There were many major launches that allowed appraisers to be more efficient, work from wherever they want, and ultimately make more money in 2020. 2020 has been a memorable year for everybody, and now that it’s coming to a close we want to take a look back at the amazing new appraiser technology that’s been released over the last year. We sat down with Marty Haldane, CEO of Anow, to discuss his upcoming webinar on December 10th at 2 pm ET, “Year in Review – What Happened for Appraisers in 2020?”
Buzz: What have been some of the most influential technology trends over this past year?
Marty: There have been a couple of critical trends that have emerged over the last year.The first and most obvious one is the homeowner data collection tools that almost everyone has embraced. A lot of technology companies in our space and even companies who aren’t typically technology companies have jumped on this because it’s working so well. There are a lot of ways through technology to keep people honest, like location services and an Artificial Intelligence. We built to verify homeowner photos so that appraisers can confidently keep doing their jobs when they aren’t in control of getting the data. We were one of the first to launch ours back in April, and have completed well over 100,000 of these for our customers. If you were to suggest this before the pandemic, appraisers would have called us insane. Heck, I probably would have said the same thing. Things have largely gone back to “normal” now with full inspections and we are seeing absolute record appraisal volume, but I’m happy we built that tool to help people when they needed it.
The second big innovation this year would be more automation around appraisal inspection booking. We are working with great appraisers who are doing appraisals in 24-48 hours because we can help get them inside properties fast. We also built an Uber-like “cars on the map” feature where appraisers can put their hands up (beacon) and get instant inspections. This doesn’t work for everyone, but we have lot of people wanting to do it. Plus, they are getting paid a nice premium for this service. This is what Anow does: enable appraisers to offer more services to stand out and get paid more. We approach it from an appraiser-first perspective (I am a 3rd generation appraiser) so appraisers benefit rather than someone else forcing them on an appointment they can’t take. After that, we’re seeing appraisers finishing fantastic reports from start to finish in 30 minutes now. It’s incredible.
Buzz: What have we learned / how can we move forward from this pandemic in the industry?
Marty: It was really impressive how quickly appraisers, AMCs, Lenders, GSEs, and even homeowners reacted to all of the new flexibilities. We heard great examples all around about people quickly accommodating the process even when they couldn’t physically inspect a property. The fact that a record number of appraisal valuations were completed this year shows the resilience of the entire industry and everyone’s ability to quickly adapt. Appraisers are awesome.
Buzz: What are some of the key differences 2021 will have versus 2020?
Marty: A lot of technology innovation happened in 2020 as we were forced to change how we work and where we work, which at the end of the day is awesome for our industry and just technology as a whole. It’s been stagnant in the valuation space for too long. We’re seeing a lot of great new products and ideas come into the appraisal space and that is just good for everyone. It’s great that appraisers have new tools and it’s great that they push companies like us to innovate faster to keep up. I think 2021 will be a lot like how things are like right now – moving very fast. We have a lot more exciting things we’re releasing in 2021 I can’t talk about yet, but it’ll be a great year!
Buzz: What was the most popular among the new releases from Anow?
Marty: It’s hard to pick favorites – this year was full of big shifts, so I’ll give you the top 2 major things that came out in 2021 that were big hits.
#1 – In the beginning of the year, Anow’s Walkthrough homeowner inspection product exploded. There were 2 companies that released the first homeowner inspection tools back in April at almost the exact same time, and we were one. Walkthrough has seen over 100,000 inspections this year already, but lately there has been a big shift towards full inspections, so that one is quieting down. Which is still great since it serves the purpose when it is needed.
#2- Our Nexus report writer/form filler launched in September has already seen thousands of appraisals. Our customers have been waiting a long time and it’s finally here. There are still a lot of features to add, but we have several no one else has, and we are adding several new ones each week. The response has been overwhelming since we are the only company with a real-time collaborative report writer where you can see someone helping you type in real-time without passing files back and forth. It’s a lot of fun to watch.
Buzz: Why should appraisers attend your webinar?
Marty: There is no other appraisal software company releasing as many new features as we are. As we look to 2021 and what appraisers can now do inside our platform, it’s pretty incredible. We can help you save a lot of money and make a lot more at the same time.
Thank you for answering our questions, Marty. We hope you join the webinar, “Year in Review – What Happened for Appraisers in 2020?” on December 10th at 2 pm ET.
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