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ValuStrat has announced a proprietary valuations software it calls Speedy that delivers residential mortgage valuation reports within six hours from inspection, reducing valuation time from the market standard of 48-72 hours. The company has leveraged new technology in the mortgage valuations process, enabling lenders to offer loans days earlier than before, and allowing buyers to take possession of their homes without much delay. PW speaks with Saad Mehmood Umerani, Chief Operating Officer of ValuStrat, about the innovative service.
Is ValuStrat the only one in the UAE offering this service?
Yes. As far as we know no one else offers such a service in this country.
Can you elaborate on how ValuStrat’s Speedy software adds value to the real estate and financial industry?
Phase one of Speedy enables us to deliver mortgage valuation reports to our banking clients within six hours of inspection, giving banks the very real competitive advantage of moving to customer loan offer within same day as the property survey. This significant time saving is made possible by ValuStrat’s design of a proprietary iPad-based system that incorporates the latest technology and real time data integration of the surveyor with our Valuation and Research Department, resulting in an impressive shortening of turnaround times for valuation reports.
In phase two of Speedy, we will offer our financial services clients the benefits of a dedicated portal with secure log-in. They will no longer need to use email to request and receive valuation reports. It will also provide them with extremely useful tools for analysis of the valuations. The analysis can be helpful for banks to understand their exposure to different areas, stress testing, archiving and other performance improvement metrics.
How does Speedy compare with the standard practice of residential mortgage valuation?
Residential mortgage valuations in the UAE traditionally take two to three days from inspection. The main reasons for this delay are the absence of technology in the valuation process and the lack of connectivity between the valuation surveyors and their office. For example, if a valuers are out on several concurrent inspections in a day, they often will not get to start work on the first report until many hours after the survey.
What makes your new method work faster?
ValuStrat’s software connects valuers remotely to their office, allowing the valuation process to commence straight away, before they have even got into their car to leave the inspection. It allows surveys to relay their survey forms and pictures to the office in real time. The software can also integrate into a bank’s system via a secure API, and the data as well as the software is hosted on ValuStrat’s secure servers locally. The role of the experienced valuation surveyor is integral to Speedy. The surveyor does the property inspection, completes the report and decides on the market
Speedy has taken us over a year to develop. It has gone through exhaustive pre-launch testing with our staff and selected clients. As a Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors-regulated firm, we make sure our reports are delivered to the highest quality. The system enables us to further enforce and track the implementation of the right policies and procedures.
How did your company come up with the idea of launching this software?
When I took over the role as Chief Operating Officer, one of my responsibilities was to leverage technology to enhance our service offering and to provide our banking clients with a faster, more efficient process for the delivery of residential mortgage valuations. After our success with the technology in automobile valuations and contact-point verification services, we decided to replicate the process in real estate.
Who are your clients?
We already deal with most financial institutions in the UAE and are starting a roll-out of Speedy to them. Some have already witnessed
significantly reduced turnaround times in receiving their valuation reports. We would welcome the opportunity to present this service to others and agree a contract.
Standard documentation for a residential valuation in the UAE include a title deed, affection plan, sales and purchase agreement and access
arrangements for inspection as appropriate. Once an individual approaches a bank for a mortgage loan and provides the above documents, the request is then forwarded to ValuStrat.
What other services does your company offer to the real estate sector?
ValuStrat offers a full range of professional services to the real estate sector, including valuation of all asset types across the region, using analysis, feasibility studies, strategy and market research reports.
What are your company’s future expansion plans?
Since being established here in 1977, our company has grown to four office locations in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Further expansion is planned both regionally and globally. We would also like to offer our Softwares as a Service (SaaS) to other companies to enhance their process.
Source: Hina Navin, Special to PW