UOB allies with proptech firm SoReal for SME property valuation app

Source: UOB

United Overseas Bank (UOB) and SoReal Prop Pte Ltd (SoReal), a property technology firm, today launched Singapore’s first all-in-one commercial property solution to feature an instant valuation service that is recognised by a bank.

The solution, known as RealCommercial, makes it faster and easier for small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) owners to buy their ideal office, warehouse or retail space - from searching for and valuing the property to obtaining a bank loan. In 2018, there were more than $8 billion worth of transactions in Singapore’s commercial property market1.

According to a survey by UOB, one in two SMEs plans to invest in fixed assets including buildings and factory premises2. After finding a suitable property, SMEs need to obtain a reliable valuation for their loan application - a process which currently takes up to seven days3 within the industry, thus extending the time required to complete the purchase. However, UOB’s digital valuation service provides SMEs with a bank-backed valuation in under a minute, enabling business owners to fast track the buying process by proceeding with their loan application straightaway.

In addition to instant valuation, SME owners can see immediately the loan quantum for which they qualify based on their average monthly cash flow or affordability. The SME owner then uses their CorpPass to log into MyInfo Business, integrated within the solution, and the online application form will be automatically filled in with their company details.

Mr Mervyn Koh, Country Head of Business Banking Singapore, UOB, said, “From our experience in helping SMEs purchase their ideal commercial property, we know they want certainty and speed in the process. This means not having mismatched expectations in the property’s valuation or the loan quantum,
1 Source: Real Estate Information System, Urban Redevelopment Authority. 2 Based on a survey conducted by UOB among 511 decision makers in senior management roles at SMEs about their planned investments for 2019. 3 Based on industry average of up to seven days for a valuer to visit the unit and to produce the valuation report.

both of which could lead to the SME not being able to secure their desired property. To help SMEs with their purchase quickly and conveniently, we worked with SoReal to bring together the various partners in the commercial property ecosystem to streamline the commercial property buying process. With RealCommercial, SMEs will be able to buy their desired property with more confidence”.

The launch of RealCommercial builds on the Bank’s efforts to help property agencies transform their business models and processes via digital solutions and also supports the real estate industry’s transformation under the Industry Transformation Map4. The Bank launched the first fully digital loan solution for homebuyers in August last year, reducing the time needed to apply for home loans from an average of 2.5 days to 15 minutes5.

Helping real estate agents transform their business models and processes The service will also help property agents to provide faster turnaround and better customer experience as they serve SME buyers. SoReal supports more than 200 property agencies, including the four biggest agencies in Singapore - ERA, Huttons Asia, OrangeTee & Tie and PropNex - which represent 72 per cent of all agents6.

Mr Thomas Tan, President of Singapore Estate Agents Association7 said, “In today’s digitally-connected world, there is increasing expectation for services to be provided on demand. As such, the real estate industry must also innovate to ensure that we have the right business models and processes to meet customer expectations. The launch of RealCommercial equips property agents with digital tools that are essential to providing their SME buyers a more efficient and customer-centric experience. We are glad to have UOB’s continued support as we step up our efforts to transform the real estate industry.”

The RealCommercial mobile app can be downloaded from the Google Play and the Apple App Store.

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