We are visiting today with Jeff Bradford, CEO of Bradford Technologies, developers of the new CompCruncher™ software, the Collateral Valuation Report (CVR™) and the online appraiser community, AppraisalWorld™.
Buzz: Jeff, what makes the Collateral Valuation Report so unique. Why is it generating so much interest in the lending community?
Jeff: It’s what lenders have been wanting for a long time. They want a credible, transparent valuation with a short turn time. The CVR fills that need. It’s a statistically supported property valuation that can be performed in record time.
Buzz: What do you mean by a transparent valuation? Why is that important?
Jeff: Everyone seems to be questioning the current appraisal process. How did the appraiser arrive at the value? How did they select the comps? How did they determine the adjustment factors? The current Fannie Mae appraisal forms don’t address these questions. They don’t allow the appraiser to express and support their valuation process. The CVR does. From the comp selection to determining the adjustment factors, it’s all in the CVR report. And the selections are statistically supported. So everyone can see how an appraiser arrived at the final conclusion. This is what we mean by transparent valuation.
Buzz: So why is transparency important?
Jeff: Having a transparent valuation is important because it removes any doubt or questions that someone might have of the valuation process. It reinforces the idea that the appraiser is an impartial “trusted advisor” and increasingly, that is what the market wants.
Buzz: Let’s talk about your newest AppraisalWorld service. The Appraiser’s Portfolio™. How is it bringing transparency to the appraiser selection process?
Jeff: We’re quite excited about this new service. Just like the CVR is bringing transparency to the valuation process, Appraiser’s Portfolio is bringing transparency to the appraiser’s credentials and the selection process.
The Appraiser’s Portfolio does three things: One, it helps the appraiser showcase their credentials: Their affiliations, specialties, sample reports and most importantly, their work history. We actually display, in a live map, all the locations where they have performed an appraisal. It’s a great way to visually demonstrate experience and local area expertise.
Second, it helps in the selection process. For a vendor manager looking for an appraiser, the Appraiser’s Portfolio provides all the information they need to make a quick, smart decision. In a matter of minutes, the appraiser’s credentials and geographic competence can be reviewed and a decision made.
And third, it allows you to securely store and manage all your credentials in one place. We even send out reminders, alerting the appraiser of upcoming expirations such as the expiration of their E&O insurance.
Buzz: What do you mean by displaying appraisals in a “Live Map”?
Jeff: Within the Appraiser’s Portfolio window, we display a street map showing the locations where the appraiser has performed appraisals. By “live”, I mean that the viewer can zoom in down to a specific property address, pan or zoom out to the neighborhood or county level to get a clearer view of the appraiser’s portfolio of appraisals.
Buzz: How is this better than displaying on a map where the appraiser’s office is relative to the subject property?
Jeff: Selecting an appraiser based on where their office is located has no relevance to their geographic competence. Many appraisers live in one place and appraise in another. By plotting their work history, you get a true picture of their geographic competence.
The Appraiser’s Portfolio is a huge leap forward in making the entire appraisal process more transparent. It eliminates any question about the appraiser’s credentials and experience in the local market.
Here’s a link to a sample portfolio.
Buzz: How secure is the information in the Appraiser’s Portfolio?
Jeff: Very secure. Only the appraiser can add and edit the data. Viewing access is granted at their discretion and is password enabled and time sensitive, so a viewer only has the privilege of viewing the portfolio for a short period of time.
Buzz: I understand you have another service that authenticates the appraiser’s identity.
Jeff: Yes. Its part of our Appraisal Sentry suite of services. Again, the goal is to instill trust and reliability in the appraisal process. We have all heard stories about someone impersonating an appraiser and committing appraisal fraud. Authenticating the appraiser’s identity removes any doubt about the true identity of the person performing the appraisal. I should add, that if an appraiser has their identity authenticated, it automatically becomes part of their Appraiser’s Portfolio, furthering the transparency of the valuation process.
Buzz: Can all appraisers take advantage of these services?
Jeff: Yes, any practicing appraiser with a valid appraisal license or certification can join AppraisalWorld for free. Incidentally, we unveiled a new service “Apply to AMCs” whereby any member can apply to over 150 AMCs for free. With a simple click, they can broadcast an application and their Appraiser’s Portfolio to all AMCs.
One thing I wanted to mention, all appraisers who get certified as CVR Specialists, receive the Appraiser’s Portfolio and Identity Authentication services for free as part of their certification.
We believe that this group of appraisers is going to set the standard for transparency of the valuation process. We encourage other appraisers to join in this effort with them.
Buzz: Where can an appraiser go to find out more about the Appraiser’s Portfolio and becoming a CVR Specialists?
Jeff: I encourage everyone to attend the Valuation 2010 conference. We will be there demonstrating our products. It’s a great place to meet and have all their questions answered.
Buzz: Jeff, thank you very much. Below are some links to the AppraisalWorld website for additional online information on the services Jeff talked about.