Proptech & Property News: Valocity and Fabrick tie-up, Rightmove pivoting

Andrew Stanton’s daily proptech & property news in association with Estate Agent Networking

VALOCITY PARTNERS WITH FABRICK TO SPEED EUROPEAN MORTGAGE MARKET LENDING

Fabrick and Valocity have agreed to a commercial tie-up, bringing Valocity’s Australasian-based property valuation solution to Europe. The solution, which has already powered over $1 trillion worth of lending decisions, will now be available to European banks, enabling them to streamline mortgage approval for a seamless customer experience.

Fabrick, a leading Italian fintech company that operates internationally to promote Open Finance, and Valocity, a world-leading provider of data-driven solutions that help banks to speed up property valuations in the mortgage approval process, announced their new sales partnership last week. The two firms are bringing the best in Australasian and APAC property valuation technology to the underserved European and MENA market. 

fabrick logo open banking property

The transformation and digitisation of the property valuation process is becoming increasingly important. Globally, lenders and brokers are experiencing two growing frictions; the increasing regulatory compliance in parallel with rising customer expectations. 

These challenges are made all the more significant by the fact that purchasing property is typically the biggest financial decision that an individual or organisation makes. So, reducing friction in the property valuation process, which is estimated to have high associated financial and time costs, is a significant benefit to both banks and end customers

Through the partnership with Fabrick, Valocity will expand its geographical footprint in Europe and MENA by leveraging Fabrick’s platform and established presence encompassing relationships with top tier European banks and over 200 fintechs. 

Fabrick will be able to enhance its Open Finance ecosystem with the addition of an innovative solution that harnesses technology to improve the lending services of banks and institutions. The partnership will culminate with Valocity joining Fabrick’s Open Finance platform integrated as an API producer in early 2022. 

valocity logo

Valocity is delivering a global industry platform that connects valuers and lenders digitally across multiple markets to enable an entirely digital valuation experience that dovetails with Open Finance and connected ecosystems. 

Streamlining the mortgage valuation process by creating a connected ecosystem for brokers, valuers and lenders and includes tools for all participants such as a remote valuation inspection tool which negates the need for a valuer to enter the property, as well as data capture tools which enable valuers to capture new data.

Marco Casartelli, Co-founder and Deputy CEO of Fabrick, said: “We are proud to partner Valocity and make its transformative service available in Europe through our Open Finance ecosystem. The process of digital transformation that has improved and created more efficient customer experience across multiple industries has only just begun in the mortgage lending ecosystem and as an early pioneer and now market leader, Valocity is poised to offer a sought-after solution in Europe’s marketplace. 

“As all banks have to certify a property’s value before agreeing a loan there is a large addressable market and opportunity for European lenders to offer seamless process that customers increasingly demand …  it enables all operators to easily integrate new services and quickly respond shifting customer needs.”

Carmen Vicelich, Founder and CEO, Valocity, said: “We’re very excited to partner with Fabrick to work with their innovative lenders and support their significant ecosystem, to enable end to end digital mortgage lending solutions that put the customer first, and to continue the expansion of our globally proven mortgage valuation products.”




IS RIGHTMOVE PIVOTING ITS MODEL TO BECOME MORE LIKE PROPERTYMARK?

rightmove logo

Early in 2021, we reported that there would be big changes in the architecture of estate agency, including some big hitters pushing into other organisations’ ecosystems. We have already seen a gobbling up and rationalisation in some verticals, but the big question is will Rightmove try to get a material advantage by starting to ‘add value’ to its estate agent clients, and start to provide services that Propertymark and similar organisations already do?

With over 17,500 members from the whole of the property fraternity, Propertymark is a behemoth, and CEO Nathan Emerson has markedly changed its fortunes, presenting a more modern, listening and smiling face to its membership and stakeholders. 

But Rightmove has just announced that it wants to offer free training to agents, a territory that is very much the driver for income for Propertymark, which has a variety of pay-as-you-go accredited courses. 

Jason Charles, Rightmove’s Head of Events and Education, said: “We want to help agents with this free training so they can get ahead of mandatory regulations that the government may bring in based on the RoPA Report. Over the next few months we’ll be working with ABBE to finalise our syllabus and will be launching it later this year.”

ABBE is the awarding body for building education, an Ofqual regulated producer of qualifications, so this all looks very laudable. But the hidden intent may be that Rightmove needs a new charm offensive to keep agents happy as the base price to be on the property platform ratchets up year after year. 

Propertymark logo

Put another way, Rightmove can offer training for free, as the cost of the training is buried in the average £1,189 price paid per agent, a whopping 9% rise on the previous year, with operating profit in 2021 being £226 million, an uptick from 2019’s £289 million.

Clearly, Rightmove can bankroll the free training as software as a service (SaaS) is a model that just keeps giving for the original proptech grand-daddy. 

However, if it steams into the business model of Propertymark, which is the educator and non-mandatory regulator of the property industry, how can Emerson’s company compete without a Rightmove-sized war chest?

Now it may be true that agents will not take up the training options that will be unveiled later in the year, but if it is free then that would seem a great way for agents to lessen their cost base as 2022 is going, as usual, to be as unpredictable as 2021. 

The pandemic may be at a level where it can be contained, but interest rate rises, a shortfall of inventory and now Mr Putin going rogue will probably make ripples for us all, even in property.

Andrew Stanton is the founder of Proptech-PR, a consultancy for Founders of Proptechs looking to grow and exit, using his influence from decades of industry experience. Separately he is a consultant to some of the biggest names in global real estate, advising on sales and acquisitions, market positioning, and operations. He is also the founder of Proptech-X Proptech & Property News, where his insights, connections and detailed analysis and commentary on proptech and real estate are second to none.

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