Dee Harrison is President and CEO of Alpha Reliable Title in Orlando Florida. She was born in Jamaica and started her career in Banking in Jamaica after obtaining a two-year college diploma in Accounting. When she moved to the US, she simultaneously worked two jobs at two different stations but it didn't take her long to get into the Title Industry...and stay. September 2020 marks 30 years of her being in the Title Industry.
30 years ago, Dee began working with Ensure Title Corporation, a Jamaican owned Title Company in Hollywood Florida owned by Joan Lake. Dee worked there for three and a half years before she transitioned to Excel Title Corp., where she worked for two years. The birth of her daughter also was the catalyst for the birth of her own title career. Dee wanted to get back to work as soon as possible to support her family. However, the Title Company wanted her to take her entire maternity leave. Instead of waiting, Dee began temporary jobs with two law firms while she studied for her Title License. By the time her maternity leave was over and the Title Company was ready for her to go back to work, Dee had earned her License and was ready to get into business for herself. The business was started out of her car. Lack of resources, a newborn, and two other little children were not going to hold Dee back. People called her Mobile Title since she worked so much out of her car. That was it, Trinity Title and Escrow was started. Once she was able to get a location, the office opened in Hollywood Florida.
The Hollywood location stayed open for 10 years. It had always been Dee and her husband's intention to raise their children in Orlando based on their preference for the Orlando school system. So, even though they divorced, they settled in Orlando to co-parent. Upon moving to Orlando Dee set up Alpha Title Corporation on Pine Hills Road.
For a while, she kept both companies alive by spending 3 days in South Florida and 4 in Orlando. Raising kids and commuting and keeping both offices open was tough, so she closed the Ft. Lauderdale location and concentrated on building the Orlando office.
The housing market in Orlando was booming and Dee's company grew rapidly. Dee was able to purchase a new location in Metro West. After 5 great years of growth in Orlando, the economic recession hit, affecting the housing market the most. Business declined to the point where Dee had to close her company and like many in the market, lost a lot, including her first office space. Many people in the real estate industry moved into different careers - but while Dee had lost everything and closed her offices, she knew that she had found her passion in the Title Industry and she wanted to remain in it. It was what she wanted to do forever. People were not making money in Real Estate, but Dee knew that it couldn't last forever. She had to wait it out.
Dee says that at the beginning of her success as the market was booming, she was praying about every decision. After things started taking off, Dee felt convicted that she failed to pray as much and just started buying properties. Upon reflection, she strongly feels as though "God slowed her down to get her attention." She wanted to get back to basics and for her, that meant God. Since then she has prayed before making any big decision.
Dee says that she knew she had to let it all go, she had to fall and then start getting back up. A quote by Les Brown, "When life knocks you down, try to land on your back. Because if you can look up, you can get up. Let your reason get you back up," was key to her survival. She says her children remember that time as a period when she simply kept looking out of the window of her home, deep in thought.
Her business was closed. She took a regular job, but stayed in the Title Industry, by taking a job with Lawyer's Advantage Title. For Dee, it was important that she kept her License. She focused on her mind and her relationship with God and felt the need to remain busy. When Her kids were at their father's, she volunteered with Hospice. She went back to school. She earned her paralegal degree from Florida Memorial University. As a single mother, working full time, she graduated with a 4.0, Summa Cum Laude.
Three years later she was able to reopen a new Title company, Alpha Reliable Title. That was eight years ago...
Over the last ten years, Dee has brought her experience as a paralegal, her experience as a real estate investor, and her experience in the Title Industry together to provide her customers with first-class service and peace of mind, That's an important combination in the Title Industry.
That is evident in a recent award that Alpha Reliable Title has been nominated for by a customer. The award for 'ALTA Honors - We Deliver' is through the American Land Title Association, the National Trade Association representing more than 6200 Title Insurance companies, Title and Settlement Agents, Independent Abstracters, Title Searchers, and Real Estate Attorneys. As if to validate that it was all worth it, in the month of her 30th Anniversary in the Title Industry, Dee Harrison won that award for 'We Deliver' from the American Land Title Association.
As a Caribbean National, Dee is proud to be recognized on a National Level by a prestigious organization such as ALTA, When asked about the motivating factors in her life Dee had two words, "my kids." When asked what she would say to anyone who has doubts about their business ideas, Dee says her advice is to pray first, listen to God, then act on your instincts, always remaining true to yourself, and surround yourself with positive people.
Congratulations to Dee Harrison and her team at Alpha Reliable Title! Happy Anniversary Dee!