January 2016 - Out of the Woods

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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28 | TH E M R EP O RT FEATURE a decade. Some felt the reason their fees hadn't improved was a result of AMC proliferation post Dodd-Frank. Few, if any, placed the responsibility for fee stagnation on the dilution of the appraiser's value proposition that had historically been made to the mortgage lending process. This is unequivocally the most underrated contributing factor. As an example, imagine a world where the appraiser could read the mind of the AMC reviewer or the lenders' collateral underwriter, thus allowing the appraiser to respond proactively to questions that would oth - erwise have been asked after submitting the completed report. In this case, would the AMC or lender still need to stack the same number of resources up against the review or underwrite function? Would they be able to reduce the capital expenditure on these roles? Would that freed- up capital now find its way into the appraiser's pocket? Though no one can say definitively what will transpire in this type of future state, it seems far more plausible than if we were to continue with the status quo. By giving appraisers the means to see the completed report in the same manner as those responsible for reviewing their output, you could reduce, if not eliminate, the tête-à-tête between appraiser, reviewer, and under - writer that continues to plague the process. By improving upon the resources available to ap- praisers and the technology they have at their disposal, you may even get more youthful interest in the profession. The fact is, until AMCs and lenders feel confident that they no longer need to scrutinize the opinions of the appraisers they're engaging as a means to miti - gate their exposure to collateral risk, the fee being paid to the originating appraiser isn't going to realize the kind of vertical elasticity that's needed to satiate the residential appraiser. To the tech firms that oper - ate in the appraisal production arena: Let's give appraisers the proverbial ice axe they'll need to summit the peak we call ap- praisal fees. JORDAN PETKOVSKI is VP and Chief Appraiser at TSI Appraisal. He has worked in senior leadership posi- tions within the residential appraisal industry for more than 15 years. He's held numerous roles for appraisal and settlement services providers, includ- ing operational and policy-centric positions. He is the current Chairman of the Five Star Institute's National Appraisal Congress. * * * The Top Ten "S"s Needed in Appraisal Technology Solutions I n today's rapidly changing en- vironment, there is an impera- tive focus on the quality and accuracy of collateral valuations. Lenders, AMCs, and appraisers face greater accountability at all levels, yet find themselves reli - ant on the antiquated tools and resources of yesteryear. At the same time, a complete paradigm shift in how a valuation is de- veloped is upon us. We truly need a revolution in our industry's technology. Technology that delivers a data- centric approach will help valua - tion professionals better aggregate information, analyze markets and value, increase quality, reduce errors and turn-times, and bring context and clarity back to valua - tions and the valuation process. In light of these evolving needs, it's time for a well-considered reassessment of how valuation software can better serve us. Recent developments in technology offerings pave the way for 2016 to be a year of innovation—even for an industry that has "always done it this way." The following top-10 checklist of "s" words shows the bar valua - tion technology should meet to be defined as true solutions. If your provider's valuation platform doesn't fall in line with this checklist, then maybe it's time to re-evaluate. • Standards: First and foremost, does the provider's platform meet the wide array of compli- ance and regulatory standards? Does it ensure adherence to policies, rules, and regulations? If you can't be confident that your valuations are compliant, what is your platform doing for you? A high-value platform integrates robust validation of regulations, client-specific rules, and data standards, from UAD and USPAP to MISMO and inter-agency compliance, for appraisers and reviewers. It incorporates these needs into the system design, eliminating time-consuming and error-prone back-and-forth between instruc - tion lists and review cycles. What's more, a platform should be able to flex as organizations update these requirements and grow with emergent standards. • Solutions: Does your provider have to use multiple software platforms to complete the life cycle of a valuation? The needs of the modern valuation industry have surpassed simple form-filling portals; modern valuations call for modern solutions. Does your platform manage service coordination, order management, panel man - agement, client relations, and user management; or is there a bevy of unrelated software to manage? A full suite of flexible solutions can improve overall quality and efficiency and reduce the time, costs, and frustration of integration pains. • Service: Your technology should integrate client relations with top-notch customer service tools. From online customer access and order transparency, to constant communication and follow-through, your solution should inform custom - ers and make them a priority throughout the process. Look for solutions that provide order visibility, customizable notifica- tions, integrated communication tools, full order histories, and clear resolution paths. • Specialization: Are you a lender, originator, investor, buyer, or seller? Whether you work with AVMs, BPOs, evalu- ations, or 1004 appraisals, your provider needs the experience and capability to meet your specific needs. Engaging the right provider with the right technology is critical to have a successful and profitable alliance. Who developed their platform? Do they originate from within the valuation in - dustry, or are they an arm of a general software conglomerate? The right provider is one that understands your business and develops software that directly addresses the challenges inher - ent in your industry. • Support: You might run a small valuation shop with limited re- sources or a large organization with in-house training and IT. Depending on your business and the roles of your learners, you'll need access to responsive technical support and training options that meet your needs. Look for providers that offer a variety of support and train - ing to fit your needs, such as instant chat help, live tech-sup- port, video library of tutorials, and instructor-led training. • Security: In this industry, we work with personal information and sensitive data. Make sure your provider's technology has policies, processes, and auditing methodologies that keep data secure, according to standards such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, and practices compliant with ISO 27001. For companies with the strictest security, such as lenders, providers should be able By Jordan Wilde

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