08 Jun PropTech: A help or hindrance for client service?
Over the past six weeks, we’ve been examining the benefits of PropTech for small scale developers. The positives are vast with technology clearly making processes more efficient and enabling expansion capabilities of the developer. When we spoke with PropTech expert Dan Hughes, he was confident that tools are great for “scaling up”. It’s hard to imagine in what instance PropTech could be perceived as having adverse impacts on business. The ability for developers to widen their pool instantly increases their product offering. For us, as a lender, however, there are a number of things to consider when adopting PropTech.
When you look at the service a lender offers, it is integral that communication is clear and processes are as efficient as possible. Technology can assist with simple things such as brokers being able to upload documents online. The extent to which a lender adopts this varies in each instance. Certainly, from an Avamore perspective, we are working on improving our systems and technological bases to enable document and data uploads via our website. A long-term goal is also to operate and communicate via a specialist app.
Furthermore, we have recently improved our CRM system and are working with HubSpot which is contributing to an improvement of our customer journey. In the second half of this year, we are also looking to build borrower and broker portals to provide real-time case management updates, upload files and understand what is outstanding in the case. This sort of technology supports our commitment to providing all partners and clients with transparent and open communication.
There is however a fine line that finance providers, like us, have to walk. Whilst the technologies we have described enable efficiency and can help do the appropriate due diligence there is a danger that an entire process can become faceless and there is the potential to lose the personable experience which we pride ourselves on. On the whole however, the cases which Avamore work with tend to be more complex and so it would be difficult for technology to supersede an entire process. This is more so a factor for vanilla bridges which are fairly simple and ultimately data driven where there may be less of a need for underwriters to be involved in the process. Analysis for complex cases or development situations cannot be thoroughly completed with a box ticking exercise which is why, despite any technological changes in our systems, we are unlikely to become completely hands off. Moreover, as a lender, we pride ourselves on service excellence and the ability to build strong lender – borrower relationships, particularly when lender communication is directly with the decision-making Principals. We consistently strive to be fast, flexible and efficient and will only be looking to adopt technologies which support that ethos.