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Fiugot, FNF Canada’s fintech company is pleased to announce the launch of TopSchools and the release of their first School Report. By working in partnership with the Fraser Institute data and leveraging FNF’s data scientists,  TopSchools mission is to equip home buyers and sellers with insight on school data to make better decisions when buying a home. 

There are many factors that are taken into consideration when searching for a home and finding great school districts is a major one. Currently, the process is cumbersome in trying to connect school data rankings to home listings in order to make the best purchase choice. Home prices are sold at a premium in top school districts, so available data and giving additional insight can help families make an informed home buying decision.

However, school rankings alone are not valuable in determining the quality of the school and ultimately making a home purchasing choice. TopSchools is unique in that it will benchmark the school data by city, region, and provincial level to help home buyers put this information in perspective. This will make it easier the home buying process easier thanks to Top Schools ability to make school ranking data easy to understand.  

Combined with real estate market data and partnerships with Real Estate Brokerages, TopSchools intends to help consumers make more informed decisions about schools and also help Realtors with added information to educate their clients during the home buying process. 

Searching for a home in a good school district is a long difficult process, but it does not have to be, thanks to TopSchools. Stay tuned for TopSchoool reports and data to make the home buying process faster, easier and more knowledgeable.   

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Fiugot

We try to stay on top of innovative trends and practices in our industry. One of the ways we do that is by following established experts and influencers on social media. In this post, we’ve compiled a shortlist of people we actively follow and recommend to anyone looking for valuable industry insights. 


Please note that these lists are not intended to be exhaustive or exclusive – they’re simply a starting point. You can also check out our Top 100 lists for each of the topics below on Twitter. 

Fintech

While we pay attention to specialty areas such as lendtech and payments, fintech is at the core of who we are and what we do. Here are some of the must-follow influencers in fintech around the world.

For these and more, check out our Fintech Twitter list here

Canadian Fintech & Startups

So much more than simply digitizing existing financial products, fintech involves re-inventing the whole landscape…and Canada knows it. Whether is recognizing different needs and responding accordingly, or raising the curtain for a worldwide stage, Canadian fintech has a lot to offer. Forward thinking and intuitive, these influencers are working to lead our industry into the future.

For more, check out our Canadian Fintech Twitter list here.

Lendtech

With a noticeable transition towards mobile preference and the fact that consumers have more selection than ever before, lendtech is crucial to the future of lending. In our recent top reads post, we shared six of the best articles we’ve come across on  lendtech and here we suggest following these trusted influencers. They will help keep you informed so you don’t get left behind.

For these and more, check out our Lendtech Twitter list here

Proptech

From the recent post on our blog, you’ll know that ‘proptech’ as a term that is more commonly used in the UK, but it is catching on in North America (where it’s more commonly referred to as ‘CRE tech’). We suggest following these influencers to help keep you in the loop.

For these and more, check out our Proptech Twitter list here.

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Fiugot
Financial statements are an important tool to help better understand either your personal financial success or failure, or that of a business. Generally, financial statements communicate what money is coming in, what money is going out, and where money is now. Namely, there are four main kinds of financial statements, which include: balance sheets, income statements, cash flow statements, and statements of shareholder’s equity. Although they can seem daunting, financial statements can provide efficient and useful information – if you know where to look!  

1.    Decide what to Read
At first glance, financial statements can have an overwhelming amount of information; offering insights on highlights, trends, providing footnotes, definitions, and even historical summaries! If all of this information seems overwhelming – you’re not alone in feeling this way. If you are looking to get the general idea of a financial statement in the case of a business, look over the highlights as well as the letter from the CEO in order to get the general idea and themes of the financial statement. 

2.    Brush up on your Accounting Vocabulary
In order to better the financial health of a company, it’s imperative that the reader understands the income statement, balance sheet, and statement of cash flows- the core of any financial document. Before beginning to read any of these documents, it’s best that the reader becomes somewhat fluent in financial statement and accounting jargon. 

3.    Don’t forget about the Footnotes
If you don’t have time to go through all of the different sections of a company’s financial statements, the footnotes can be a wealth of information. The footnotes to financial statements typically includes a variety of information, such as significant accounting practices and policies, income taxes, pension plans and other retirement programs, as well as stock options. 

4.    Don’t skip the MD&A
The MD&A, or the “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations”, provides investors with a view of the company’s financial performance. This section is useful in understanding what the financial statement’s show or don’t show, in addition to risks, trends and predictions.
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Fiugot
The introduction of Blockchain technology has had an incredible impact on various industries; allowing a number of innovative opportunities to be introduced throughout the process. Most recently, the idea of constructing land registries on Blockchain technology is being explored as an interesting use case. Globally, countries such as Sweden and Honduras among others, have already begun to explore the viability of building land registries on Blockchain. 

Traditionally, land title registries within many states have been documented either digitally or on paper; of which, both options have proven vulnerable to a number of issues. Most notably, problems such as ‘bad titles’, lost or inaccurate records, as well as corruption and inefficiency, have motivated states to investigate the feasibility of implementing Blockchain technology for creating land title registries. The application of Blockchain technology, which employs a network of distributed databases, will aid in resolving many of the hurdles that states are currently facing with traditional systems. 

Honduras for instance, has historically had concerns with land title fraud; most cases involving bureaucrats taking advantage of the state’s system in order to receive favorable properties. Recently, the Honduran government has allowed an American company to build a land title record system using Blockchain technology. With the benefit of some of Blockchain’s features, such as the use of hashes to identify every real estate transaction, as well as it’s immutable quality, the land title registry process will become significantly more efficient, secure and transparent. Additionally, in cases of natural disasters, employing a network of distributable databases for land title registries, will aid in the process of recovering lost records. 

Sweden is another example of a state that has found success in adopting Blockchain technology for the construction of land title registries. After two years of testing, the Swedish government successfully completed the first Blockchain technology property transaction. The most significant result of this experiment, was the ability of Blockchain technology to dramatically cut down the time it took to register the sale of property. Within the traditional structure of land-ownership in Sweden, a digital system, the average time it took to register a sale took anywhere between three to six months. In contrast, with the use of a Blockchain system, it only took a few hours. 

Blockchain technology continues to reveal enormous potential for the creation of land title registries. The technology continues to prove to be more efficient, secure, and transparent than traditional systems, as well as a reliable choice for governments around the world.
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Fiugot
Before exploring open houses, it’s important to make yourself familiar with real estate services and information available to you, in order to be well prepared when entering the real estate market. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell your home, there are a number of useful resources to help you. Check out a few of our favorites below!

1. The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA)

The Canadian Real Estate Association or CREA, is an amazing resource for Canadians who either want to buy or sell their home. They offer helpful advice, as well as educational videos on topics such as fixed vs. variable rate mortgages, in addition to a number of others. CREA also provides up to date and reliable housing market statistics, that can be helpful throughout the buying or selling process. 

2. Realtor.ca

Whether you’re buying or selling, Realtor.ca is a reliable, safe, and CREA affiliated real estate site, trusted by hundreds of Canadians. If you’re buying or selling a home, Realtor.ca offers the latest home listings, as well as allows sellers to compare home prices within their area. If you’re looking for a trusted realtor, Realtor.ca also helps Canadians find the right Real Estate professional with their free Realtor search service! 

3. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) 

If you have questions concerning housing and mortgage insurance, CMHC is a great resource to learn more about what you can afford, general requirements, and how much insurance will cost.

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Fiugot
Considered a success story of financial services disruption, lendtech is worth learning more about. We have sourced the following six articles to help give a better understanding of lendtech and to review some of the benefits and potential opportunities of this growing online business segment.

What the Heck is Lendtech? 
If you’re just learning or want a simple refresh, this is a good place to begin. This articles covers the basics of lendtech, how it’s disrupting traditional players in the industry, what gives it its edge along with some challenges it faces along the way. Read more

Forbes Fintech 50 2018: The Future Of Lending
Consumers have a wider selection of lending providers than ever before. Current trends show that alternative, digital lenders are receiving a larger piece of that pie. As big banks pulled back on personal and small business loans during the financial crisis, the door was kicked open for alternative lenders to make their move. Nine of Forbes’ Top 50 lenders for 2018 are alternative, tech lenders. Even massive organizations such as Goldman Sachs and and Amazon are making changes to emulate digital lenders’ success. Read more

Digital Lending Must Go Beyond Eliminating Paper
Eliminating paper is far from the only objective a firm should have when planning their digital transformation. The process offers ideal opportunity to review the whole system and use digitization as a way to improve current practices, rather than simply re-creating the same, potentially inefficient, processes. Truly understanding the relationship between clients and lenders and what each requires (the ‘why’ and the ‘how’) at each step in the lending process are critical components of effectively maximizing digitization for everyone’s benefit. Read more

Why Marketplace Lending Needs Less Transparency, Not More
“Consumers receive better choice, better access and often better pricing for unsecured loans than they would generally be able to secure easily through the traditional bank-based system.” However, balance is needed. Lendtech companies are more transparent with more data available to clients. Savvy investors use this to their advantage while less savvy clients may not have the same understanding – leading to poor results and creating an unfair playing field. Lendtech companies need to find the balance between giving enough information to attract savvy consumers, but not too much to deter less sophisticated investors. Read more

Credit Bureaus Aren’t Going Anywhere for Now
Despite some speculation that banks may be looking for alternatives, data shows that for now, credit bureaus maintain a solid grasp on their long-established position. To move away from this model would take major change, however that doesn’t mean it will never happen. “Until banks find that traditional credit reports and credit scores no longer provide decent performance and low-enough default, they’re unlikely to chuck them.” Read more

Kabbage Data Shows Mobile is the Future for Small Business Lending
It’s no surprise that mobile devices are changing the landscape of many organizations, including lending. Based on their research, Kabbage stated, “Today, 17 percent of all small business loans and nearly 15 percent of total dollars accessed via Kabbage are through mobile. At this rate, Kabbage predicts one of every five dollars funded to small businesses will be through a mobile device by the end of 2018.” This is a bold prediction worth noting. Read more
The data is clear; lendtech is a growing force. It has opened doors for new, innovative startups as well as one that traditional lenders can use to self-disrupt and effectively digitize their own organizations as we grow into the future.
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Fiugot
For every Canadian, the task of buying a home can seem daunting. Whether you are a first time home buyer, or a veteran home owner, it is best to not cut corners when buying a home. The experience of buying a home can be an exciting one, but in order for it to be a successful process, it is important to be educated and well prepared. No matter what kind of home buying experience you have, here’s what you should know. 

1.     No Question is a Dumb Question
From browsing listings, to the final walk through, home buyers will have many common questions regarding the process. Although the answers to some questions may seem obvious, it’s important to remember that no question is a dumb question when buying a home! Rather than plugging your questions into Google, take the time to ask your bank, a realtor, or trusted professional your questions. Having credible, trusted, and up to date advice, will ensure a smooth and stress-free process. 

2.     Know What You’re Buying
Before you sign a contract, or make a down payment, it’s important to make sure that you know what you’re buying. When buying a home, its natural to feel a sense of urgency – especially when the market is good. Although its exciting to find a home that you love, there can be a number of hidden problems that can cost you thousands. A qualified home inspector can ensure that things such as the properties foundation, wiring, insulation, roof, among other aspects, are up to code and safe. While it may seem like another cost, hiring an inspector will provide you peace of mind- and that’s priceless. 

3.     Make sure your Realtor is a Good fit for You  
Your realtor will be one of the most important aspects of the home buying process. They will help you answer some of your most pressing questions, and hopefully help you find your dream home! It’s important to find someone who not only has experience, but who will make you feel comfortable throughout the process. Make sure to ask for references, and contact them to confirm their experience. 

4.     Know What You Can Afford 
It’s important to know when to walk away in the home buying process. Even if you think that you can afford to go a bit over your budget, it’s important to remember that buying a home comes with a number of additional costs – land transfer taxes, legal fees etc. You will thank yourself later for sticking to your budget!
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Fiugot
PropTech is certainly something the wise real estate professional will want to keep tabs on. We can help. The following articles will clear the fog to help you better understand the proptech concept as well as give many examples and links to quality information to learn more.

The Beginner’s Guide To Commercial Real Estate Tech: What Exactly Is PropTech?
It seems not everyone is clear (or in agreement) on the term “PropTech.” A variety of opinions offer a more comprehensive view of the big picture. In this short article, seven majorcommercial property tech players offer their insights including how we got to where we are and what they each believe is the future of proptech. 

PropTech 3.0: the Future of Real Estate
Professor Andrew Baum has compiled and released this comprehensive document and findings from research via SAID Business School, University of Oxford. It explores PropTech from all aspects and different viewpoints – how it started, where it is now, and where it is going in relation to real estate. This is an extensive document that you may wish to bookmark for future reference. It includes input from “over 50 real estate professionals, entrepreneurs and capital providers” and features an extensive list of companies for reference.

What if Every Building’s DNA Was Recorded on a Blockchain?
In a growing list of possible applications and the call for decentralization and data control, Ian Simpson explores the idea of using blockchain for buildings and apartments in this short read. 

Mortgage Tech 101: What It Is & Why It’s Taking Off Now
In 10 years, the mortgage process is likely to look very different than it does today. There are several reasons for this, including three main drivers CB Insights explores here, but one thing is clear: those who don’t delay to answer the call for change are those most likely to be the top lenders of the future. 

Directory of PropTech companies
This is a great link to save for future reference. At the time of this original post, it included a searchable, filterable resource of 589 PropTech companies including name, phone, website, summary description and sector served. 
For innovation that sets the new standard on connecting finance and technology focused on reshaping mortgage, loan services, and real estate, visit our website and follow us on Twitter.
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In both our personal and professional lives, the decisions we make are directly tied to our success in achieving the goals we set for ourselves. In a perfect world, we’d have the luxury of taking as long as needed to carefully evaluate each of our options, along with their possible outcomes, before committing to one. Sadly, time is often limited and we’re required to make quick decisions with an incomplete picture of the eventual result. As such, it’s imperative we establish a framework from which we evaluate our options to reduce uncertainty and increase the likelihood that we obtain the desired outcome.

Step 1: Have a clear, strategic objective
The first step in making good decisions quickly is to have a clear understanding of what your overall objective is and the strategy you plan to use in achieving it. Knowing your ultimate goal gives you the necessary point of reference from which to evaluate each option and can give you further direction during execution. I’ve found it’s often helpful to reflect on the three W’s in establishing a clear objective: Who will this decision affect? When must this goal be achieved? and What part will require the most attention to see it through? In answering these three questions, you will have a much clearer picture of your end goal and can thus move on to evaluating the possible options.

Step 2: Evaluate the options against the desired outcome
This step involves evaluating each of your different possible courses of action and how they will help you in reaching your goal. There are a number of different ways in which this can be done, however the method I’ve had the most success in using is to simply explain the different options out loud to someone you trust. The act of vocalizing your options forces you to slowly think through each of their possible consequences and how they fit in with your strategic objective from Step 1, in real-time as you explain it to your confidante. It also has the added benefit of forcing you to hear your own reasoning behind each route; sometimes in explaining your logic behind a choice, you discover mistakes that you had not previously seen.

Step 3: Choose your course of action and execute
Imperfect action will always beat perfect inaction. When time is limited and you’ve identified your course of action, it’s important that you fully commit and direct all of your energy towards accomplishing it. Second guessing yourself will not help you in achieving your goals, nor will only partially committing. It’s important to remember that, even with all the time in the world to evaluate each option, there’s no such thing as the perfect solution. You can never be certain on how your choice will play out in reality, simply due to uncontrollable outside factors. The goal in applying this framework to your decision-making process is to increase your chances in achieving your objectives, while reducing the self-doubt imposed from time restrictions.
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Fiugot
Fiugot is an end to end FinTech service provider that is powered and backed by FNF Canada. It is fixated on reshaping the mortgage and loan services space by using innovation to connect finance and technology. Fiugot has recently acquired exclusive access to some of Canada’s most valuable and comprehensive real estate data. This includes invaluable information related to appraisals, registries, school rankings, real estate listings, private listings, and much more.

Armed with this data, Fiugot is in a unique position to extract, analyze, and generate insights on mortgage and loan services on an unprecedented scale. In order to make full use of its resources, Fiugot is seeking innovative partners in financial and technology sectors who share its vision of redefining the way Canadians access and experience financial services.
 
Fiugot’s flair for creativity and capacity to build lasting partnerships, combined with its solution-driven ethic, enables it to deliver unparalleled service to Canadian financial institutions and their clients. It has already done so by digitizing, simplifying and securing rentals for countless landlords and tenants. In addition to its cutting-edge rent secure services, Fiugot’s product spectrum currently includes a wide range of tools including data intelligence, product incubation and appraisal, and digital distribution.

Led by Brian Bell, FNF Canada’s Senior Vice President of Innovation and Data Solutions, Fiugot has an edge for innovation and new product offerings that is rooted in a wealth of industry experience.

“My diverse background in data, innovation and new start-up ventures provides a solid foundation to help launch this exciting new FinTech venture. Fiugot’s partnership with FNF Canada to leverage their IT infrastructure and strategic partnership network  provides our company with instant credibility and scale to help take this new FinTech venture to new heights”

Moreover, through FNF Canada, Fiugot brings with it two decades of expertise in using technology to connect its clients with brokers, lawyers, credit unions and real estate professionals – not to mention giving people the data and told to improve their home buying or renting experience.  

Fiugot has the resources, experience, and trust to take on extraordinary projects and partnerships that other FinTech companies can only dream of. By foraging new partnerships, Fiugot can use its privileged position for good and lead its clients into a future where finance and technology are connected by innovation.
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