Business and Information Services
We immerse ourselves in understanding our customers so we can provide clear insight to better manage their business.
The Business and Information Services segment serves U.S. lenders, servicers and insurers, as well as customers in the energy, oil and gas, telecommunications and utility industries. As a leading provider of mortgage services, Business and Information Services is a trusted partner to lenders who need to quickly and accurately value properties, process and service loans, collect and pay property taxes, understand flood risk, manage default-related vendors and reduce (asset-management) costs. We also help property and casualty insurance companies assess natural hazard risk and assist oil and gas companies, utilities and telecommunications companies with accurate and sophisticated geospatial and regulatory information.
A Conversation with Barry Sando, Group Executive for Business and Information Services:
Barry, how has Business and Information Services secured and retained so many major customers?
We have long-standing relationships with many of our customers and serve them reliably and effectively. We improve their business outcomes by delivering insight that helps them identify risk and add flexibility that helps them reduce costs.
Lenders who process tens of thousands of loan transactions a month need instant access to accurate, up-to-date information every day, no exceptions. They know we can provide that seamlessly, in a format best suited for their needs. Because we provide tools that help lenders and servicers throughout the mortgage life cycle, we understand the entire process from their points of view. These close partnerships enable us to adapt to each customer’s changing needs. And in volatile and difficult times, such as we’ve seen in the past few years, that flexibility has served our customers well.
“Because we provide tools that help lenders and servicers throughout the mortgage life cycle, we understand the entire process from their points of view.”
For example, mortgage default rates have soared, burdening many servicers with unprecedented work volumes and risk levels. When a borrower struggles to pay a loan, servicers rely on our decision tools to develop the best path of assistance through a loan modification process. And if a borrower defaults on a loan, lenders depend on our default-management tools, such as Vendorscape®, to identify, manage and understand the services and vendors they’ll use during the default process. We also are building strong customer relationships in a new market—insurance—using the same approach we developed with mortgage lenders and servicers, working side by side to understand their business needs and respond with relevant, reliable and precise information. The success of this approach is illustrated by the solid demand we’ve seen for our natural hazard risk products.
- Industry leader in flood and tax mortgage services
- Significant growth in BPO and REO businesses
- Growing demand for default-management technologies
- Created a national earthquake analytic
- Awarded patent for GIS-based population assessment methodology
Describe some of the innovations coming from your team in 2010.
One example is in the area I just mentioned, loan modifications. Our Default and technology group developed Intellimods™, an industry-first system that automates how lenders make loan modification decisions, based on a customized set of business rules. Intellimods makes this process faster and easier compared to existing methods that may require a manual data lookup from traditional spreadsheets. Our customers have been quick to adopt this tool, and we expect that level of interest to continue in 2011. Our geospatial business launched several new natural hazard products in 2010, including a state-of-theart national earthquake model. We also were awarded a patent for a GIS-based population assessment methodology—an important technology with a variety of applications in a number of industries. These additions to our already-strong flood product line offer a unique geospatial suite to our insurance, energy and utility customers; one that enables more accurate, granular, and simultaneous risk assessment of an individual property for projected natural hazards.
How did Business and Information Services perform in 2010?
The word that best summarizes our performance in 2010 is “resilience.” While mortgage originations were down about 22 percent from 2009, our revenues declined by only about 2 percent. We benefited from strong market share among the largest lenders, solid performance from our default-technology products and services, and a healthy mix of mortgage application-related product revenue. In addition, we enjoyed solid growth in markets unrelated to mortgage, driven by our geospatial products.
What will drive the segment’s growth in 2011 and beyond?
Business and Information Services will grow over the long term by building market share in our origination and defaultservicing businesses. We’ll do that by continuing to serve our customers’ needs better than the competition. It’s important to note that as mortgage originations volumes return, lenders may be hesitant to ramp up their internal operations. We are prepared to respond with technologies and services to meet growing demand for those companies who choose to partner with us. In addition, we expect to benefit from our investments in geospatial innovation in markets outside the mortgage industry, such as insurance. And we are making it a priority to streamline and improve our cost structure to keep prices competitive, while providing customers with higher quality and more choices. We also expect to benefit from revenue improvements in the default business, where we believe we’re especially well positioned. CoreLogic is one of the top three suppliers of broker price opinions, and our real estate owned (REO) services group provides asset-management disposition for three of the top four servicers. Our recent acquisition of RealtyBid™, a leading online REO bidding site, will further bolster this position. We are also developing new technologies that we believe will increase our footprint in the default-services market.
Is international expansion an important part of your growth strategy?
We see opportunity in Latin America, where economic growth has created rising asset values and a growing middle class that demands better government services, which consequently require improved property tax records and collection rates. We are currently operating a tax-program trial in Mexico, and we are looking for opportunities to expand throughout Latin America. In Europe, our geospatial team is increasing its revenue from European reinsurers who need U.S. natural hazard information, and we are actively seeking new customers and potential new markets there as well.
Finally, Barry, what is it that makes you most optimistic about Business and Information Services’ prospects?
Our people. In the end, everything we’ve discussed—customer relationships, unique analytics, innovation and expansion—occurs because of the hard work and dedication of our employees. Everyone within the Business and Information Services