“Recent studies have shown that the total appraiser population has dropped 20 percent since 2007, and 62 percent of appraisers are nearing retirement age.”
An Appraisal Industry Forecast for 2016 By Tom Hurst
The appraisal industry is dynamic, and therefore, can be somewhat challenging to chart which trends will actually take flight. However, there are key factors that will play a major role in the growth and development of the appraisal sec-
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tor. These include client expectations, reliance on appraisers and the buzzword of 2015, compliance. Read below to see where we believe these key issues will take us in the year ahead. In an effort to surpass client
expectations, the appraisal industry will focus on developing a more seamless experience throughout the mortgage lifecycle in 2016. As always in the appraisal industry, quality and timeliness are paramount. However, we continue to see more and more lender clients defining success through performance. Lenders are expanding their focus to include the borrower experience, and StreetLinks expects that the appraisal component of the mortgage loan cycle will be redefined for the borrower in 2016 and beyond. For example, borrowers now expect more responsiveness and scheduling flexibility in their appraisal process. A focus on an improved borrower experience is something that appraisal management companies (AMCs) should welcome and encourage. Creating a seamless, comprehensive and positive experience that keeps all key players in mind will soon be status quo for all vendor partners in the mortgage industry. We also believe 2016 will continue to demonstrate that the demographics of the appraisal industry, and subsequent origination industries, are rapidly changing. The demand for licensed appraisers with knowledge of the local market is higher than ever. This high-intensity structure is not sustainable, and a shift will soon have to take place in the appraiser industry to meet demand across the nation. The industry, as a whole, will have to find creative new ways to engage and leverage their current appraiser panels, with a deliberate effort to attract new talent. One of the main questions facing our industry is how to inspire a new generation of potential appraisers. Recent studies have shown that the total appraiser population has dropped 20 percent since 2007, and 62 percent of appraisers are nearing retirement age. We need to ask ourselves, “How can we be more attractive to encourage Gen Xers and Millennials to continue to enter the appraisal space?”
Another topic that continues to change the face of the appraisal industry is regulations. Compliance will appropriately remain a staple for 2016 as it continues to play a vital part in daily operations for businesses throughout the mortgage industry. StreetLinks has adapted to the new TRID environment by working with our clients to build customized appraisal pricing models that reflect their interpretations of their own regulatory responsibilities. This includes using historical loan footprint data and other metrics to improve predictive capabilities for identifying complex appraisal assignments. Additionally, we have focused on procedural efficiencies designed to elicit more timely notification of complex fee requests at the individual assignment level. Moving forward, we will continue to study trends identified in the data available in order to promote improvement in existing strategies. We’ll also continue to improve on departmental procedures and training for internal team members tasked with communicating complex appraisal scenarios with appraisers and clients. In the future, we also hope to grow our insights into the regulatory environment and potentially play a constructive role in the regulatory discussion. We hope this involvement allows us to be a strong voice for the industry and an advocate for lenders and appraisers alike. As an original founder of StreetLinks, Tom Hurst has played a pivotal role in the company’s growth and success for more than 10 years. Today, as president of StreetLinks, Tom remains an integral part of StreetLinks’ growth, product development and commitment to pushing the status quo, keeping the company at the forefront of valuation technology and innovation.