PI: I completely agree with Mr. Lazarov that there is anything entirely novel has appeared on the market during Covid. Moreover, some already existing technologies came under the spotlight because of the pandemic. An example I can give is a technology which is relatively old, but now we use it more and more often, namely digital signature. Pre-Covid we used it mainly to make subscriptions. Now we sign contracts, NDAs, offers, whatever document types. This is good example of an existing technology which was underutilized as compared to today.
SP: In the last year EOS Matrix Bulgaria has also introduced some new tech solutions. This is the reason why we invited you because both Postbank, and EOS Matrix Bulgaria – both of you were very innovative in this stressful time. And this is in contrast to other companies that just shrinked, get a step back, and waited for the wave just to go away. But you were very proactive. Tell us more about your technologies, and why you invested in these tech solutions.
PI: In 2020 we launched our web platform for selling distressed real estate. The technologies we implemented are digital property tours, 3D scanning of a property, drone video shots and pictures. We do all these for our clients. Now clients want to make their own research rather than speaking with an officer or agent who presents the property to them. This saves the disappointment in case of a mismatch between the agent’s words and the expectations of the client when s/he sees the property. Now we upgrade the information we give to our clients and to save their time.
SP: Postbank has introduced a completely digital mortgage center, thus digitizing the whole residential lending process. How much the interaction with the client is digitized in your platform?
PI: Some of the transactions are not digitized yet. We believe that for our business the real transaction still has to remain a real transaction. The approach we have in this field is how we present the property, how we communicate with the clients, and the information we provide them before the property visit, that is, the sales part. We want to save our clients’ time and be more transparent.
SP: What technologies do you see in our sector, not only the ones you as a company plan, in the year ahead?
PI: We believe that these are sell service digital technologies will be more and more implemented in the short-term future. The reasons are the same as I mentioned above: clients are more and more complicated; they want to do their own research; want to receive more information. As an example I can give 2 projects which we launched soon. One is short animated educational videos; 1-2 minutes’ videos in which we explain to our clients different real estate topics, e.g. how to buy a property in auction. The second project is the webinars and we started them with the same purpose.
SP: So, very intensively educating your customers.
PI: Yes, yes, using technologies.
DM: I cannot think of something totally brand new coming to life. Rather, certain technologies got the unique chance to get spotlighted in way that was much harder for them to achieve pre-Covid. Respectively, this exposure significantly increased their adoption rate and allowed them to get on the track to become a mainstream. As a fellow IT colleague has put it nicely, I quote by memory, “Technologically we were ready for that maybe some 7-10 years ago, but the current way of thinking was not there”.
Naturally, most of these are the once addressing the limitations imposed by the pandemic – social distancing, reduced face-to-face communication, much less travel and mobility.
Very good example for such a technology is the one allowing us to conclude a legally valid contract without ever leaving our home – it has been around for quite a while, but only in the last year key players like banks started adopting it at scale.
One more good example of a technology that saw a wave of adoption was VR /AR as it bridges to a significant extent the inability to physically visit a location.