San Francisco, California, May 27, 2020 – Qualia, the leading digital real estate closing platform, today announced the launch of Connect Video Chat, making contactless home closings possible for millions of potential homebuyers around the country. Connect Video Chat can be used for remote ink-signed notarizations (RIN) during home closings in accordance with state emergency mandates and requirements, as well as RIN guidelines established by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Qualia’s Connect Video Chat enables title companies to securely launch video conferences with their partners and clients, including real estate agents, lenders, homebuyers and sellers. This real-time two-way audio video technology can also facilitate recording an ink-based signature, and has long-term video storage functionality either on Qualia with the rest of a client’s closing documents or on a title and escrow company’s own internal servers.
“Our goal is to support our community by building products that make home closings safe, secure, efficient and affordable,” said Nate Baker, Qualia co-founder and CEO. “The launch of Connect Video Chat is an important step toward fulfilling that goal of enabling home buyers across the country to continue to close on a home. Now they can do this from anywhere they have an Internet connection, at any time, and ultimately in a safe way.”
Notarizing documents is a necessary step to completing every real estate closing. Traditionally, notarizations require document signers to appear in person to verify their identity and sign documents. New regulations and certain temporary executive orders, however, have made it permissible to notarize through approved audio visual conferencing tools.
In a recent survey Qualia conducted on title and escrow companies’ response to COVID-19, the company found that in light of the current need to remain open for business and process real estate transactions in compliance with social distancing guidelines, 86% of respondents are using or have plans to implement remote notarizations if it were to be available.
“The COVID-19 crisis has magnified the need for contactless, digital real estate tools throughout the entire home buying journey for businesses and clients, from the beginning of the initial search all the way to the closing,” said Baker. “We recognized this need early on during the crisis and went to work. I’m extremely proud of our engineering and product teams for shifting gears so quickly to build even more remote closing features that enable our customers to stay open for business now and into the future.”
Since shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders were implemented in March, the spike in Qualia’s existing remote work features has been a first-hand indicator of how real estate businesses have changed in the face of COVID-19. The use of the company’s in-app chat functionality tripled and orders for notary services through Qualia’s nationwide online Marketplace increased 350% from January to March of this year. To further support remote work and closings for real estate businesses during this time, Qualia shifted engineering resources to build several additional new features, including secure in-app team video chat functionality, the ability to find remote online notaries directly through Qualia Marketplace, and real time in-app county closure notifications.
In recognition of National Homeownership Month in June, Qualia will offer the recording and storage features required for RIN transactions at no additional cost through August for all existing Qualia Connect users and any new Qualia Connect users activated in June.
For more information on Qualia’s Connect Video Chat and other remote notarization offerings, please visit: blog.qualia.com/connect-video-chat.
Qualia is the leading digital real estate closing platform used for 1 in 5 U.S. real estate transactions. Qualia’s cloud-based closing rooms provide the complete infrastructure to streamline the home closing experience for real estate businesses and their clients. The company offers a suite of products that brings together homebuyers and sellers, lenders, title & escrow agents and real estate agents onto one secure, remote platform. Since launching in 2015, over half of million real estate professionals have used Qualia for their clients, the company has been named an ALTA Elite Provider, grown to over 250 employees, and has been recognized with the Great Place to Work Certification. Qualia is headquartered in San Francisco, CA and has offices in Austin, TX. For more information on Qualia, visit www.qualia.com.