*Leveraging A True Technology Leader*
**By Tony Garritano**
***Some think being innovative means that you completely reinvent the wheel. I’m here to tell you that’s not the case. Some profound innovations drew from and improved on existing technology in a new way. What do I mean? For example, PROGRESS in Lending has learned that Coester Appraisal Group, a nationwide provider of appraisal management technology and services, has launched Cloud Control, a revolutionary new appraisal management technology. Cloud Control is appraisal management software built on the award-wining platform of Salesforce.com, which Forbes magazine designated as the most innovative company in the world in July 2011. Here’s the scoop:
****Cloud Control enables lenders to customize their appraisal processes far beyond the levels offered by other appraisal management technologies. Cloud Control offers virtually limitless customization—users can create business rules to automate virtually any function, from protecting standards through firewalls and safeguards, to business-unique sales and marketing activities that help companies generate new business in addition to enhancing compliance and efficiency.
Coester is providing Cloud Control completely free of charge to all lenders—Coester customers and non-customers alike—without obligation to use any additional Coester valuation service, whatsoever.
Cloud Control is a cloud-based, end-to-end appraisal management technology that efficiently manages the entire appraisal cycle. In addition to automating functions and tasks ranging from relaying the initial request to the lender’s desired appraisal panel to filing and storing the completed report, the system automatically extracts and converts data into UCDP-compliant formats and submits appraisal data through the Uniform Collateral Data Portal (UCDP). Cloud Control provides the property value as estimated by an automated valuation model (AVM), provides reviewers’ notes for every appraisal report, and verifies that the appraiser and property adhere to industry requirements by cross-checking resources like ASC.gov, FHA Connection and FEMA.
Cloud Control can be configured to accommodate virtually any business rules. It automatically verifies appraiser licensing and certification and cross-checks appraisers against investor “black lists,” in addition to offering extensive customer relationship management functions. The system is set up to stay up-to-date and adhere to all investor, local, state and federal guidelines and regulations. Because it is cloud-based, it is ready to use and can be set up in as little as 20 minutes—about the time required to merely add a new appraiser to the user’s appraiser panel with most other appraisal management systems.
“As an AMC, we had tried most of the appraisal management software on the market and we couldn’t find one with anywhere near the customizability we need, so we built Cloud Control,” said Brian Coester, CEO of Coester Appraisal Group. “Other technologies claim customizability but only offer minimal configurability. Cloud Control can be configured to do virtually anything you want—all the way down to the actual user level.”
Cloud Control is the only appraisal management technology that utilizes the Salesforce.com platform and provides virtually the same power and flexibility offered by Salesforce.com’s customer relationship management (CRM) software, Sales Cloud, a technology specifically designed to make it faster and easier for companies to connect with and service their customers, and to do so in a way that promotes high service levels and increased sales. With Cloud Control, users can fully automate the appraisal status notification and escalation processes at the user level, which means that users can automatically receive key information on customers and vendors, based on any trigger—such as a phone call—in real time. The system can also be set up to send custom email messages to specified groups. For example, certain property owners can be contacted with marketing messages when specific triggers are activated, like each time rates reach a certain threshold.
“Appraisal management technologies have missed numerous opportunities to proactively help lenders grow their business,” said Coester. “We’re changing that. Cloud Control is the first system that not only helps maintain compliance and efficiency, but also helps increase business and generate revenue. Plus, unlike other systems that can cost tens of thousands of dollars, Cloud Control is available for zero cost whatsoever—for as long as the lender wants to use it.”
Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.