BBVA has unveiled Valora View, the first app in the European Banking sector using augmented reality to help prospective buyers or renters find a home. With this new free service, available for both customers and non-customers of the bank, BBVA launches a tool that, harnessing the power of big data, is capable of providing users with recommended purchase or rent prices for a specific property. And not only that: The application can also provide advice on whether it makes more sense to buy or rent, and even run mortgage simulations.
Valora View allows users to point their smartphone camera at a specific building, and the app automatically retrieves all the information available at Idealista, Spain’s most popular real-estate classifieds portal, on any units for rent or sale in the building or the surrounding area. The app is available on iOS and Android. Valora View also provides additional practical details about the property and the neighborhood itself, including information about the types of properties in the area, as well as nearby units for sale or rent, together with their estimated market value.
Valora View also boasts a smart map feature that allows users to display a map showing the exact location of every available property in a given area. Another of the key features of this functionality is the heat gradient layer, which provides information on the least and most affordable locations in a specific area.
“One of the biggest advantages of Valora View is that it allows users to run a simulation of their mortgage for a specific property and even to apply for it from the app itself,” said Gabriel González Gil, Digital Product manager of BBVA Spain. “The tool accompanies users during all stages of their home-finding process, helping prospective buyers make decisions based on actual information,” he concluded.
Rent or buy?
Making a decision on whether to buy, or not, a home is very hard, and many times people find themselves struggling with the renting vs. buying dilemma. For anyone in this situation, “BBVA Valora calculates the amount of money the user will have to invest or spend to buy or rent a home, and provides information on which option makes more sense,” says Manuel Moure, Director of Digital Products for BBVA Spain. Based on the information about the property and its price, the tool informs the user whether it is more cost-effective to buy or rent the property, taking into account different timeframes.
Besides the information on the price of both the property they are interested in and the one they might already own and the different renting vs. buying scenarios, the tool also offers a projection of the users’ living (utilities, property and maintenance fees, etc.) and mortgage related expenses. The app is even capable of estimating how much it would cost to renovate the house or change different kitchen and home appliances, and even run an online simulation of a home insurance plan.
As of today - BBVA Valora, the pioneering app in the use of big data for the Spanish real estate market - has already processed over 2.5 million queries from both customers and non-customers of the financial institution. Over 730,000 individuals have run a mortgage simulation for a specific property. The number of those using the mobile channel to run simulations is five times higher than website use. Besides Spain’s largest cities, Madrid and Barcelona, the most popular provinces searched using the tool are Valencia, Seville, Zaragoza, Malaga, Alicante, Mallorca, Valladolid and Cordoba.
Digital transformation with tangible results
BBVA keeps growing its digital customer base. At BBVA Spain over 50% of customers already interact with the bank digitally, and digital sales as of March-end accounted for 42% of the total. 92% of BBVA Spain’s product portfolio is already available through digital channels, compared to 16% just three years ago.
In 2017, Forrester Research chose BBVA Spain’s app as the world’s best and its website as the best in the EU banking sector. And BBVA Valora, BBVA's specialized home buying tool, was among the standout features noted by Forrester. BBVA Valora View rounds off the tools range of functionalities, as it allows customers and non-customers to find the house of their dreams thanks to the use of augmented reality.
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