After spending more than 25 years in title insurance and real estate law, Roger Zopfi decided he was ready to broaden his horizons in the real estate industry so he chose to pursue the Master of Science in Real Estate degree at St. Thomas. The new connections and exposure to other areas of the industry have so far been invaluable.
What is your professional education and experience?
My whole journey in real estate began as an accident. I graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in business in 1982. At the time, the economy was down, and full-time positions for recent college graduates were scarce. My first assignment at a temporary agency was a two day stint at Minnesota Title (now Old Republic National Title Insurance Company). This two day temporary job turned into a seven year hands-on learning experience. At the time, I didn’t know an abstract of title from an abstract painting. I started from the bottom and worked my way up through the ranks. In these formative years I was exposed to the disciplines of abstracting, final policy writing, title examination and underwriting. Eventually, one of my former colleagues recruited me to work as a paralegal at the law firm of Doherty, Rumble & Butler in St. Paul. It was here that I began to learn the transactional side of real estate, and had the opportunity to work on major projects like Town Square and the Children’s Museum.
Several years later I became the General Manager of a title insurance agency in Western Wisconsin. Eventually, my wife and I started our own title agency as an agent for Old Republic National Title. After selling our company nine years later, I spent two years as a Senior Title Examiner in the National Commercial Services Division of First American Title. For the past five years, I have been working as a Real Estate Paralegal at the firm of Lindquist & Vennum PLLP. Initially, a great deal of my time was spent working with clients developing, selling, purchasing or financing ethanol plants and wind farms. Thanks to the mortgage meltdown brought to us by Wall Street, I’m currently being kept very busy assisting clients with mortgage foreclosures.
The foreclosure process is very complex and highly technical in nature. Managing the timelines and navigating all of the statutory requirements, really keeps me on my toes.