Propy Records First Government Sanctioned Blockchain Real Estate Deal in the US

Global real estate company, Propy, completed the United States first recorded blockchain real estate deal in Vermont.

While Propy’s first transaction, in the Ukraine, utilized the Transaction Platform and the Propy Blockchain Registry, the Vermont pilot program utilized the Propy Blockchain Registry. The registry is “a set of smart contracts designed to store land records on the blockchain (blockchain LRMS — Land Records Management System).”

To read more on Propy’s Transaction Platform, Propy Blockchain Registry and the Vermont pilot program, click HERE.


Welcome Chris LaChance to the FAN Family

Florida Agency Network Welcomes Chris LaChance as its New Sales Manager

Florida Agency Network is pleased to announce the addition of Chris LaChance as its Sales Manager. Chris will oversee the sales initiatives within the Tampa Bay area and throughout the State of Florida.

A Tampa Bay native, Chris began his professional career in 1994 working for First American Title. He went from bicycle Courier, to scanning files, to front desk Receptionist, to processing files, to “almost” becoming a Closer, but decided instead to transition over to Agency Sales in 2005. Chris excelled in his Agency Sales position, ultimately reaching a level of national recognition reserved for the few top salespeople within the company nationwide. In 2015, Chris was promoted to Gulf Coast Agency Manager in Florida, where he was responsible for training additional sales staff to assist in servicing the agency network he had helped build over the years, in addition to managing the local title production staff supporting the agent base.

“We are thrilled to have Chris join the team. His proven success and growth within the industry will propel FAN and its members to new heights, and help us achieve some lofty sales goals we have set for the company over the next few years,” said Mike LaRosa, COO of the Florida Agency Network

In his new role as Sales Manager, Chris will work on improving long-established relationships and gaining market share for the members of Florida Agency Network. With over 20 years of experience, Chris brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the position.


Florida Agency Network Closes Florida’s First Fully Electronic Closing

Left to right: Kathy MacKinnon of Century 21 Beggins, Barbara Ferrell, Maria MacNeil of Century 21 Beggins, and Shawn Pugh, Regional Manager of Paramount Title.

 

It’s 5:07PM on March 7, 2018.  Shawn Pugh, Paramount Title’s Regional Manager, is seated in the office of Century 21 Beggins on Madeira Beach, FL with Barbara Ferrell, a seller in her 60’s, born and raised Florida, who is selling her St. Pete Beach condo. After completing a series of questions to authenticate Ms. Ferrell’s identity (including examination of her Florida Identification), and reviewing all documents to be signed, the online Virginia notary, Jacqueline Smith, appears on the laptop screen. With the provided information, Jacqueline, the online notary, verifies Barbara’s identification. As an added measure of security, Barbara is asked to scan the room with the web camera to make sure nothing is abnormal. After revealing her surroundings and taking an oath with the online notary, Barbara begins the process of digitally signing documents in the Notarize portal.  History was made as Ms. Ferrell began to sign the FIRST E-Notarized documents in the State of Florida!

Once signing was complete, Ms. Ferrell was informed that she just participated in the very FIRST fully-paperless, fully e-notarized digital closing in the State of Florida. This was a culmination of weeks of effort ensuring that the proper organizations were involved. Florida Agency Network’s leadership, along with their IT provider, Premier Data Services (PDS), completed various tasks before the transaction could be completed, including a thorough test of networks, ensuring wireless capabilities worked properly, and making sure all devices were up-to-date.

Aaron M. Davis, CEO of Florida Agency Network (FAN), was introduced to Notarize.com over a year ago during a title conference. They brainstormed what a fully digital, e-notarized closing would look like, and how to bring online notarization to the State of Florida. Through that process a partnership and friendship with Pat Kinsel and Adam Pase of Notarize developed. Notarize was impressed with the technical capabilities, size, drive, and passion within the FAN organization. FAN was equally impressed with Notarize’s vision and innovative pursuit in the online closing space with revolutionary, one-of-a-kind technology, readily available in the app store. As the final component to the relationship, Westcor announced it would underwrite these transactions, and soon the partnership caught the attention of the lender community. One of the largest non-bank lenders, United Wholesale Mortgage, then became part of the equation.

FAN and Notarize closed the first transaction with a cash deal. During this transaction, parties were guided through the closing with the seller utilizing Notarize, and the buyers utilizing Venture Sign for electronic signatures on all documents. Once the closing was complete, each parties’ closing packages where saved in FAN’s secure portal, Closing Manager. The portal was customized and developed by PDS and offers safe document sharing and storage, secure wire instruction distribution, easy order submission, and full access to all transactions.

“This is a historic transaction, not just for Paramount Title and the Florida Agency Network, but also for the State of Florida and the real estate and settlement industry. We have long dreamed of the day of having a truly paperless closing, including documents requiring notarization. We literally prepared, closed, and recorded an entire transaction digitally, without printing anything on paper. Our goal is to make this an option for all our clients. Not only does it streamline the process, but now reduces our industry’s impact on the environment. Paperless, digital closings offer many advantages versus the slower, traditional paper-based system. The paperless era has officially arrived!” said Aaron M. Davis, CEO of FAN.

Both the buyer’s agent and the listing agent were thrilled to take part in this historic event. The Buyer’s Agent, Lisa Coflin Heisner with RE/MAX All Star said, “Being a part of the first paperless transaction in Florida’s history was truly exciting. As a Realtor, I greatly appreciate such use of digital technology that offers our customers a smooth, convenient, comfortable experience at closing. My buyers were quite pleased with the process.”

The Seller’s Agent echoed the same sentiment; Maria MacNeil of Century 21 Beggins said, “For the busy person, this is going to be a fantastic product.  It will save a lot of time for travel and allow them to close at their home or office.”

“In keeping with the culture of Century 21, and our focus on technology and the consumer experience, it was exciting to be a part of history. Innovation is key to success in the real estate business. As an industry, we must develop a speedier and more efficient closing process. This was a strong step in the right direction, and we look forward too many more,” said Craig Beggins, the Broker/Owner of Century 21 Beggins.

Paramount Title electronically recorded the documents and issued a title policy within 4 hours of closing. After the closing, Barbara Ferrell, the seller said, “I had a great experience! It was a first for me, to do a closing without paper. I enjoyed being a part of it!” In a funny twist, Barbara had miscommunicated with the person designated to drive her home from the closing, so Shawn, our Manager, volunteered to drive her home. Barbara said, “Now that’s the best service I have ever had from a title company!” Shawn laughed, “That’s what we do, go above and beyond. We close electronically and safely deliver our sellers to their home!”


FAN Announces Closing of Florida’s First Completely Digital Transaction

 

Tampa, Fla. – March 8, 2018 – Florida Agency Network announced the completion of Florida’s first 100 percent paperless, fully-digital real estate closing transaction. The closing was completed by Paramount Title, a member of the Florida Agency Network, on March 7 in the Century 21 Beggins’ Madeira Beach office. All closing documents were executed electronically, and the Electronic Notarization of deeds and affidavits was performed by Notarize via an app interface utilizing a Notary in the state of Virginia.

“This is a historic transaction not just for Paramount Title and the Florida Agency Network, but also for the State of Florida and the real estate and settlement industry. We have long dreamed of the day of having a truly paperless closing, including the documents requiring notarization. We literally prepared, closed, and recorded an entire transaction digitally, without printing anything on paper. Our goal is to make this an option for all our clients. Not only does it streamline the process, but now reduces our industry’s impact on the environment. Paperless, digital closings offer many advantages versus the slower, traditional paper-based system. The paperless era has officially arrived!” said Aaron M. Davis, CEO of Florida Agency Network.

Paramount Title partnered with Notarize, the first notary public platform allowing any person or business to get their documents legally notarized online. Notarize’s propriety software system enables a completely paperless process via any mobile device. The Notarize platform saves time and money, reduces fraud, and provides a better customer experience by improving efficiency and convenience.

“In keeping with the culture of Century 21 and our focus on technology and the consumer experience, it was exciting to be a part of history. Innovation is key to success in the real estate business. As an industry, we must develop a speedier and more efficient closing process. This was a strong step in the right direction, and we look forward to many more,” said Craig Beggins, the Broker/Owner of Century 21 Beggins.

 

 

About Paramount Title
Paramount Title is a consumer-focused independent title agency. Its goal is to deliver superior title services with exceptional competence, communication, professionalism and service. Paramount Title has multiple national underwriter relationships and works with the largest real estate companies, developers and banks in the country, and closes transactions statewide. To learn more, visit http://ptitlefl.com.

About the Florida Agency Network
The FLORIDA AGENCY NETWORK (FAN) is a conglomerate of independent title agencies, settlement service providers, and innovative technology companies within the State of Florida. FAN has formed a strategic alliance amongst members and vendors, in addition to creating proprietary technologies, to better serve its clients, allowing it to provide customized solutions to protect and streamline the closing experience. Members share back office services, pooled resources, access to industry-leading technology, improved efficiencies, and the ability to offer their clients greater geographic coverage throughout Florida. FAN resources include first class executive management and oversight, multiple on-staff attorneys, access to an in-house title plant, lien and permit search division, title ancillary services, IT/Cloud hosting company, cyber-security consulting and solutions, centralized order entry, processing and post-closing, agency administration, compliance management and financial oversight. FAN’s networked agencies service residential, commercial, builder, lender and investor sectors of the market with SOC 1 Type 2 and SOC 2 Type 2 security compliance solutions available. For more information, please visit http://www.FLagency.net.

About CENTURY 21 Beggins Enterprises
CENTURY 21 Beggins is a special and diverse place driven by passion and integrity to empower, educate, and encourage our Agents, Staff and Clients to live the lifestyle of their dreams. We service West Central Florida with 10 locations from Clearwater to Sarasota. To learn more, visit http://C21Beggins.com.


FAN Announces New Chief Information Security Officer Matthew Froning

Breaking news from The Network!

Florida Agency Network is proud to announce Matthew Froning as its new Chief Information Security Officer.

With over 20 years in the Information Security industry, Matt brings a unique background that includes a deep technical experience along with an understanding of balancing security and operations. Matt has led the charge for improving security processes and procedures for organizations while tightening controls to protect from cyberattacks.

“We are pleased to welcome Matthew to our team. His reputation, expertise and intimate knowledge of industry best practices will allow us to design and deploy a best-in-class, global security strategy,” said Aaron M. Davis, CEO of Florida Agency Network.

Matt will drive FAN’s existing information security program, and collaborate with the industry to implement best practices on information security. These complex cyber strategy solutions and partnerships will ensure Florida Agency Network has the most effective, broad security postures.

For more information on  how FAN and Matt can help your agency, contact us.

 

To read the full announcement, click here.