A valuations platform has been rebranded to tie in with its parent company, and its head of client operations hopes this will spur more brokers to use it.
In 2011, RP Data acquired valuations group ValEx and its Val Status enquiry tool, which will be rebranded with the RP Data name and logo from this Sunday.
Michael Hooper, ValEx head of client operations, told Australian Broker
nothing material will change with the valuations tracking tool, but the rebrand clears up ownership confusion for brokers and may boost user numbers.
“The broader issue here is we want to increase usage. A lot of brokers are already using it, we have thousands of hits a day, but clearly there are a lot of brokers who aren’t using it.”
He said the status tracker tool was used 1246 times on Tuesday, which is about average.
“[But] there’s not the number of people using it that should be. The whole purpose of doing the rebranding is to refresh people’s memory that it’s there, but also to highlight that all the information you use when you phone up or go into ValEx is in this tool.
“It’s about encouraging those who aren’t using it to use it and those who are using it to continue to use it. We’re using the rebranding as an opportunity to refresh its status in the industry.”
However, while the RP Data logo and name will be displayed throughout the site, the URL will remain https://valstatus.valex.com.au.
Hooper said during 2013, RP Data witnessed a significant increase in activity across property sales and mortgage applications, with a 15% increase in sales and a 25% increase in valuations recorded through RP Data’s key platforms.
As a result, this created uplift in activity for the entire valuations industry.
“With activity levels for the first months of 2014 running steady, I’m pleased to report that it looks like we’ll see another strong year where platform volumes will be around 9% higher than for 2013. While this heralds good news for us all, the downside is that this high level of activity has now placed significant pressure on the finance industry and in particular, valuations firms,” he said.
In response to demand, valuation firms have invested in recruitment and upgrades to systems and processes to let them improve the product and service delivery of valuations.
But Hooper warns one thing in particular hampers the valuation process – seemingly minor details being neglected such as the correct address, phone number or supplementary documentation and the customer’s lack of awareness of the need for a valuation in the first instance.
“These types of errors occur in as much as 25% of all valuation requests. In times of excessive volumes such as now, delays such as these place additional constraints on the valuation industry as a whole.”
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