Thursday , 3 December 2020

Fannie Mae Helps Build Stronger Communication

The valuation industry has many working parts, without clear communication and help from lenders, real estate agents, AMC’s and your client – the appraisal process can become very challenging. Fannie Mae is seeking to improve the profession through the Fannie Mae, Appraiser Page.

The page focuses on resources that can assist the appraiser when trying to solve a problem, tutorials to further their education and even a current news section. Julie Jones, Collateral Policy & Strategist at Fannie Mae helped guide us through the Appraiser Page to show us how it can be beneficial to all appraisers.

Buzz: Julie, thank you for joining us today. We are excited to talk with you about Fannie Mae’s new page to help guide Appraisers. Can you tell us a bit about the purpose and goal of the page? 

Julie: The Fannie Mae appraiser page has actually been around for some time, but when I joined the Collateral Policy team I quickly realized that most appraisers didn’t even know it existed! The overall goal of the page is to provide appraisers with resources at their fingertips to answer common questions or issues they may face when completing an appraisal assignment. 

Buzz: One of the sections that intrigued me most is the FAQs section. Fannie Mae seems to cover many hard-pressing questions that frequently arise during the appraisal process. How will this section help the appraisers? 

Julie: The FAQs section is a great first stop for an appraiser to find answers to questions about a specific topic. For example, many appraisers find the Collateral Underwriter® FAQs incredibly helpful in understanding how we use CU® internally and how we train lenders to use it in their review process. This includes the dos and don’ts of communicating findings to appraisers. 

We have also observed that the Appraisal and Property Related FAQ is the most downloaded document week after week. It’s a comprehensive document that covers a wide array of appraisal topics, so it’s understandable why an appraiser out in the field would find it handy. 

Buzz: Can you tell us about some of the most recent enhancements to the page?

Julie: Last year we introduced the Fannie Mae Appraiser Update – a newsletter created specifically for appraisers that provides the latest policy updates and insights. We published two in 2017 and it was so well-received that we moved it to a quarterly publication schedule. Our latest edition was published in April and readers should expect to see the next edition in July. 

We also added a Contact Us Form and the ability to sign up for email updates. I’m happy to report we’ve gained over 11,000 subscribers, but admittedly I’d love to see more! 

Buzz: How does Fannie Mae hope this page will help build a stronger relationship with Appraisers? 

Julie: Over the years we have found there is a great need for closer communication between Fannie Mae and appraisers, especially around the interpretation of Selling Guide policies. I hope having information in one easy-to-find location along with a dedicated resource to answer questions bridges that gap. 

Buzz: Can you tell us a bit about the Help and Training section? 

Julie: I remember being out in the field and I found it challenging to work “live” seminars into my busy work week. The Help and Training section has tutorials that can be accessed 24/7, making it easier for the “boots on the ground” appraiser to get the help they need. Look out for updates in the fall! 

This spring we hosted two appraiser-direct webinars with over 2,200 registered attendees. In these sessions, we shared observations from appraisals we’ve received, provided best practices, and even provided a demonstration of Collateral Underwriter. We expect to add more dates in late 2018. 

Buzz: You will be speaking at Valuation Expo in Las Vegas, October 1st-3rd. Can you give our readers a little sneak peek about what you will be discussing? 

Julie: In addition to providing our latest appraisal observations, I plan to recap all of the collateral policy changes Fannie Mae made throughout 2018. Appraisal waivers are still a hot topic with a broad misunderstanding of how they work or the logic behind them, so I will walk the audience through that process and provide an update on appraisal volume impact. Attendees can also expect an update on our Appraisal Process Modernization initiative. 

Buzz: Well, Julie, thank you for talking with us; we greatly appreciate it. Before we conclude this Q&A, is there anything you would like to add? 

Julie: I know appraisers are feeling uncertain about the future of the industry – and rightfully so! The changes in our midst now and those on the horizon present a wealth of opportunity for appraisers and our team at Fannie Mae is excited to offer solutions that will benefit borrowers, lenders, and appraisers alike. 

Thank you for the opportunity to sit with you today!

Buzz: : If you would like to hear from Julie in person she will be speaking on the Keynote panel at Valuation Expo on October 2nd. Find out who else will be speaking here.

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About Julie Jones

Julie Jones
With over 16 years of diverse real estate and valuation experience, Julie spent several of those years in the field as a Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser and Realtor® in North Carolina before joining Fannie Mae. While employed as a review appraiser in the Loan Quality Center, she served as a Subject Matter Expert for Collateral Underwriter®(CU™), various internal applications, and procedures. Julie now leads the broader communication and outreach strategy for Collateral Policy & Strategy – a team devoted to driving innovation in the appraisal space while effectively managing Fannie Mae’s collateral risk.

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