Zoom, zoom, zoom is Good for Whom?
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…we continue to ask for very quick turn times to outperform the competition…
Appraisers, I received a message today from an appraiser who provided the email from an AMC (below). I have redacted the lender’s name (primarily to avoid getting my skin scorched), but it’s a big one in the US that you see in TV commercials, on radio, in print, and social media outlets.
The email demonstrates the prevailing and long-running attitude among just about everyone connected to mortgage lending, whether they be AMC’s or direct placement lenders. It originates at the very top of these organizations. It’s a very typical ‘beat the other guy’ way of thinking when sales are involved, and that’s what mortgage lending really is – making a sale of a product to the consumer, as fast as possible, with limited obstructions.
This attitude among so many about doing an appraisal report is synonymous with baking a store-bought boxed pizza… 18 minutes at 425 degrees of love. The problem is, when speed is demanded, proper analysis, verifications and reporting procedures are often compromised or not done by the appraiser just so an artificial timeline can be accommodated. Those at the top don’t realize how long it really takes to produce a quality, well documented report, and certainly don’t fully understand our obligations under USPAP – since USPAP does not directly apply to them.
At some point in the future, poor and sloppy reports can negatively affect appraisers who always become the scapegoats when loans go into default, and the appraiser has to endure hours of investigative procedures.
Here’s the email:
“Hoping for some help on an order I have in [CITY]. It’s for (BIG NATIONAL LENDER) and we continue to ask for very quick turn times to outperform the competition. Based on some recent data, supposedly (BIG NATIONAL LENDER) has another AMC outperforming us. I’m really pressing for us to get back to first. Hopefully you can get this back to us by end of next week. Please help me out with this one and let me know what you can do. Thanks!”
One issue I see with this is independent appraisers who work for multiple clients are treated as if the client has the appraiser on-staff. Everyone incorrectly assumes that appraisers are just sitting around, enjoying a pizza slice, waiting for desperation calls or emails demanding exceedingly rapid turn times. These potential assignments are thought to have ultimate importance, regardless of what other work the appraiser already has scheduled or in process.
There’s no easy answer to this. The advice I will give is to be honest with your schedule and clients. This work takes a certain amount of time per assignment, which sometimes cannot be easily estimated. Don’t over-book, and then under-perform.
Too many appraisers have been known to accept assignments, and then “go dark” without any further communication to anyone. That lack of performance affects all appraisers negatively. It’s one reason why many lenders are trying to eliminate ‘us’ in the mortgage lending process.
Remember, most requested due dates are artificial, and typically are farther in advance than really necessary. If you can do the assignment, but your turn time would be a few days after the requested DD, just say so. Chances are the client will accept your time frame. Their goal is to get the assignment placed, not waste time hunting for an appraiser to do it super quick. It’s far worse to accept an artificial DD, and then not deliver the report until days or weeks after, especially if you have not communicated anything about the delay.
Zooming can be hazardous to appraisers. But requests to zoom will continue to be made because it’s just the nature of the business.