Earnnest Begins Rollout Of Escrow-As-A-Service

Key Takeaways:

– Earnnest is a software company that offers mobile and browser applications for conducting and securing real estate fees and deposits.
– Earnnest is introducing a new service called “Earnnest Escrow Services” to reduce friction and risk in real estate transactions.
– The service is currently only available in Massachusetts, where Earnnest has secured a brokerage license.
– The goal is to expand the service to other states in the future.
– Earnnest partnered with Side, an alternative brokerage brand, to test the new product’s rollout.
– Escrow funds are often a source of contention and fraud in real estate transactions.
– Earnnest has processed over 350,000 digital earnest money deposits totaling over $2 billion without any instances of payment fraud.
– Other companies, such as DepositLink, Bank Shot, and AsterKey, also offer secure funds transfer options in real estate transactions.
– The introduction of digital finance trends in real estate sales may lead to faster transactions overall.

inman:

The new service, available to date only in Massachusetts, where Earnnest has secured a brokerage license, is designed to alleviate the cost, management demands and above all else, legal risk of holding deposits in escrow. The company is looking to rapidly expand the list of states in which it can operate.

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Earnnest, a software company that offers mobile and browser applications for conducting and securing real estate fees and deposits, is evolving its feature suite to include what it’s calling, “Earnnest Escrow Services,” allowing it to further reduce friction and risk when buying and selling homes, Inman has learned in a press release.

The new service, available to date only in Massachusetts where Earnnest has secured a brokerage license, is designed to alleviate the cost, management demands and, above all else, legal risk of holding deposits in escrow. The company is looking to rapidly expand the list of states in which it can operate.

“Earnnest has always been committed to making real estate transactions smoother, safer and more efficient for all parties involved,” said Russell Smith, president & COO of Earnnest, in a statement. “With Earnnest Escrow Services, we are taking this commitment to a whole new level, revolutionizing the way real estate companies handle escrow funds and providing an even better client experience.”

Earnnest partnered with alternative brokerage brand Side to best-test the new product’s rollout. Side helps independent brokerages create and sustain a local, nimble presence while functioning behind the scenes in a more traditional fashion.

“Working with Earnnest to provide escrow services to our Massachusetts partners has been a wonderful experience,” said Jeff Boos, director of brokerage operations and services at Side. “Just as Side is streamlining brokerage, Earnnest is streamlining escrow, making it far less burdensome for brokerages to integrate their own escrow offering.”

Escrow funds are often the source of contention when transaction deadlines aren’t met or a deal goes sideways in some form, a not-at-all-uncommon occurrence. Escrow account fraud is a consistent industry risk, whether or not it’s intentional.

The company stated in the press release that it has processed “over 350,000 digital earnest money deposits, totaling over $2 billion” without recording a single instance of payment fraud.

Earnnest was reviewed by Inman in 2019, noted for offering a novel, modern approach to the necessary, but long-unchanged, legacy real estate process of securing funds sent by a buyer.

“A tokenized text and email alert is sent to pull in the buyer, who is also two-factor authenticated and verified by a third-party provider, Plaid, which develops and publishes APIs specifically for use in banking, ID verification, and other industries dependent on user and data privacy,” the review stated. “Buyers can link accounts from up to 12,000 banks across the country using their existing personal login information, and even link the specific account to the Earrnest workflow.”

DepositLink, too, offers the industry an avenue for secure funds transfer at each step of the transaction, including escrow, as does Bank Shot. AsterKey is a fintech app with industry overlap that allows users to securely verify and create proof-of-funds documentation. Both apps, along with Earnnest and others, demonstrate that consumer-level trends in digital finance are creeping into residential real estate sales. It’s not unreasonable to suggest that once the movement of money becomes faster, the rest of the deal will follow.

Email Craig Rowe


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Property Chomp's Take:

Earnnest, a software company that offers mobile and browser applications for conducting and securing real estate fees and deposits, has announced the launch of its new service called "Earnnest Escrow Services." This service is currently available only in Massachusetts, where Earnnest has obtained a brokerage license. The company aims to expand its operations to other states in the near future.

The main objective of Earnnest Escrow Services is to address the cost, management demands, and legal risks associated with holding deposits in escrow. Escrow funds are often a source of contention and can lead to complications when transaction deadlines are not met or deals fall through. Additionally, escrow account fraud is a persistent risk in the industry. To mitigate these issues, Earnnest provides a secure and streamlined platform for handling escrow funds.

The company claims to have processed over 350,000 digital earnest money deposits, totaling over $2 billion, without a single instance of payment fraud. This track record demonstrates the reliability and security of Earnnest's platform.

Earnnest partnered with alternative brokerage brand Side to test the rollout of its new product. Side helps independent brokerages establish a local presence while operating behind the scenes in a more traditional manner. The collaboration with Side has been successful, and the company is now exploring opportunities to integrate Earnnest Escrow Services into other brokerages.

In 2019, Earnnest was reviewed by Inman and was praised for its innovative approach to securing funds in real estate transactions. The platform utilizes tokenized text and email alerts, two-factor authentication, and third-party verification to ensure the security of buyer funds. By linking accounts from thousands of banks across the country, Earnnest simplifies the process of transferring funds securely.

Other companies, such as DepositLink and Bank Shot, also offer secure funds transfer options for real estate transactions. These platforms, along with Earnnest, demonstrate the growing trend of digitization and increased efficiency in the real estate industry.

Earnnest's expansion into escrow services reflects its commitment to making real estate transactions smoother, safer, and more efficient for all parties involved. With its innovative technology and focus on security, Earnnest Escrow Services has the potential to revolutionize how real estate companies handle escrow funds and provide a better client experience.

As Earnnest continues to expand its operations and secure licenses in other states, more real estate professionals will have access to its escrow services. This will further streamline the buying and selling process and reduce the legal risks associated with holding deposits in escrow. With the real estate industry embracing digital solutions, it is likely that more companies will follow suit and adopt similar technologies to enhance their services.

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