Pro Teck and Collateral Analytics partner to bring transparency to mortgage market
Most businesses establish strategic partnerships with other companies to grow their own brand, but few do it with a bigger picture in mind. That bigger picture was what first brought Tom O'Grady, president and chief executive officer of Pro Teck Valuations Services, and Michael Sklarz, president of Collateral Analytics, together. They wanted to form the most complete source of real estate data and put it in the hands of the market's crucial players, so they could then participate in informed and transparent transactions. "We've been creating real estate products and looking at the market in a historical way for many years. We've had our own opinions about what could be done in the space," said Sklarz, in an interview with HousingWire. "It just seems like the investment decisions that brought down the economy were made with inaccurate or incomplete information." Pro Teck Valuation Services and Collateral Analytics joined forces in earlier this month in an effort to reshape the way real estate data is formulated and applied to the market. The partnership involves combining their services to offer clients and potential customers more complete and accurate data. And the two firms are pooling their technological assets and local market intelligence to do so. Collateral Analytics is a mortgage technology firm that develops analytic products for the based on "commonsense indicators." Sklarz said his firm looks at elements such as sale price, the number of days a home spends on the market, the sale to asking price ratio for a home and inventory on a historical basis to produce an accurate forecast for lenders, investors and servicers. Pro Teck is a "traditional valuation company," as O'Grady puts it. The firm combines automated valuation models with human expertise from its nationwide network of licensed appraisers. O'Grady said adding Collateral Analytics' data to the mix enables his firm to make more superior products that will improve accuracy and transparency. "When you combine Collateral Analytics' data plus local market expertise, you get a valuation that benefits from local market knowledge, more supporting data and more insight into market factors that will affect future value," he said. Although it's a fresh partnership, the two firms have already been integrating their services. The appraiser network at Pro Teck is becoming more familiar with CA's data and how to use it, and there's even talk the two firms may release some hybrid products later this year. Benefits of the collaboration include better due diligence on a property, assistance with agency guideline compliance and improved AVMs. The two firms believe the partnership will be advantageous to lenders. "In cleaning up the mess of this market, the GSEs and mortgage insurance companies are pushing a lot of loans back to validate the original collateral valuation that may have driven poor lending decisions," O'Grady explained. "Coming to a company like ours, we can perform a forensic review by providing our staff review appraisers with the most complete set of market data. We can see if the appraiser really utilized the best comparables available in the market at that time and truly understood the indicators. From there we can say if this is a quality appraisal or provide specific and actionable data to dispute the original appraisal." "It really comes down to understanding what got us to the place we're in now," Sklarz commented. "Most people are so little informed about what drives the real estate market on a national level. They're still scratching the surface of what's really out there. We want to bring transparency and objective data to function anecdotally with that information, so the whole system can operate more efficiently than it has been." Write to Christine Ricciardi. Follow her on Twitter @HWnewbieCR.