In a place where power and prestige are as common as corn fields in Iowa, the name Ben Soto still carries the mantle of celebrity. Elegant and stylish, as well as intelligent and in tune with world affairs, Soto is a gifted attorney with a passion for the intricacies of real estate.
As soon as he graduated law school, Soto was snapped up by what he describes as a medium-sized law firm in Maryland, where he had the opportunity to work with many real estate agents, developers, investors, homebuyers and banks.
“We handled a lot of real estate transactions,” he says, “and we also owned a title company. When I first began practicing, I handled a lot of bankruptcy matters, both personal and commercial. Eventually I was representing real estate agents, and other real estate professionals and doing more and more real estate transactions. I found that I was good at it and very much enjoyed all the various aspects. Because of my success, related to real estate transactions, I became a partner of the law firm. I stayed there for seven years before deciding to open my own title company and law firm.”
Premium Title & Escrow, which today is one of the largest, most respected and most successful in the tri-state area, was founded in 2002 along with the Law Offices of Ben Soto. A full-service title company, Premium Title & Escrow services clients in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. In addition, Soto owns Paramount Development LLC, a commercial development company focused on the acquisition and ground-up development of commercial buildings and hotels in Washington D.C. and a perfect complement to his title practice.
With nearly a quarter-of-a-century of experience, Soto’s name has become synonymous with honesty and reliability. His reputation for dealing fairly and working tenaciously for every client has helped build a company that’s clients include everyone from the small mom and pop businesses to mega-names, along with hundreds of residential customers who through word-of-mouth have come to trust their homebuying dreams to Soto and his team.
“I’ve had a lot of relationships with not only banks and loan officers,” he says, “but also real estate agents, real estate brokers, developers, investors and those who are buying either their first or seventh home. We take a lot of pride in the fact that we have so much repeat and referral business.
“I guess it means we’re doing something right,” he adds with a grin.
Soto also believes that being a native of the area helps too. “I’ve been here my whole life,” he says with pride. “I grew up in D.C. and went to both undergrad and law school here, so I just have a lot of long-time relationships. It helps to have a good reputation and to have been around for a long time. It allows you to get a lot of new business, but also a great deal of residual business.”
Those who know him describe Soto as “having always been civic-minded in all his pursuits.” Soto does not deny this. “It’s important to me,” he says proudly. “This is my home, it’s where I live and raise my family and the community has been very good to me. I think we all have a responsibility to give back and help out wherever and whenever possible.”
Soto serves on several local boards, including the D.C. Chamber of Commerce, EagleBank, one of the largest community banks in the Washington region and a very strong commercial real estate lending financial institution, the D.C. Land Title Association, the D.C. Public Education Fund, the Georgetown Day School; and the National Foundation for Affordable Housing Solutions.
His community involvement, as noted by friends and associates, stretches back throughout his career including former positions such as the vice chair of the Board of Real Property Assessment and Appeals; a former board member of the National Bar Association and a former board member of the D.C. Sports & Entertainment Commission which was responsible for developing the Washington National’s baseball stadium.
Married for 20 years, Soto and his wife, Lori, have two children, Danielle, 17, and Alex, 14. They make their home in the Forest Hills Washington D.C. area where the children participate in various school sports and other extracurricular activities.
Soto lives a full and very busy life. Premium Title & Escrow, now with more than 20 employees, handles a high volume of business with as many as 150 transactions monthly. While they handle both commercial and residential, Premium has traditionally been known primarily as a commercial company and lately the trend is such that both their commercial and residential business seems to be growing by leaps and bounds.
Knowledge, experience and personalized, hands-on service is what Soto believes makes a good title company great, and it’s everything he and his highly qualified staff offer their customers. But perhaps what’s most impressive is that when people come to Premium Title & Escrow, they get Ben Soto.
“I feel very fortunate to be doing what I love,” he says. “After all these years I’m still as excited about every transaction as I was on my first day.”