Dear Benchmark Clients, Partners, Vendors and Staff:
As our nation and the world continues to deal with the issue of the coronavirus, it is important that we provide you information regarding steps Benchmark is and will take to protect our collective health and mortgage operations. The measures described below are in place or being enacted; however, everything is subject to change as the Benchmark Pandemic Planning Committee meets daily and will modify plans to respond to changing conditions. We will continue to post updates as necessary.
Over many years of development and testing, Benchmark has created a robust Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Plan from which a number of elements can be applied to this coronavirus situation. Those features have either been adopted or are ready for implementation when needed. We are also developing new responses to this novel crisis that incorporate directions from our national and state leaders.
To protect the health of Benchmark personnel and continue our mortgage operations, our teammates have already been equipped with either laptops or VPN computer access so that staff can work remotely from home. We are actively testing the security and speed of our remote connections to insure data privacy/integrity. Benchmark has planned and is implementing short- and long-term remote work contingencies that will insure our ability to continue working on loans and maintain operations.
As additional health safety measures we are strongly recommending:
- To protect our clients and staff, we are asking limiting face-to-face client meetings if possible. We have superior technology that allows us to video conference, phone and email with our customers. We also have excellent technology that permits us to securely send/receive documents and confidential information as well as obtain client signatures electronically. We can effectively keep the loan process interactive with our clients, insure collection of vital data, and, minimize physical interaction during this pandemic.
- Our branches vary in size and location. These factors, along with the severity of the epidemic in that community, will play the deciding roles in whether a branch office will remain open, be run with a minimal staff, or be closed with people working remotely. Whatever decision is made at the branch office level, it is crucial that our clients understand that Benchmark will be doing what is necessary to protect people from the virus, and, provide alternate methods by which you can communicate with our Loan Officers and staff. While we may not be in the office, we will be working hard to continue providing customer service and closing loans.
Benchmark is now in its 21st year of operations. We are financially strong and solvent. We have met all previous obstacles and come away stronger than before. While this current situation makes us concerned for the well-being of people’s health, we are not worried about our ability to provide our clients and partners with the service people expect of us.
We will update this message as our strategies and processes adapt to changing conditions. We urge all persons to minimize travel and physical contact, wash hands frequently, stay home if you are not feeling well and get medical attention. Our country has survived many trials and tribulations in our history, we will overcome this one as well.
May God bless America and keep us safe