Keith Murray is the president and CEO of PCV Murcor, Real Estate Services. Keith founded PCV Murcor in 1981 as a local real estate appraisal company serving southern California. Since its inception, the company has grown to a nationwide firm that provides a myriad of real estate services throughout the United States. Keith has over 25 years experience in real estate analysis, consultation and valuation. For this installment of In This Corner, Keith discusses how his company tackles the challenges in today's housing market. HW: How is the entire appraisal sector evolving to meet the demands of such a volatile housing market, where prices are in such a state of flux? Keith: "The demand for increased amounts of supporting data in the appraisal, including the recent implementation of the 1004MC, along with a much higher level of scrutiny throughout the process are the most notable results of the market volatility impact on valuation providers. Appraisers have to be able to weigh in convincingly about the impact of a variety of factors that influence value. The evolution in the appraisal industry is in fact a return to the basics of true market analysis." HW: Is technology meeting the challenges of valuating all of the REO assets that are hitting the market (and likely to double, triple even)? How are these methods changing? Keith: "With the vast number of providers offering automated tools in the market, obtaining valuations on the ever increasing volume can be easily accomplished. The real challenge is obtaining accurate estimates of value that consider the various forces within the micro markets. I think it’s important that corporate sellers have a strategy that includes a cascade of valuation tools geared toward the specific market, price range and potential loss severity of their assets. In some markets automated tools will deliver reasonable results. While the methods aren’t necessarily changing, our customers are relying on solutions that marry technology with market experts to deliver accurate results." HW:  Your Vendor Resource Management division must be expanding, no? Can you discuss why loss mitigation is key to understanding the value of assets as a whole? How are all of these things now connected? Keith: "Yes, VRM has grown significantly over the last few years. Vendor Resource Management remains philosophically aligned with its clients as it relates to keeping as many borrowers in their home as possible. We know this is necessary to preserve communities nationwide. The valuation aspect of loss mitigation ensures that whether it is the borrower selling their home, or  lending institutions assisting in pre-foreclosure solutions and post foreclosure that a home is marketed and sold at the highest possible price. In order to ensure this success it is important to remember that the best sales price begins with proper valuation." HW: VRM extols the ability of its staff to effectively manage asset managers. Can you briefly describe how the company is able to achieve this accomplishment? Keith: "VRM utilizes in house licensed real estate professionals with an average tenure of 10 years to negotiate the disposition of its clients' assets. This ensures that our partners in the field are working with people who understand the specific challenges associated with the marketing of real estate. This allows our customers to get the best possible support managing the disposition of their assets allowing asset resolution quickly and effectively."