The Digital Mortgage Conference is one of those events that leaves you with dueling emotions. On the one hand, the innovative technology, willingness of attendees to brainstorm solutions, and positive momentum create excitement that our industry is moving in the right direction. And yet, we still have so much to do. We all want to move faster to create a truly simple and frictionless mortgage experience for homebuyers and owners.
One of the areas with the greatest promise of change is the appraisal.
Kevin Marshall, our president and co-founder, led a panel discussion on the conference main stage about leveraging appraisal modernization. The focus of the discussion wasn’t just on lofty concepts of what could be done with the appraisal to support a faster loan process — it was about what’s already happening through partnerships between lenders, government sponsored enterprises (GSEs), and forward-thinking valuation providers.
Seeing the interaction between Kevin and Rachel Robinson (Quicken Loans), Usha Chatarpaul (Fannie Mae), and Tanya DeLia (Freddie Mac) provided a window into what’s possible when we work together on tough problems. Is it possible to radically reduce appraisal effort without increasing risk? Is it possible to use data and analytics in a way that makes humans more effective without replacing them? Yes and yes.
Solutions like Fannie Mae’s Value Verify program, appraisal waivers, and Freddie Mac’s Automated Collateral Evaluation (ACE) program offer an effective way to significantly reduce appraisal turn time and cost, or eliminate the conventional appraisal altogether when there is enough solid data available. And by using mobile tools — like our ClearInspect app — the capturing of property data becomes robust and actionable when a visit to the property is required.
Also discussed were roadblocks to adoption and how we can overcome those roadblocks through communication and education. We were also excited to hear the panelists discuss what the future could hold for lending by embracing technology such as 360-degree photography. We’re learning so much by being involved in these pilots, and we are honored to be at the forefront of positive change.
We’ll be posting a full video of the panel discussion as soon as it’s available so you can hear the discussion if you weren’t there in person. But in the meantime, here are some key takeaways to consider:
– Appraisal modernization is already in flight
– Early results indicate real benefits for borrowers and lenders
– Appraisal waivers are available now and easy to use via Desktop Underwriter and Loan Product Advisor.
– Talk to your Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac account rep about how you can participate in pilots
– (Over)communicate throughout your organization and to your borrowers about the program, and set clear expectations for how the program works
– Don’t build all the technology right out of the gate. Start manually and figure out how these programs will work for you, then build out the full tech.