Servicing the Community During COVID Without Missing a Beat
Ronda T. Akl & Associates, PLLC is a real estate law firm in Syracuse, New York. Because of the cloud-based capabilities of Qualia, Ronda and her team were able to continue to serve both their clients and their community during a pandemic.
Qualia saved our office, this invaluable tool kept us open and safely operating. My client base is even stronger with new lenders using us now because we were able to show our clients that we can handle adversity, figure out a solution, and keep working safely.
Ronda T. Akl & Associates, PLLC, is a real estate law firm based in Syracuse, New York. The firm works with over 18 different national, regional, and local lenders to assist Central New Yorkers in the home buying process. They also partnered with the nonprofit organization, Home Headquarters, to provide services and assistance to new homeowners and their families.
Ronda Akl, Attorney at Ronda T. Akl and Associates, PLLC, sat down with us to discuss how the Qualia Platform supported her team during the COVID-19 pandemic and allowed them to continue to work servicing lenders, buyers, and sellers during the shutdown and phased reopening, without missing a beat.
In March 2020, thousands of businesses across the country were instructed to close their offices and, if possible, work remotely to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As a result, many companies were tasked with the challenge of developing a contactless business model overnight. Ronda and her team paused scheduling new closings and immediately focused their efforts on creating a business continuity plan. After three days, Ronda and her team had built a plan that would allow them to continue to do the work they loved while protecting themselves and their clients. With permission from Empire State Development, they were able to carefully and safely re-open.
I represent buyers who are working with a nonprofit that fixes up homes and sells them to people who might not be able to purchase one otherwise. They work with people who have experienced homelessness to raise their credit scores. They also host home-buying classes and help people find the right home loan for their needs. This is the reason why we do this. We get to help people buy their first home. Those are my favorite closings - these closings fill our hearts and remind us why we do this.
Ronda and her team took extensive precautions to safeguard their health and the health of their clients. Ronda said, “I told my team that if they weren’t comfortable coming in, they didn’t have to. We set up staggered schedules for the people who wanted to come in.” Team members that chose to come in were also provided with face masks, hand sanitizer, and were spaced at least six feet apart from one another. In-office closings were conducted with buyers only who were screened. Upon completion, the closing room would be safely sanitized and vented before the next closing.
As Qualia users, Ronda and her team were able to reap the benefits of using cloud-based software whether they were working in the office or working remotely. They were able to access all of their files from anywhere with an internet connection. Team members who chose to work from home were able to complete tasks without losing any valuable work time. Team members that chose to work in the office were able to look at and work within digital files, rather than spreading germs by touching physical paper files.
With Qualia as our closing software, you know what is happening in each file no matter where you are. I am able to access anything I need to provide updates to our realtors at any time. I don’t even have to worry about finding a physical file, I just have to go into Qualia. It takes me 5 seconds to find it, a minute to reply and I didn’t even have to leave my desk.
With Qualia, Ronda and her team were able to continue to work while keeping themselves and their clients healthy. The team was able to safely access their work from home or the office and were able to continue to support their community.