Chicago Title launches new hospitality group

Chicago Title National Commercial Services California, a member of the Fidelity National Financial family of companies, a group of title companies and title insurance underwriters, has launched Chicago Title Hospitality Group, led by hotel industry veteran Steven L. Senft as VP, national sales.

Senft’s hospitality experience spans more than 24 years and includes hotel ownership, management and operations, financial analysis, sourcing equity, strategic planning and hotel acquisitions and dispositions. During his career, he has been involved in the sales, development, management, advisory and financing of more than $15 billion in hotel assets representing more than 1,000 hotels.

“We are excited that Steven Senft will be heading Chicago Title’s new national hospitality group,” said Ryan Huntsman, VP, national sales, Chicago Title NCS California. “Although Chicago Title has been very active in the hotel sector for two decades, we now have an experienced leader that thoroughly understands all the complexities of a hotel transaction from every perspective—a buyer and seller, operations, asset manager, lender, broker and more. He has sat in the client’s seat and speaks their language. We look forward to growing our national footprint in the hotel sector under Steven’s leadership.”

“Chicago Title’s commitment to the hospitality sector is a game-changer,” said Senft, who is based at the company’s Newport Beach, CA, office. “No other title company has a committed national platform that solely serves hospitality, and clients have a single point of contact, whether it is one property or a complex multi-state transaction.”

He continued, “I have known Ryan Huntsman for more than 15 years and, throughout my career, I have worked with Ryan and his Chicago Title team on over 100 transactions valued at more than $750 million. I admire his work ethic and how he and his team are exceptionally client-focused. They really take care of their customers, which is why I knew this opportunity was a good fit for both of us.”

“Hospitality is a very specialized asset class, and to have someone who has been there at the closing table as a past hotel owner and broker of transactions nationwide, and knows the importance of title and escrow and what is needed to not only provide a successful transaction across the board, but for clients to be secure with the title insurance down the road, is unprecedented,” Senft added. “I am thrilled to be able to put my experience and relationships to work to help Chicago Title clients and grow its national hospitality group platform.”

He began his career in the hospitality industry as a sales manager for Hyatt Hotels and then Hilton Hotels. Prior to joining Chicago Title, he served as VP at Dividend Finance, where he assisted commercial real estate owners in attaining PACE financing across all commercial asset classes with a focus on hospitality nationwide. Previously, Senft was a VP, senior sales executive with Ten-X Commercial.

Before joining Ten-X, he was a principal of CRU Real Estate Group, a full-service real estate company with an emphasis on hotel ownership, hotel asset and property management, commercial brokerage and investments. During his tenure at CRU Real Estate Group, he managed a total of 17 hotel properties representing approximately 2,600 keys.