Online transaction pioneer Notarize announced Wednesday that amid a year of explosive growth for the company it is launching a mobile tool for real estate agents, as well as opening its platform to independent notaries and notaries that work at companies such as brokerages.
Notarize founder and CEO Pat Kinsel unveiled the new offerings Wednesday during his company’s annual conference, which took place virtually this year. Perhaps most relevantly for agents, the firm is now providing a product called “Notarize for Mobile — Partner Edition.” The tool is a mobile app that lets real estate agents track and follow the online transactions their clients are pursuing.
During his comments, Kinsel said Notarize built the tool after getting feedback from real estate professionals who said they wanted “a seat at the digital closing table.” To use it, agents simply have to download the app and register with their work email addresses. A participant in the transaction — for example the title representative — can then add the real estate agent as a contact for the deal, after which time the agent will be able to follow what is happening.
Kinsel called the offering “a game changer for the real estate industry.”
“I hope this shows how closely we’re listing and how quickly we’re innovating,” Kinsel added.
Bob Goldberg, CEO of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), also appeared during the conference Wednesday and said he was excited about the mobile app’s abilities. He added that it should allow agents to “seamlessly track and participate in real time digital closings while on the go.”
Wednesday’s other major real estate announcement was that Notarize is opening its platform to far more notaries.
Notarize built its business around offering online notarization, and to that end has created a large network of its own notaries that companies and consumers can use across a diverse swath of industries. However, earlier this year the firm announced that as part of a “Notarize for Business” offering it was opening its platform to notaries that work at title companies.
The company believes that move was a success, and Kinsel revealed Wednesday that Notarize for Business will now be available to any company. Practically speaking, that means a real estate brokerage or lender could now get their own notaries signed up and using the platform.
In a statement, Notarize said the new service “empowers a company’s notaries to complete secure online notarizations with a platform that’s legally compliant, easy to use, and efficient.”
“With the Notarize platform, it’s easy to invite and train a notary team on Notarize’s platform and businesses can manage their teams with performance reporting, ongoing training, and notary commission expiration tracking,” the statement added.
Companies interested in getting their own notaries on the Notarize platform can begin by visiting the Notarize for Business website.
Additionally, Notarize is also opening its platform to independent notaries. Kinsel said Wednesday that the move will let notaries “serve their own transactions and run their own businesses on the notarize platform.”
All of these announcements come amid growing interest in online transactions. That interest has been rising for years now — Notarize did its first online closing in 2017 and by late 2019 had done more than $1 billion in volume — but Kinsel said Wednesday that thanks to the coronavirus pandemic the industry has seen “five years of innovation in just five months.”
More specifically, Kinsel revealed that volume on Notarize’s platform has increased “6x since April 1” and that the company is now doing more than $7 billion in real estate closings every month.
A statement from Notarize further pointed out that “over the course of the pandemic, more than a dozen states expanded authorization or created temporary allowance of remote online notarization.” That favorable regulatory environment has now “unlocked a new era of digital transformation for businesses,” the statement added.
Kinsel also said in the statement that he expects these trends to continue.
“Online, fully-digital workflows are the way of the future,” he said, “and the expansion of the Notarize for Business platform allows enterprises to accomplish that instantly.”