Stavvy was honored to attend, exhibit, and speak at ALTA ONE 2022 in San Diego this month.
Throughout the conference, a theme emerged around using technology to engage homeowners and elevate their interactions with title companies. From expanding social media strategy to leveraging digital tools like remote online notarization, there are powerful ways that technology can streamline operations and improve customer engagement for title agencies.
Here are three technology-related discussion points explored at the show.
1. RON is a big deal
At Stavvy, we’re passionate about the potential for remote online notarization (RON) to transform the real estate and mortgage closing process. We were excited to hear the same sentiment from our peers at ALTA ONE.
During “The Value of Integrating RON Into Your Workflow” session, panelists shared real-life experiences rolling out RON at their agencies and its positive impact on their clients. A show of hands in the room suggested approximately 30% adoption of RON. The speakers highlighted the opportunity for everyone in the room to lead industry transformation and participate in the RON movement.
There was the acknowledgment of professionals' hesitation about being replaced by technology. However, the panelists explained that leveraging technology like RON only makes the in-person closing experience virtual. Simply put, RON is meant to enhance human jobs, not replace them.
3 Benefits of eClosings with RON
The benefits of moving to eClosing technology were explored in detail, including how it helps conserve:
- Resources: less paper, ink, and fossil fuels are required for closings (and can even be eliminated)
- Time: panelists cited 40-60 minutes per traditional closing compared to 20 minutes per RON closing
- Money: panelists noted a cost savings of $50 per title transaction
How to champion remote notarization at your title business
The session concluded with specific steps title agents can take to champion RON at their businesses. Tips include:
- Research RON requirements in your state
- Talk to your title insurance underwriters about RON
- Socialize RON with customers and let them know it’s an option
- Educate customers about RON
- Initiate forward-thinking conversations about RON with lenders and realtor partners
2. Lenders play a critical role in driving digital adoption
In the “Digital Closings: How Far Have We Come and How Far Do We Have to Go?” session, panelists discussed that digital closing volume was low before COVID-19 and grew exponentially during the pandemic. However, the number of digital closings shows signs of leveling out in 2023 due to market conditions.
Stavvy’s Chief Product Officer, Shane Hartzler, participated on the panel and argued that lenders present an obstacle to the widespread adoption of digital closings. Lenders' outdated operating systems are one reason why they prefer traditional paper closings. Hartzler noted that current economic headwinds present an opportunity for lenders to update their operating systems and urged lenders to capitalize on this opportunity.
The number of conference participants attending the panel discussion indicates the strength of support and enthusiasm for digital closing among title agents. Attendees were willing to encourage lenders to begin with hybrid eSign closings before gradually moving to eClosings with RON as the norm.
3. Communication channels are expanding
During the “TikTok and Title” session, the speaker encouraged participants to ask themselves the question, “What’s the most important part of running a title business?” It was unanimous - people and relationships. And the key to building relationships is creating connections.
As new generations enter the homebuying market, TikTok is a tool that title agencies can use to foster relationships online. Why is TikTok attractive? Because it’s creative, entertaining, fast, and video-driven.
There was hesitation in the room about the time and effort required to manage a successful TikTok account. Questions included, “Where do I even start?” and “Who do I connect with?” Title professionals are busy doing their jobs and often don’t have the resources required to make TikTok a consistent, timely, and authentic experience.
Missing the opportunity to explore TikTok means missing the chance to connect with younger homebuying generations. Investing in the social media platform now positions title companies to build an engaged client base that returns to them for years to come.
How can a title company get started on TikTok? The first step is setting up a TikTok account. From there, think about producing creative, authentic content that answers your community’s questions. It doesn’t hurt to find people within your organization that use TikTok frequently and ask for their help to inform your strategy. From there, it’s all about building and engaging with your new digital community.
A final word about RON
There was also a special guest star in Stavvy’s booth this year. We hope you stopped by to get a picture if you attended the show. If not, here’s a word from a famous Ron about the benefits of RON. See you next year, and stay classy!
Alison Arthur - VP, Marketing