Realtors and Pilots, It’s Your Teacher Not You

I know something about you. At least once in your life you’ve had someone explain something and when they finished you still didn’t understand. For most of my life when this happened I thought maybe I was in the slow lane. I wanted to be in the passing lane. Then I realized something. It’s not you and me. It’s our teachers. Not just school teachers. Anyone who is trying to teach us something throughout life.

When I was learning to fly airplanes on instruments I struggled on the chapter, “How to know if you’ve reached a VOR radial or if you’ve passed it.” The teacher may as well have been speaking in tongues. If you have a “From” flag on your VOR then, is it reverse sensing? Do I spin the OBS to get a “To” flag and move my head to orient myself. Wait. Did I just pass the intersection!

I sell Title Insurance today. And I teach people to fly airplanes. I’ve learned to keep things simple enough for everyone to understand. It’s not your job to understand my complicated pontifications. It’s my responsibility to teach you in a way that you can easily learn.

Yesterday a seasoned Real Estate agent asked me the difference between an ALTA policy (American Land Title Association) and a CLTA (California Land Title Association)  policy. You’d think they might have known the answer to that since they show years in the business on a resume. But instead of blaming them for driving in the slow lane, I blamed myself, and other Title reps before me, for never teaching this Realtor in a way he could remember.

Photo by Ric Lippincott

Am I There Yet?

Pilots. Let’s go back to the VOR for a second. Lets say you’re flying on the 270 radial outbound from station “A”, and you want to intercept the 180 radial from station “B”, (station “B” is to the north of your position), and once intercepted fly the 180 radial inbound. I was taught to tune in station “B”, identify station “B”, then turn the OBS to 180 with a “From” flag and off you go. That’s perfect if you can stay oriented, but which side will the needle be on before you reach the station? For years I would literally turn my head south and imagine which side the needle would be on if I were actually flying south on the 180 radial but had drifted east a little. What? That’s crazy!

Then a wise teacher gave me a little saying that made everything so much easier. He said, “If the station is on the right, and the needle is on the right, you’re not there yet.” Done! That’s all you have to remember.

Lets add a simple truism. If you want to know where you are FROM a station then make sure you see a “From” flag. And if you want to fly TO a station then you’d better see a “To” flag. That’s all you need to remember. The rest will make sense.

Realtors. Here’s all you need to know about ALTA and CLTA policies: A CLTA policy has more exclusions than an ALTA policy and an ALTA policy costs only 10% more than a CLTA policy* so get the policy with more coverage (ALTA) if you can. Why? Because for 10% more in cost you get a lot more in coverage. Done!

Like how much more? Well an ALTA covers the same stuff as a CLTA policy but it also covers other risks, like unrecorded mechanic’s liens, assessments, encumbrances, encroachments, easements, water rights, mining claims, patent reservations, conflicts of boundary lines, shortages in area access to and from the land and more.

That’s how simple flying airplanes and Real Estate can be.

Pilots, if the station’s on the right and the needle’s on the right, you’re not there yet. Realtors, if the property qualifies for an ALTA policy, for only 10% more in cost, get the ALTA policy because it covers more risks. Done!

* Rate based on present published rate at Chicago Title California.

Note: I’m a Title Rep.  (Tie-tél Rep; a person or reptile that scurries through Real Estate Offices and Lending institutions in search of food, stopping at nothing, including stepping on other Title Reps in its pursuit.)  In other words, I sell Title Insurance. Comments made here are my own and do not necessarily belong to Chicago Title.
For more information about Title Insurance or flying airplanes, contact me at


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One response to “Realtors and Pilots, It’s Your Teacher Not You

  1. Pingback: Two Sure Times To Round-Up | riclippincott

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