It’s a fact of the current business world: If your company hasn’t adapted to technology, it’s lagging. But digital closings are the future for home loans.
In industries like finance and real estate, where critical documents need to be signed and notarized in-person, printed copies are the standard. The problem is paper files in a paperless world represent delays, rescheduled or canceled appointments and lost time for all parties. When buying a home, it also can become an intimidation factor for homebuyers that sit down to a mountain of paperwork they’ve never seen before when they reach the closing table.
To adapt to the changing business world, new technologies are emerging to offer a paperless option for securing, viewing and e-signing mortgage loan documents: digital closings.
Digital closings are an online platform used to let borrowers access, review and sign noncritical documents from their handheld or desktop device. Most documents are available three days before a signature is required. Additionally, many documents can be signed electronically from the digital closings platform; the handful of documents that cannot, can be signed in person in 10 minutes or less. This gives the borrower peace of mind before reaching the closing table and lets them quickly shift the focus to their new home.
In addition to consumer ease, here are five reasons digital closings should become the standard in homebuying:
Reach borrowers of all ages
Although technology is often thought of as the tool of younger generations, according to a 2017 survey by Velocify, all generations–not just millennials–are asking for technology-driven homebuying options. Smart devices are a key part of our lives and people want to access information in their preferred setting, using their preferred device.
A competitive advantage in the industry
As the mortgage industry has been slow to adopt online platforms, businesses with digital closings are placing themselves at the forefront of innovation.
Closing is the final opportunity to make a good impression with your borrowers; eClosings help streamline that final step and enhance the overall closing process. With 90% of business stemming from referrals, the happier the consumer, the better the business.
Reduced production costs, improved efficiency
Digital closings cut down on costs of physical materials (i.e. paper and storage) and reduce opportunity costs (i.e. travel time). Digital closings have also been proven to automate operation and production tasks, improve efficiency and lower costs per closing. Imagine the productivity gained for title and escrow companies if each closing appointment was only 10-20 minutes.
A more sustainable option
Reduced paper not only equals reduced costs but is also a sustainable option for the environment. According to a 2019 Redfin blog post, bypassing printed documents could save as many as 1,200 acres of trees per year.
Increased security for sensitive information
When it comes to sensitive loan documents, failing to protect personal information can be detrimental. Digital closings use a secure online platform for an added layer of protection and privacy of personal loan information.
Digital closings aren’t the future of the mortgage industry–they’re the present. In 2019, Evergreen Home Loanscompleted more than 5,000 digital closings and is planning to expand that number further in 2020.
Like one-click ordering or voice-controlled appliances, technology drives consumer decisions. If you’re in the mortgage industry, it’s time to consider digital closings. Online offerings save time and resources and improve consumer satisfaction, which in turn improves business and reputation.
Tamra Rieger is COO of Evergreen Home Loans, a full-service loan lender in the Western U.S.