Rosalind Nair is a Senior Underwriter with Travelers Insurance Company of Canada in the New Home Warranty department. With 10 years of experience in the real estate industry, Rosalind has developed a strong skill set for assessing risk, business development, and portfolio management. Prior to her role at Travelers Canada, she worked as an Accounting Assistant at MPC Intelligence Inc., a firm which provides real time home market data to the real estate industry in Western Canada. Rosalind joined the CREW Vancouver network as a new member this year and we are thrilled to have her vibrant spirit and years of experience to share with the CREW community.
Q & A with Rosalind Nair
What inspired you to join CREW?
I spoke with the current CREW President at an industry event and was thrilled to hear of a strong group of women that represent so many different segments of the real estate industry, coming together to propel women in real estate. I also love to meet new people and believe you can only gain from networking and strengthening relationships. It helped that the process for becoming a member was straightforward.
In your first year as a member, what have you gained from CREW?
It has already become so clear how instrumental this network will be in my career. It’s inspiring to join with a group of women who really have it all together – it makes me want to do more! At the new member breakfast, we didn’t just talk about real estate, we also talked about life challenges. The support and care that everyone showed made me realize that I was not only going to establish business connections, but lifelong friendships.
Can you describe the role of underwriting and the skills required?
New Home Warranty is a mandatory legislated product that must be provided by builders or developers on all new homes in BC. Without this coverage, a builder or developer cannot pick up their building permit to start construction.
The New Home Warranty product that Travelers Canada provides for single and multifamily home builders or developers is quite different than more commonly known insurance products such as personal, car or home insurance. New Home Warranty is provided by the builder or developer but it is to the benefit of the homeowner. It is not home insurance and it is not purchased by the homeowner, but protects the consumer against warrantable construction defects.
Warranty underwriting is a two-step process, it involves a financial review of the key shareholders and/or companies involved in the project, primarily through the review of net worth and financial statements. So having a background in finance with an ability to analyze and a good eye for detail is valuable. The second step is an assessment by our technical team. For example, when reviewing a single family home builder, we look at their experience, qualifications and after-sales customer service. The review of a multifamily developer is a more in-depth process. Not only do we look at their experience and qualifications, but we look at the condo project itself. Some of the key items we consider are architectural plans, the team of consultants and the geotechnical report to name a few.
Another product that we offer is Deposit Protection Insurance which through the Real Estate Developer Marketing Act (REDMA) allows builders or developers to have access to the purchasers’ deposits for the payment of projects costs. The underwriting process for this product is similar to warranty underwriting but also involves a review of the project proforma, lenders commitment letter, existing sales data and deposits received and the feasibility study.
As an Underwriter, is it important to not only service my existing portfolio of clients, but make new business connections. This is a big part of my role at Travelers Canada, so having market knowledge and keeping up with current housing trends is very important.
What is the one piece of advice you have for young women beginning their career in the real estate industry?
Work hard. Keep your head down and do your absolute best. When you’re starting off young, you often get the tasks that aren’t fun, but it’s important to know that hard work really does pay off in the end. All of those little tasks will help round out your experience for future roles.
Have you read a great book recently that you would recommend?
Being the geek that I am, I’ve recently become very intrigued with Elon Musk and would recommend reading his biography.