17 Nov 2017
Data and technology is transforming the property industry which is something that valuation professionals should embrace. This was the overriding message from the recent Aviva Investors’ Annual Property Conference made up over 200 valuation and legal professionals. Below is a snapshot of what was said:
Technology: opportunity or threat?
It was agreed that while valuers will retain a pivotal role in releasing wealth across the UK economy, they can enhance the service they provide, as well as develop their careers, by engaging with the technological data revolution.
If we can give the decision-makers better information, they can make better decisions.
Data and technology can help simplify previously complex processes through smarter data collection and manipulation and the use of automated valuation model’s (AVM) to materially reduce the period between investment committee approval and capital release.
Ultimately we are in the business of lending money, secured against property, and the reason we do that is because we have investor clients that are seeking a very stable and secure income stream. That means we have to be able to look through cycles and look at long-term trends. We believe technology will aid this.
What does this mean for the role of a valuer?
There has been a scepticism that new technology could mean unemployment. We don’t see it like that. Technology’s purpose is to free up valuers to utilise their skill and expertise to properly assess the risks that are faced – not just today, but over the length of the loan.
In other words, although technology will play an important role in maximising efficiencies across the lending industry, this won’t mean the end of lending professionals such as the valuer, but will rather allow them to focus on the important elements of their job.
The most advanced AVMs will never be able to deal with the nuances of an asset.
However, as machines will be able to deliver more inputs than traditional methods, the valuer will need to bring more to the mix.
They will be required to demonstrate to the client that they are providing some form of judgment or information, which is above and beyond the straight data set.
What do valuers think?
…There are certainly challenges presented by potential business disrupters, but huge opportunity for the valuation profession and property consultancy in general to differentiate and provide a tailored service.
We need to embrace this data revolution, not only to make the day job easier, but to keep up with evolving client requirements.
Rapid urbanisation across the world makes this an extremely exciting time to be in the industry and creates a fantastic opportunity for technology-savvy valuers to make their mark.
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