Mark Linne

Appraisal Buzz is embarking on a series of Appraiser Profiles. This is long overdue. It’s time we recognize those professionals who are dedicated to advancing Collateral Valuation and Collateral Risk into its rightful place in the lending process.

Our interview today is with Mark Linne:

Buzz: Mark, I know that you have been involved with many different initiatives in the appraisal profession over the course of your career, and that you have been a thought leader in interactive valuation technologies for more than a decade. What I find amazing is that you are also an author, editor, speaker, columnist, and software developer who has focused on technology, data and valuation modeling and their roles in appraisal. How did you go down this path and how did you start?

Mark: I started in the assessment side of the appraisal profession, and gained a lot of exposure to and experience in mass appraisal. I was fairly used to using hundreds and sometimes thousands of sales to derive values, and that exposure helped to shape my focus when I entered the private sector.

Buzz: What was that focus?

Mark: I have always focused on the statistical tools and techniques that help appraisers analyze large amounts of data. Rather than looking at three to five sales-I’ve always felt that using statistical analysis to look at a larger pool of sales was the best manner of understanding markets and providing clients with meaningful information.

Buzz: How did you get involved in software development?

Mark: I think it came down to a desire to have the tools available to help appraisers. I couldn’t find any tools that provided the type of analysis that I thought was necessary-so I spent a decade building tools for lenders and appraisers.

Buzz: Tell us how you came to work with Jeff Bradford and AppraisalWorld.

Mark: In 2004, Jeff and I were part of a gathering of technology and appraisers called KW401, in which the participants brainstormed on what tools would be necessary for appraisers in the coming decade. We realized that we both had similar ideas, and though it would end up taking another several years till we came together at AppraisalWorld, in the end we were able to combine the best ideas that we both had to build CompCruncher™ the application that delivers the Collateral Valuation Report (CVR). I am currently Executive Vice President of Education and Analytics for the company.

Buzz: Tell us about the CVR.

Mark: The CVR is an Alternative Valuation Product (AVP) that AppraisalWorld released to the market in 2009. It’s the first entry in what we are terming “Computer-Aided Appraisals” that leverage data, data standards and analytic tools that include regression analysis, to provide a “best in class” alternative valuation that is statistically supported.

Buzz: How are lenders responding to the CVR?

Mark: The response from both lenders and appraisers has been nothing short of amazing. You may have heard that U.S. Bank recently agreed to accept CVRs for a number of their business lines across the U.S. Its fairly amazing to have a top-five lender on board, but we have new lenders every week coming on board to embrace the CVR technology. Other top-ten lenders are talking to us and we are close to some announcements there as well. National banks, regional banks and credit unions are all coming on board to use the technology.

Buzz: How are appraisers responding to the CVR?

Mark: We began with Forsythe Appraisals and Valocity more than one year ago, and now we are seeing an influx of both independent appraisers as well as national and regional AMCs. We have recently added C & D Appraisals, IRR-Residential, ZDS and a number of other firms. We have more than 700 appraisers in training, and have just modified our training program to be very efficient, allowing appraisers to complete the program in a matter of days.

Buzz: Mark, I know you have written a number of books and presently have a new book coming out. Can you tell us about your new book?

Mark: I am the co-author of two previous books for the Appraisal Institute: “A Guide to Appraisal Valuation Modeling” and “Practical Applications in Appraisal Valuation Modeling”. I am the editor and one of the authors of the Appraisal Institute’s newest book for 2010: Visual Valuation: Integrating Valuation Modeling and Geographic Information Solutions. There are 20 author/contributors who each approach the issues con¬fronting the valuation profession from diverse viewpoints. The valuation scenarios collected in this new book range from the approachable (incorporating GIS technology into an individual’s land appraisal practice) to the intimidating (developing a multistate valuation model that integrates a variety of valuation tools and data sources within a major lender’s business processes). In each case, the authors find a way to leverage existing technologies to address the issues under investigation and to map out a path forward.

Buzz: When will the book become available?

Mark: The book will be available in early August. It debuted last week at the Appraisal Summit, and it can be pre-ordered by sending me an email. AI will also be sending out information-so be sure to watch for that.

Buzz: Any final thoughts?

Mark: I think that the future is very bright for those who are seeking solutions to meet their client’s needs. I heard a speaker a few weeks ago who said that the next few years may very well represent a renaissance in valuation. I have every confidence that as a profession, we will see some tremendous opportunities in the future if we focus on our clients, expand our ability to use the tools and data that we have available, and remain adaptable to a changing market. I write about the future of valuation frequently, and readers can follow my blog at: www.TheFutureofValuation.com. They can also check out the resources and information we have available at www.appraisalworld.com. I would also invite them to take a look at our training program and our product descriptions.

Buzz: How can people reach you if they have questions?

Mark: My email address is: Mark@AppraisalWorld.com

Buzz: Thank you!

Mark: Thanks for your interest.