Paul RayCollins, Risk Director at e.surv Chartered Surveyors, explains how his company’s use of digital technology is filling a gap in the market by revolutionising how residential properties are valued
Mortgage lenders have long faced a dilemma when selecting a method for property valuation on low risk cases: whether to choose an Automated Valuation Model (AVM) or Drive-By (external only appraisal).
AVMs can be quicker but accuracy is hampered due to lack of local insight, and they have relatively high fail rates. Conversely, Drive-Bys benefit from local insight but accuracy suffers from lack of additional property data, and typical bookings can require up to three days’ notice. Neither method carries professional indemnity insurance cover.
e.surv Chartered Surveyors filled the gap in the market by launching an innovative Remote Valuation solution late last year. Various major lenders are now using it and initial feedback is encouraging. The Remote Valuation service, when used in the right context, offers a compelling digital alternative to these valuation methods, balancing speed, cost and accuracy.
Our Remote Valuation service is a unique solution, combining years of ‘on-the-ground’ valuation experience with new, industry-leading technology. Our Remote Valuations are conducted by experienced local valuers, using their insight of local market conditions, combined with in-depth comparable data to derive accurate valuations, without physical inspections.
Using e.surv’s bespoke iPad app, our valuers are required to undertake the same level of assessment of comprehensive comparable data as that required for physical inspections. As such, e.surv achieves a level of accuracy that makes Remote Valuation suitable for both purchase and remortgage decisions.
With a very fast average completion time, the valuation report can be returned far quicker than the four to five days turnaround involved in a physical inspection, with fewer delays and seasonal backlogs.
A series of trials conducted throughout 2016-2017 with major UK lenders showed our service matched the physical inspection valuation in 95% of cases completed, with only an average 7% variance between physical and remote valuation. It demonstrates a reassuring level of quality and accuracy compared to AVMs, and benefits from lower costs than a physical inspection.
As one of the UK’s largest providers of surveying and property risk services, e.surv believes it is the only valuation provider which has the requisite risk expertise, statistical rigour and service infrastructure to deliver a reliable and efficient Remote Valuation.