Understanding The News: Blurring The Lines Between Technology And Manual Processes

*Blurring The Lines Between Technology And Manual Processes*
**Improving The Appraisal Space**

***As the process becomes more automated, manual processes are blurring and being replaced. For example, InHouse, a provider of appraisal technology for banks, lenders, credit unions and other mortgage originators, is adding to its nationwide network of appraisers with an active recruiting and interviewing campaign. The effort is part of an ongoing program to meet the unprecedented demand among lender clients in response to the InHouse Connexions appraisal management platform’s “Build Your Own Appraisal Solution” approach. InHouse offers a wide range of options for lenders of all sizes to customize their appraisal programs to be self-managed, fully outsourced, or a combination of both — and growing demand for this kind of flexibility has translated into the doubling of InHouse’s revenues year after year since 2009.

****InHouse CEO and President Jennifer Creech notes that the company is also working to meet increasing lender preferences for appraisers to be certified in addition to standard licensing requirements. “We view our relationships with our appraisers as true partnerships, and do everything we can to support them. I believe this ultimately carries over into superior service provided to the lender,” Creech says. As a result, InHouse is actively encouraging its panel appraisers to become certified. She adds that the vast majority of their staff appraisers are presently certified, citing the company’s commitment to continuing education.

****The concept of lenders building their own appraisal solutions is gaining popularity with surprising speed, Creech observes. “A top-five bank recently pulled back from using appraisal management companies (AMCs) in order to gain more control of its appraisal effort,” she says. “While that means more control, it also can mean a lot more people and fixed costs. InHouse Connexions offers levels of flexibility and control that match those of the largest lenders, but without the prohibitive costs, thanks to the menu of options available with the technology.”

****Creech says the Connexions platform allows lenders to easily create and manage national panels of appraisers or combine with using their favorite AMCs with complete flexibility, quality reviews, and extensive tracking capabilities. At the same time, InHouse’s own AMC capability can be utilized when needed to supplement the effort, along with full ordering and receipt automation, borrower payment collection, appraiser compensation and any of the otherwise time-consuming, worker-intensive tasks. Lenders can submit directly to the UCDP (Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae’s Uniform Collateral Data Portal) and clear required edits, manage investor “do not use” lists, and set up queues for underwriter reviews of reports as desired.

****“The response to InHouse Connexions has been extraordinary and has necessitated an expansion of our appraiser qualification efforts to meet the demand,” Creech says. “So we’re looking for highly qualified appraisal associates to become part of the InHouse nationwide network. Our technology platform allows us to invest in top professionals rather than in back office staff, which results in better service and unparalleled flexibility for our clients,” she says. “By customizing to meet their unique situations, lenders can take back control of the appraisal process, improve results and reduce fixed costs, all at the same time.”