MReport April 2018

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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TH E M R EP O RT | 23 FEATURE errors such as missed signatures. The major benefit for lenders is significant savings gained from being able to sell their loans faster. Last year also brought a new flavor of eClosing— the "remote online notarization"—which allows the closer or notary to be in one location, while the buyers and sellers can sign from the comfort of their own homes. If your doctor can see you over webcam, then certainly you will soon be able to close on that home you're buying with the same convenience. eClosings now come in three variet - ies: hybrid, full, and online. Though online eClosing is now officially called remote online notarization," it is only available in a small but growing number of states. Be sure to track this trend. Embracing everything from eSignature to eClosing can bring big efficiency. Mortgage lenders, title agents, and even the National Association of Realtors are fueling this effort. 6. Cryptocurrencies I t is fair to say that "crypto-craze" is gradu- ally moving toward "crypto-calm." As with the dotcom boom of the late 1990s, this craze shall pass. What will remain will probably be a viable cryptocurrency market that will impact commerce. There are many players in this space. Some will make it and some won't. In the meantime, be sure to track the startups, like Los Angeles-based Aperture, that is pro - moting their asset-based Property Coin. 7. Blockchain N o technology trend mentioned here is more important to keep on your radar than blockchain. People often misunderstand blockchain because it is the technology under - pinning for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. That said, blockchain is also a very different type of technology with great potential for disrupting entire industries (such as ours) where there are many parties to a transaction, each with their own database and documents. In short, blockchain is a shared digital led - ger that spans network of computers where no central authority is required. No single party can edit or tamper with the records through the use of unique algorithms. As some say, the math keeps everyone honest. Nine of the new Forbes Fintech 50 are blockchain startups with their sights set on much more than cryptocurrencies. The opportunities are endless, especially around improving collaboration in the transaction process among the parties (and the identification of those parties). 2018 is shaping up to be a great year for technology and those who use it to make a difference in the real estate, mortgage, and title experience. While there are multiple technol - ogy trends to watch, blockchain gets my bet as to which might ultimately be the most significant potential game-changer. There are some very big money players (think Microsoft, Google, IBM, Oracle, and Salesforce) investing in blockchain-as-a-service offerings that can be used by the smallest of ingenious startups to disrupt the current model. MARVIN STONE serves as SVP, Business Integration for Stewart Title Guaranty Company. He's focused on digital transformation and blockchain use cases within real estate, mortgage lending, title, and closing space. He is also a regular speaker at industry conferences and tracks emerging technology trends across all digital platforms within and outside the industry including social media. "Many of the new, specialty tech firms are laser-focused on improving overlooked, yet troublesome and time-consuming, aspects of the mortgage application process."

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