Despite The Challenges Brought On By COVID-19, Some Still Grow

Despite the impact of the pandemic, some companies still grew this year. For example, Appraisal Logistics, a provider of appraisal management services, technology and compliance solutions for the residential/commercial mortgage industry, announced that the company will end 2020 stronger than it started, despite the global pandemic.

“This was a very tough year for many,” said Frank Danna, CEO of Appraisal Logistics. “Despite the many challenges 2020 brought, appraisers performed well and bank appraisal management departments did a very good job of keeping up with the loan volume. We grew our team to keep up, adding both clients and staff. The result is that we will perform very well this year.”

While the mortgage business faltered during March with the first cases of COVID-19, it quickly recovered. Ultimately, lenders would do so much business that Fannie Mae now estimates the total loan volume for 2020 will exceed $4 trillion.

“When home loan borrowers began to express concern about appraisers entering their homes, many worried that it would lead to a housing crash,” said Dennis Ashcroft, Executive Vice-President of Sales. “Fortunately, the GSEs began issuing appraisal waivers and we rolled out our Property Vision contact-free appraisal inspection tool and our PropertyVision Live appraiser/homeowner collaboration technology. Those efforts kept the appraisal industry working.”

Lenders embraced Property Vision because it allowed their appraisers to provide a more accurate opinion of value without putting the lender’s customers and appraisers at risk. PropertyVision Live took it to the next level by allowing appraisers to work directly with consumers to get exactly the images they need to complete their report.

While the mortgage industry, in general, has performed well, the recovery has been uneven, with some lenders performing better than others. Similarly, not all AMCs made it through 2020, with at least two notable firms exiting the business this year.

“When AMCs go out of business or are purchased by a lender’s competitors, it requires them to find an alternative,” said Mark Tague, Vice-President of Sales for Appraisal Logistics. “Most lenders are not staffed to handle the appraisal function in house and will need support. There are many advantages to outsourcing this work, but with the right technology and an outsourcing team ready to back the lender up, it can be handled in house for some lenders. Our technology enables that and we’re seeing a lot more interest in it now.”