the candidate runs a title company
by Michele Newbern Gillis
Dan Quiggle, the president and CEO of America’s Choice Title Company, says he’s proud to be an American. - so much, in fact, that he has always incorporated an American theme into the companies he has owned.
“I love America and the opportunities that the country provides,” he said.
As a devout Republican and proud American, his past includes interning for Ronald Reagan after he left the office of President, working for Congressman David Dreier in California and running for the U.S. House of Representatives seat against Ander Crenshaw in 2000.
Though he did not win the election, he took many great memories and lessons learned from the experience.
“I loved every second of it,” said Quiggle. “My wife said it best. She said she knows why I liked it because it gave me the opportunity to walk up to total strangers, introduce myself and talk politics. I love to talk politics. I debated in college. I love the process. If you are committed to the principles, then the position you have on the issues never change.”
Quiggle and Crenshaw both ran for the open seat when Tillie Fowler retired.
“We were both Republicans and it was an open Republican seat,” said Quiggle. “I had 30 percent of the vote in a two-way race, so that’s not bad. It was our goal to get at least 20,000 votes because we thought we could win with 24,000 votes. But, the voter turnout was high because that was the same year that the Better Jacksonville Plan (was on the ballot.) But, don’t let me take anything from Ander because he is a great guy. He is a great Representative and we were pretty much on the same side on most of the issues. It is hard to run against someone in that situation.”
Would he run again?
“If I thought I could make a positive difference in a specific area I would absolutely do it, but until then I am very happy doing what I am doing now,” said Quiggle.
Serving as one of President Reagan’s first interns after he left the White House and was another major event in Quiggle’s life. He was given the opportunity to work on projects directly with his hero and kept in touch with him and his family until his death this year. But, even after death, Quiggle was asked to be a part of an intricate team who worked on the funeral and aftermath of President Reagan’s death.
“I was very fortunate,” he said. “They only took two people that did not work in the White House to help out in his Los Angeles office. I was the president of the UCLA Republican Club. I had the chance to get to know the staff really well. Two weeks before President Reagan got out of office, I got a phone call that said, ‘Dan, how would you like the opportunity of a lifetime?’ I said ‘Of course!’”
Quiggle was happy about working for Reagan because after his term in office ended, he was much more accessible and Quiggle got to spend a lot of time alone with him.
“Every President opens an office when they leave office to deal with the media,” said Quiggle. “Mother Theresa, Malcolm Forbes, Mikhail Gorbachev and Margaret Thatcher came up to visit him. We got to travel with the President and go to events. One day I’d be in inner city LA speaking with Mrs. Reagan at a ‘Just Say No’ event and that night I’d be at a fundraiser in Beverly Hills with the Reagans. It was incredible.”
Quiggle has tons of photos and stories of him with the Reagans that he doesn’t hesitate to share.
“I learned that it’s all about people and making sure they are satisfied,” he said.
His title company was born over a game of tennis.
Quiggle and W. Douglas Smith, his partner, were playing one day and decided to open the company.
“Doug had his own title agency in Georgia,” said Quiggle. “When he moved to Ponte Vedra Beach, he was looking to get involved in something since he had such great knowledge in that area. We just started talking about it and put the business together.”
The first office is in the Marsh Landing Realty office in Jacksonville Beach.
“We moved in about two years ago,” said Quiggle. “I think it is a central location not only to the beaches, but to J. Turner Butler Boulevard and Southside. It was a perfect fit for us.”
They have opened up two more offices, one in Palm Coast and the other in St. Augustine and are planning on opening two more in Julington Creek and Ormond Beach early next year.
“Our goal is to be the largest title agency in the state of Florida and then see what happens,” he said. “We have a nice model and want to expand on that. My business philosophy is that you are only as good as the people you surround yourself with.”
Quiggle believes in treating the customer right. Not only with service, but he has a machine from Italy in his office that will makes mochas, French vanilla cappuccino, café lattes or whatever gourmet coffee your heart desires. He serves this with Milano cookies, crackers or other delicacies in his conference room.
“It’s important to treat people right,” said Quiggle. “Even though it is just a closing, it is a very exciting experience for people. Whether you are buying a first home, a new home or refinancing. You don’t do that do often in life and to have someone who cares about it and makes it a pleasant experience is important.”
Quiggle understands the importance of Realtor relations.
“First of all, they have great relationships with their clients,” he said. “We value and cherish those relationships so it’s a win-win if we treat their clients first class, make sure there are no surprises at closing and when they leave that their closing it was a positive experience.”
Quiggle feels that the closing experience is all about managing expectations. He said Realtors should explain what the process is going to be like to their customers because most people don’t understand the process.
“We don’t like to have any surprises at the closing table,” said Quiggle. “It is important to keep an open line of communication with the client. Things happen, things change, but as long as there is no surprise and it’s not last minute, they can usually deal with it because that is the reality of a business transaction.”
Prior to opening his company two years ago, he owned a vending machine company, Red White and Blue Vending.
“I started out when I was 23 with only two vending machines,” he said. “In seven or eight years, we had over $1 million in sales and got bought out by one of the largest private vendors on the east coast.”
Quiggle also serves as dean of faculty at the Leadership Institute, headquartered in Washington, D.C. He speaks in cities throughout the United States on public policy and leadership. He also has a bachelor’s degree in political science from UCLA.
Quiggle lives in Ponte Vedra Beach with his wife of 12 years, Luanne., who runs the Mother’s Morning Out and nursery program at Christ Episcopal Church in Ponte Vedra Beach, and his three children, Justin, 9; Corrinne, 7 and Eric, 8 months.
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