Looking back over the past year, these are some of the highlights of 2018 for OPT…
- Donating over $10,000 to local community organizations and causes such as the PA and Sequim Food Banks, scholarship funds for local high school kids, Operation Uplift, The Trey Green Guild, Dungeness Valley Health & Wellness, OMC Hospital Foundation, Boys and Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula and many others! A big part of what makes our communities so special is the support we show one another as members; we love to be able to give back to the communities that support our business and families.
- Celebrating FIVE employees with 28+ years at OPT: Deborah Jacobs 28 years, Dawn Shideler 30 years, Beth Carter 31 years, Susanne Jerome 33 years, and Terri McCoppen 36 years! The knowledge and professionalism encompassed within this amazing group is second to none and we are so happy they each chose OPT as their professional home.
- Moving our Port Angeles operation into our beautiful new building was a daunting task after being in our old location for 25+ years. We didn’t move far, but the new building brought us opportunities to increase collaboration among staff for better communication with each other and clients. Plus we have a lovely yard we’re looking forward to enjoying next summer!
- Growing our Contract Collections business to now include three full time employees working in the department. We’re glad to be able to offer our customers a full service local option for servicing their private loans and we’re excited to be offering those services to customers outside of Clallam County as well!
Technology is changing the face of the real estate transaction with both good and bad effect. As we all work to protect our clients from fraud we must always be on the look-out for the latest ways the criminals try to insert themselves into our transactions. We’re all familiar by now with email spoofing, but did you know the criminals can spoof your phone too? An app called SpoofCard allows a person to change what someone sees on their caller ID display when they receive a phone call. To spoof a call, a criminal will dial one of SpoofCard’s access numbers and enter the destination number followed by the phone number to appear on caller ID. As an example, a hacker could spoof a title company and call the buyer when it’s time to wire funds to close. The Federal Trade Commission reported that impostors made more than 250,000 spoofed phone calls in 2017 alone. This trend underscores the importance of making sure our clients know our procedures for sharing wire instructions (we don’t email them directly to the client) and that they ask for the transaction password (which they chose and set up with us) from any caller before they discuss the transaction.
We hope 2019 has gotten off to a great start for everyone and we look forward to a fantastic year!
~ Maureen and the OPT Crew