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ValueNation: Maximizing the Order Module in a Valuation Management Platform

Nov 11, 2011

As the use of valuation management platforms by lenders grows in the industry, mortgage professionals are taking advantage of their ability to automate product ordering and processing. As I mentioned in the previous ValueNation column, a valuation management platform is a critical tool for those wanting to stay competitive and compliant in today’s evolving lending environment. The platform should be comprised of several components that work seamlessly together to promote the accuracy and efficiency of the valuation process. In this column, I will focus on the logistics of the order module. Additional components will be addressed in subsequent columns. A premium order module will be an effortless interface for placing single or batch orders and connecting users to valuation providers, be it AVM, BPO or appraisal. It should allow users to effectively manage the valuation ordering process across the entire spectrum of products. Traditionally, many departments review valuation types individually by looking at one report type for a specific need, due in part to limited resources. Recently, regulations and guidance from government bodies have recommended utilizing multiple valuation models to verify loan decisions. With accountability for both objectivity and competence measured at the individual assignment level, an order module must be dynamically scalable for regulatory compliance. The re-issued Interagency Appraisal & Evaluation Guidelines cite the importance of appraiser independence and objectivity in appraiser selection, as well as appraiser competence. Appraisers are expected to be selected for individual assignments based on their competency to perform an appraisal. Whether managing an appraiser panel internally or with vendor managers, the responsibility for ensuring appraiser independence and compliance is the responsibility of the regulated institution. An order module that only employs a straight, “round-robin” method falls short of regulatory requirements. Valuation management platforms provide the ability for users to comprehensively manage a set of vendors and deliver assignments only to those most qualified. Additionally, users can easily see which vendors consistently uphold the appropriate standards of quality in their returned valuation. The benefits of a well-tuned order module include: ►Order automation and objectivity ►Business efficiencies in processing ►Increased quality control (QC) and consistent decision-making ►Easy scalability In an order module, users should have the ability to effectively organize all active and newly completed orders, of which they can be searched based on specific criteria to review their status, as well as to reassign, cancel or modify as appropriate. One of the most powerful features available in select systems is an order dashboard. It gives a high-level view of all the activities surrounding order placement and order management. Including the initiation, processing assignment and delivery of individual and batch valuation orders, the dashboard should also provide downloadable charts and graphs of data. As valuation providers feel the trickle-down from the secondary market, it is increasingly important to quickly comply with investor and government regulations and prepare operations for additional changes that will come down the road. Benefits of a valuation management platform for mortgage professionals in this regard are immense. Users are able to streamline business operations by automating cumbersome valuation processes, as well as maintain quick access to data that will help to increase efficiency of processing and completing orders for clients. Organizations that do not embrace technology and find the right tools to fit their business are going to fall behind and not be able to effectively compete in the current environment. David Rasmussen is senior vice president of operations at Veros Real Estate Solutions. For more information, call (714) 415-6300 or visit
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