Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, there has much speculation about when the world and the economy will return to “normal.”
Economists around the globe are speculating about the fallout of COVID-19 will be and what recovery could look like. At the same time, public health measures, such as social distancing, are changing how business is conducted.
While we do not yet know when COVID-19 restrictions will ease in full or what that will look like, many experts are agreeing that even when we return to “normal,” that normal is going to look very different for the foreseeable future.
The question is how can we prepare for the “new normal” and what can the mortgage and housing industries do now to adapt for the long-term?
Managing Ongoing Risk
With the public health and financial crises ongoing, one development we have seen is an increased uncertainty. Although we can speculate and forecast, we cannot know for certain what the Canadian housing and mortgage market will look like when the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.
In this respect, uncertainty is the new normal — both on the macro and micro scale.
On the macro scale, we can watch ongoing large-risk factors, such as public health restrictions, layoffs, and labour market trends to gain an understanding of the big-picture market. This can help you make decisions for your business and operational processes.
On the micro-level, clients that come to you are dealing with uncertainty, too. Their income and financial health could be affected by myriad factors — including ones outside of their control such as income security and physical well-being. In short, your clients’ situations could change on a dime.
In the new normal, we will need to be prepared to manage both macro and micro levels of uncertainty through increased due diligence, risk assessment, and fraud flagging.
Be Prepared to Act Quickly and Scale as Needed
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we do not know if recovery will come in a straight line. While that is an ideal scenario, public health experts are continuing to talk about a second wave of the disease. Until there is a vaccine or widespread treatment, some degree of physical distancing could continue or come in waves.
The point here is that you need to able to move quickly on deals that are valid or could provide your client with relief, and also have the ability to scale down if increased restrictions return. Canadian Underwriter wrote about this need, phrasing it as being prepared to learn and pivot.
“As you work toward your mid-term and long-term goals, attention must be paid to both ‘strong and faint’ signals,” Canadian Underwriter wrote in the article “How to manage the immediate COVID-19 fallout while preparing for a post-pandemic future.” The post cited a Harvard Business Review article, “Leaders, Do You Have a Clear Vision for the Post-Crisis Future?”
“Speed and agility are key,” wrote the Harvard Business Review authors. “You must learn quickly, constantly pivoting and adjusting. In doing so, you’ll also revisit your vision and continue to shape it.”
Integrating Digital Capabilities
Digital capabilities are a key part of mitigating ongoing risk and building a resilient mortgage business.
For example, some digital capabilities offer online appraisal solutions that can work in tandem with other strategies or identify whether a full appraisal is needed. This can help mortgage businesses act fast should social distancing guidelines or restrictions be re-implemented.
Technology also facilitates other parts of the mortgage process, including verifying critical legal information and checking for registered encumbrances, notices, or active mortgages on title. Automated Valuation Models (AVMs) can estimate a property’s value remotely. Aerial and street view imagery can allow you to virtually visit a subject property.
A neighbourhood can be researched through comparable sales. You can view the sales history of a property online. The list goes on…
We were already working towards a more digital future with advances in PropTech and FinTech even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. However, this crisis has shown us exactly how critical this piece can be for maintaining operations even during an unprecedented scenario.
Staying On Top of the Latest Data
Data can inform our decisions and actions, especially during an unprecedented crisis. Teranet has recently begun releasing a Monthly Market Insights Report that shares competitive market intelligence data into the Canadian housing and mortgage markets. Read the latest report here: https://ci23.actonsoftware.com/acton/attachment/2216/f-7c489c97-9c6f-47e2-a357-06af0ad6e5dd/1/-/-/-/-/Teranet%20Monthly%20Market%20Insights%20Newsletter%20Template%20Final.pdf
Property data should also be available in real-time and be accurate and complete when accessing it to make the most informed decisions. At Purview, our data is derived from the most accurate, complete, and timely locations, including provincial land registries.
Purview provides access to digital property solutions that give mortgage and financial professionals the power of more. Our digital capabilities can facilitate better risk management and business agility throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
Learn more by calling 1-855-787-8439 or visiting www.purview.ca.