Many banks are burdened by regulatory oversight specifically related to the management of real estate valuations. This burden isn’t temporary, which means regulated valuation management is here to stay. Traditionally, banks have been slow to adopt technologies that improve business processes along with meeting compliance requirements. Implementing the right technology can enhance business processes, reduce operational expenses and improve customer service levels.
Over the past ten years, we have learned one of the primary hurdles for a bank’s valuation department is the communication among the various parties involved, which includes bank employees, bank customers and third-party vendors. Communication by banks has historically been handled through email and telephone conversations, which hinders the overall business process. This approach increases the possibility of miscommunication and error, as well as the likelihood of failure in following through with the process.
ValuTrac, a valuation management software, alleviates these issues by routing all communication relative to the valuation of a property through the ValuTrac system. Internal messaging allows communication among the parties, it provides date and time stamps of all messages for audits as well as full transparency. Each valuation order includes a “notes” feature that can be used to document any phone conversations.
There is a high volume of information involved in the valuation process that must be stored and retrieved throughout the entire process. It may be necessary to access this data after the process is completed for audit and other compliance purposes. As one of our customers recently stated, “ValuTrac works so well that during our last audit, the auditors had zero questions and that’s kind of unheard of in our industry”.
No longer is it an acceptable situation to take days or even hours to compile data that is subject to audit, compliance review or internal management review. Without valuation management software, such requests can take many hours to compile and involve retrieval from a variety of disparate storage systems. Human error is a constant issue and consistency in the data will prove to be quite elusive.
ValuTrac Software provides banks with the flexibility to manage various types of orders in a single system, which includes appraisals, evaluations, agricultural, environmental and equipment valuations. Banks have the ability to store all relevant data including: property details, contact information, appraisal documents, notes, etc., in a single location that is searchable and retrievable by authorized bank personnel at any time. The flexibility of ValuTrac enables banks to develop customized approaches and assign access authorizations that are specific to their business process.
Improvements in efficiency of the administrative process requires the elimination of time gaps between various steps in the valuation process. One of the great inefficiencies of the process has been wasted time while waiting for notifications regarding the completion of a pre-requisite step. These time gaps add up and can result in a much longer and more frustrating process than necessary.
These time gaps are greatly diminished through ValuTrac’s integrated dashboard. Real-time status is displayed for each file and is automatically updated as specific tasks are completed. Moreover, each status change is instantly communicated to selected parties throughout the process. Eliminating the need to manually update a party.
One additional quality-enhancing benefit of ValuTrac is the improvement in relationships between the parties involved. It is well known that personality conflicts and frustration tend to arise in complicated processes. By delivering enhanced efficiency, simplified processes and automatic accountability for actions, there will be less friction and parties are free to focus on the professional execution of their work.
ValuTrac can alter the status quo relative to the overall valuation process by improving communication, information storage and retrieval, implementation of process controls and the overall relationships among the parties involved. This will create significant improvement in quality, efficiency, transparency and compliance. The results of higher quality valuation management for banks are mitigating risk, improving customer service, reducing operating costs, and increasing business productivity.