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Realtor.com Partners with Qualia to Deliver Simplified Digital Home Closings
Realtor.com and Qualia today announced a new relationship that will give agents and their clients a unique ability to collaborate online in real time with their title provider of choice as part of a fully integrated digital closing experience. The experience will first launch next month as a pilot test in seven states across the country, followed by a nationwide launch later this year. The seven states are Florida, Maryland, Ohio, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia. "Realtor.com® believes an open marketplace approach that offers choice, control, transparency and efficiency creates the best experience for home buyers, sellers, and real estate professionals," said Move Inc. CEO David Doctorow. Move, Inc., is a subsidiary of News Corp and operates realtor.com®. "Our relationship with Qualia is a great example of this. We're empowering agents by providing options to help them get their clients all the way through closing, as we simplify the process of buying and selling homes for people throughout their real estate journey." Agents in realtor.com's ReadyConnect Concierge network will be able to use their existing ReadyConnect Agent app to select one of the many highly rated title partners who are powered by Qualia's platform. Agents can also introduce additional title partners to the network through the ReadyConnect Concierge app and web experience. If they choose, agents can continue to work outside of the app with any title provider outside of the Qualia platform. If they work with a title provider in the Qualia network, agents and their clients can automatically manage and review documents, track progress in real time, and communicate with the chosen title company through the secure Qualia Connect platform. The platform's security features also help protect buyers from phishing and fraud; cyber crime in real estate transactions has been increasing rapidly over the past few years, according to FBI reports. Consumers can sign their closing documents, and in select states some participants can have them remotely notarized with Qualia's fully integrated Remote Online Notarization tool, as well. In states that allow fully remote closings, agents who give their clients the ability to e-close by working with title providers that embrace modern, digital solutions can set themselves apart from the competition. In an October 2020 Qualia Homebuyer Sentiment Survey, more than 60 percent of survey respondents said they wanted a fully digital closing experience, and more than half of home buyers chose their real estate agent based on a differentiated level of service around closing. Title and escrow providers in the Qualia network can grow their business with the increased exposure to the 140,000+ agents in realtor.com®'s ReadyConnect Concierge network. They'll also save time and increase efficiencies by collaborating with agents and consumers on one secure, cloud-based closing platform. "The role that each participant in the home buying journey serves is evolving faster than we've ever seen," said Qualia CEO Nate Baker. "Realtor.com® is a Proptech leader that has consistently remained ahead of the curve, empowering its agents to deliver a differentiated home buying experience. We are excited to help them continue this journey alongside our existing network of Qualia powered title and escrow partners across the country." Realtor.com® is offering a webinar on February 18 in advance of the pilot tests; register here. Title providers can learn more about Qualia and join the network here. Visit marketing.realtor.com/concierge to learn more about the ReadyConnect Concierge network and how realtor.com®'s referral program can help agents and brokers build their business. Unlike some other success-based models, ReadyConnect Concierge is open to all brokers and their agents who want to join – as market conditions allow – and requires no upfront expenses.
Follow the Leader - Stewart Morris, Jr.
Stewart Information Services Corporation is truly a powerhouse, offering a wide range of products and services serving the entire globe. Even during the challenging market conditions of the recent past (and present), Stewart has managed to thrive. One of the people who was previously responsible for this success is Stewart Morris, Jr. On the heels of the announcement that he was appointed to the American Land Title Association (ALTA) Board of Governors, we sat down with Mr. Morris to learn more about his strategies, philosophies, and predictions.   RE Technology: What did you do to help your company weather the storm of the down market?   Stewart Morris, Jr.: This was a dramatic, protracted downturn. It has been a character-builder, to say the least, for many people. My strategy for being successful in this environment can be boiled down to two key points:   Cutting expenses. We reduced our affiliate office network and our overall headcount by about 50% in order to achieve a reduction in expenses. At the same time, we were consolidating our back-office services in order to be more efficient. Building sales. We created a Sales Council to look at every market we were in, highlight the major markets, and focus on growing our number of customers, as well as the revenue from our customers. We worked on growing business that would thrive in the new market conditions; Stewart Lender Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Stewart Title, is a central component of this. In this way, while one side of our business was shrinking, another side was growing nicely.