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.

 

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

 

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