I attended the National Settlement Services and Complaince Summit in Ohio last week and learned so many new things. But one of the most interesting comments that I heard had to do with the title industry protecting the privacy of their clients. This same concept runs to all of us in the real estate industry, we handle a lot of sensative information in the course of a transaction. How can we best protect our client?
One story that I heard was offered by a gentlemen who had recently banned the use of camera phones in his office by his staff. It seems that in at least one instance, a staff member in a title agency used their camera phone to take pictures of the 1003 (the loan application) for what is believe to be the intent of stealing the identity of the client.
I have a very loyal and trusted staff we are like a small family and I trust my staff to protect the privacy of all of our cients. But, I am a small agent with a small staff and I have the ability to oversee every aspect of the closing process.
In a larger agency there is a need to delegate some very important steps in the closing process to others. Included in these tasks are the receipt of the closing package, which includes many very sensative documents relating to the client's personal finances.
After hearing this discussion, I have decided, small or not, I am going to immediately ban the use of camera phones in the office. I trust my staff completely. But after hearing this I will not take a chance that my client's sensative information can in any way be compromised.
Realtors, loan officers and others in our industry are often given some of these very same sensative documents in order to assist them in completing their jobs. Make sure that you are protecting the client's privacy to the best of your ability, even if it means making a decision that won't be embraced with open arms by your staff.