The latest on real estate recordings and new technology from the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds in Lowell
You may remember that we purchase a new Kodak Archive Writer several weeks ago. This machine makes microfilm from digital images. It is going to save the registry both time and money. Since the installation is somewhat complicated, we waited until after Labor Day to take on the task. Last week our MIS Director and I met with a representative from Kodak to discuss the installation. As I mentioned earlier the Archive Writer is a unique machine…so much so, that it needs a customized PC to operate it. Well, maybe I am exaggerating a little here,…What we really need is a PC with two network cards (please don’t ask me why). Yes, we do have one of these…no, we can’t use it. Why? The CPU we have with two NIC cards is too old. Yes, we have extra network cards….no, we can’t use them. Why? We recently changed to small format PC’s and our extra network cards are too big to fit in them. A few days ago I ordered new network cards that will fit our smaller computers. In spite of all this, I think we will have the Archive Writer up and running by the middle of October.
Anytime I go to Home Depot or Shaw’s Supermarket, I usually end up in the self-service checkout line. For a long time I avoided the self-serve lines because I didn’t want to make a fool of myself by not knowing what I was doing. One day I had no choice and it turned out to be pretty easy. The efficiencies of these systems got me thinking about their applicability at the registry of deeds. We’ve now moved from the idea phase to the drawing board phase. What I envision is making use of electronic recording technology to set up a “customer submission terminal” at the registry. When a walk-in customer arrives, the customer would sit down at one of these terminals and its attached scanner and go through the electronic recording process only in this scenario, a registry employee would be standing by to offer assistance (but not to do the work for the person). Unlike electronic recording where the fees are paid through bank transfer, the customer could pay us directly by cash or check just as in the normal recording process. Why would anyone use an electronic recording terminal whent he recording counter was only steps away? Like at Home Depot, if there’s a long line waiting for a human being to process your paperwork, you might want to expedite the recording by doing it yourself. Once the technology and the work flow is perfected, we could also point the electronic recording terminal at other registries that were accepting e-recordings, thereby creating a universal satellite office that would handle recording at multiple registries with very little overhead.
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