by Mark Blackwell, Lending & Surveying Services Director at eTech Solutions
Mortgage Finance Gazette, April 2017
During President Richard Nixon’s visit to Beijing in 1972 the Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai was asked about the impact of the French Revolution. He commented it was “too early to say”.
This may have been a way of showing how to take the long view in history. The reality was Zhou was probably being asked to respond to events in 1968 and not 1789. A misunderstanding that one diplomat said was “too delicious to invite correction.”
What impact has technology made on our daily lives? From the first fax in 1846, the very first electronic computer in 1943, email and text in 1971 and 1992 respectively it is easy to forget there is a long history that precedes today largely because modern technology is so available to us.
It may be too early to tell the impact of technology change in today’s survey and valuation market. However, to stand on the outside looking in is to put your business at a disadvantage.
The massive long term impact of improved technology available to surveyors cannot be ignored. Ongoing change is the norm and not a reason to avoid making decisions until a state of nirvana is reached.
The property risk process is about data analytics and mobile technology working together providing accurate, consistent and defensible data collection on site. Lenders want more automated property valuations and are paying procuration fees for retained business.
Whilst this means fewer mortgage valuations for the trained surveyor it is a chance to develop new survey products and services for consumers and lenders. The surveying industry is responding to change and looking as far ahead as it can to remain vital to the property underwriting process.
Inevitably these more valued services should also carry a more commercial consideration for the surveyor. It is not too early to reiterate the importance of the surveyor in the property underwriting risk process.
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