The Evolving Role of Content Providers in the Property Ecosystem
Companies in the property ecosystem—lenders, insurers, property management companies and others—use data and information from content providers to drive improved consumer experience through automated workflows, streamlined processing and expedited risk assessment. However, the role of content providers has significantly changed in the past few years.
For example, in most cases, consumers shopping for property insurance no longer have to fill out extensive questionnaires because content providers are able to give insurance carriers property characteristics that pre-fill most of the fields necessary to generate a homeowner policy quote. However, based on the evolution of the consumer experience in other aspects of their lives such as the sharing economy with transportation and vacation rentals, streaming content services and social media ubiquity, there has been a surge of demand for radically different consumer experiences with companies that service the property space. Especially considering that for most people, a home is the most significant asset they will own.
For content providers supporting the property insurance space, the legacy business model focused on collecting and processing of tabular information from various sources in the economy, as well as the ability to develop robust workflow management systems for clients to interact with that content.
The consumer demand for a better, faster experience is driving the evolution in both the business model and how that model is fulfilled. There are two areas where this evolution is especially predominant—a change in workflows of how consumers want to engage with their banks, insurance carriers and other service providers, as well as what content is required to enable that engagement.
Content providers should perform automated and accurate imagery extraction, using machine learning-concepts, and aggregate it with traditional data sources to generate complete and accurate datasets
Consumer engagement model change is driven by consumers to mirror their typical digital experience and a desire to simplify their interaction with a service provider, often wanting that interaction to be mobile first. Moreover, consumers want their interaction to be personalized–“I will give you my personal information in exchange for services that are very much tailored to me.”
For service providers, this evolution in consumer behavior demands the deep need for skills and mastery of mobile technologies, as well as consumer content-driven, dynamic, rules-based workflows, which allow consumers to have an easy, personalized interaction with a bank or an insurance company. Moreover, the whole range of multi-channel workflow options has to be supported technologically within a single business transaction. For example, a consumer might want to start an insurance quote online, conduct a self-inspection of the property utilizing a mobile device and finish coverage, limit and deductible selection on the phone with an agent guiding them through decisions.
Content generation and processing: continuing with the insurance example, to enable the required digital consumer experience, accurate and complete content is needed by insurance companies that want to know everything about the person and property as well as all the hazards the property is exposed to. And close enough is simply not good enough anymore. To fulfill that demand, insurance content providers are reinventing how they collect and aggregate content, which is driving a fundamental change in skill sets to support them. Some of those include: Property imagery, such as satellite, aerial, street view and mobile-captured imagery, is becoming more available and current. Having the ability to process and manage imagery and video content is complex on its own. But just having imagery does not directly equate to a simplified workflow. Content providers should perform automated and accurate imagery extraction, using machine learning-concepts, and aggregate it with traditional data sources to generate complete and accurate datasets.
Equally important is having the competence to aggregate social media-generated data. Big data processing and management skill sets are needed to generate meaningful, curated content out of that data.
The ability to process, store, and deliver content through the cloud in a secure manner is becoming standard procedure. Emerging technologies, such as blockchain, are making significant inroads in providing better security for this data and more financial institutions are heading in that direction.
With the evolution of business models comes the need to staff and support technology organizations for the required skills and knowledge to manage that evolution. IT departments within service providers that have traditionally focused on building online workflow management and content delivery systems are now being asked to support mobile technologies, big data processing, imagery and video processing, machine-learning data extraction, and blockchain transaction management. IT leaders need balance and structure in the organization that supports all the legacy workflows, content development and delivery with the skill sets and technology required to support emerging trends.
Key to supporting innovation within the property ecosystem is having partner relationships with multiple providers for each one of these critical technological skill sets, as well as the ability to flex and staff for the next wave of technological advances.