Andrew Lloyd: The future of buying mortgages on apps

Michael Lloyd

May 3, 2018

In the future you may be able to buy a mortgage from the click of your finger on an app without mortgage brokers or estate agents, Andrew Lloyd, director of Search Acumen, the property data and technology provider, has predicted.

He believes the whole process could be done via an app where people list their own properties without using estate agents and drones would take photographs for the survey.

Lloyd said: “The whole world is moving and we’re just using those changes to adapt to property. Do you think mortgage brokers would exist in a few years when perhaps you could go to an app, and search on some software, inputting your circumstances and finding the best mortgage? It’s going to be better at it and look at more data than a broker can.”

He thought there may still be the need for some human contact and that would be in the form of one adviser – a buyer agent – for the whole process of mortgage process.

Lloyd added: “He would be the human contact between you and all the technology that does those things for him. He would contact the person interested in making the purchase and find everything you need.

“A drone can come and takes the photographs, do the internal survey and pull all the information from services like us about the property. The valuation will come from far more trustworthy AVMs that are being written now.

“It changes the way we think about things. Not everyone is ready for that. Predicting something will happen and waiting for it to happen are two different things though.”

He thought that property reports will migrate into property data analysis that will be provided almost instantly.

Lloyd said: “Looking at a house on your phone, you’ll be able to see all the information allowing your buying adviser to give you a decision on the risk quickly.”

The firm works with technology specialists and Lloyd reports the two biggest opportunities at the moment are in AI and machine learning.

Search Acumen has been supplying data for a city firm who have been teaching AI to read property leases.

The data comes from Land Registry and trainee lawyers normally read through loads of it, getting bored and tired.

Lloyd added: “The more AI reads, the better it gets. Within 12 months it would have read more than the most experienced law professional.”

He reported that machines are being taught to analyse addresses, reading huge data sets with entries that don’t match because many were collected over decades. This is a long, tiring, boring process for people but machines could learn how to do it and become much quicker too.

Lloyd said: “We get loads of addresses from clients especially when doing big portfolios. We had a client with 64,000 addresses and wanted to confirm titles and ownerships of that.

“We could cleanse a lot of that with machine learning. This will be happening in three or four months.”

Recently Search Acumen has upgraded its commercial real estate (CRE) platform for commercial property lawyers to quicken the due diligence process for them by providing instant access to new data sets.

Lloyd added: “Our target for this year is to transition the majority of the bigger city commercial law firms onto using our data platforms. We have a number of them rolled out now and their property departments are starting to use informational data but using in very traditional way.

“We’re helping them to get used to that. We’re providing a huge amount of data and asking the legal profession to change the way they work so that takes a little bit of time to convince them there’s another way.”

With information providers making their data available on mass, there’s technology companies looking at it and thinking the opportunities technology, such as AI and blockchain, has.

Lloyd said: “It’s an exciting time. The drive to improve and modernise is now here with the release of all this data, AI, some of the machine learning and the change in platform based lending models.”

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