ERGO Real Estate Loan faster thanks to AI

Digitalization & innovation, 22.02.2019

The new paperless ERGO Real Estate Finance is a prime example of the use of artificial intelligence (AI): Two software solutions recognise a wide variety of documents and process them reliably. It helps everyone: Customers, colleagues and sales partners. Eckehard Schulz, Head of Real Estate Finance: "In this way, we intend to leverage the growth potential of this important business segment for ERGO".


In just one day from credit application to final approval - a dream come true? Not for ERGO Real Estate Finance. This ambitious goal will soon become a reality. Two new software applications have recently been introduced: ImmoScan for loan documents and ImmoSmart for customer data and the approval process. These two systems recognise a wide variety of documents - from building applications to land charges -, arrange them digitally and check whether the ERGO financing rules are being complied with.

The time advantage: the sales partner sends the credit application to ERGO at nine in the morning at the push of a button, and ideally knows by 5 p.m. whether it has been approved. Previously, this process took much longer, usually several days. With the risk that the prospective customer looked in the meantime for another offerer.

The market has changed - and ERGO is among the leaders

Today's credit customers demand a trouble-free, traceable process. And, of course, that her appli-cation will be dealt with quickly. This is what sales partners and broker platforms also want. Howev-er, it is not easy to meet this requirement when it comes to construction financing: The complete application often comprises more than 100 pages - personal data, real estate details, work con-tracts, modernisation documents. Sometimes as a letter, as a mail, as a fax or as a mobile phone photo.

This flood of data spills over onto the ERGO clerk's table. He must now decide: Where does the information come from, where does it belong, are the details conclusive?

Until now, this has been a tedious as well as lengthy task: Recognizing documents, entering data, arranging topic packages and searching for missing information in various places (Excel files, ex-ternal systems, etc.) - and entering everything manually. The days go by. In the meantime, sales partners and customers are eagerly awaiting a decision and impatiently asking about the status of processing.

Now that's over: the sales partner transfers the customer's stack of documents to the broker plat-form and selects ERGO as the credit provider. The agent recognizes that a request is coming and downloads the contents. ImmoScan scans the incoming information and in many cases immediate-ly recognizes what kind of document it is. The clerk can now edit the documents directly on the screen - separate them, rotate them, rename them or change the order. "It's all much faster and more digital now," enthuses Stefan Ränkel, Product Owner for the Real Estate Financing division, "We are striving to achieve the highest possible degree of automation. Because the software is con-stantly learning new things. It works more and more precisely, and the documents pass through the process from the client to the ERGO loan officer more and more quickly.

ImmoSmart works in parallel with ImmoScan: this second application supports ERGO colleagues in deciding whether or not to approve a loan application. ImmoSmart checks whether documents and customer data are consistent, whether the information in the system matches the documents sub-mitted and whether the ERGO requirements for a loan have been met. ImmoSmart warns if a field of the data mask is not or not correctly filled in. Bernhard Müller, Project Manager "ImmoSmart does a lot of work for us, as the employees already notice when something is wrong when they enter and check the data".

If everything is in order, the clerk forwards the credit application digitally to the approver. If the deci-sion is also positive, the customer receives a financing offer. Ideally within one day.

Profit from customers, colleagues and sales partners

ImmoScan has been in use since June, ImmoSmart since December. The software works stable. Larger problems are solved immediately by the team, smaller deficiencies are eliminated in a four-week rhythm. The goal now is to further improve the processes and to standardize them for daily use. However, most credit applications are now being processed more quickly by the approvers than before. In the course of the year, the team plans to upgrade the software with additional func-tions.

It is already clear that paperless real estate financing benefits everyone:

  • Colleagues: You can now work faster and more effectively. The software arranges the documents to be checked according to the same system. This standardization facilitates and accelerates the work process - by up to two working days.
  • Sales partners: You no longer need to send thick stacks of paper to ERGO, but can incorporate and forward all information electronically. In addition, intermediaries can now quickly inform their cus-tomers about the status of financing - and no longer have to worry about losing them to competitors because of an excessively long waiting period.
  • Customers: We are looking for a fast reacting and reliable financing partner. With ERGO, they can rest assured that their application will be processed quickly - and no longer have to flirt with multiple loan providers.
  • ERGO: The company wins new business and grows in the area of real estate financing. The new, accelerated process convinces sales partners and clients who expect exactly that from ERGO. Eckehard Schulz, Head of Real Estate Finance: "For ERGO, completely paperless construction financing - from application to credit check - is no longer a dream of the future, but within reach. Who works here fast, has the best chances on the market and gets more business."
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