eClosings at the Forefront of Digital Innovation
Technology innovation is paving the way toward a seamless mortgage experience. That’s why Atlantic Bay has been an industry leader in eClosings from the jump – because the borrower experience is important to us.
Long gone are the days of being tied to a settlement company’s office signing away papers for hours – with hands cramping by the end. Now, fully digital eClosings are possible – eliminating the need to even leave your home to close on your new one!
When one of our Senior Mortgage Bankers, Heather Todd, was asked how eClosings have impacted her business, she had a lot to say.
“First things first, I’ve always known Atlantic Bay is the best in the business when it comes to offering a variety of loan products for our clients, an exceptional Operations team, and genuine top-down support. But their progressive thinking goes beyond all of that. Atlantic Bay is ahead of the curve in all things digital and technology, including the virtual mortgage experience,” Heather said.
At the start of 2020, Heather hadn’t yet fully embraced eClosings, but like many, she was forced into the space in order to continue her business while adhering to local safety guidelines for COVID-19.
“When the mortgage and real estate industries were facing uncertainty, low interest rates, and record high volume all at once, I didn’t have to think twice about what would happen with my business,” Heather reflected. “I had the tools, company backing, and support I needed to seamlessly adapt to the times, because Atlantic Bay had already implemented a variety of virtual mortgage processes.” In fact, Atlantic Bay’s work with eClosings started with a hybrid digital closing back in 2018!
With a streamlined virtual mortgage experience and a variety of eClosing options at her fingertips, Heather’s confidence in Atlantic Bay grew even more. “In a time where both business and volume were consistently breaking record highs, it was unsettling. But the difference here is, I was able to pivot and get my clients to closing table without any hiccups. Closing delays, roadblocks, process pauses, and time to ‘figure out what do now’ were not in the picture.”
With eClosings, there are less mistakes made during the process and minimal problems after the fact. “Missed signatures can cause a clog. When something’s not signed, it comes to me to straighten out, which can lead to phone tag. Now with e-signatures and online document reviews, the room for error has been minimized substantially and the process has sped up overall,” says Heather.
The path to implementation started with research of regulations and eNote platforms in 2018. Jennifer Solis, Vice President of Closing, led implementation testing and spent three months testing the eClosing processes end-to-end. They started with hybrid closings, where some or all of the loan documents except the promissory note were signed electronically, to get partners acquainted with the platform before introducing electronic promissory notes (eNotes) in March of 2020.
The work put in behind the scenes for years to make this closing experience possible has resulted in immeasurable success. “Instead of taking an hour or more, closing virtually could be done in less than 15 minutes! At Atlantic Bay, from start to finish with our typical virtual closing process, you can get to the closing table in 25 days,” Jen shares with excitement. That’s unheard of in this industry!
While eClosings cater to the needs of a remote world and the fast-paced, on-the-go lifestyle that’s trending forward. Heather says, “Despite the level of in-person meetings and contact, I have been able to build and maintain the same level of depth and connection in my relationships with my clients. I still call them throughout the process, give them updates, and let them know as soon as their loan is clear to close.”
She went on to explain, “eClosings actually give me an extra opportunity to connect with my clients because the closing is centered more around Atlantic Bay’s processes and our closing department. With an eClosing, I have another touchpoint opportunity, a chance to go over what my clients can expect next, and an additional way to showcase my customer service and genuine care.”
The digital mortgage experience is one of many ways Atlantic Bay has assessed a need early on, put in the work, and executed accordingly.
Looking ahead at what’s next…
While eClosings have been a success at Atlantic Bay, the company’s vision doesn’t stop here! Jen said, “eClosings have changed the scope of our business model. It has changed a lot of our processes and how quickly things can move on the back end. Our goal right now is to get 100% of our loans to be eClosed.”
To further improve efficiencies and provide a top-notch mortgage journey for borrowers, another area of exploration in the company’s technology, software, and digital mortgage space is robotic process automation. This involves creating software robots (or “bots”) to perform manual, highly repetitive tasks that are currently performed by humans on their computers and take quite a bit of time to complete.
With robotic process automation, the company plans to take technology-based innovation to a new level. Not only will this reduce risk for the company, but it’ll make employees’ jobs easier and improve the service delivered to homebuyers along their home financing journeys. While the forward-thinking nature of Atlantic Bay has always been at the core of decisions, it’s the level of careful consideration taken prior to pioneering a process or change.
In wrapping up her thoughts about the company’s future, Heather says, “I’m all for Atlantic Bay continuing to explore ways to better serve our borrowers. When they’re on the cusp of a cutting-edge opportunity, they first weigh whether it fits our culture. If something doesn’t fit our culture, it won’t stick. It’s refreshing, reassuring, and inspiring to know that this company lends peace of mind to our borrowers, day in and day out, but also gives us the support we need to succeed.”
These are personal anecdotes from each individual’s experiences that are unique and not representative of Atlantic Bay's views or practices. Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group, L.L.C. NMLS #72043 (nmlsconsumeraccess.org) is an Equal Opportunity Employer.