New App Helps New Home Buyers With Their Decision

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A 2018 ICTA nomination

Toronto, ON (Jan. 12, 2018) – Quickly 5 star rated, the mobile app Home to Be was released by The Co-operators Group Limited to the Apple Store in September 2017 to support a pilot phase in Ontario.  Home to Be is a free app and provides essential information that helps Ontario homebuyers in their biggest purchase decision – buying a home.  It is value add to consumers with links to Cooperators products and services.  It helps consumers with home buying jitters to know more about properties they are interested in such as home value, anticipated repair costs, estimated insurance needs, neighbourhood trends and more.

Inspiration for Home to Be came from three key factors:

  1. Growth in the housing market and mortgage marketplace.
  2. Ability to carve a niche as a thought leader/trusted advisor in the home buying process, especially for millennials with little-to-no home-buying experience.
  3. Opportunity to attract first-time homebuyers to credit unions for their mortgage and other financial needs, and The Co-operators for their insurance needs.

The Project

The Co-operators launched Home to Be – a new mobile app that gives Ontario homebuyers all the information they need to make a smart purchasing decision.

The Co-operators and CUMIS worked together and with partners to create a digital ecosystem that brings together all the essentials – money, mortgage, real estate valuation, repair assessments, legal expertise, insurance information and more. Users type in the address of the home they’re interested in and the app provides information, consumers need to understand everything they need to know about the property:

  • A range of home value estimates based on similar properties sold in the neighbourhood – so clients have a better sense of what the home’s worth.
  • Possible repair costs to anticipate – roof, windows, wiring, etc.… so clients aren’t surprised after they move in.
  • Estimated insurance premiums.
  • Neighbourhood trends, such as safety scores, average home appreciation/depreciation in the community and growth trends.

They took a nimble and iterative approach to developing and testing the app, to cater to customer centric needs that The Co-operators and CUMIS believe will have a positive impact on their clients. Their approach mirrors agile development to continually learn to determine and develop future plans for Home to Be.

The B2C app Home To Be can be downloaded from the App Store; was designed and built in partnership with IBM Design Thinking and Bluemix Garage.

About The Co-operators

The Co-operators is a leading Canadian, diversified, integrated, multi-line insurance and financial services co-operative with $44.9 billion in assets under administration. The company operates in three core areas: Property and Casualty (P&C) insurance, Life insurance and institutional investments. They are supported by 4,992 employees and a dedicated financial advisor network with 2,753 licensed insurance representatives throughout Canada. They also serve approximately 300 credit unions with more than 5.5 million members.

About CUMIS Group

The CUMIS Group Limited (CUMIS) partners with credit unions to deliver competitive insurance and financial solutions. In doing so, it creates financial security and promotes the growth and success of the credit union system in Canada. As the leading provider of insurance-related products and services to the Canadian credit union system, CUMIS serves approximately 380 credit unions, with a total of more than five million members.

About IBM

IBM (NYSE: IBM) is one of the largest technology, services and consulting organizations. We help clients of all sizes and in all industries transform their operations through the use of technology, infusing intelligence into the systems that run our businesses, our society and the world. Visit www.ibm.ca for more information.

SOURCE:  The Co-operators Group Limited

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