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Digital transformation

8 New Contract Management Trends to Keep on Your Radar

To remain competitive, lenders and title agents need to be up to date on digital contract management trends.
September 26, 2022
5 min

Contract management is a necessary administrative task of doing business. Contracts create mutual assurances between parties to ensure that a customer will receive a product or service and the supplier will receive payment. At the same time, managing contracts can be time-consuming and reduce employee productivity, especially if done manually.

Contract management technologies create a central repository storing all contracts in digital format so that everyone, including legal and compliance departments, can search for and review the documents. Further, eliminating paper documentation means that organizations can set and control access more effectively and efficiently. 

To remain competitive, real estate organizations need to embrace digital transformation for contract lifecycle management to reduce costs, increase employee productivity, and enhance customer service. 

8 top contract management trends 

Managing the contract lifecycle is more than just collecting signatures when a business relationship starts. It includes:

  • Tracking dates
  • Assessing activities
  • Managing changes
  • Ensuring compliance with terms and conditions.

To streamline these processes, many real estate organizations — from lenders to title companies — are trending toward technologies to support their efforts. 

1. Digital transformation

Moving from physical paper to digital documentation eliminates inefficiencies in the contract process, saving companies time and money. For example, by digitizing the contract management process, lenders and title agents no longer need to print contracts, purchase postage, and wait for delivery. Further, they don’t need to wait for the customer to go through all those same processes on the other end. 

The use of cloud technologies enables organizations to reduce operational costs. Employees no longer need to schedule follow-up calls and emails that take time away from more critical activities. 

2. Online notarization

Many contracts require signers to provide notarized documents verifying their identities. In-person notarization means finding a notary and a time during business hours to meet with them. 

With online notarization, signers can complete the process from wherever, whenveer. This reduces the time it takes to complete the contract process. Further, it maintains document format across the entire contract lifecycle, eliminating the need to transform a paper document into a digital one.

3. Business process automation

Automating manual processes with contract management technologies changes how lenders and title agents organize and track their documents. By centralizing and digitizing contracts, organizations make it easier for everyone across all departments to do their jobs. 

For example, consider the variety of different stakeholders who need access to contracts:

  • Loan officers and title agents
  • Legal
  • Compliance
  • Customer service

With a centralized repository that leverages business process automation, lenders and title companies eliminate data silos to enhance cross-functional collaboration. 

4. AI-enabled contract management 

Artificial intelligence (AI) streamlines contract review and management processes. Reviewing contracts often requires looking for similar clauses just in different locations, then outlining and tracking responsibilities. AI tools can extract obligations from contracts using natural language processing (NLP) to locate:

  • Terms
  • Commitments
  • Obligations
  • Entitlements
  • Important dates

With AI, organizations can use technologies to gain quick visibility into contract requirements, reducing the human error risks associated with manual review.

5. Strengthened regulatory compliance 

Legislative bodies respond to the increased number and severity of data breaches with more laws. Privacy laws like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) focus on protecting sensitive, personally identifiable information (PII) contained in contracts like:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • Bank account information

Contract management technologies make it easier for real estate companies to meet these requirements because they can set and enforce access controls more effectively.

6. Streamlined audit trails 

Every organization engages in some type of audit. The audit trail is the documentation that proves the company is following all the rules, both internal and external, that it needs to follow. Some examples of audits include:

  • Service level agreement
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Financial

The audit trail documents all processes related to the contract so that auditors have objective data proving that the organization is doing what it says it’s doing. Digital documentation stored in a centralized contract repository reduces the time and manual labor involved in responding to audit documentation requests. People can search the repository for what they need instead of having to flip through physical documents that may not be clearly labeled or organized.

7. Increased digital identification strategies

The move to remote work and customer models accelerated digital identification technology adoption. Digital identification technologies bring together:

  • Attributes: unique identity number, name, location, birth date, social security number
  • Credentials: driver’s license on a mobile phone
  • Digital identity certificates: electronic signatures with a seal and a timestamp

Open authentication standards like FIDO and FIDO 2 enable organizations to ensure the validity of the people signing digital documents, like contracts. 

8. Improved user experiences and customer satisfaction

No one enjoys managing mundane, repetitive tasks. Simultaneously, customers want digital experiences that make their lives easier. Digital contract management solves both of these problems when the user interface is easy to navigate. 

As companies move toward a customer-centric business model, digital contract management enables them to provide a personalized experience that makes activities easier. For example, enabling clients to close on a home completely online means that they can have the flexibility and convenience of closing from anywhere, giving them a better experience. 

How Notarize helps lenders and title agents keep up with contract management trends

Digital transformation is both the present and future of real estate. To remain competitive, organizations need to digitize as many parts of the business as possible, including signatures and notarizations required for closings. 

With Notarize, lenders and title agents can move away from time-consuming manual processes that make the contract process take longer. Our eClosing software gives your clients the seamless, digital experience they want with an easy-to-use interface across laptop, smartphone, and tablet. 

Using Notarize, lenders and title agents maintain a digital documentation process across the entire contract and closing lifecycle, eliminating tasks like scanning documents. With our platform, companies know instantly when a party completes the required signature and notarization process, ensuring a holistic digital approach to contract management.

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