By EDD K. USMAN
Twitter: @edd1819, Instagram: @bluestar0910, Facebook: SDN — Science, Digital & Current News
(SDN) — NOOK, a real estate company based in Newport Beach, California, United States, is now open for business.
Its goal, as gleaned from a press statement, is to provide Filipinos a vehicle for an easier way to apply for loans for their real estate-related needs or transactions. Like their first homes, perhaps. Or a new home.
Nook might be a “new kid on the Philippine real estate block,” but it has bigger ambitions.
“We are the next big thing in real estate,” it says confidently.
Chris Elder, Nook’s CEO, said the company aims to become the Philippines’ “#1 originator of housing loans within 5 years.”
Elder, who is from Australia, met with a select members of the Manila media on January 15.
Actually, the real estate company entered the Philippines in October 2018, seeing the country’s “emerging economy growing at 6.2 percent YoY (year-on-year).”
But everything was all preparation for Nook’s eventual start of business, which is the day of its formal launch.
Elder also noted that while it is happening “slowly,” the “market is adopting the internet to do business.”
The company believes it is now timely for the Philippines to adopt the trend and practices of the industry in countries such as Australia and the U.S., where over 60 percent and 68 percent of borrowers, respectively, tap mortgage brokers, shying away from direct-bank applications to apply for a housing a loan.
Nook promises a no-hassle loan transaction.
“What Nook offers, is direct access to bank partners for your home loans with the easiest application process you can get. It is time that the Philippines recognizes how technology can transform the home loan process from application to closing,” he said.
To implement its goals for the Philippines, and help customers in their journey to their new home, Nook has entered into a series of partnerships with the country’s top banking institutions, initially with Asia United Bank (AUB), Banco de Oro (BDO), Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), Family Savings Bank (FSB), Bank of Commerce (BOC), CTBC, Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC), and Security Bank.
Elder said they’re “looking into five more banks” to partner with.
Nook’s entry into the country’s crowded real estate industry is a recognition of the need for an easier and more efficient property loan applications. Nook is an online mortgage broker platform.
Being the first of its kind in the Philippines, it seeks to “enable Filipinos to conduct entire property search, do loan comparisons, and experience a seamless loan application process online.”
Nook is counting on what it describes as a “projected surge on both office and residential demand from locals and foreign nationals alike” because of Filipinos’ rising purchasing power as well as the availability of new residential options constructed every year.
The online platform cited figures which the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) released in the first half of 2019 revealing a hike in the share of real estate loans to the industry total loan.
“Banks reported that over 73 percent of residential real estate loans (RREL) were used for the purchase of new housing units, wherein most RRELs granted in the National Capital Region were used for the acquisition of condominium units,” the company statement noted.
There is still much to be done though, apparently.
Even with the data indicating a growing residential property industry in the country, the problem of connecting consumers to banks still exist concerning the loan application process.
Filipinos “are still intimidated to start their home loan search” owing to many reasons, one of them not knowing whether they are qualified to lend from any of the local banks for a housing loan.
This is where Nook comes in.
House hunters may leverage Nook’s easier way of doing business, so to speak, because the online platform through its website (https://www.nook.com.ph/) provides them a facility for applying for a home loan simpler and easier, the very designed of the real estate site. application fee.
And while on the website, users will be able “to evaluate the most optimal loan option for their target properties.”
Elder led the formal launch at Shangri-La at The Fort, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, Metro Manila, The launch marked Nook’s start of business.
In fact, the company already has received inquiries from some potential customers. Perhaps, Nook is slowly eliminating the sense of intimidation among house hunters.
“Applying for a home loan here in the Philippines can be a tedious and intimidating process. Before prospective clients even begin, they are already overwhelmed with the long list of requirements or the time they need to set aside to accomplish all the application steps,” said the CEO of Elder.
“We aim to address this with Nook. We offer users an end-to-end platform, from property search to bank approvals, empowering more Filipinos to gain seamless access to financial options available to them.”
And the beauty of it all, the service is free of charge.
Nook allows a potential borrower to find the right housing loan and assist them throughout the application process — thereby freeing them from having to go to different banks to compare what each ones has to offer. Through Nook, the user will be able to have a preview of the amount of monthly repayments they have to make, fees, and other requirements from each bank and get pre-qualified in just a few minutes.
The company will help clients in every step of their housing loan process, together with its Nook Home Loan Consultant, free of charge. (SDN/Nook)