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Remote online notarizations surge 40% during pandemic

Increase could signal transition from temporary stopgap to permanent option

Since stay-at-home orders and self-quarantines began in March, more businesses have moved to digital solutions and that’s been particularly true for parts of the real estate transaction. A survey from Qualia revealed that there was a nearly 40% surge in remote online notarization from April through May.

Seventy percent of those who responded to the survey said they anticipated either having the same volume or an increased volume over the next 30 days compared to the previous month.

According to Qualia, 33% of respondents said they used remote online notarizations in the month of May, which is up from 24% the month prior.

“This is an important time for real estate as the industry undergoes rapid change and a monumental shift in mindset,” said Nate Baker, cofounder and CEO of Qualia. “The real estate industry looks very different than it did just three months ago and it will likely look very different in the next three months as we see remote work and remote online notarizations transition from temporary stopgap solutions to permanent options.”

As more businesses choose to become permanently remote, 65% of the respondents said that they are working remotely.

More respondents also reported that they are recording more e-recordings, remote online notarizations and hybrid remote ink-signed notarizations.

Despite this, the percentage of real estate professionals not using RON and having no plans to adopt a RON solution increased from 14% in April to 23% in May.

But what could this number look like in the future?

“These results suggest that real estate professionals are settling into new routines for conducting business, whether they’re contactless in-person, digital, or hybrid options,” Baker continued. “Notably, a large majority of respondents remain interested in remote online notarization options, indicating that RON is likely to stay post-pandemic and become a consumer expectation.”

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