate as an agent, investor, etc., it seemed that when it came to working with title companies, we and our clients had a lot of similar frustrations. It has become Cornerstone Title Agency’s mission to solve real estate problems our clients and partners face and need help with, and we are here to support them 24/7.
“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”
What is a failure you’ve had in life that set you up for eventual success?
When I first started in real estate, got my real estate license and invested in properties, I faced significant challenges personally and professionally. The brutal honesty is my investments each had challenges and were not all winners. I had to make the best of it, but instead of giving up I knew there was significant value I would be able to add in the title, settlement and transaction management aspects of real estate so I went head first and never looked back.
I got a real-world view that virtually everyone else getting into this business was going to also face those challenges, and my mission in life became clear – to help people navigate this industry above and beyond. This continues to drive the mission for Cornerstone Title Agency every day.
What is one book that has influenced your life the most? Why?
At some point in about 2015, personal and self-development, and self-awareness became the sole driving focuses of my life. In July 2017, I went to Tony Robbins’ Unleash the Power Within event, which was a 4-day, 60 hour fully immersive experience that effectively set me on a course to change my life, and the lives of every single other person I could, personally and professionally. One book that stands out from the many I’ve read and listened to over the years is Grant Cardone’s “The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure.” This book specifically gets into several of the bullet points I have already mentioned in this interview, where the main focus is taking action, and setting your goals to 10 times what you first set them to, and then focusing every minute of every day in making that dream become reality.
“What we do in life, echoes in eternity.”