While COVID-19 has brought with it many challenges, it has also brought some opportunities. One such opportunity is the advancement of digital capabilities.
As society has embraced physical distancing and public health protocols, increasing attention has been turned to technology that facilitates maintaining business at a distance.
One fallout of these necessary quick changes and process reviews may be faster adoption of online technology — including PropTech, FinTech, and mortgage industry automation.
Digital transformation was already on the horizon. It was one of PwC Canada’s emerging trends for real estate in 2020. However, COVID-19 may have sped up the implementation.
We have compiled industry analysis to analyze what the future may hold for this technology.
National Span and Coverage
Digital property technology can do more than facilitate business continuity during a pandemic; it also allows businesses to expand their reach across long-distances — such as provincially or nationally.
While some processes require face-to-face interaction, more and more these can be transformed and available virtually. Not only does this help us react quickly and with agility to changing public health conditions, but it also facilitates business expansion.
Joseph Carnevale, president of the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO), spoke about this possibility in Canadian Underwriter’s webinar “Business Continuity In The Digital Age.”
“Clients live in different parts of the country with different needs and desires, Carnevale explained,” Canadian Underwriter reported.
“So brokers need to be able to offer them different ways and options of doing business. Some may still want to deal with paper and have face-to-face meetings. Others may be fine with going entirely digital. And there will be those who want something in the middle. An omnichannel approach right now is a best practice during the pandemic, he recommended.”
Adoption of Video and Virtual Technology
While not directly PropTech or FinTech-related, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown many opportunities for facilitating business virtually through online video conferencing and other technologies. This can even expand the prospect net.
Investment Executive recently spoke with David Gunn, Country Leader for Canada at Edward Jones. Gunn has been facilitating virtual seminars since the pandemic began (these seminars previously took place in-person).
According to Investment Executive, Gunn found that many clients wanted to invite friends to the webinars. Younger advisors, in particular, were finding the crisis a good time to reach out to prospects.
Sam Febbraro, the Executive Vice-President at Investment Planning Counsel Inc., also reported in the same article that his firm has made dramatic strides in adopting new technology for client outreach — doing more over the last month of March-to-April than the past three to four years.
Facilitating Digital Interactions and Online Property Information
COVID-19 has also influenced the opportunity for technology that facilitates digital interactions in the FinTech space, including digital signing capabilities, digitizing payment and billing processes (such as moving to electronic fund transfer (EFT) vs. using cheques), and using online forms.
Cloud-based and online solutions that can be accessed anywhere at any time are also increasingly important.
The guidelines during COVID-19 so far has been the less physical interaction is necessary, the better. As such, technology that enables remote interactions is being adopted at rapid rates or being used to determine whether there truly is a need for in-person interaction.
For instance, property appraisals are normally an in-person process, but desktop appraisals can be used to determine the need for a full appraisal and, in some cases, can even take the place of a full appraisal if the deal is low risk.
Property Data Insights
Appraisals are not the only property insights that can be facilitated partly or in full online.
Automated Valuation Models (AVMs) can also estimate the property value based on a complex real-time, up-to-date mathematical calculation or to estimate available equity. Fraud checks enable lenders and insurers to flag suspicious activity for further investigation.
Comparable neighbourhood sales, legal property information, surveys and plans, and more can all be accessed online through property insights technology.
These data insights enable professionals to act on trends and quickly scale their business as needed. If this was not already in place, COVID-19 has pointed to the need for the capability.
If your brokerage or lender is considering adopting new technology, particularly technology that offers property data insights, you need to pay attention to the data source.
Not all data is equal. To make the best, most informed decisions, you need to have access to data that you can trust, which is accurate, timely, and complete.
What Does the Future Hold?
For even faster adoption, look for technology that is already available in the field — such as Purview.
At Purview, we offer industry-leading property data insights for the mortgage and financial industries. Our solutions are all accessible online from anywhere at any time. Our property data is full, accurate, and up-to-date.
Learn more about our technology by calling 1-855-787-8439 or visiting www.purview.ca.