Moving towards a Paperless Mortgage with e-sign

This week our company, Mortgage Master Service Corporation, has been upgrading our “loan operating system”. This will allow our clients to have the option of reviewing their loan documents and acknowledge (sign) them electronically with “e-signatures”. Of course our clients can still print or receive hard copies of their loan documents. 

This step forward is not only “green” by reducing waste (it’s estimated a typical file uses around 400 pieces of paper); it will also help streamline the mortgage process. For our clients, instead of having to sign their names over and over again with their initial loan application documents, they will simply use their personal computer to securely access their loan documents and “click” their autographs.

E-signatures are allowed with conventional and VA mortgage loans. Currently it is not yet available for FHA or USDA mortgages. Hopefully this will change soon!

You may notice that my on-line loan application has changed – this is to support our new system.

Here is more information on how our e-sign process works

If you’re considering buying or refinancing a home anywhere in Washington, I’m happy to help you!

Walla Walla Weekend

Col Solare

Earlier this month we decided to travel to Walla Walla for a "wine weekend". The scenic 4-5 hour drive from Seattle takes you over the Snoquamie Pass via I-90.  I relied on an app from the WSDOT on my Droid to provide us up to the minute pass conditions and information on traffic.

We like to stop in Ellensburg for lunch at the Yellow Church Cafe; I recommend their burgers and the tuna melt.   Ellensburg is a wonderful old town and my husband went to Central so it's a fun place to stretch our legs before heading on towards Yakima (another great area of wine country in Washington) before reaching our final destination.

Some of my favorite places we visited this trip are Rotie Cellars, Seven Hills, El Corazon, Basel Cellars and Zebra Cellars.

DSC00394 We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express which is actually just on the outskirts of Walla Walla.  If you want to be more in town so that you can walk to different wineries and tasting rooms, you may want to check out a local B&B, the Marcus Whitman Hotel or another location.  If you have a favorite spot to stay at in Walla Walla or wineries to visit, please comment and let me know!

Next time we're planning on visiting Red Mountain.  Col Solare is pictured above and they require an advanced appointment tastings.

Check out more of my photos of our road trip to Walla Walla.

My Interview of Frank Garay and Brian Stevens

The day before Seattle reBarCamp, Frank and Brian from Think Big Work Small, will be here teaching a one day class on video blogging and marketing for real estate professionals. Check out my quick video interview:

 

The NW Video Marketing Summit takes place on March 2, 2011 at the Seattle Center NW Rooms.   To RSVP or learn more about this event, please visit www.videomarketingsummit.tv the cost for the event is $100 and you'll walk away with your own video blog.  Real estate agents can receive 4 hours of c/e credit.

PS:  Seattle reBarCamp is on March 3, 2011 at the Seattle Center NW Rooms.

Links for both events are on the left.

Two Great Real Estate Events coming to Seattle Center in March

In less than two months, real estate agents, mortgage originators and other real estate folks, there will be two events they really should consider attending at the Seattle Center's Northwest Rooms.

On Wednesday, March 2, 2011, Frank Garay and Brian Stevens (the guys from Think Big Work Small) will be here to teach real estate peeps about video blogging at the Northwest Video Marketing Summit.  This is an all day event (sounds like a boot camp to me) where at the end of the day, you will have your own video blog.  This event is open to all real estate peeps and real estate agents may receive 3 clock hour credits.  The cost for this day long education (which includes your blog) is only $100.   For more information or to rsvp, click here and be sure to watch their video below.

The following day, Thursday, March 3, 2011, is something near and dear to my heart:  Seattle RE Barcamp.  This will also take place at the Seattle Center Northwest Rooms (same place as last year). 

The Seattle RE Barcamp is an "un-conference" where real estate professionals learn peer to peer – not planned presentations.  The agenda is determined the morning of the event by what the attendees (participants) want to learn.  Ideally, participants are sharing with each other "what they're doing now".   It is all about active learning and sharing and it's not limited to social media; latest real estate trends and issues are also discussed.   RSVP for Seattle RE BarCamp here.

There is no fee to attend the Seattle Real Estate BarCamp – it's FREE!  We depend on our sponsors to keep it that way.   If you're interested in supporting this ad-hoc event and having the love and adoration of 300+ real estate professionals, please click here.  By the way, I'm a proud sponsor of this event and so are Brian and Frank. 

I hope to see you at both events.  

Please spread the word!  You can retweet on Twitter (hash tags for the events are #vmssea and #rebcsea) and post this info on Facebook.  Here's a flyer for Seattle RE Barcamp that you can print and post in your office.

My New Phone: The Droid-X

I recently switched from a Blackberry Storm to a Droid X. It's a bit of an adjustment and so far I'm very pleased with my new phone…I am actually writing this post from the Droid X's extra large keypad using Typepad's mobile application. 

I thought I would share a few notes and favorite apps with you now that I've had this phone for a couple weeks.   Many folks ask me "why not an iPhone?"  Verizon doesn't have one yet and I wanted my new phone yesterday (actually a few weeks ago).  Honestly I'm not sure that I would like an iPhone any better than my Droid-X.  Here's a comparison by between these two popular smart phones by PC World–the operating system for Droid X has recently been upgraded to 2.2 Froyo (don't ask me what that means–I guess it's suppose to be better).

Please keep in mind that I am NOT an expert with the Droid, Google or the thousands of applications.  Some of the applications deserve a post of there own!

Droid is short for "Android" and is Google's answer to the smart phone arena.  My phone is a Droid-X.  Some of the features that drew me to this model was the larger screen (so it's easier for me to use the keyboard) and that it can act as a wireless mobile hotspot.  The Droid X has seven screens for you to organize your favorite applications.  Another feature I like about my Droid is that it does not have be teathered to my computer for updates or back ups. 

If you're considering a Droid, I suggest you start with a visit http://www.google.com/mobile/android where they have videos of some of the basic apps, like your contacts and fun extra's like Google Goggles.   

If you have Gmail or use Google docs, such as the calendar (which instantly syncs with your Droid), you're one step ahead of new Driod users like me!  I've been kind of behind using Google apps before my Driod–that's changing rapidly and I'm loving convenience!  You don't have to use Gmail, I was able to set up my default email accounts quite easily.

Between importing my Facebook and Gmail contacts, my phone's database is pretty set.  Originally I also uploaded my Twitter friends, but with following over 2000, it was a bit cumbersome. I personally decided to not use Twitter–it may work just fine for you. I keep my Twitter friends handy on my Droid by using Hootsuite's free version.  (If someone out there is using the upgrade, please let me know if the few extra bucks is worth it).

Speaking of apps… oh my gosh!!  Here's a quick list of what I've downloaded so far:

You will probably want to check into Advanced Task Killer (Free).   Your Droid will run more programs than needed and the Task Killer will keep your Droid in line and free up memory when unneccessary programs are running.

I am using GoogleVoice for my voice mail.  This is a great ap that transcribes your voicemail so that you can read it — great for if you're in a meeting and cannot take a phone call.  

Voice Actions for Andriod (requires 2.2 or higher) allows me to verbally give my Driod commands, from sending a text or email to searching for a favorite song on Pandora.Photo shot with DroidX 

Dropbox is great for sharing between your computer and Droid and you can even share with friends.  Of course I have Facebook, Hootsuite (for Twitter) and Yelp.   Adobe Photoshop Express if fun, if you're into photography, with your 8meg built-in camera.   NOTE:  I (okay, my son) took this photo in Spokane, used photo-editing applications that came with my phone.  I used Dropbox to instantly upload it to my computer.

For real estate, check out Zillow's ap and The Talon Group has a mobile ready site at www.talonnw.com/togo where you can keep track of your transactions.

I like Epicurious, a free ap which allows me to check out recipes while I'm at the grocery store and Kindle is great if I want to purchase a book to read.  My guilty pleasure, for when I'm waiting in the car at the West Seattle True Value Hardware parking lot while hubby's shopping is: Finger Bowling.

I'm still learning about my new phone–do you have a Droid?  What are your favorite applications and features?  I admit–I still have a lot to learn about this phone and I'm having fun doing so!

 

Just How Much of Your Info Do You Want on the Internet?

My husband jokes that he tries to stay out of "Google" where I am the opposite.  I hope folks who are need a mortgage for their home in Washington State can find me by searching various topics or my name on the internet.  However, I don't like website where they compile and provide a significant amount of personal information just by entering in your name.

My sister recently made me aware of www.spokeo.com.   Yes, I'm all over Facebook, I tweet and I yelp… sometimes I even flicker or blip; but it's my choice.   Believe it or not, I do like to have some level of privacy (or at least the illusion of it) while we still can.

"Spokeo aggregates publicly available information from phone books, social networks, marketing surveys, real estate listings, business websites, and other public sources. Spokeo does not originate data or publish user-generated content like Facebook or MySpace. Rather, Spokeo indexes third-party data in ways similar to Google or Bing."

I encourage you to visit Spokeo and find your listing.  All you have to do is enter your name.  Review the information that they have posted on you and if you're okay with that data–that's totally cool.   However, if you would like to have your profile (or listing) removed, you can do so by clicking the privacy link in the bottom right corner of the website.  It's pretty easy to do. 

Ironically Spokeo says they "care about data privacy" and have partnered with a company that claims to protects your privacy and they offer you a chance to buy that service after you see what they have about you on their website.  I opted NOT to purchase this service.

A Few Minor Adjustments

I think I've somehow managed to lose my Feedburner feed, where my readers receive what ever articles I write on Mortgage Porter directly to their email.  So I'm looking at using this as an opportunity to revamp what I use for my feed and I could use your help.

Please comment below if you are a Mortgage Porter subscriber and let me know if you have received this post via:

  • Feedburner
  • Feedblitz
  • Mailchimp
  • other

Thanks so much for your help! 

RE(mini)Barcamp Takes Place Tuesday, October 6th

Attention all real estate and mortgage professionals:MiniREBC

If you're interested in learning more about social media, come to RE(mini) Barcamp tomorrow in Bellevue at the Meydenbauer.

When:  Tuesday, October 6, 2009 from 8:30 am – noon

Where:  Meydenbauer Center

RSVP: by clicking here

Cost: FREE! 

This is a great chance to learn "peer to peer" with fellow real estate professionals who are implementing social media into their business practices.  

This event is called a "mini" because it's only a half day.  You will have the opportunity to attend three different sessions which will be determined Tuesday morning based on suggestions made by the participants.

Immediately after this event, WAMP will be holding their Annual Awards Luncheon with Spencer Rascoff of Zillow as the keynote speaker followed by the Connect Expo.  You're welcome to stay for either–rsvp here. 

By the way, Washington State Mortgage Originators, you can get 8 hours of continuing education Monday, October 5, 2009 at the Meydenbauer.  Jillayne Schlicke will be the instructor…I'm really looking forward to her classes.

I hope to see you on Tuesday!