The remote operating environment necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic stifled the real estate industry. Overnight, brokerages that historically clung to manual processes were at a severe disadvantage to the minority of companies that adopted remote, digital workflows to support traditional operations. To date, no social or economic circumstance has ever mandated a completely digital operating environment, so it’s no surprise that stakeholders at every step of the buying or selling process followed in the footsteps of history, opting to build their businesses on in-person meetings and interpersonal relationships.
As a result, when the COVID-19 outbreak swept through the U.S., the vast majority of agents were in no position to continue doing business digitally, which forced them to upend their deep-rooted ways of thinking – and transacting – overnight. These new processes required firms to find, implement, and train staff on new workflows entirely remotely.
Prior to the pandemic, agent-matching databases, online listing services, virtual tours, and virtual staging were what most real estate professionals equated with digital tools, but the opportunities that technology affords agents are far greater. Digital tools that are purpose-built for the industry are extremely practical and have been proven to drive business; but since these specific examples are designed to replace very particular steps, situations where remote transacting is a convenience – not a necessity – makes it very difficult to justify them as critical components in the real estate buying and selling process.
Solutions that have proven difficult to overlook are those that make agents’ jobs easier by simplifying day-to-day back-office tasks – for example, title and escrow. Brokerages often have a preferred title company (or companies) that handles all of their transactions. These relationships are built on trust and tenure, and very rarely do brokerages see a need to explore new options or switch title providers because, in many ways, they’re perceived to be “all the same” in their function. Although the title and escrow process is very much the same for all home transactions, all title companies are not considered equal.
In 2016, JetClosing reintroduced the title and escrow process to agents, buyers and sellers via its digital offering. JetClosing provides everything that a traditional title company would offer – decades of experience, responsive underwriting and problem-solving escrow personnel – coupled with a sense of urgency, and an unwavering ambition to get the transaction closed on time, with minimal headaches. In order to do so, JetClosing’s veteran title and escrow professionals enlisted the help of tech industry leaders to develop sophisticated back-office technology that makes closing on a home simple, transparent, and digital. JetClosing gives every stakeholder access to real-time status updates through its online dashboard and mobile app, increasing transparency, security, and convenience in the process.
JetClosing delivers a seamless, high-touch, professional closing experience that cannot be beaten by traditional title companies. Digital home closings offer flexibility in fund transfers, data collection, document transfers, and communication; and each order is assigned to a team of dedicated title professionals, which can assist at any time via phone or email. Furthermore, JetClosing’s partnerships with third-party services enable buyers and sellers to complete remote online notarizations (RONs), signatures, earnest money deposits, and wire transfers completely remotely. Built-in efficiencies like these are what allow JetClosing to offer the most competitive escrow rate, a flat $500 fee per side, with no “junk fees.”
As an added benefit to agents, managing the escrow process with JetClosing is quick and easy. Agents can open a new order simply by searching for a property in the online dashboard or mobile app, or by calling, texting, or emailing a member of the team. Once the transaction is complete, disbursement of customer funds and agent commissions are made within the hour.
As businesses start to reopen and residential real estate sales pick up, it can be expected that many agent teams will recede to familiar in-person workflows. But, it’s also likely that these methods will no longer resonate with customers looking for contactless, digital transaction methods in light of the global health crisis. The firms that embrace this as a fact and prioritize the adoption of digital methods will help them stand out from the competition, which translates to more listings, more sales, and more referrals.
To learn more about closing on a home digitally with JetClosing, visit www.jetclosing.com.