The Technology You Need to Pivot to Digital, Now and Post-Pandemic

The Technology You Need to Pivot to Digital, Now and Post-Pandemic

 

COVID-19 is fundamentally changing business, and real estate and financing are no exception. As with every industry, builders and real estate developers are being asked to streamline, be more efficient, and do more with less.

Interestingly, however, a digital transformation had already started in the real estate industry even before the pandemic, as forward-thinkers started to realize the benefits of automation— a transformation known as Proptech.

Deloitte’s Real Estate Predictions(2020) describes Proptech as “part of the wider digital transformation of the property industry. It describes a movement driving a mentality change within the real estate industry and its consumers regarding technology-driven innovation in data assembly (and) transactions…”

Forbes describes it as “businesses using technology to disrupt, and improve the way we buy, rent, sell…residential and commercial property.”

What’s driving the Proptech Revolution? Data, Analytics, Service

Greater customer expectations for more real-time and high-quality services are a major challenge for many real estate and financing businesses. Another driver is the growing importance of data and analytics. Automation presents solutions to these challenges across industries, not only during COVID but also in general.

Lower Costs, Higher Resilience

According to a Bain & Company survey, companies that invested more in automation before the pandemic have reported higher revenues than others, with fewer disruptions to productivity or the supply chain. Interestingly, automation is no longer just about lower costs; it’s about resilience. Companies are increasingly deploying automation to strengthen business resilience, reduce risk and generate useful business insights more easily. They’ve generated higher revenues and experienced fewer disruptions to workforce productivity and demand. Enter the Ownest solution.

Transition Your Teams to Working Remotely

Ownest’s proprietary technology is a perfect example of Proptech and Fintech. The Ownest platform allows builders and sales associates to pivot to remote office work during the pandemic. The entire team–from management to marketing and sales can access Ownest’s secure cloud-based solution from anywhere and on any device, 24/7. You’ll never fall behind because the system updates in real-time, so you’ll always know what is happening on any sale, from anywhere. That’s resilience!

The Ownest Solution–Efficient, Automated, Flexible

The solution saves time and resources by automating time-consuming tasks like document gathering and customer communication (executing tasks in70% less time and67% less documentation.) The convenient and user-friendly app guides the customer through the self-managed online loan application. It automatically sends timely reminders on your behalf–increasing the application completion rate and leading to faster closing times. The platform instantly qualifies and ranks applicants and verifies in come using AI. It gathers customer insights to leverage upselling and cross-selling and builds customer loyalty through automated engagement. Data, analytics, service–and all the benefits of this unique Proptech application are accessible remotely.

Bottom Line–AutomationBoosts Sales

Automation has been proven to make a difference by increasing selling time for sales people and channel partners. It does this by streamlining and automating back-office sales support tasks, giving sales people more time to focus on high-value, sales-oriented activities. Moving to automation has benefits beyond saving money and increasing revenue; it can boost overall worker productivity and customer loyalty. It can also build resiliency in a time like COVID.

Whether you are a builder or developer, Ownest’s cutting-edge platform will allow you to automate the most time-consuming manual tasks performed by your sales teams. By joining the digital transformation now, you’ll strengthen your business’ resilience for the future.

 

Mortgage and Housing Industry News – Insight from An Expert

Mortgage and Housing Industry News – Insight from an Expert

 

As part of Ownest’s commitment to staying on top of the latest industry trends and innovations, we recently attended a webinar by economist and housing expert, Will Dunning. We are pleased to bring you some highlights from the presentation along with some interesting statistics.

 

Highlight Summary

  • Lower rates are driving up home prices across Canada, yet home ownership is still affordable in Alberta, where the combination of low interest rates and lower than average home prices makes Alberta a good place to buy.

  • There was a big shift away from variable mortgages in 2020, simply due to extremely low fixed rates.

  • Usually, past trends give reliable clues about what might happen in the near future. That is not the case in these abnormal times: data on sales has been inconsistent and this may continue. Despite CMHC’s changes to debt ratio policy, which cut homebuyers’ purchase power by up to 11%, and the stress test introduced earlier in the year, there has been a temporary spike in home sales in many places in Canada.

  • What are the implications for mortgage policies of COVID-19? The greatest risk for the mortgage market during the pandemic is loss of ability to pay, not changes in payments.

  • The changes to the stress test were supposed to decrease delinquency rates on mortgages, but the policy has not unfolded as expected. Canadian Bankers Association data shows that of the 795,000 clients who were given mortgage flexibility, 498,000 resumed payments as of September 30, and no doubt more resumed by the end of November. However, a large but unknown number have not yet resumed payments.

  • The direction of ownership rates has reversed due to regulatory changes made in 2016. These changes included lower amortization requirements and higher down payments, which have led to a decline in the overall rate of home ownership.

 

Buyer Insights

  • What is the primary source for down payment for first time buyers? Unlike prevailing thinking, it is not the “Bank of Mom and Dad” but rather it is savings, including RRSP’s.

  • What is the relationship between employment trends and the housing market? The housing market usually takes 3-4 years to catch up to major employment trends. For example, if a person changes employment, they likely will only then begin working towards saving for a down payment, with home ownership following three to four years later.

 

Will Dunning is Chief Economist for Mortgage Professionals Canada and has specialized in the analysis and forecasting of housing markets since 1982. He also operates an economic analysis consulting firm, Will Dunning Inc.

 

A Glossary of Mortgage Terms and Their Definitions for New Home Buyers

A Glossary of Mortgage Terms and Their Definitions for New Home Buyers

 

Buying your new home is an exciting new adventure! As with every new adventure, there may be some new terminology that you may not be familiar with. This handy guide can inform you as you complete your mortgage documentation. Don’t forget – you can always contact the friendly folks at Ownest for any additional information or help relating to your mortgage application!

 

Adjustable-Rate Mortgage

Adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARMs, are also known as variable-rate mortgages. ARMs have flexible interest rates, meaning that the interest rate on the mortgage will vary based on an underlying index and the prime interest rate set by the lender. (Also see Variable Rate Mortgage)

Affordability

Your ability to carry the cost of ownership of a property in relation to your available income.

Amortization

A fancy way of saying the process of spreading out payments over time. You pay your mortgage over time by way of instalment payments which usually include principal and interest. At the start of your loan period, most of your payment goes towards interest, but over time you chip away at the principal. (See Principal and Interest.)

Amortization Period

The period of time required to repay your mortgage by equal instalments of set payments based on a particular interest rate. The payments are usually a combination of principal and interest in blended amounts.

Amortization Schedule

A table showing the amount of principal and interest in each of your payment instalments and the outstanding principal balance of the loan after each payment is made.

Annual Percentage Rate

Annual percentage rate (APR) is the interest rate that you will pay annually for your loan. It includes additional lender fees. It is usually expressed as a percentage. If you see two interest rates when you shop for a loan or mortgage, the higher rate is your APR.

Applicant (Mortgage)

Refers to all borrowers, co-borrowers and guarantors on a mortgage loan application.

Appraisal

An unbiased opinion by a professional of your home, based on your home’s physical and functional characteristics and the value of homes nearby. Mortgage lenders require an appraisal before they will grant you a mortgage on your home.

Balance

The amount of unpaid mortgage left after a payment has been made.

Blended Payments

Blended payments are a way of repaying a loan that sets equal monthly payments of principal and interest (blended) over an amortization period. By contrast, in a “principal and interest” loan, the borrower pays back the same amount of principal each month, plus a steadily decreasing interest payment.

Borrower

The one who obtains financing from a lender with the agreement that it will be repaid, with interest, within a defined timeframe. You are the borrower if you are getting a mortgage.

Canada Guaranty

A leading private mortgage insurer providing mortgage default insurance.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

The federal crown corporation that established mortgage default insurance for lenders and which promotes the construction of new homes, the repair and modernization of existing houses, and the improvement of housing and living conditions. (See also Canada Guaranty and Genworth)

Closed Mortgage

A closed mortgage is one that cannot be fully paid off, refinanced or renegotiated before the end of the term without incurring a penalty. Lender breakage costs, the opportunity cost to a lender of a borrower repaying a loan before scheduled maturity, will incur a payout penalty.

Credit Report

A record that details an applicant’s past borrowing and repayment history, and which is the reason for their credit score. Lenders often obtain borrower’s credit reports from Equifax and Trans Union.

Credit Score

Your credit score is a three-digit number that comes from the information in your credit report. It shows how well you manage credit and how risky it would be for a lender to lend you money. Your credit score is calculated using a formula based on your credit report.

Debt Ratio

Also called debt-to-income ratio or debt service ratio, it’s a comparison of your total monthly payments to your income. It is used to determine how much of a mortgage you can afford as a borrower. It’s the percentage of your income that goes toward paying your monthly debts, and it helps lenders decide how much you can borrow. (Also see Gross Debt Ratio and Total Debt Service)

Down Payment

The part of the purchase price of a home that the buyer pays in cash and does not finance with a mortgage. The minimum requirement in Canada is five per cent and can be from your own resources (cash, savings, investments) or be gifted or borrowed from a credit card or line of credit.

Fixed-Rate Mortgage

A fixed-rate mortgage is one in which the interest rate remains the same over the whole term of the mortgage.

Floating Rate

A floating (aka variable or adjustable) mortgage rate refers to a mortgage that does not have a fixed rate of interest over the life of the instrument but rather floats with the market.

Genworth

A leading private mortgage insurer providing mortgage default insurance.

Gross Debt Ratio

A ratio that is the percentage of your income needed to pay all of your monthly housing costs, including principal, interest, taxes, and heat (PITH). It also includes 50% of your condo fees, if applicable. The percentage can vary by lender.

Interest Rate

The amount charged by a lender to a borrower for the use of borrowed funds, calculated as a percentage of the principal.

Lender

The bank or other institution responsible for underwriting, funding, and administering your mortgage loan and to whom your real estate is pledged as security for the loan. (Also see Mortgagee)

Maturity

The end of a term, or period, for a mortgage loan at which time the borrower may have the option to pay off the mortgage, renew it with the existing lender or transfer it to another lender. The maturity date of a mortgage is when the mortgage term ends. It is often referred to as the renewal date because it’s when you as the borrower may have the option to renew, refinance, or pay your mortgage off completely, with no penalty. (Also see Mortgage Renewal)

Mortgage

A mortgage is a type of loan used to buy a home or other property. It allows the lender to take possession of the property if you don’t repay the loan on time. The property is the security for the loan. The payments cover the interest on the loan plus the principal (the amount of the loan).

Mortgage Insurance

A credit risk management tool protecting the lender from losses due to default on the mortgage by the borrower. It is typically required when the loan to value ratio for the property is 80% or greater.

Mortgage Pre-Qualification

A pre-qualification gives you an estimate of ow much house you can afford, based on your credit information, gross household income and overall finances. It does not require supporting paperwork.

Mortgage Pre-Approval      

The tentative approval for a mortgage, made in advance of a home purchase. It is valid for a specified time period and is subject to the borrower submitting their supporting documentation to the lender, and subject to their financial position not changing. Once a property has been purchased, the property must also meet the lender’s underwriting requirements.

Mortgage Renewal

The process by which a borrower agrees to another mortgage term with the current lender to replace the term that has matured. At the end of the prior mortgage term, and with a balance of funds still owing, the borrower may choose to continue with the same lender for another term. However, the details of the mortgage document may change at the time of the mortgage renewal to reflect the current mortgage market. The new term leaves the existing registered mortgage in place and is therefore not considered a new mortgage. The old mortgage document secures the renewed term, and its provisions are amended to fit the new term.

Mortgage Statement

A statement received from the lender that includes details of the mortgage such as property address, outstanding principal balance, monthly payment, interest rate and mortgage term.

Mortgage Term

The period for which the lender loans funds to the borrower, as specified in the mortgage agreement. At the end of the mortgage term, the principal and unpaid interest are due and payable by the borrower to the lender. At that time, the borrower may renew or refinance the mortgage. (Also see Mortgage Refinance and Mortgage Renewal)

Mortgagee

An individual or organization that lends money secured by real property for which they may receive specified payments according to the mortgage agreement. (Also see Lender)

Mortgagor

The borrower in a mortgage, typically the home buyer. The mortgagor makes specified payments according to the mortgage agreement. (Also see Borrower)

Open Mortgage

A mortgage that can be paid off early without any penalties or fees attached.

Principal (Mortgage)

The amount of funds originally borrowed from the lender or the portion of a mortgage still owing upon which interest is calculated.

Qualifying

The process of determining a prospective borrower’s eligibility for mortgage financing related to a potential real estate purchase. (Also see Mortgage Pre-Approval)

Term

The period for which the lender loans funds to the borrower, as specified in the mortgage agreement. (Also see Mortgage Term)

Total Debt Service (TDS)

The percentage of the borrower’s income that is needed to cover housing costs (GDS) plus any other monthly obligations that an individual has, such as credit card payments and car payments. The percentage can vary by lender. (Also see Debt Ratio)

Title

A document that records the information about the land, such as the legal land description, municipal jurisdiction, ownership, and registered interests. The Land Titles Office no longer issues a paper Certificate of Title, but a paper copy may be available from any Registry Agent in Alberta. An electronic copy is available on the Spatial Information System (SPIN) operated by Alberta Registries, Service Alberta.

Variable Rate Mortgage

A mortgage where the interest rate is periodically adjusted based on the prime lending rate typically set by the lender. Rather than being a Fixed Rate Mortgage, which has the same interest rate over the term, when an interest rate change occurs, payments may be increased or decreased. (Also see Floating Rate)

 

Do you have mortgage-related questions? Feel free to contact us and one of our friendly in-house experts will be happy to help!

 

Meet the Team – Audrey Wilson

We’d like to introduce you to some of the great people who work behind the scenes at Ownest. We recently spoke to Audrey Wilson,
VP Operations and Ownest’s Broker of Record.

 

1. Tell us about your role at Ownest.

My role is VP Operations which is in my opinion a great role to have as I get to work with every area of the company and facilitate the how and why of every project as well as the overall Ownest product. I work closely with our CEO, CRO and CTO, each team manager and connect with each team member on some level. I guess you could say that I’m the center hub of the company.

2. What did you do before you joined Ownest? What interested you in Ownest?

I have been in the Financial/Mortgage Industry since 2003. I started out as an administrative assistant-underwriter-operations manager, and I’ve been with Ownest from the beginning and have worked with our CEO since 2003. I have always been involved in various business areas of sales, marketing & promotions, and building strategies through process in my life so far.

Ownest is innovative and always striving to solve current problems in industries. As a company, they are not afraid to try something new, willing to reinvent themselves by balancing other businesses and people’s needs. I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to work for an innovative company that aims to disrupt the traditional financing industry as we know it.

3. What do you like most about working here?

Working with an amazing group of people who are team members but also are family members. Everyone is considered to be part of a family and we are respected. We all are valued as individuals, as teammates and I love that our voices are heard!

4. What excites you most about the future of Ownest?

This company has huge potential to do great things, always evolving through learning and listening through its partnerships and what is going on in the world today not just in the financial industry. Looking to define the future of financing.

5. Which of the Ownest Values do you most identify with, and why?

To be honest it’s really hard to pick one. Fun would be the #1 because if we are not having fun, enjoying life, the people we work with then change needs to happen. Everyone must love who they are and enjoy everything offered by life.

6. Tell us about your life outside of Ownest.

I grew up in a small farming community, born and raised Albertan and come from a family of 5 kids with 4 brothers and myself. Being the only girl and the middle child, helped me hone my observational and negotiation skills. I guess you could say I was right in the middle – or in the hub – of that dynamic, too.

I have been blessed with one amazing daughter who is now a teenager… She is my world and I am grateful to have this life journey with her. Plus, I am looking forward to these years as I know how I challenged my parents at that age. Hopefully, there is no payback (haha).

I love to travel and have been fortunate to spend time with family in my travels as well as on my own. Some of my favorite places were Hawaii, Greece, Thailand, Scotland, and Turkey – just to name a few. I have a very large travel bucket list with the goal of getting to as many as I can. I want to venture to places like New Zealand, Spain, Portugal and Argentina because I love food and to experience different cultures and their history.

7. Any hidden talents?

My memory is like (probably better than) an elephant. If you want to know something even if it’s 5-10 years ago, what day, what time and the conversation around a circumstance, then ask me. My family probably has stopped disagreeing with me about past events – they know what they’re up against.

8. Who inspires you or which company do you admire (and why)?

People inspire me! I love to learn different ways of thinking, looking for the good in all. My youngest brother Jonathan is a huge inspiration to my family as he lives in the moment every day and shares unconditional love with everyone he meets.

Others who inspire me are: Carl Jung, Brene Brown, Joe Dispenza, Don Miguel Ruiz and Albert Einstein because they challenge us to think “why and how” and bring awareness that causes me to seek to understand. One of my favorite quotes by Maya Angelou: “You are only free when you realize you belong no place- you belong every place- no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great.”

9. What piece of technology can you NOT live without?

My computer for sure! It holds my life!

10. If you had a superpower, what would it be?

This is a tough one. I’d love the ability to read others minds and know what they are feeling.

11. Anything else you’d like to share?

I love to curl (and watch curling), motorcycles, reading so many books, dance like no one is watching and spending time with the people I love!!! I am also a strong believer in listening to my intuition.

This year, I decided to jump out of my comfort zone by challenging myself to do something that I was too afraid to ever do and stated for years that I would never ever do: Skydiving.

It took me 25 minutes to reach the altitude of 13,500 ft and only 8 minutes to land safely! It was the most amazing thing I have ever done in my life and it really forced me to step outside of my comfort zone. This experience helped me realize that sometimes you just have to trust yourself at all times and know “I’ve got this.” I’m confident that I can handle anything when I put my mind to it!

Customer and Business Insights

Know Your Customer. Optimize Your Operations.

Pront-O by Ownest lets you know your customer up front

To make effective business decisions, it’s important to have the right customer and business insights. By analyzing the insights that our platform provides, you’ll make better decisions about what, when and how to sell to customers. Managers will also be able to monitor the productivity of strategies and staff. The results? Increased efficiency and profitability.

Now You Can Lead the Sales Conversation

Knowing your customer’s creditworthiness at a glance is a major sales advantage. But the Ownest system provides other valuable insights. Lead the sales conversation intelligently, identify the most appropriate product, and introduce up-selling or cross-selling opportunities. Pront-O gives the borrower choice, convenience and control – you have an instant, detailed and accurate snapshot of their creditworthiness.

Ownest's Pront-O app Instantly Pre-Qualify Borrowers with the 5Cs of Credit

The Five Cs of Credit

Lenders use these criteria to gauge the creditworthiness of potential borrowers. The Five Cs are used as part of the due diligence process to predict the chance of default and overall risk for the lender. Using the Five Cs gives a better overall picture of the borrower, by including the more ‘personal’ side of financing, like their character, as opposed to just past history and collateral.

 

Ownest's software verifies credit using the Five Cs of credit


Unmatched, Actionable Customer Insights

In addition to instantly validating their actual verified income via CRA and determining a customer’s creditworthiness, once the applicant is a customer, the autonomous mortgage application delivers even more in-depth insights about them.

  • Demographics – age, income, gender and education are useful real estate demographics – for an individual sale and for future planning. In addition to giving you the information you can use to identify up-selling or cross-selling opportunities, they give you useful data for identifying micro-markets or peer groups that share certain characteristics. Demographics give you actionable information to develop marketing strategies so you can sell into large and niche markets.
  • Geographic/Spatial – if the customer is applying from work, it may inform their choice of home location, so it’s valuable information to have in personalizing their potential real estate choices, for example.
  • Lifecycle – knowing where the customer is in the real estate lifecycle helps you position your product for whatever stage they’re in. For example, millennials starting families have different priorities than boomers looking to downsize. The customer lifecycle applies to other industries, such as insurance, auto sales and even home renovations – just to name a few.

 

Build Loyalty

Optimize your customer lifecycle from initial engagement to retention and loyalty. Our easy, automated outreach (via the widget) helps maintain the connection and develop customer trust with engaging touchpoints along the way. You’re giving them a reason to do repeat business with you and to refer family and friends.

 

With Ownest, you can engage in their journey, not just their transaction.

 

Business Insights: The Dashboard

Your cloud-based dashboard allows you to stay on top of leads, conversions, reports and notifications, all in real-time. It’s a user-friendly visual snapshot that’s accessible from any device – desktop to mobile.

For Sales Staff

After the system intelligently screens and ranks leads using the Five Cs of credit, they are visually depicted in the dashboard using the stoplight colour system, so you’ll know your customer’s credit status at a glance. You’ll also have all the functionality of a CRM, including:

  • Application status – giving you visibility into the mortgage process

  • Document uploads – the system organizes it once the client does their part

  • Email tracking and open rates

  • Calls/appointments and engagement on the account

  • Shareable newsfeed, so you can engage your customers with useful industry info

  • Marketing ROI, such as lead sources and conversion rates

The dashboard is your automated super-assistant, monitoring every phase of every transaction, so you’ll know exactly where each deal is at and what needs to be done next.

For Managers

The platform also provides a customizable overview of employee and team performance data, whether sales or marketing, allowing you to identify and manage important KPIs for employee productivity and other ROI optimizing analytics across the organization.

With Ownest, you really can Know Your Customer (and your operations) like never before.

 

Click to learn how Pront-O provides key customer and business insights to help you lead the sales conversation.

 

 

A Tale of Two Salespeople

A Tale of Two Salespeople

 

To illustrate how Pront-O supercharges the sales process, let’s look at the work journeys of two different salespeople – Jen and Mike. Jen and Mike are both excellent sales associates, working for different home builders. Their employers have a broad inventory of multi and single-family residential homes. Both have similar jobs but only one of them has the benefit of Pront-O, the Ultimate Lead Qualifier.

Mike – Sells the Traditional Way

It’s a busy weekend and Mike is hard at work in the show suite. There are numerous potential customers in the show home, but Mike can’t know for sure who is serious and more importantly, who can afford what product. Mike looks around the busy showroom and wishes there were a way he could know upfront who are the most interested and eligible prospects, so he could zero in on the top ones. Is it the older couple looking at condos? The family with four kids?

Ron and Sharon are young, first time home buyers. They like the high-end finishes on a mid-priced home. Mike recommends they get pre-approved for a mortgage.

“How do we know who has the best rates?” asks Ron.
“I can recommend a couple of options, or you can do your own research,” says Mike.
“How long does it usually take to get pre-qualified?” asks Sharon.
“It usually takes a week or two, between doing the paperwork and getting the lender approval.” says Mike.

The young couple leaves and Mike is no further ahead in knowing if they are a potential sale or not. He makes a note in his own system to follow up with them later.

Jen – Uses Pront-O to Qualify Her Leads

Jen accesses her Ownest dashboard from any device, where she instantly sees the system has intelligently screened all potential buyers in her funnel, ranking them for her using the easy-to-read green/yellow/red ranking system based on the Five Cs of Credit. Today she is in the show suite when an older couple comes in.

They are intrigued by the fact they can pre-qualify right on the show suite Ipad (which has been sterilized by Jen) and get right to answering the 8 simple pre-qualification questions. Jen has barely returned to her desk computer when their pre-qualification comes up on her dashboard – green! Jen knows that the couple have looked at a mid-priced condo across the city.

 

 

Based on their verified income and green ranking, they can certainly afford a more luxurious place. Jen offers to show them options closer to where they live now. The couple are thrilled at the higher-end finishes and the location. They’re grateful to Jen because they didn’t even know the development existed.

By noon, Jen has closed the deal –  leaving it to Maestr-O to guide the couple through the online mortgage application.

Now she can turn her attention to the “yellow lead” clients, whom she has never met. They are Nick and Karen, first time homebuyers who have pre-qualified on the builder’s website from home (due to COVID concerns), eight simple questions and a soft credit check. Thanks to the Ownest widget, the link is seamlessly integrated into the builder’s website.  

Jen contacts Nick and Karen and they are impressed at her quick follow-up and the builder’s fast “one stop shop” kind of service, searching thousands of mortgages to match them with the most suitable lender.

Jen knows that Ownest will work with these clients to identify solutions to their complex credit situation. She also knows that she may be in a position to help them find the home that is a better fit for them. Although the young couple loves the layout and finishes of a higher end home, Jen is able to identify a different model with a similar layout in a less expensive community, one more appropriate for their financial situation.

The couple are grateful. She now has their loyalty because they feel like “Jen is looking out for us.” Jen lands the sale because Pront-O gave her insight into their creditworthiness, allowing her to sell them on a property that fit their situation.Two weeks later, Mike follows up with Ron and Sharon. Unfortunately for him, in the interim they have identified a similar home through a realtor friend who has a mortgage broker connection. Mike lost that sale and the potential for several others, because he doesn’t have the credit information required to focus on the strongest leads, or the ability to respond in real time with appropriate options.

With Pront-O intelligently screening your potential customers’ credit, you’ll have all the information you need to manage leads, customer and the sales process – including valuable insights for up-selling and cross-selling.  Isn’t it time Pront-O joined your sales team?

 

Understanding How Credit Works For Your Borrower

Understanding How Credit Works For Your Borrower

 

One of the key concerns a borrower may have about credit checks is how it will impact their overall credit score.

There are typically two types of credit checks:  Soft and Hard.

A soft credit inquiry typically occurs where you check your own credit or when a lender checks your credit for a pre-approval for a loan. Soft hits won’t impact credit at all, so both the borrower and lender benefit from gaining this information – without adversely affecting the borrower’s credit score.

Hard credit checks are more thorough and usually occurs when a lender reviews your full credit report as part of their decision-making process in approving your loan. Hard hits are now being grouped together by Equifax to minimize the impact of the overall credit credit score. For example, a client goes to a car dealership and applies for a car loan. The finance person then applies at a number of financing companies. These companies  are now grouped together, as they recognize a client is shopping for something specific so there is lower impact. The same would apply to mortgages as well.

Pront-O, Ownest’s financing approval engine, instantly determines a borrower’s creditworthiness using a soft credit check.

The borrower simply answers 8 questions and is pre-approved in an instant – verified with information from Equifax and ranked with the Five Cs of Credit. The borrower benefits because they instantly know how much they can borrow and it doesn’t affect their credit score. The vendor or lender benefits because they know up-front exactly how much the customer can borrow – with no waiting!

How Your Credit Score is Determined

Credit reports hold the latest 7 years of history, so inquiries would be present on your credit report for that long. As to how much impact this has, there is really no way to to know exactly – although the impact is minimal. However, if a client is seeking credit and applies for a car, mortgage and a credit card all at the same time, it could have a bigger impact.

What is a FICO Score?

A FICO Score is simply another type of credit score, which is widely used by top lenders. It formulates a borrower’s credit score based on five predictive variables.

The predictive variables that factor into a FICO Score is based on the following criteria:

  • Payment History – 35%
  • The Amounts you owe – 30%
  • Length of Credit History – 15%
  • New Credit – 10%
  • Types of Credit in use – 10%
  • Credit Score is only one factor in assessing an individual’s creditworthiness
  • Delinquency scores do not say that a specific individual is a good or bad customer
  • Lenders have their own unique adjudication strategies

 

Only small changes are needed to move a credit score or make significant changes.

Whether it’s driven by gradual score changes over time, or shock factors, they can impact clients scores immediately.

Examples of gradual score changes:

  • Small changes in balance/utilization
    • EG: A 25% increase in credit card balance, may only see a 5pt to 10pt change in score
  • Age of trades on credit files
    • EG: A 3 year-old trade vs a brand new one can see a 10pt difference
  • Depth of credit file history
    • EG: increased history & trade volumes provides more confidence in the stability of an individual’s credit behaviour
  • Examples of Shock factors score changes such as:
  • Missed payments/delinquency
    • EG: 80% of consumers with no delinquency ever score 685 to 850;
  • 80% of consumers with current delinquency score 450 to 700
  • Very large balance/utilization changes
    • EG: Moving from 0% utilization on a credit card to 90% could lead to a drop in score over 100 points
  • Significant increase in level of inquiry/applications
  • Moving from no inquiries in the last 12 months in a short time frame to 10 or more across multiple products, could lead to a drop in score. Recent payment deferrals are a key requirement for maintaining a borrowers’ credit score. It takes over 6 months to recover from the pre-crisis level.

 

Credit Scores and Deferrals

 

Credit Scores and Deferrals

 

Fico Scores range from 300 – 900, the higher the score the lower the credit risk while the lower score the higher the credit risk. Each lender has their own lending criteria when approving applications.

  • Score Range: 800 or Higher; Rating: Exceptional; Demonstrates: Borrower is exceptional
  • Score Range: 720 – 799; Rating: Very Good; Demonstrates: Borrower is very dependable
  • Score Range: 640 – 719; Rating: Good; Demonstrates: Borrower has a good score
  • Score Range: 580 – 639; Rating: Fair; Demonstrates: Borrower has okay score
  • Score Range: <579; Rating: Poor; Demonstrates: Borrower is risky

Want To Learn More?

If you would like to learn more about credit and mortgages, or what Ownest can do for you, contact us below.

 

References:

https://www.canadianmortgagetrends.com/2020/07/credit-score-different-lenders-see-part/

https://www.canadianmortgagetrends.com/2020/07/9-ways-keep-credit-score-high-possible-part-ii/

https://askross.ca/good-credit-hygiene-saves-100k-on-typical-mortgage/

https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/marketplace-credit-score-1.5314868

https://ficoscore.com/wp-content/uploads/FAQs-About-FICO-Scores-Canada-2019.pdf

 

Ownest Joins the Prestigious Holt Accelerator 2020 Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ownest Joins the Prestigious Holt Accelerator 2020 Program

Selected as Top 1% of All International Fintech Applications

 

Calgary, Alberta – August 6, 2020 – Ownest Financial (Ownest), an innovative provider of autonomous financing software, is pleased to announce that the Company has been selected to join the Holt Accelerator 2020 program. Ownest is one of only two Canadian companies to join this year’s program.

Ownest’s autonomous financing solution was created by the Company’s Founder and CEO, Kendall Raessler, who has more than 25 years of industry experience as a top mortgage expert in Canada. In 2019, the company launched a comprehensive mortgage point-of-sale portal for borrowers to easily self-manage a simple online application to pre-qualify for a loan – aggregated from over 22,000 mortgage products.

Since then, the software was enhanced to benefit borrowers, lenders and businesses that offer financing for their products by merging the innovative features of the mortgage portal with the functionality of a CRM and Loan Originating System. The cutting-edge, AI-driven platform automates most time-consuming, manual tasks performed by sales teams in the lending space. Ownest’s fully customizable widget-based interface drives qualified leads directly from the point-of-sale and their Pront-O app significantly reduces credit risk by quickly qualifying and intelligently screening the applicant’s borrowing capabilities. Ownest’s comprehensive platform also provides in-depth business intelligence data and is the only financing software solution of its kind that rewards partners with referral and annuity bonuses.

Kendall Raessler, Founder and CEO, stated, “We are thrilled and grateful to have been selected to join the Holt Accelerator 2020 program. Their expertise will help us achieve our aggressive growth targets.” He added, “The pandemic created an economic climate that requires leaner teams and a remote workforce. Our secure, cloud-based platform is a perfect solution to address those challenges – while creating operational efficiencies of up to 70%. Our current focus is on mortgages, but our end-to-end software solution will truly revolutionize the way people borrow and lend money. We’re very excited about the future of financing.”

“We are excited to have selected Ownest, following an extensive vetting process”, stated Jan Arp, Founding Partner, Holt Accelerator. “With over 720 international applications received this year for a coveted spot in the Holt accelerator, Ownest’s financing software capabilities stood out as a necessary innovative solution in a market overdue for disruption. I am proud to welcome Ownest as part of our 2020 family.”

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About Ownest
Ownest started in 2012 with the goal to innovate how financing is done around the world. In 2019, the Company launched its B2C software to empower homebuyers to obtain financing online by aggregating best lenders and best rates from over 22,000 mortgage products. Since then, Ownest has shifted their core focus to a cloud-based B2B SaaS model, providing their partners an AI-driven platform that quickly qualifies and intelligently screens potential borrowers. Their cutting-edge platform is designed to drive qualified leads, increase revenue and significantly streamline operations through autonomous financing while providing in-depth data-driven business intelligence. www.OwnestFinancial.com.

About Holt Accelerator
Backed by Holdun, a 5th Generation Family Office, Holt Accelerator is Canada’s most active seed fintech investor. Holt Accelerator is the only business accelerator in Canada that’s focused exclusively on fintech, including insurtech and cybersecurity. Holt tracks over 10,000 early stage fintechs globally and solicits the ones that present a best match with our Partner & Advisory network (over 300+ and growing). They have received over 1,800 applications from over 75 countries, in which they invest in the top 1% of applications globally.


Contact Information:

Kendall Raessler, CEO
Phone: 1.855.699.2400 Ext. 101
Email: Kendall@ownest.ca

 

Meet the Team – Ray Yip, CTO

Meet the Team

 

We’d like to introduce you to some of the great people who work behind the scenes at Ownest.
We recently spoke to Ray Yip, Chief Technology Officer.

 

Ray Yip, Chief Technology Officer at Ownest
Ray Yip, CTO ziplining at Whitefish Resort

Tell us about your role at Ownest.

I joined Ownest in May 2019. I call myself a technologist. My job is to understand the vision of the company and figure out the technology strategy to turn the vision into reality.

What did you do before you joined Ownest? What interested you in Ownest?

I had created many software, web and mobile applications across multiple domains and industries, in past 20+ years. Ownest gives me yet another opportunity to create a disruptive technology. How can I resist that?

What do you like most about working here?

The people, the fun, the trust, and the respect among the team.

What excites you most about the future of Ownest?

We are disrupting the financial industry through technological advancement and artificial intelligence. We are changing the way how people borrow and lend money.

Tell us about your life outside of Ownest.

I’ve been married for 21 years and I have a 20 year-old son and 17 year-old daughter with my beautiful wife. I still have to explain to people that I wasn’t 10 years old when my son was born but I’m glad that I’m not getting ID’ed at a bar anymore ?

As for hobbies, I like playing badminton and enjoy spending time gardening with my wife.

Any hidden talents?

I often do things in random order and still manage to get a few things done. If you are going through a list with me, you will find me start at the second or third item and then go up from the bottom of list. I hope that you know which item I’m talking about at the moment.

Who inspires you or which company do you admire (and why)?

The person inspired me the most is Zig Ziglar. I listened to his audio series every day when I went through tough times in my life. His life story, his value and every lesson in his speeches have motivated me and affects how I do things every day.

What piece of technology can you NOT live without?

It would have to be the high-speed Internet. Must be high-speed, not dial-up.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

I want to have power to travel back in time. I don’t want to travel to the future because it would ruin my excitement about the future, but I want to travel back in time to correct my mistake and change the choices I made.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I’m still waiting for new technologies to upgrade my body after I torn all my knee ligaments and went through four eye surgeries just because I played too much badminton.

The Five Cs of Credit and Why It Matters

The Five Cs of Credit

and Why it Matters

 

What Are the Five Cs of Credit?

The five Cs of credit is a set of criteria used by lenders to gauge the creditworthiness of potential borrowers. This type of approach weighs five different characteristics of potential borrowers and conditions of the loan, to help predict the chance of potential default and overall risk or loss for the lender.  The Five Cs are: Collateral, Credit, Capacity, Capital and Character.

Ownest's software verifies credit using the Five Cs of credit

 

Why is it Important to Use the Five Cs of Credit?

Evaluating a borrower’s creditworthiness based on the Five Cs of Credit is important because it gives the lender a better overall picture of the borrower and their ability to pay off the loan. It also takes into consideration the more “personal” side of financing by considering the borrower’s character, as opposed to simply looking at past credit history and collateral. For example, if the credit check reports a default payment, it could have been due to unique or rare circumstances, such as an illness or divorce. These types of questions will help lenders understand the borrower’s credit – looking back to the credit history and looking forward to the client’s future capacity.

Save Time: Ownest’s Software Automatically Calculates the Five Cs

One of the biggest challenge when it comes to financing is knowing the actual creditworthiness of a potential purchaser or borrower. For example, if someone is interested in purchasing a home, the sales associate spends a lot of time with the customer during the sales journey. Waiting for a mortgage approval can take 7 – 10 days, and in the meantime, your sales team is spending valuable time building a relationship with a client who may not be approved for financing.  Wouldn’t it be nice to know this information at the beginning of the sales journey?

Ownest’s Pront-O app instantly pre-qualifies and intelligently screens
applicants based on their actual borrowing ability.

 

 

The software performs a soft credit check using the Five Cs of Credit, then sorts and ranks the leads by  summarizing the information in an easy-to-read stoplight snapshot (green, yellow, red rating system). This data  empowers our affiliate and lender partners with key insight and visibility of the borrower’s overall credit profile – faster and more accurately than any other software on the market – so you know where you’ll get the best return for your sales efforts.

 

How Much Time and Money Will You Save?

 

Whether you’re a lender or a company that offers financing for your products, Ownest software can provide valuable insight and streamline your sales process. Pronto’s pre-qualification capabilities are just one of the many features of our revolutionary software. Contact us to schedule a demo today!

Request a demo of Ownest Software