Digital real estate technology closing company Qualia announced Wednesday the launch of Connect Video Chat, making contactless home closings possible for homebuyers across the country.
According to the company, Connect Video Chat can be used for remote ink-signed notarizations during home closings in accordance with guidelines established by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
“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 homebuyers 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.”
The new video chat feature enables title companies to securely host 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, Qualia said.
“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.”
Qualia said it recently conducted a survey that showed that 86% of title and escrow companies said they are using or have plans to implement remote notarizations if it were to be available in order to remain open for business and process real estate transactions in compliance with social distancing guidelines.
Since mid-March, Qualia said that its existing remote work features have seen a spike, and 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 has also tripled, while orders for notary services through Qualia’s nationwide online Marketplace increased 350% from January to March.
Qualia has shifted engineering resources during the pandemic 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.