In the past few months since the onset of COVID-19, innovation has accelerated across all parts of the home buying ecosystem. Out of necessity for social distancing and safe transactions, real estate closings have transformed from handshakes and in-person meetings to contactless, digital transactions.
Today, Qualia announced its newest feature designed to facilitate contactless real estate closings during COVID-19: Qualia Connect Video Chat. This feature enables title & escrow companies to video conference with their partners and clients who have Qualia Connect accounts, including real estate agents, lenders, and homebuyers and sellers.
Additionally, Qualia Connect Video Chat will enable title & escrow businesses to record and store signing sessions, a general requirement to offer remote ink-signed notarization (RIN) eClosings where they are permitted by state emergency executive orders. (For more information on RIN click here.)
In recognition of National Homeownership Month in June and Qualia’s mission to enable healthy homeownership, Qualia will offer the recording and storage features generally required for RIN transactions at no additional cost through August. (This offer runs through August for existing Qualia Connect users and any new Qualia Connect users activated in June.) Through Qualia Connect Video Chat, prospective homeowners and those refinancing their homes will have access to safe, contactless closing options.
How Does Qualia Connect Video Chat Work?
This new product satisfies the recording and storage remote notarization requirements outlined in state executive orders as well as RIN guidelines established by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. (Note: RIN standards vary by state and depend on the requirements outlined in the state’s temporary executive order.) At a high level, these requirements include:
- Two-way audio-visual technology
- The ability to record the transaction
- Long term video storage functionality
Unlike existing tools for RIN transactions, Qualia Connect Video Chat is specifically designed for real estate transactions and is built directly into a secure, title & escrow workflow software. In other words, title & escrow agents never need to leave Qualia to host, record and store the video calls.
HERE’S HOW CONNECT VIDEO CHAT WORKS WHEN USED FOR A RIN CLOSING:
- Title & escrow companies click a button while working on the file to invite clients to a video chat without leaving the Qualia platform.
- Clients and partners receive an email with instructions for logging into Connect and joining the video chat. They can login on desktop or a mobile device. (No plug-ins or downloads required.)
- On the day of the signing, the title or escrow company initiates the video call, the participants join using Qualia Connect, and the remote notarization is completed.
- The recording of the notarial ceremony is stored in the documents section of Qualia or within the title or escrow businesses’ own server.
RIN may be temporary, but digital transactions are here to stay
During COVID-19, many parts of the home buying experience have been digitized. For example, during the pandemic, prospective homebuyers view properties via virtual home tours and home inspectors complete their assessments over video. While some of these changes may remain after COVID-19, others will become obsolete.
The closing experience too has been digitized—though likely with more permanence and impact. The decision to complete remote transactions requires coordination with lenders, underwriters and county recording offices, as well as compliance with state regulations. Once this coordination and collaboration is initiated, there can only be forward momentum toward fully-digital transactions.
COVID-19 has provided the impetus for businesses to seriously consider and jump start remote transactions. Across the country, title & escrow businesses have accelerated their timelines toward fully-digital closings. According to a survey Qualia conducted on title & escrow responses to coronavirus, 86% of respondents stated that they are using or have plans to implement remote notarization if it becomes available in their state.
While RIN is only temporarily permissible in some states, many states are moving forward with remote online notarization (RON) legislation—a more permanent solution for remote real estate closings. (For more information on RON click here.)
Title & escrow businesses that offer RIN eClosing options to their clients now will be better prepared to be more digitally proficient and capable of delivering customized closing experiences that integrate convenient, digital touchpoints.
Title & escrow businesses that adopt digital processes now will also be viewed as tech-forward partners among lenders and real estate agents who aim to deliver the most personalized and modern experience possible for their clients.
To learn more about Qualia Connect Video Chat, click below to schedule a time with a Qualia Specialist.