Risky Business

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take 5 Creative Concepts As the CEO of Valuation Vision, Shane Copeland is focused on answering the industry's need for valid valuation services. He's worked in the mortgage sector for more than 20 years and has a few ideas on how flexibility will help his business set a standard of trust in the valuation space. M // You have an extensive background in developing valuation solutions for consumers and businesses. What emerging trends are on the horizon for the valuation industry? Copeland // In our world, it depends if you're talking about products. On the product side, there's a movement towards hybrid products, which are e-valuation products that include some data gathering from multiple resources, including an appraiser. We're really working hard to make sure we have a strong foothold in those products as they go forward. Additionally, what we see is that the . . . risks have gotten higher in a lot of our default, capital markets, and valuation is more important than ever before. The reason why we started Valuation Vision is because the validation of valuation—people didn't trust [the products]. So we set out data technology products that really build in validation at every step of the process, and we cross-validate everything. We don't trust anyone, and we don't take anyone's word for 14 | The M Report it. That's because [we have] products that clients can rely on [and that] show them how we've substantiated where we ended up. We're really focused on reconciling and validating everything we do. M // The economic collapse in 2008 affected every industry, especially the housing sector. How has Valuation Vision weathered the ups and downs of the market? Copeland // That's simple for us because we're not a 10-year-old company. We're just over two years old. We built the company to be flexible and to be adaptive, unlike other companies in the market where you have a gigantic structure and a big ship to turn. We're very flexible, very entrepreneurial. [With] the market shifting to new products, we're able to adjust, build things on the fly, and then provide good solutions to our clients. We benefitted greatly by being the new kid on the block. We've taken the approach that everything we do can be completely torn apart and rebuilt at a moment's notice. We built our system internally to be modular, meaning we can pick and choose what we want. Everything we do is [like] Lego blocks, [where] we can tear those blocks and build them back up any way we want. We're built for this market; ups and downs are actually to our benefit. M // What is Valuation Vision doing to address the wide array of policy issues, which your company and its clients face in day-to-day business? Copeland // I think we're seeing changes in the market due to all sorts of pressures. It's really just that risks are higher now because [consumer are] not getting things at discount. So my clients are very concerned [that valuations are] right. How we're dealing with that is crossvalidation—[not trusting] any particular person's opinion and making sure the clients can trust what we're sending to them. M // On a national level, what housing market trends, both positive and negative, are you observing in the current real estate climate? Copeland // There are several micro-markets around the country where you're seeing price increases. In many places, we're working on some trades, where you'll come in to value it and they'll add another 6 percent on top of whatever the market comes back. We're seeing prices going up in capital markets. Is that supply still out there? Yes, but where? We're seeing movement to the REO-to-rental programs. But in all honesty, with the shortening supply and the values coming up, it becomes more and more appealing for people to purchase the property if they can get the financing. M // What communication and leadership methods are you utilizing to help your team and your clients remain forward-thinking while operating in an unpredictable marketplace? Copeland // The culture we have at the company [is that] we're all very entrepreneurial, and we're all very creative people. We all come from different aspects in the industry. We have a culture of creativity, we have a culture of dream big, we have a culture of not accepting the way things are working if they are not satisfying the clients' needs. We choose to surround ourselves with people that are very, very smart and very, very creative. We encourage them to share ideas and to communicate. There are so many companies out there with different products, and people just accept it because it's the same as it always was. For us, that's not good enough. We really are out to become the new standard in BPO and BPO valuation technology on the default servicing side. It's engrained in our culture; it's just who we set out to be. So every day, [we ask] what's new? How can we change the process? We look at it on a holistic level. It's just the nature of our people.

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