Advancing Appraisal Innovation

Founded in 1999, Global DMS is a leading provider of cloud-based commercial and residential real estate valuation solutions. The company’s solution set is cost-effectively delivered on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) transactional basis that ensures compliance adherence, reduces costs, increases efficiencies, and expedites the entire real estate appraisal process. Global DMS solutions include its new EVO-Residential (EVO-Res) platform for residential lending, EVO-Commercial (EVO-C) platform for commercial lending, MyEVO Alexa Skill, eTrac Enterprise valuation management platform for residential lending, SnapVal appraisal pricing solution, eTrac WebForms, Global Kinex, AVMs, the MISMO Appraisal Review System (MARS), ATOM (Appraisal Tracking on Mobile). We talked with Vladimir Bien-Aime, president and chief executive officer of Global DMS, about his journey, the state of mortgage lending and how his company manages to keep innovating year after year. Here’s what he said:

Q: Describe your mortgage industry journey. How did you first get involved in the mortgage space?

VLADIMIR BIEN-AIME: Prior to entering the mortgage industry, I worked for NJDEP (New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection). I developed Geographic Information Systems, software to graphically display field data from the oceans collected by sea captains to protect fishers from sourcing food in areas deemed contaminated or unsafe by NJDEP. I’ve always tried to direct my passion for technology in areas that aim to improve the human condition.

Around 1995 I was recruited to write software at Appraisal.com. They saw the need early on to move away from a DOS-based environment to Windows. It was around this time that I began to see the advantages of helping companies make the most of new technologies. Fast forward to 2023 where we can clearly see technology as a whole has evolved at an exponential rate. Conversely, technology in the mortgage industry has evolved at a linear rate, struggling to keep up with the pace and needs of an extremely dynamic market. At Global DMS our goal is to introduce new and innovative solutions (such as EVO which help to protect diversity and equality in the appraisal industry) for new and existing problems.

It is an exciting and critical time for the mortgage industry because we now have the data to measure transactions, geography, demographics, and satisfaction over the course of virtually any period of time, and act on that data. As a result, borrowers’ expectations have risen and we like to think that we’re helping to meet those needs while making the world a slightly better place, one appraisal at a time! It’s really exciting!

Q: How has the mortgage industry changed since you first started out?

VLADIMIR BIEN-AIME: In 1995, when I first started, the utilization of technology in the mortgage industry was extremely limited, 100% paper driven, and powered by fax machines. People were very hesitant to adopt new methods that employed cutting edge technologies because it was unfamiliar, intimidating and expensive. It wasn’t until recently that mortgage lenders have become much more open to leveraging current tech, however it must make sense. There needs to be a solid ROI and a compelling use case with reasonable implementation times. In my humble opinion, innovative companies such as Quicken Loans and Rocket Mortgage revolutionized the industry by appealing to younger and more progressive thinking audiences by creating a better borrower experience with their mobile technology, resulting in exponential growth. This kind of leadership is undeniable and truly pushed the industry forward while spawning several new startups to help lenders emulate their success.

Q: How would you describe the state of mortgage lending now? What do lenders need to do to be competitive?

VLADIMIR BIEN-AIME: Clearly the landscape has changed significantly. The climbing interest rates have all but destroyed the residential market with no relief or reprieve in sight. As The Fed continues to raise interest rates and as many large players exit the market, we see many of our colleagues are being displaced. To remain competitive, lenders are going to have to do more with less. They can no longer throw bodies at the problem like in the past; leveraging the right tech and utilizing automation to minimize the impact on limited human resources while reducing cost is going to be a key factor of any business’ success in the days to come.

Q: How would you describe the state of innovation in the mortgage industry now?

VLADIMIR BIEN-AIME: That’s a tough one. I think all businesses are being challenged to innovate in ways that are more in alignment with current human conditions. We live in an age where Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology is a part of most of our daily lives. Whether it’s a chatbot answering your questions, a decisioning engine presenting you the best options, or your smartphones voice assistant respond to the sound of your voice.  Google Assistants, Siri and other AI tech are setting the tone for how all industries will revolutionize or perish . Our patent pending AI programming automated valuation assignments are already leading the trend in the mortgage industry and I feel it is only a matter of time before others follow suit.

We’re witnessing radical departures from old ideologies in search of new processes and technologies to help take humanity to the next level of experience. Companies such as Global DMS will help pave the way for providing solutions like the MyEVO Voice Control Appraisal Management App for Alexa that leverage technology in such a way that both the lenders and the borrowers are both empowered and protected. I have been at the forefront of this “movement” if you will, since my career with NJDEP so hope our offerings will inspire others to help bring the changes needed.

Q: Congratulations on winning the Progress in Lending Innovations Award again. What does winning this top award mean to Global DMS and how do you sustain a culture of innovation at Global DMS?

VLADIMIR BIEN-AIME: It is a great honor to be recognized for our achievements by such a prestigious publication like Progress in Lending. Accepting this award on behalf of GDMS is extremely exciting and rewarding because it’s a team effort driven by a strong work ethic and a desire to lead that makes our company the most innovative year after year. The numerous innovations our team consistently brings to life, like our workflow configurator, configurable order form and appraisal review forms provide a custom software experience instantly really makes a difference for our clients. The opportunity to share that appreciation with our team on this level will sustain our culture of innovation and inspiration.

Q: You added Bias Alert to the award-winning EVO-Residential valuation technology platform. Describe what Bias Alert is and what its value proposition is.

VLADIMIR BIEN-AIME: Bias Alert is new technology that alerts lenders about the potential presence of bias in an appraisal before the appraisal is released externally to the borrowers. The platform utilizes a patent-pending process that automatically compares the appraisal data submitted by the appraiser to data from lender-grade automated valuation models to determine if there is a discrepancy in the stated values. Within the EVO admin set-up, lenders can choose a predetermined percentage level of accepted appraised-value variance along with a confidence score threshold.  EVO users receive alert messaging as well as a Bias Alert report when a potentially biased appraisal hits their specified variance threshold. Lenders can then examine the issues and choose to continue forward, request appraisal revisions or reassign for a new appraisal. EVO Bias Alert will provide lenders an integrated and automated tool to proactively identify and notify them in real-time of potentially biased appraisals to minimize legal, financial and reputational risk.

Q: What’s next? What can our readers expect from Global DMS in the coming months and years ahead?

VLADIMIR BIEN-AIME: There are many exciting things happening in the valuation space that will have a significant impact for residential lenders. As a certified technology for the GSE, Global DMS will help lenders meet their collateral within 24-hours. Typically, the appraisal fulfilment process is one of the longest parts of the mortgage process. With the new hybrid programs being adopted by the GSE’s that facilitate third-party inspections for property conditions in conjunction with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s appraisal data to deliver an automated valuation, when available. Freddie Mac’s recently launched The Automated Collateral Evaluation (ACE) program has the potential to significantly reduce the cost and turn around time for lenders to meet their collateral due diligence requirements in a fraction of the time it does today. In the pilot we are seeing significantly pricing reductions nationwide at about a third of current appraisal pricing leveraging this new alternative valuation model. This approach reduces the lenders cost per loan and closing times delivering early adapters a unique competitive advantage.

INSIDER PROFILE

Vladimir Bien-Aime is the President and CEO of Global DMS, which he founded in 1999 and built from the ground up. Since that time, he has grown the company into the mortgage industry’s leading provider of cloud-based, enterprise-class valuation management software solutions. A consummate technologist and constant innovator, Vladimir was instrumental in architecting Global DMS’ comprehensive eTrac enterprise valuation management platform. Vladimir later developed a number of ancillary products and services that enhanced eTrac and made it more robust. He has spearheaded the company’s product expansion to include web-based forms, automated reviews and scoring, vendor communications, compliant UCDP and EAD portal delivery, among other solutions. Most recently, he launched EVO-Commercial, the next generation of commercial valuation technology.