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Never Meet With a Notary In-Person Again

Podcast Dec 14, 2021

Stavvy Team

A mortgage professional sitting at her desk and looking out the window

One of the many privileges of working at Stavvy is being surrounded by experts, not just smart, capable people but true experts in their fields. The people who respect the past, lead the present, and shape the future. This Finside Chats episode features one such expert, Henry Smith, our Director of Implementation and Support.

Around here, we call Henry the RON Father for his unrivaled experience and influence in the world of remote online notarization or RON. The RON Father joined Kosta on the Finside Chats podcast recently to chat through what we think is one of the most important advances in law, lending, and real estate happening today and the evolution and significance of RON.

Listen Now: Never Meet With a Notary In-Person Again, featuring Henry Smith


Who the heck is RON?

We use the acronym so often that it’s easy to forget that it’s an unfamiliar term to so many.

Henry offered an excellent summary of what (and not so much who) RON is all about. RON stands for remote online notarization and takes the archaic process of meeting a notary in person so that they can acknowledge and witness you signing a document and flipping it onto its head. Customers can electronically sign and notarize important legal documents with RON via secure audio-video technology or a digital closing platform, like Stavvy. “So you could be on vacation in Greece, closing on your new house while the notary is virtual, online, sitting here in the US.”

This legislation is truly transformative, allowing any legal document to be reviewed and executed securely, anytime, anywhere. Due to the pandemic, RON is being used increasingly for real estate closings. Though not approved for use in all states, RON gained temporary approval in some areas due to the social distancing mandates brought on by COVID as a way to execute documents without meeting in person. It’s exciting to think about, but its extensive use during the pandemic could pave the way for wider regulatory acceptance and further acceleration of use.

There’s no comparison

One of the best ways to understand the power of RON is to compare it to the traditional process it replaces—pens, paper, postage, and a whole lot of paper cuts. Even the most difficult RON closings are more convenient and faster than the current way.

“I'd probably say one of the toughest RON sessions was where we had multiple family members that needed to complete a real estate signing. […] These folks were in Venezuela,” Henry recalls. Everything that could be an obstacle happened in this particular session. There were seven people, a slow internet connection, a language barrier, an interpreter on the call, unfamiliar documents, and lots of questions. “It was quite the experience, but we were able to get it done.”

Without RON and the technology that supports it, the family might have had to travel to an embassy or even to the US to close. And if there were errors to the closing papers, new paper docs would have been needed and the process repeated. In a RON session, missing documents and errors are flagged and fixed in real-time.

Always looking forward, never looking back

Henry came to use from NotaryCam, an early leader in remote online notarization. Making a move to Stavvy was not just about technology or personalities. Instead, he was attracted to the Stavvy team’s forward-looking approach. As Henry describes, the job opportunity could have been positioned as “ ‘Hey, here are three buckets A, B, C, this is what you get.’ But you guys were like, ‘What do D and E look like? What does Z look like for the future? We're building 1.0, 2.0, but what does 10.0 look like?’ […] And the culture here at Stavvy just aligned with what I wanted, so I joined the company and haven't looked back."

We’re so thrilled to have Henry, aka The RON Father, on board with us here at Stavvy. Every day, we learn from him and are excited to see where his expertise and insights lead us.

Interested in learning more about RON and its many benefits? Check out our Complete Guide to Remote Online Notarization (RON)

“[We] just notarized, not too long ago, some closing documents for [a Stavvy team member’s] parents. They were both in the hospital and had to get these closing documents signed. They were blown away. I mean, these folks were able to sign from anywhere, any place, at any time of the day, and all they needed was just some basic technology that most people have nowadays, with no issues. Being able to conduct closings this way definitely blows people's minds.”
-Henry Smith, Director of Implementation and Support
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