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How did the pandemic change the state of the appraisal market?

Reggora CEO discusses solving appraisal challenges with an "Uber-style" approach

The HousingWire award spotlight series highlights the companies that have been recognized through our Editors’ Choice Awards. Nominations for HousingWire’s Tech100 award are now open through next Friday, December 17, 2021. To submit your company, go here.

If there’s anything that lenders and borrowers have learned from the current purchase market it’s that speed and efficiency are key to a smooth closing. Fortunately, many of the tech solutions that were born out of the pandemic are here to stay, including desktop appraisals which the Federal Housing Finance Agency recently announced will become permanent. 

“On a purchase loan, the timing of the appraisal is even more important because it could delay a closing and throw off a borrower’s entire offer, making them less competitive in the market,” said Brian Zitin, CEO at Reggora. “With desktop appraisals now a permanent option, we should expect to see some of the traditional pressure on turn times alleviated. It should also benefit borrowers by creating cheaper appraisal options for them, depending on their needs and situation.”

Last year, Reggora received the Tech100 Mortgage award which recognizes the most innovative and impactful tech companies serving the mortgage economy. 

HousingWire sat down with Zitin to discuss how technology is impacting the future of the appraisal process and what’s to come for appraisal fulfillment in 2022. 

HousingWire: How is a strong focus on technology especially important during this current sales boom?

Brian Zitin: With the current sales boom and imminent shift from a refi-dominated market to a purchase market, it is vital for lenders to have technology that is flexible and can scale up and down with ease. When the refi boom began, the big tech focus was around capacity and helping lenders process more volume. Now, the big focus is on operational efficiency and customer experience, and helping lenders reduce overhead costs while maximizing channels to market. On a purchase loan, the timing of the appraisal is even more important because it could delay a closing and throw off a borrower’s entire offer, making them less competitive in the market. Therefore borrowers want to seek lenders where they can get appraisals done in a timely and predictable manner.

HousingWire: The FHFA recently made desktop appraisals a permanent option. How will this change the appraisal technology landscape?

Brian Zitin: With desktop appraisals now a permanent option, we should expect to see some of the traditional pressure on turn times alleviated. It should also benefit borrowers by creating cheaper appraisal options for them, depending on their needs and situation. However, as it is likely that not all appraisers will adapt to new ways of working, there is potential for new system risk to be introduced. As it relates to technology, the market can expect to see new solutions from vendors that will allow for better management and allocation for various types of appraisal products. 

HousingWire: What projects do you have coming down the pike and what are you most excited about for 2022?

Brian Zitin: Here at Reggora, we are focused on making it easier and faster for lenders to find the right appraisers for the right jobs. As order allocation and scheduling are typically one of the longest parts of the appraisal process, solving this challenge will make a drastic impact on overall turn times, so we continue to work on Uber-style approaches to this. We are also excited for the possible introduction of alternative products that will help drive efficiency in appraisal fulfillment. 

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