Pioneer Title Company is an employee-based company that manages the title and escrow component of real estate transactions. With offices serving the real estate needs throughout Eastern Washington and Idaho, Pioneer proudly holds an office in the Lincoln County town of Davenport, Washington. Yvonne Reppe is the Vice President, Lincoln County Manager and Limited Practice Officer for the Davenport branch.
Having worked at Pioneer Title since 1994, Yvonne can provide insights into the community value of Pioneer Title and her role in it. To start with, Yvonne explains that there are many facets to a real estate transaction, whether buying, selling or financing.
She says, “Being able to navigate through these processes, on behalf of my clients, is very important to me.” She adds that the real estate market can be very confusing and demanding for folks. Therefore, she explains that her goal has always been to assist them through it with as much empathy, compassion, and knowledge that she possesses. Yvonne says she has always aspired to be that person that can assist with their needs, the one that they trust to handle one of life’s largest transactions.
When asked about the challenges she has faced in her role with Pioneer, Yvonne talks about the volatility in real estate. “The market has not always been so kind over the past 26 years. We’ve had….the bubble burst, inflated values, foreclosures, and the most recent boom in transactions. There have been some very lean years for my Company, but those also provided the best opportunity to learn.”
But there have also been successes. Yvonne explains, “2020 was the biggest income producing year in my career.”
Another challenge is the limits that come with a small office staff.
“There isn’t a lot of time for marketing. Word of mouth has always been the best advertiser. Mistakes do get made, but most everything can be fixed. The biggest conflict that I struggle with is not having time to help everyone. It feels like I’ve been swamped since the day I started here 26 years ago, and I continually feel like I am behind. There is always a favor or a deed that I’m working on for someone, in addition to the loan and buy/sell transactions. These simple requests are what keep me awake at night, trying to figure out how to incorporate a few into each days’ workload. Disappointing my clients comes second only to disappointing my parents, who still live in Creston. Their work ethic is something that they passed down to me, and I continually strive to keep up with them.”
An interesting irony is that Yvonne had never owned a home when she began to work for Pioneer Title, which provided a learning opportunity.
“I had a lot to learn along the way.” Drawing on her faith to account for her contributions to Pioneer Title, Yvonne says, “God gave her the skills, and Pioneer Title provided the resources to be able to be a contributing member of Lincoln County.”
Most recently, the challenges of 2020 have been especially unique.
Yvonne explains that in 2020 “Lincoln County was on fire, literally, and figuratively. With the pandemic, we were still considered essential, and therefore open for business. Little did I know when we started in January 2020 that a real estate boom like no other would touch my County. People were desperate to get out of their “locked down” Counties. Bare lots at the lake, and homes in every community were being sold, sight unseen. Getting power, septic, water and high-speed internet were their biggest concerns. Travel trailers and RVs were popping up, and kids were distant learning from the campsite, but at least they were out and about.”
And Yvonne has felt many rewards and great satisfaction through work at Pioneer.
“Pioneer Title has been a great company to work for. Being rooted in Lincoln County, it gives me the unique opportunity to handle transactions for the people that I’ve known my entire life. I’ve had the pleasure of handling transactions for multiple generations of families, and to be a part of their entire family’s real estate journey. I’ve always been interested in history, and, working in this industry allows me the opportunity to research the land that I’ve always called home, and, assist the people who are my friends and neighbors. Having a vested interest in the County, and the people who live here, gives me a heightened sense of responsibility to them. While I cannot fix every problem that comes up, I can try to make the path to a solution as painless as possible.”
Yvonne adds, “There have been ups and downs throughout my career, professionally, and, personally. This company has seen me through births, deaths, divorce, marriage, successes and failures. I’ve been there for my clients’ joys and sorrows, celebrating the births and crying at the funerals.”
As for what the future holds for Yvonne, she admits that retirement is in the distant future.
“But it is a goal that I continually work towards. Meanwhile, I will work for the people in my County, stealing away with my husband for a weekend on the beach at Lake Roosevelt, or a much-needed respite on the shores of Mexico, as time allows. Showing my grandkids all of the wonders that Lincoln County has to offer has been like rediscovering my favorite spots through their eyes. It has been the ultimate privilege and honor to be able to live and work in the County that I love, surrounded by people who are more friends and neighbors, than clients. My Dad always told me as a kid, “Love where you live, and love what you do. Everything else will fall into place.”
“I would say that I’ve had a pretty blessed life.”