Thursday, December 18, 2008

Valuations in 2020

Daydreaming at work.

Problem one: The valuation process involves lots of different people - customers, mortgage brokers, the bank / mortgage manager, valuation firm administration staff, and valuers themselves.

There is money involved here, so people like to keep all parts of the process isolated from each other. The upside of this: it prevents fraud. The downside of this: communication overhead shoots through the roof, and everyone has to play phone tag.

So: what if you were to make disposable communication hub (mailing list, or conference call) which lets all parties interact?
And the way you make money from this is to provide a trusted, impartial, honest witness to the proceedings to ensure no fraud takes place - as well as being a facilitator.

Net result:
Everyone involved gets a personal relationship, everyone is happier, communication is more effective, and the customer getting the loan gets to see behind the magic curtain.

This will probably never happen, as it is a radical shift from all previous models; and in general, banks do not make radical changes

Problem two:
Since no one talks to each other during the valuation process, everyone is anxious.

Idea:
Customer walks into bank, gets given a kit - do your own valuation in 3 easy steps, with a secure URL.
They go back to the property, take lots of photographs, and upload them ahead of time.

Give valuers geotracking devices, and wire them up somewhat like in Aliens if you are really gung ho.

When a valuer is inspecting a property, they SMS or otherwise indicate their arrival, which gets picked up by a computer.
This broadcasts emails to everyone and anyone, and they can see the valuation report (at this point, inspection date, photographs) as it happens.

Finally, the valuer goes home and types up the report - adding in his valuable risk analysis and assessed market value..

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