Paperless Closings

I am trying to go “Green”!!  No more paper…is it possible in the real estate biz?  I think it is and I am testing the waters.  In this new venture I am starting, we are going as paperless as we can from the very beginning.  Using tools such as myfax/efax is a start.  We do not have a fax machine, everything is scanned and emailed or faxed out through our electronic faxing provider.  All files are “worked”  via an electronic file in the software we utilize and we plan to scan all closed files immediately upon closing.  No more storage rooms!!  So far so good.  

Next step will be to conduct a paperless closing…can it be done?  Yes, it has been done in other states and it appears to work just fine.  There will be some that will require paper documents for filing at the courthouse and some lenders/banks will require a “wet” signature on documents, but we many will accept the digital signature.  Heck we sign a signature pad for almost everything we buy now, why not real estate?  I will keep you in the loop on our time line, hopefully in 30 days we can have a true paperless closing.

Now, if I can get this accomplished in other areas of my life!


Have we hit the bottom??

I wonder of we have hit the bottom of the Real Estate bust?  It sure appears to me that real estate activity has increased these past four weeks, homes are being shown, refinances are on the rise, and all of the folks I talk to say they are busy.  Does this represent the bottom?  I speculate that we are dragging along the bottom, waiting for the proverbial “bounce”!  I am not expecting a huge bounce, but we may have a little more spring in our step come this summer. 

I hear some of the big lenders may show a profit for the first quarter, i.e. Bank of America, Countrywide, and a few others.  If this is true, will that increase our confidence in the Real Estate markets?  Not sure about that one…but should show us that you can get a loan and that the markets may have adjusted.  All we can do is keep our heads down and keep focused on our task at hand, whether that is selling real estate, making loans or closing deals.  Our work ethic is the ONE thing we can control!!  Those who do this, will be successful, no matter the conditions of the market.

New Technology Part 2

I wrote about the new buzz words/gadgets in technology last fall, things such as Sumo Text,Twitter, myspace and facebook.  Now it appears that these are now all of the rage in the Real Estate Biz.  In fact, I have gone so far as to get active on facebook (great to find old high school classmates…not sure how it will create new business opportunities) and myspace (appears to be suited for musicians), and even have established myself on Twitter! It all seems to me to be part of the big “Social Networking” world that may, some day, find its way into the business world.  I guess one should never underestimate the power of your network!

Starting a new title company, National Closing Corp, I have decided to give this new way of networking a try.  It certainly can’t hurt our business, and we may even find a group of customers out in cyber space that prefer this way of communication with businesses.  I am going to focus on linking all forms of cyber communications to the blog and web sites we have established.  Seems to me that some quick updates, which includes links, will be the most effective way to drive folks to us. 

Let me know if you have ideas or suggestions that have worked for you.

End of the Quarter

From my seat in this game of real estate, we finished the first quarter on a high note.  We have seen a nice jump in orders and activity these past three weeks, which we hope will continue as we roll into April.  I have said all along that we here in Arkansas have a nice middle of the road real estate market….never gets too high nor drops too low!  We have our peaks and valleys, just not as dramatic as the rest of the nation.

How do you see your business these next couple of months heading into the summer?

New Title Company in Little Rock

Well I have gone off and done it again…starting up a new title company in Little Rock.  Actually it is a branch of National Closing Corp out of Greenwood, AR.  So in effect, our world headquarters are in Greenwood and the branch is here in LR.  Enough of that…I am happy to be back in the local title business again, after taking some time off.  We thought we could become a radio personality, but it just didn’t work out!  We have some exciting new tricks in our bag that we are going to roll out to the Arkansas Market.  Keep an eye on the blog for updates as we get ready to roll these products out to the public.

Here is a hint….we are going “Green” !!  Our plan is to use as little paper as possible.  No more file folders stack high of copies of all the closing documents.  How does a copy of your closing documents on a Flash Drive sound to you?

This is just a teaser….more to come

Low Rate = Home Sales?

I learned yesterday that you could get an FHA loan for 4.5% for 30 years…that is fantastic! Will that equate to home sales? I still hear that we have some issues with appraisals and credit, but if those two items are ok, then a borrower should be able to get one heck of a deal out there. We are seeing a nice steady stream of orders coming into the title company, and we expect to see a rise in orders these next few weeks.

What do you see happening in your market? Jump in on the conversation and let me know how your business is at this time.

News Reports

I was watching one of the news channels last night, who knows which one, and the talk was of 4% interest rates in the near future and the effect this would have on the housing market. If this prediction turns out to be true, then we may have a very nice spring for those of us in the Real Estate Biz. I have been talking to Realtors across the state and it appears that activity has been on a slight rise. Which is great news for us especially if we combine renewed activity with lower interest rates.

Have we touched the bottom??? I don ‘t know, but I am hoping when the sun starts shining and the flowers start to bloom, that our business starts to pick up!