ValueNation: A Guide to Evaluating & Selecting a Valuation Management Platform
As the mortgage industry has evolved in the wake of the 2008 financial and housing crisis, there has been an increased focus on collateral valuation, as well as integrating auditable, rules-based systems to maximize product and provider tracking, transparency and efficiency. A valuation management platform fills a distinct void by providing a means to effectively manage the multitude of valuation products and valuation providers utilized in the mortgage chain from a Web-based platform. Ultimately, such a solution allows for better control of business operations by providing a deeper level of organization and tracking over the entire loan workflow. Systems managing such complexity can be difficult to properly evaluate and the following provides a guide from component review to implementation to aid your evaluation process. Valuation management platform components A valuation management platform is comprised of several components seamlessly working together, including: ►Order placement ►Quality assurance ►Review management ►Reporting tools (standard reporting to advanced analytics) ►Valuation provider management and optimization ►Complete UCDP connectivity ►Data retention, exporting and archiving It is important to carefully consider which system components are most important and how they would be utilized. Consideration must also be made for long-term business goals and what components might be added at a later time. Selecting a valuation management platform A best-in-practice approach in selecting any enterprise-wide workflow tool dictates early and broad involvement from the various stakeholders who will be impacted by the technology. This will range from upper management to end users, but ultimately depends on the size and needs of the company. Typically, a committee is formed to include representatives with compliance, technology, and appraisal backgrounds to assess needs from the platform. It is important to properly assess internal requirements and answer key questions about the platform itself to ensure the selection fully meets your corporate goals. Below are a few questions to consider: ►What specific functionality do you need in the platform? ►Can the platform immediately automate your current workflow? ►Does the platform provide a wide range of rules and policies? ►What functions within the platform are logged and auditable? ►Does the system allow for complete vendor management? ►Is the platform intuitive and user-friendly? ►Is the platform backed by a responsive customer support team? ►How does the provider handle user and management training? ►Does the host company have a successful integrations track record? ►Is the platform scalable for company growth? Implementation The implementation process includes important steps for the successful integration of the valuation management platform. First, users must be properly coached with a platform overview, detail on uploading and managing information, and trouble-shooting scenarios. Secondly, technology may need to be integrated with loan origination systems, vendor providers and proprietary systems. Thirdly, company rules and guidelines need to be correctly imbedded into the platform. Finally, the platform must be thoroughly tested before it goes live. Users of the platform should commit to daily use of the technology and begin to fully utilize its capabilities. Reaping the rewards One of the most significant benefits of integrating a valuation management platform comes from dramatically increased efficiencies. This includes improved functionality, better reporting and tracking capabilities, automated quality controls, and a redeployment of effort from manual reviews to more critical functions. Proper implementation should result in improved efficiencies within the first 90 days and will continue to grow as the capabilities are utilized at a higher level. David Rasmussen is senior vice president of operations at Veros Real Estate Solutions. For more information, call (714) 415-6300 or visit Veros.com.