Colorado is known for their world class skiing, stunning mountain ranges, and must-see sensational parks. In the midst of all of this beauty is Legacy Bank. Their name was prophetic and they have been a staple of their community since 1902.
How have they lasted so long and what is the secret to their continued success? That’s what we wanted to know as well so we sat down with James Parmelee to find out.
James manages Legacy’s appraisal and loan review process and had a great deal to share. Here is a peek under the hood at Legacy – enjoy!
Part 1: Managing the loan review & appraisal process
Q: Tell me a little bit about Legacy Bank and your role there.
Legacy Bank is a privately held community bank which is a Federal Reserve non-member. We’ve been around since 1907, and the second and third generations of the founding Esgar family are still operating the bank today.
The bank started out as the State Bank of Wiley in 1907. Its expanded operations in Pueblo, Colorado were chartered in 2004 as Legacy Bank. In 2007, the entire bank was renamed as Legacy Bank. Offices were added in Colorado Springs. In 2009, the bank acquired Southern Colorado National Bank with offices in Pueblo and Pueblo West, as well as opening two new branches in Lamar, Colorado, and on the north side of Pueblo. The bank now has seven offices in Wiley, Lamar, Pueblo West, Canon City, Colorado Springs, and two in Pueblo, the University Park, and Riverwalk offices. Hopefully, we’ll just keep growing! We are about a $300 million dollar bank with about 45 employees.
Part 2: About Legacy Bank
Q: What are your team’s goals for this year?
We’d like to continue our rapid appraisal review turnaround time and accelerate our closings. The bank has been working with MountainSeed for several years and there aren’t really any rough edges left that haven’t been addressed or resolved.
Q: What’s your favorite part about working at Legacy Bank?
I enjoy working with the professionals within Legacy Bank and the association with the appraisers in the communities we serve. Our functional area provides the valuation reports our lenders need and ensure they get it them in a timely manner.
Q: What are the greatest challenges in your role?
The biggest issue we had previously was reviewing our appraisals in-house, due to our limited review capacity. The appraisal review process was just taking too long. Since we’ve started working with MountainSeed, we’ve been able to streamline both our review and engagement processes, which we were unable to do before.
Part 3: Needing a top appraisal management company
Q: What was going on at your bank when you started to need an appraisal management partner?
The problem was just getting things done in a timely manner. We could get the work done internally, but it was beginning to cause issues for the loan officers to be able to close their deals on time.
Management still wishes to retain the engagement process so we continue to handle that internally. We’ve really benefited from outsourcing the review process, and it’s taken a huge burden of time away from us so we can get everything else in order.
“We’ve really enjoyed @MountainSeed’s review process & it’s taken a huge burden of time away from us so we can get everything else in order”
Q: What other options did you consider besides MountainSeed?
We did a pretty comprehensive review of the companies available. One great thing about the Internet is you can see how companies have treated their customers from their reviews. We looked at a large number of companies but they all had one thing or another that appeared to be an issue to us. They also wanted to take over our entire appraisal process when we were interested only in review work.
MountainSeed didn’t have any of these issues and took us as we were. It’s been a good relationship because of this.
Q: Where’d you search for those reviews?
I started with Google, looking for companies who did appraisal reviews and then zeroed in on key players in the industry.
Part 4: Working with MountainSeed
Q: What services do you use?
Currently we use MountainSeed for both residential and commercial appraisal reviews.
Q: How are things different since you started working with MountainSeed?
We have more timely reviews and can expedite more closings. Since we get the reviews back rapidly, the officers can start scheduling what they need for closing sooner. That’s been a big benefit.
Q: How has working with MountainSeed impacted your team?
When we send an appraisal out for review, we get it back in a specified time. It’s been helpful to depend on that. Right now we have a two person team that orders, receives, and sends appraisals out for review. When the review is received, it is approved internally, so it works very well for us. Plus it doesn’t add undue time to our schedules since we all have other responsibilities too.
Part 5: Staying up to date on the latest financial news
Q: How do you stay current on the latest trends in the banking and financial industry?
I scan the news every day when I come into work on the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and the Independent Bankers of Colorado email updates. IBC provides us with in depth regulatory review and legislative efforts we need to know about.
Q: What publications do you follow to get the best news articles?
To stay up with appraisal news, I read the Appraisal Institute’s weekly newsletter. Another publication I follow closely is the National Real Estate Investor’s NREI Daily Newsletter along with our local daily newspaper to stay up to date on what’s going on in the business world and our community.
Q: What do you think is the biggest topic for financial institutions today?
Everyone is holding in place to see what’s going to happen on the regulatory front. There are some really complex regulatory issues coming up that will greatly impact financial institutions and especially smaller banks. Dodd Frank’s regulatory burden has been very difficult for small banks. Banks are living with uncertainty until they know how the agencies are going to handle Dodd Frank.
If you’d like to stay up to date on the latest trends, sign up for MountainSeed’s monthly newsletter. If you ever have any questions about your own appraisal review or management process, reach out today. We’d love to speak with you.