Saturday, January 28, 2023 | The Latest Buzz for the Appraisal Industry

Tough Times Don’t Last, Tough AMCs Do.

In the current interest rate environment, we have seen a variety of companies, from lenders to AMC’s sharply shrink in size and even close completely. While we should mourn these closures and the suffering of their dislocated employees and vendors, this market consolidation is to be expected and will hopefully result in a stronger and more savvy industry. In times like this, it is essential that companies align and support exceptional vendors.

Exceptional AMCs have weathered economic pressures before. They recognize market impacts and make timely business decisions that not only protect their AMC, but their best appraisers and valued lender-partners as well. They recognize that their corporate responsibilities go well beyond self. Indeed, no matter the fiscal environment, exceptional AMCs embrace their professional responsibility to support appraisers, lenders, borrowers, consumers, and real estate agents. They facilitate the multiple facets necessary to successfully support the valuation process.
Put simply, vendors and lenders should expect an exceptional AMC to provide exceptional services and support.

Here are 15 things your AMC should be doing for you:
1. INDUSTRY LEADERSHIP
…Exceptional AMCs are members and leaders of entities like CRN (Collateral Risk Network), REVAA (Real Estate Valuation Advocacy Association), AARO (Association of Appraiser Regulatory Officials), the MBA (Mortgage Bankers Association), Appraisal Institute, and the many state and local commissions and organizations that serve to enhance the caliber of our industry and foster protection of the public trust, which ensures appraisers are relevant.
2. PANEL DEVELOPMENT
…ensures recruiting and maintaining high quality local appraisers in local markets nationwide. It’s critical that our best appraisers can survive which means focusing the work to them.
3. ACCOUNTING
…with solutions that offer various forms of payment including invoicing, credit card processing, and secure payment link to their clients. Regardless of when the client pays, exceptional AMCs ensure appraisers know exactly which orders are outstanding, when they are paid, and that they are paid on time.
4. PIPELINE MANAGEMENT
…with integrations to myriad lender platforms, and active feedback on orders in process, all stakeholders are involved and engaged in the process.
5. QUALITY CONTROL
…includes screening for bias, valuation credibility, and making sure the report is underwriter ready. Exceptional AMCs also manage a transparent and compliant Reconsideration Of Value process.
6. VENDOR AND CUSTOMER SERVICE
…means someone quickly responds by phone or e-mail to questions and concerns. Properties can be complex. A team of experienced professionals who can work with appraisers is critical. Having experts that can communicate those challenges to consumers, clients, and appraisers is priceless. Appraisers need a resource, and an exceptional AMC will always provide that resource regardless of the end-client.
7. COMPLIANCE
…ensures compliance to all regulatory requirements throughout the appraisal process from AIR, C&R, and lender-specific rules with robust policy and procedure plans.
8. INVESTOR SUPPORT
…provides third-party audit guidance and the ability to support a rebuttal response if a buy back request is made. Exceptional AMCs include a warranty.
9. INNOVATIVE PRODUCTS
…Investor requirements are changing, and exceptional AMCs find ways to keep appraisers in the marketplace even though not all products are traditional appraisals
10. REPORT DELIVERY TO PORTALS
…provides delivery to HUD and GSE Portals and delivers SSRs back to clients. Exceptional AMCs assist in mitigating and lowering higher Collateral Underwriter (CU) risk scores as part of the QC process.
11. REPORT DELIVERY TO CLIENTS AND CUSTOMERS
…utilizing a sure-receipts compliant process for sending completed reports to clients and consumers electronically or by USPS if needed.
12. TECHNOLOGY AND SYSTEMS
…provides customized account and system configurations to align with the lender’s business process requirements. Conducts group and individualized platform demos to ensure onboarded lenders receive first-class training. Offers a complete support desk. Exceptional AMCs also ensure our platforms stay up to date by continually working toward and investing in systems integrations with the most prominent lender platforms and provide integration testing services in addition to integration troubleshooting/support at no additional charge.
13. CUSTOMIZED REPORTING
…provides fully customizable daily, weekly, and monthly reporting to clients as requested to meet their needs and provide transparency in the valuation process.
14. CONTINUING EDUCATION AND OUTREACH
…Seminars and workshops are key. Exceptional AMCs provide seminars for appraisers, loan officers, and real estate agents nationwide. These resources offer valuable content to vendors, clients, and their customers. These seminars assist in improving the appraisal process, building trust, and deepening relationships. Exceptional AMCs also provide resources to appraisers to assist them in understanding industry changes and improve their efficiencies.
15. BEING CHANGE AGENTS IN THE APPRAISAL INDUSTRY
…Exceptional AMCs are often working on critical initiatives such as:

    • Fostering new appraisers through PAREA (the Practical Aspects of Real Estate Appraisal) to build a mentorship-based training program that is modern, inclusionary, and more efficient.
    • Working with the Appraisal Foundation and AARO to address the maddening and costly issues of some appraisers failing to communicate with a client and abandoning assignments.
    • Lobbying federal and state legislatures to promote new legislation that will better support our lender and appraiser partners in protecting the public trust.

While we hope to be reaching the ceiling of historic interest rate hikes by the FED, we are likely to have challenging market conditions for some time. Stakeholders in the appraisal, real estate, and lending industries should take note of AMC market consolidation and take advantage by resetting their vendor relationships with proven exceptional AMCs who have the experience, strength, knowledge, and leadership to meet your needs and those of your clients.

“It’s not about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward.” – Rocky Balboa

Having a tested and true exceptional AMC partner will keep you in the competition, and more importantly keep that best vendor in your corner for any future market challenges.

Jeff Bradford

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