The appraisal process has become increasingly challenging over the years amid the introduction of new state and federal-based rules and regulations that now govern the mortgage industry. What used to be a much simpler process is now much more intricate, fluid and compliance-intensive than it was before the crash. Prior to the mortgage meltdown, many organizations handled the processing of appraisals manually via spreadsheets and e-mail communication. Now, however, a manual approach simply isn’t an option. It’s inefficient, costly and dangerous.
Technology is the answer to effectively handling the entire appraisal process. But in order to be as effective as possible, lenders must utilize an all-in-one platform that automates appraisals from soup-to-nuts, not just certain pieces of the process, which many technology vendors only focus on. You want a “lights out” solution that compliantly automates the full process. A centralized, comprehensive platform will streamline key aspects of the appraisal management process. The platform should handle the core functions required to compliantly complete quality appraisals from start to finish without involving other vendors involved. Using multiple vendors can create breaks in the system of communication and potential hard stops that cost you money and possible deal fallout.
Key components of a centralized, all-in-one valuation management software platform should include:
►Vendor management: Look for a solution that empowers you to recruit, validate and manage a network of AMCs and appraisers.
►Orders: You need to have multiple methods by which to receive orders, as orders are submitted in multiple fashions and you of course want to be able to accept all of them. This can be done through Web portals, loan origination systems, custom integrations and manual entries.
►Assignments: The assignment of orders to vendors can become complicated without functionality that handles this task for you. Managing a list of quality appraisers, locating, bidding, providing instructions, and assignments should be handled by technology.
►Tracking: An all-in-one appraisal management technology solution enables ease of communication, scheduling, status checks, alert notifications, searching and reporting.
►Accounting: Staying on top of accurate accounts payables and receivables for appraisals is obviously important. Look for a solution that includes the handling of invoicing, credit card processing, online statements, payables and receivables.
►Delivery: You’ll need a solution capable of handling different kinds of fulfillment delivery methods. As an example, systems-to-system delivery, electronic delivery via PDF or XML, secure attachment or link delivery.
►Reviews: The solution should also automatically review appraisals for compliance, guidelines, scoring, and any missing information throughout the workflow.
►Sell: Finally, when you are ready to sell, the solution should integrate with the Uniform Collateral Deliver Portal (UCDP) to deliver the appraisal in full compliance and without absent data. If the integration is tight and current, appraisals should never get kicked back.
►Mobile applications: Any all-in-one valuation solution will accompany the option to provide appraisers with an app for their smartphones that allows them to connect to your system, communicate with you, and manage appraisals while in the field.
A comprehensive and centralized appraisal management technology platform should encompass all of the above. You don’t want to get in a situation where multiple vendors are handling different aspects of the process for you such as reviews, accounting, integrations, UCDP delivery, etc. It just complicates matters in an already complex process.
Vladimir Bien-Aime’ is president and chief executive officer of Global DMS. Since co-founding Global DMS in 1999, Bien-Aime’ has grown the company to capture a leading share of the appraisal management segment, with a client base of over 20,000 unique users and a 100 percent retention rate among lender clients. He may be reached by phone at (877) 866-2747 or visit www.globaldms.com.