Will Automation Change Appraisals for the Better? | Bank Innovation



For as long as appraisals have been necessary, banks and credit unions have been asking the same question: How long will it take to get my appraisal?

There are many factors that affect the timing of an appraisal: finding a certified appraiser, scheduling, research, and analysis, but with automation tools, many of the more problematic parts (like keeping up to date with where the appraisal is in the process) are getting an upgrade.

But here’s the good news: The industry is finally getting a refresh. From UX to communication logs, software updates are turning an otherwise arduous task into an easy requirement. Here’s where appraisal management firms are making strides at implementing the appraisal process with much-needed modernization.

  1. Appraisals are time-consuming, UX will help that: Anyone who works in appraisals knows about the time it takes to complete one. But what if ordering an appraisal was more like ordering an Uber — putting in a few key facts, getting an update on wait time, and that’s it? With intuitive form fields and prompts that tell you exactly what to upload (and where), the automated order process of AMC software will eliminate the guesswork about requirements and get to the good part — scheduling appraisals, selecting the right appraiser for your project, and setting the delivery dates.
  2. Communication logs will help users connect to their appraiser: There’s an art — actually, a government-required protocol — to the communication between the financial institution and the appraiser. But modern AMC platforms are solving that through secure communication logs that track, record, and show both the date and time for all messaging between banks and credit unions and the appraiser who completed their order. The best part? It’ll all be above board, so banks and credit unions can ask the questions they need without facing repercussions.
  3. Custom pathways to choose the best appraiser every time: Financial institutions can finally put away their little black books of go-to appraisers because dashboard ordering will change how they order an appraisal. Equipped with the ability to create unique pathways per order — be it commercial or residential, appraisal or review — clients can generate their own direction and get matched with the appraiser that’s right for their project from one main navigation.
  4. Platforms will be able to seamlessly integrate with different workflows: Have an internal process you already use? AMC’s have thought of that — and prepared for it. While your financial institution may not use an appraisal management company at all or only need it for seasonal work, the new AMC software will offer integration between platforms. That means no matter where banks and credit unions are in their appraisal process, the orders can be moved once they’ve been uploaded and completed. It’s just another way you can streamlining the process and save valuable time.
  5. Automation will keep you up-to-date on order status: Just like those status notifications from shipping companies that chart exactly where your package is in its journey, appraisal orders will start notifying you every step along the way. If you’re one of those people who prefers a play-by-play update of where your appraisal is at, you can get a status updates by email to know when your order has been received, when the appraiser is heading to the property for inspection, and when it’s all wrapped up and ready for review. With automatic tracking, banks and credit unions will always know how to plan for their loan closing and make sure their order is progressing on time.
  6. Appraiser ratings are going to be the next big thing: Choosing a top certified appraiser is a major pressure point for many banks and credit unions, which is why making the process to a quality appraisal is also getting a much-needed revamp. By gathering background info, communication styles, turnaround time, and more about each appraiser, AMC’s will be able to give financial institutions the ability to find exactly the right appraiser for the project with ease. It will be like Yelp reviews for appraisers — so that you never choose one that’s wrong for your institution.

MountainSeed, an AMC based in Atlanta, GA,  will be the first appraisal management company to roll out this functionality. Part of their upcoming platform release is focusing on matching the right appraiser with the right company is just another way to make sure the appraisal is as painless as it can be. To discover their MountainSeed platform for yourself, schedule a free demo here.

With strong modifications to the appraisal process using new tech, the future of appraisal ordering is finally looking up. Which is great news, because we don’t think anyone will miss the days of waiting around for their appraisal through snail mail.

Want more insight on where appraisal management is headed? Check out MountainSeed’s blog for the latest in appraisals, news, and regulations.

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