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Why Automation is Important and What it Means for You

By April 4, 2017 January 21st, 2020 No Comments
AVM appraisals

Let’s face it: we live in a society where just about everything can be automated. We carry devices in our pockets that with just the tap of a finger, we’re able to do everything from ordering groceries to be delivered to our home to scheduling taxi rides to and from our dinner reservations. Of course, as we know all too well, the banking industry is riddled with automation, too. In fact, one large universal bank estimated 85% of its operations could be partially automated. And it doesn’t stop there. Think about your own routines: when you make deposits, do you go to a branch to see a teller, or simply use an app or similar product for transactions? If your answer is the latter, you’re part of the 85% of transactions that can be taken care of at an ATM or with an app. However, perhaps like most of you, MountainSeed believes that the human experience is as valuable as an automated one. As the banking industry wraps its head around processes automation, top appraisal management companies like MountainSeed are helping lead the conversation.

Automation won’t replace thoughtful policies and procedures.

No matter how smart technology gets, what really matters is the intelligence of your processes, policies, and procedures…and that you’re following through on them. Once you have those in place, only then can you build your automation around them. Building automated processes without thoughtful policies and procedures can lead to ineffective processes overall.


Your automation will only ever be as good as the processes behind it. @MountainSeed


As you work through implementing automation in your professional workflow, make sure you’re keeping those core processes at the heart of your strategy.

Automation isn’t going anywhere; embrace the change!

It’s a common belief that when it comes to established industries, many can be resistant to change, especially with some of the intimidating statistics out there. One report states that in a particular branch-heavy retail bank, 65% of staff are completing processing work that could be automated.  If you are someone who has yet to realize the value in automation, that percentage can be hard to stomach. However, think about it like this: what other effective work could we be performing as a team if automation could handle some of our existing mundane tasks? The possibilities are endless.

Our industry is continually implementing different requirements for appraisers and bankers alike. For instance, if a bank hasn’t updated their appraiser policy or review forms in the past 6-12 months, chances are they are already outdated. Not to mention it can be a competitive advantage to have technological capabilities. Our clients (that’s you!) are community, regional, and super-regional banks. To compete in today’s mortgage and commercial real estate marketplace, you have to have current or even advanced technology to give yourself a competitive advantage for your customer, and that means a strategic, automated process is key.

Automation doesn’t take the place of our highly qualified, experienced appraisers.

At our appraisal management company, we have a customized technology that we use to help automate the appraisal process. However, like we’ve said before, we believe that automation cannot take the place of human expertise. Even though we have automated systems in place that help facilitate appraisal speed and accuracy, our appraisers are still at the heart of everything we do which means we have appraisers that sit in on the front-end of the commercial appraisal ordering process. Regardless of how advanced technology is, software can’t take the place of an experienced appraiser. We have full-time staff appraisers with an average of 30 years of experience, with 60% holding the industry’s top MAI designation. That human experience is what sets MountainSeed apart from the pack. We’re committed to our client relationships and believe it’s what makes our automated process so unique, too.

Automation can benefit you and your customers.

Here’s how it works: when an order is received from our clients, MountainSeed takes a look at the appraisal, asks questions, makes initial recommendations and gives feedback to make sure the appraiser is prepared — each a  part of that human experience. Then, technology comes into play. Once the order is arranged properly, our customized software automatically bids out the appraisal to appraisers in the local market that are appropriate for your assignment. Within 24 hours, the bids are automatically returned through that same hub. Our experienced appraisers (not software) are able to personally review those bids and then pass them along to the client, so that you can select the winning bidder. With just the click of a button, your selection is made. The selected appraiser immediately receives an electronic engagement letter. From here, he or she can sign the engagement letter digitally – no time wasted with back and forth paperwork. During the engagement process, automatic system updates will notify all parties of what is happening in real-time and will keep the appraiser notified of anything that might cause a delay. Once the appraisal is complete, our software automatically assigns it to an appropriate appraisal reviewer for your specific assignment. Finally, the appraisal reviewer handles any questions or comments and an automated notification will be sent directly to you letting you know that the appraisal and the appraisal review is available for download. Easy (and as automated) as that.

Automation is just one piece of the puzzle.

Regardless of how and when you decide to automate, one thing is clear: automation is just one piece of the AVM appraisals puzzle, and highly qualified, knowledgeable appraisers are still at the center of the process.  There are a ton of factors to consider, and it’s a huge decision to incorporate automation. We’ve pulled together an extensive FAQ resource if you’re considering implementing some changes, but don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you might have. We’re here to help.