Since the COVID-19 crisis has started forcing the need for shelter-in-place ordinances and social distancing, businesses have suffered. Many organizations have had to close their doors temporarily and find ways to do business while keeping their employees and customers safe. The result – a weakened economy.
However, the title industry has actually experienced more activity. With many people taking advantage of lower rates brought on by market concerns, mortgage refinancing numbers are soaring. This is great for title companies, however, operating in the midst of a pandemic requires making some changes. Let’s go over how COVID-19 has had an impact on business in the title industry.
One of the biggest challenges the real estate industry faces right now is that transactions require in-person meetings and the exchange of documents. These are exactly the things we’re supposed to avoid in order to stop the spread of the virus. This means title companies have had to find ways to remain safe without disrupting business. For example, maintaining clean conference rooms is now the norm. This involves sanitizing everything before and after a meeting and ensuring all parties remain six feet away from each other. Some title companies are offering drive-up service, in which the client drives to the title company and signs documents in their car. These precautions allow for title closings to continue without people becoming vulnerable to infection.
Reliance on Remote Online Notarization
When closing on a home, a notary is required. This presents a unique challenge, as a notary public must physically witness the signing of documents. That’s why many states are now allowing Remote Online Notarization (RON). This involves the use of audio and visual technology along with multi-factor verification to complete the notarization process digitally. The process is similar to a video conference call. Documents are electronically signed in real-time and emailed, eliminating the need for hard copies or in-person contact. Title companies can incorporate RON into their operation and ensure closings stay on schedule.
Pushing Technology Forward
In addition to RON, the COVID-19 crisis is propelling the use of other technology that allows title companies to do business remotely. Things like remote tours of homes allow buyers to view properties without having to put themselves at risk. Other tools such as an AI-powered virtual closing assistant allow a title company to provide high-level customer service by giving their clients a chat option for communicating and getting answers to questions. A virtual closing assistant can also provide access to key closing documents and allow title agents to quickly generate closing cost estimates. As technology continues to advance the title industry will be right alongside of it for all to benefit from.
Don’t Let COVID-19 Hold Up Closings
The title industry is busier than ever due to new mortgage refinances. Serve clients safely by using the tips discussed above and change the way your title company does business.
Alanna.ai develops AI-powered software for the title industry. To learn more, request a demo today.