National Association of Realtors® makes strategic investment in Notarize to help scale online notarizations across the country
We’re thrilled to announce that Second Century Ventures, the strategic investment arm of the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) (the largest trade association in America), has made a strategic investment in Notarize. This follows our participation in the REach Accelerator program. REach reviews hundreds of companies every year and 40 companies have participated in the REach program over the past 5 years, but we’re honored to be 1 of only 13 investments that NAR has ever made through its venture fund, Second Century Ventures. The investment from Second Century Ventures is not only significantly larger than what is provided within the REach program, it also signifies that NAR is making a clear bet that we’re the company to scale online closings across the country and we’re up to the challenge!
NAR is supporting Notarize because it believes we have the product, service and team to be successful, but also because our success will benefit it’s 1.3 million Realtor® members across the country.
“As one of the only 13 investments SCV has made through the venture fund, this investment signifies NAR and SCV’s unwavering support of Notarize and the progress it is making within the mortgage industry,” said Mark Birschbach, Managing Director of Second Century Ventures.
In fact, in a recent survey we conducted in partnership with NAR of its members, more than 60% of Realtors® who responded said they experienced a closing last year that was delayed or cancelled due to one of the parties not being able to be physically present with 30% of respondents seeing anywhere between 5-25% of their closings delayed or cancelled. Nearly 90% of the Realtors® believe online closings would be important for them and their clients with 40% stating it would be very important or even a game changer!
“Our Realtor® members are invaluable to home buyers and sellers alike, helping both sides achieve their ownership goals and providing the essential human connection with all parties,” said Bob Goldberg, CEO of NAR. “Notarize enables real estate professionals to focus on their clients with greater attention and efficiency, providing a superior technology that automates a variety of complex processes. A faster, more secure closing reduces stress and improves the overall experience, and we believe Notarize is the company that will make this a reality for agents across the country.”
Real estate agents know better than anyone that buying a home is the most important transaction of a person’s life. It’s not just the expense – it’s the emotion involved of picking a place to hang your hat at the end of work everyday, raise a family, and form a community. It’s also really complicated. It’s not just finding the right home, most buyers need to find the right bank and loan terms, and complete all of the steps involved in the closing. Buying a home can easily start to feel like a part-time job – only one they didn’t teach about in school and that you have to work at for free in your spare time.
Given the importance of the decision and the complexity, it’s no surprise that many people turn to real estate professionals for help in navigating this process. In fact, 9 out of 10 homebuyers purchase their home through a real estate agent or broker. Agents are on the frontline of the home buyer’s experience – they make the entire process more manageable and enjoyable and give buyers and sellers the tools to make the best decision possible. And, home buyers often look to their agents for more than just what home to buy – they’re also the primary source of information on where to find the best loan and what title company to use for the closing. Simply put, real estate agents are there to make the home buying experience better.
Unfortunately, no matter how good of a job the agent does on the front-end of the home buying process, the last mile (the closing) has been stuck in the dark ages. Think about it – you’ve gone through all the headaches to get financing and find the right home. Just when you think you’re done, the entire process hits a brick wall – you have to schedule an in-person closing in the middle of your busy week, you get called away on travel, or your spouse or co-borrower is not co-located with you. Life gets in the way. And, if the closing doesn’t happen or gets delayed, everyone loses – the borrower loses their home or pays more to lock in a longer rate and no one gets paid (not the seller, agent, the bank, the title company, or other service providers). Even when the closing does occur, real estate agents have no control of the customer experience and their borrower, the one they’ve helped get this far, is often left with a sour taste in their mouth, while the agent is left holding the bag and potentially loses out on referrals for future business.
We’re excited to spread the world to real estate professional across the country that there is a better way. With Notarize for Mortgage borrowers can close online, anytime, anywhere. And, it’s not just online closings. We’re excited to learn from NAR and its Realtor® members how we can improve Notarize for Business to collect other documents outside of the closing, such as lease forms, guarantor forms, and tenant affidavits. With the added support of NAR and SCV, our team and technology will help transform the home closing process and establish a new industry standard.
To learn more, visit Notarize for Realtors. More to come!