Who Is Thinking Hybrid Appraisal?

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Class Valuation Digitizing the Appraisal Process. Who's Thinking Hybrids?

“Digitizing the entire appraisal process”… what does this even mean? No more tape measures? No more typing? What exactly is being digitized that is not already digitized?…

This is what Class Valuation appears to be doing to justify their actions. According to the article written by Richard Torne in Mortgage Professional America, Class Valuation has announced the acquisition of DataMaster.

From the article:

“We’re not replacing the appraiser, we’re empowering them”

We share a common belief in the true path to the future, which is not to replace the appraiser but to empower them.

Appraisers have had their fair share of discussions on Class Valuation; just search on any appraisal related publication. It’s a love / hate relationship. DataMaster has also been discussed heavily. It’s more of a love / like relationship. Are the two companies a good match?

Remember when Dave Biggers sold alamode to CoreLogic? Is it Deja vu? How will appraisers react? Will DataMaster lose market share? Will DataMaster be a requirement for appraisal completion with Class Valuation? Will it be business as usual?

“The deal, announced on Monday (September 20), will see the two companies work towards fully digitizing the entire appraisal process, Class Valuation said in a statement.”

“Digitizing the entire appraisal process”… what does this even mean? No more tape measures? No more typing? What exactly is being digitized that is not already digitized? We use laser measuring devices that import the measurements directly into the sketch, we use apps to gather our field data and take pictures, we import data from outside sources directly into our reports, (most MLS systems do this without the use of DataMaster, Spark or other services); we analyze our data through computer programs ( Excel/ R Studio, etc) ; we send and save our reports in electronically. So what exactly is being digitized that is not already? How exactly is the appraiser being “empowered?”

Who is thinking hybrid appraisal?

Image credit flickr - Timothy Vollmer
VaCAP Board

VaCAP Board

Coalition of individual appraisers working together to unite, promote and protect the collective interests of all appraisal professionals in Virginia; to promote needed changes in laws, rules, regulations, policies and standards affecting all appraisers in Virginia; to observe and report the actions of regulatory, legislative, oversight, and standards-setting entities of the Commonwealth.

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2 Responses

  1. Baggins Baggins says:

    We have been sharing emails on this theory since the news was announced. I’m inclined to believe the argument that this is a shake down as a business who’s survivability is dependent on the finite appraiser resource, seeks to survive by claiming a parity pricing position through expansion (hybrids) and consumption of related industries (datamaster).

    The concept of infinitely expanding volume production in a finite space with limited resources never ends well. This service, that service, it does not matter. The inevitable failure rests in the expanding business model itself. That’s why the independent appraiser model stayed that way, only small scale operators could handle the volatile climate of changing loan volumes over the long term. Save the money for a rainy day, people may benefit from the volume of scale for a time, but not forever.

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  2. Class Valuation (now owned by the venture capital firm Gridiron Capital), is not acquiring DataMaster for its revenue stream from appraiser subscriptions to its data services. This is a repeat of CoreLogic’s acquisition of Alamode. In both instances these companies have the opportunity to data mine valuable information from appraisers who “authorize” access to their data when they check the “I agree to these terms” boxes. I believe the data-mined information will eventually be used against appraisers as the acquiring companies sell the appraiser’s refined and verified real estate research to AVM companies or by directly competing against appraisers by offering their own alternative valuation products.

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Who Is Thinking Hybrid Appraisal?

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