Our Foundation Title & Escrow offices remain open, operational and ready to work for you.

As you know, cities across the country ordered a two week closure of “non-essential” businesses as part of the effort to curb COVID-19 nationally as quickly as possible. However, many cities have excluded “real property marketing, leasing, purchase and sale services.” Yes, that group includes title companies. (Our friends in banking and lending also remain open.)

Though modifications to minimize in-person interactions have been made, all of our Foundation Title & Escrow offices are open and ready to continue serving our customers. COVID-19 is changing how the industry does business and Foundation Title is fortunate to be ahead of the curve with secure technology that allows for all of our employees to work remotely and creates the opportunity for us to accommodate a variety of closing needs – in-person, remotely, or anything in between.

We thank you for your trust, and we are taking every precaution to keep our customers – plus Foundation Title employees – safe and healthy during these times. Among the steps we’ve taken:

• Enhanced cleaning protocols, including cleaning
before and after closings and meetings.

• Removing frequently touched items from closing
and meeting rooms, such as pens, candy, snacks, etc.

• Instructing staff to clean daily surroundings, such as
keyboards and desks.

• Requiring staff to stay at home if they are feeling ill.

• Implementing remote working for employees as

As always and especially now, if you or your buyers/sellers have concerns or questions, please don’t hesitate to contact your Foundation Title office.

COVID-19 highlights why embracing digital innovation is so important for all of us in real estate

Spring normally starts the very busy open house season. However, prospective buyers are shying away from such events. (Plus, the National Association of Realtors is “strongly encouraging members to consider the advisability of continuing to hold (in-person) open houses at this time.”) We know plenty of homebuyers started their search online even before COVID-19. Now these tips on enhancing your online listings seem even more important during a time of social distancing.

• Do virtual (video) home tours in place of open houses. It doesn’t have to be a fancy production either. You can use your phone and Facebook Live or Instagram Stories for an added social media boost. If you want to do a one-on-one walkthrough with an interested party, there’s FaceTime or Skype.

• Make sure your listing photos are high quality. If you’re taking your own photos, have a decent camera, take plenty of shots (many more than you’re going to put online) and use as much natural light as possible. Edit your photos as well. That last step ensures they truly shine. Good photography takes practice, but it’s well worth the investment of
time and money.

• Even the words in your listing can be upgraded. Don’t be vague. Online buyers can see for themselves if a house is beautiful, thanks to your engaging video tour and higher-quality photos. That frees you up to use your written content to tell the house’s story. Choose your buzzwords carefully.

To our lenders, we know you’ve been innovating as much as possible. However, this pandemic has underscored the need to go as digital as we can for our customers. That includes customer portals where they can upload financial and identification documents easily while also reviewing contracts and proposals. Offering a digital signature solution is also imperative for the convenience of the modern buyer, even once we return to more traditional and celebratory closing environments.

All this technology has been available to us for years, but it’s taken this current situation to show how vital it is now and into the future. Foundation Title is on the cutting edge for our customers and promises to do what it takes to continue as the industry’s most innovative choice.

ICYMI: Two U.S. senators have proposed legislation that would immediately give every notary in the country the authority to perform remote online notarizations, known commonly as RON, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The proposal known as the SECURE Notarization Act or the Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic Notarization Act of 2020, is supported by the American Land Title Association, the Mortgage Bankers Association and the National Association of Realtors. Read more on the bill from HousingWire here.

“Americans shouldn’t have to risk their health or safety to execute important financial or legal documents, especially when they could do so from the safety of their own home. The SECURE Notarization Act brings the notary process into the 21st century, allowing people to securely complete documents while still following recommended health and social practices amid the coronavirus pandemic.”

– Sen. Kevin Cramer, (R-ND), one of the bill’s authors.