InsightsServiceLink and Notarize partner to make RON adoption for home equity lending easy

First-of-its-kind solution removes barriers to entry for home equity lenders seeking to transition to remote online notarization.

As lenders seek to attract borrowers in a competitive home equity market, ServiceLink has added Notarize to its diversified tech ecosystem to help lenders deliver more convenient, less costly closings by adopting remote online notarization (RON) at scale. Their transformative solution saves lenders – and borrowers – time and money, ultimately making it easier for borrowers to tap into the equity in their homes.

“Our two companies began discussions because we realized that a lot of lenders were hesitant to adopt RON due to the perceived heavy lift of operationalizing it. We’ve developed a solution they can simply plug and play — no lift required,” says Marc Bator, vice president, principal product manager, ServiceLink. “Lenders will save money, gain operational efficiencies and improve customer satisfaction just by saying, ‘Go.’”

ServiceLink has been offering RON closings for years, providing digital scheduling, notary services, customer care and operational support while leveraging the RON platforms of its many systems of record. Now, through the ServiceLink–Notarize partnership, lenders can easily adopt RON for home equity closings at scale.

“RON closings provide a measurable return on investment,” says Pat Kinsel, founder and CEO, Notarize. “Once lenders see that for themselves, their instinct is to expand the offering to as many borrowers as possible. The combination of our RON platform with ServiceLink’s workflows and customer care services enable them to do just that — painlessly.”

Gaining Efficiencies and Reducing Costs

ServiceLink is known for accelerating the home equity process from application through close, offering lenders advanced technology solutions — instant title solutions, automated inspection and appraisal tools, a consumer-facing scheduling app and eClosing options — to help them streamline their workflows and cut costs. Now lenders who sign on for RON closings stand to save even more time and money.

“We can cut days out of the closing process by leveraging Notarize’s RON platform. At scale, that can represent tremendous cost savings to the lender,” says Bator. “In addition, this new partnership carries a cost-related benefit. We want RON closings to be fully accessible to every home equity lender.”

Efficiency gains can be attributed to ServiceLink’s proprietary EXOS® Close technology, which enables borrowers to schedule their closings in real-time at their convenience, the strength of Notarize’s platform and the convenience of a remote closing. Additional benefits result from ServiceLink’s hands-on support throughout the process.

“Once a lender tells us they’d like their default closing format to be RON, our customer service team becomes an extension of their organization. They establish a relationship with the customer and walk them through the entire closing process,” Bator explains. “The lender can go on with business as usual, knowing their closing, post-closing and subsequent processes will be handled professionally, efficiently and accurately.”

Elevating the Customer Experience

Ensuring an exceptional customer experience isn’t entirely left up to the customer service team, however; the technology plays an important role as well. As consumers — particularly millennials and post-millennials — have come to expect digital options as they go about their day-to-day activities, eClosings are being widely embraced. According to the 2021 ServiceLink State of Homebuying Report:

  • 89% of consumers surveyed agreed that eSignatures are easy and convenient
  • 88% agreed that eSigning saves time in large transactions such as obtaining a mortgage
  • 83% said that, given the option, they would use an app to self-schedule their closing appointment

ServiceLink’s EXOS Close fulfills borrowers’ desires to self-schedule, while Notarize’s RON platform makes eSigning extremely easy. In fact, Notarize, which was the first platform to offer online closings, has achieved a customer satisfaction (CSAT) score of 4.97/5. Their RON closing process is seamless for not only the lender but also the customer, who doesn’t need to leave their home or office to sign their documents.

Maintaining Cross-sell Opportunities

Lenders who have traditionally used in-person signings as a chance to cross-sell products and services shouldn’t be concerned that they will lose this opportunity, Bator says, because ServiceLink offers a solution.

He explains, “Once we’ve engaged the customer, we can include branded verbiage in our communications with them, as provided by the lender. For example, we can include a questionnaire at the end of the signing asking about additional needs and encouraging the customer to contact a branch representative for details. Alternatively, a lender may want one of their branch reps to join the RON session and present their pitch. We work with lenders to ensure they’re getting all they can from this customer engagement.”

Meeting the Home Equity Challenge Head-on

As lenders rally to support all of the home equity volume coming their way, ServiceLink offers customizable title, closing, flood and valuation products to support every step in the process and partnerships to help support lenders on their digital journeys. The new ServiceLink–Notarize solution adds one more tool to help lenders embrace 100% end-to-end digitization to simplify their processes, reduce origination timelines, improve the customer experience and save money.

“We share ServiceLink’s commitment to lenders, as well as to the ongoing modernization of the mortgage process,” says Kinsel. “Our new partnership represents a significant step forward for the industry.”

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