Casey Kennedy is a practicing attorney and founder of Hogan Land & Title, a premier real estate title abstracting and genealogy services company. When she’s not flipping through old dusty deed books or driving to counties with no online records, she’s spending time with her adorable toddler, husband, 47 house plants, and two dogs. She’s a muralist, avid gardener, and enjoys cycling, kayaking, and hiking.
Cool! We have a few questions…
What jobs did you have before you landed where you are today?
I’ve lived many, many lives:
- Deckhand on Commercial Fishing Boat in Kachemak Bay, Alaska
- Assistant on an Alpaca Farm
- Administrative Assistant
- Planter at Family-Owned Greenhouse
- Title Abstractor
- Corporate Energy Associate
It’s been a wild ride so I’m sure I’m forgetting some, but I like to say I’m “well-rounded.”
What do you wish outsiders knew about your industry?
I wish outsiders knew how important quality title searches are to even the most basic real estate closings. A sloppy title search or a poorly researched family tree can give you information that looks right—but is fundamentally inaccurate.
What’s the #1 question clients or customers ask you?
It’s usually, “Can you do a title search in [rural location]?” So many rural counties in West Virginia and South Carolina have not scanned all of their records to a searchable website yet. Being able to conduct an in-person search in a dusty old office on short notice is typically what people are looking for.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned the hard way?
You have to teach people how to treat you. Boundaries are important in all relationships—personal and professional—and you lay the ground rules by how you respond to various situations. If you always answer immediately, your clients will always expect you to answer immediately. If you’re available by text, your clients will regularly text you. If you’re always the guy volunteering to stay late, you’ll be staying late a lot. There’s a balance between being dedicated and client-focused, while still maintaining healthy boundaries that are sustainable for life.
What’s one book, podcast, series, or movie you’d recommend…and why?
If you’re a true crime junkie like me, I can’t recommend the podcast “My Favorite Murder” enough. I’m a bona fide #murderino. Georgia and Karen are VERY funny, genuine, and when they’re not telling horrifying and bizarre crime stories, they’re taking you on a journey examining a wide range of social issues earnestly and with open minds.
What’s one way the SOCO community has shaped your life?
Honestly, SOCO saved my company (and my sanity) this year and that is no understatement. When courthouses closed in March, I was uniquely positioned in possibly the worst-case scenario for a title search company. The SOCO Community not only helped keep my spirits up with weekly Zoom meetings, but they also got down in the trenches with me with critical information needed to survive the complete standstill in work. Although I wouldn’t say we’ve fully recovered yet, we are still here and getting by, and I will never be able to thank Greg, Lynn, and the Community (and coffee) at SOCO enough for that.
What improvement do you hope to see in your own life in the next 12 months?
I really want to digitize/automate more of my workflow and systems. I still do a lot of menial tasks by hand that could all be automated. Attorneys have a tendency to be very behind in tech, and I’d like to think I’m not as bad as some, but I have a long way to go.