Technology and Property Preservation Interview
Interview published in REO Magazine, Dec.-Jan. ’05?
“With wireless technology, inspectors out there in the field can get us answers and results instantaneously, and this has saved our clients a lot of time and money, particularly in the winter months,” says Allan Jaffa, chief operating officer for Safeguard Properties, the nations’s largest mortgage field service provider.
According to Jaffa, the continued progress in technology is helping to preserve the value of properties, and this is extremely beneficial to banks and other mortgage lenders. In the past, Jaffa says, the time lag between mortgage servicers placing orders, having them carried out and then having banks view the work and decide what to do next would in and of itself contribute to wear and tear on a property. And for banks and other holders of property, every second counts in protecting their holdings from a host of factors ranging from weather to vandalism, be it in the presale or the foreclosure processes.
With its 28 member IT team, Safeguard Properties has taken great strides in saving both time and money for its clients. The company has a centralized database of information through which clients can access online at any time any bit of information pertaining to their properties nationwide. The database has photos of properties that are constantly updated, Jaffa says, and every step of the work that has been done on a particular property from a drive-by inspection to more particular work such as winterizing or changing locks is electronically filed, and can be viewed by clients anytime, anywhere.
“Money talks for our clients; we are facilitating communication and making things more efficient for them,” Jaffa says.
“For everyone, from our vendors to our clients, everything is readily available on our database,” agrees Dayan Sapir, VP of client development and relations at Safeguard. “Clients have access to all our information and everything is centralized for both them as well as the contractors.”
Technology continues to develop and its importance to the property preservation business is being increasingly recognized. To be sure, this business has taken on a life of its own now, and recently, Safeguard Properties organized the first-ever property preservation conference in Washington, D.C., a seminal event that brought together officials from around the country to discuss pertinent topics and find ways to work together even more efficiently in the coming years.