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Keeping Ahead of Climate Change

Jeff Schott, President, and Co-Founder, Earthvisionz

Climate change continues to impact the nation, moreover, the nation’s housing market. Climate-related weather events can strike anywhere, blindsiding many in the process, and the overall loss of life and property is often catastrophic.

And as the climate continues to change, the severity of weather-related events has risen over the past decade. In 2020 alone, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported 22 separate extreme weather disasters, breaking the previous record.

The monetary toll of these climate-related events in 2020 cost the U.S. $95 billion in damages, and since 1980, extreme climate events have cost in excess of $2 trillion.

DS News recently had a chance to speak with Jeff Schott, President, and Co-Founder of Earthvisionz, to discuss the impact of these climate-related events on the housing market, and what lies ahead for the risk assessment sector in terms of technology for the years to come.

Earthvisionz is a provider of data, including live feeds, overlaid onto specific geographic locations, resulting in significantly increased workflow efficiency and productivity, decreased costs, and the ability for customers to make timely and better-informed business decisions. The company has developed a robust set of visual asset management and decision support products for property management and property preservation, real estate, insurance, banking, transportation, sports, and communications industries where assets are widely dispersed and up-to-the-minute data on those assets, by specific location, is critical for information sharing and decision making.

Earthvisionz was born as Waterstone Environmental Engineering, and built one of the world’s first virtual Earth content management systems for the U.S. Air Force, then spun out as its own startup in recognition of great demand for such a capability. Waterstone’s goal was to provide creative business solutions in environmental consulting (hydrology, human and ecological risk assessment, and GIS) as well as geospatial consulting services. Earthvisionz has commercialized the USAF base management system to deliver powerful interactive live maps.

Schott brings 25 years of media and advertising experience to Earthvisionz, and is involved in all management operations, as well as product development and public relations for the company. Schott is an experienced investor with a history of working in the computer software industry. He is a strong business development professional, skilled in sales, management, start-ups, leadership, and marketing.

How is the Earthvisionz team working to improve efficiencies within the industry to attract and retain new talent and improve the economic model for those that have remained in this sector?
Schott: Earthvisionz works to improve efficiencies by helping our clients automate what formerly were manual processes. Technology advances have made it possible to receive weather data at a sub-ZIP code level in alert format for any event that is affecting properties. Earthvisionz snow and temperature alerting system helps our customers know, with precision, what properties need to be shoveled. We also attach local fine ordinances to the alert to help vendors respond in the right order, increasing work orders and helping the lenders avoid fines.

What are the most important challenges facing your company in the year ahead, and how are you working to surmount them?
Schott: Critical challenges facing our company in the coming year include continually finding ways to help our clients make and save money with inventories still low, but expected to steadily rise over the next two years. We have advanced Drivetracker, our route optimization app, to help property inspectors optimize routes and avoid weather and construction hazards, saving time and money. V-Alert is continually being enhanced to provide precise weather data before, during and after severe weather events and enabling our clients to communicate with their lending customers in real-time.

About Author: Eric C. Peck

Eric C. Peck has 20-plus years’ experience covering the mortgage industry, he most recently served as Editor-in-Chief for The Mortgage Press and National Mortgage Professional Magazine. Peck graduated from the New York Institute of Technology where he received his B.A. in Communication Arts/Media. After graduating, he began his professional career with Videography Magazine before landing in the mortgage space. Peck has edited three published books and has served as Copy Editor for Entrepreneur.com.

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