Issue: 4 March 2013



With the first quarter of 2013 almost behind us, the team at ULSA decided to use this newsletter to focus on some of the challenges of running an AMC operation.  We all share the common tasks of finding and then retaining business, implementation of new business, and the age old dilemma of outsourcing versus staffing up which is the feature article of this issue. 


Business development is obviously a critical area of focus for organizations large and small, whether you are selling mortgage services or appraisal services.  The time and expense required to develop new business can be grossly underestimated.  You have marketing and market research, relationship building, responding to requests for proposal and several rounds of follow up questions, scope of work and price negotiations, and legal negotiations as just a handful of the many hurdles to get through when developing new business.


Once you've accomplished this sometimes long and arduous process, you are ready to start working, right?  As anxious as we all become to get started, now we begin a new phase of systems access, registration, and integrations.  There are also onboarding additional staff, outlining client expectations, systems testing, go live, follow up calls, and the list goes on and on. 


Although this is loosely described from an AMC perspective, the tremendous investment all parties have to make when creating a new partnership is clearly recognized.  Whether it is a lender placing their trust in ULSA as a service provider, or an appraiser using their training, licensure, education, and experience, the investments are costly across the entire spectrum.


Lastly, our ability to obtain and retain business from new and existing clients is predicated on the quality of our appraiser panel and our internal review team.    While some of the review requests may seem innocuous or a waste of time to the appraiser, they are anything but.  The additional comments, clarifications, comparable sales, etc., are requested to ensure we meet client specific guidelines.  ULSA's client scorecard performance includes reports that don't meet these requirements.  This has a direct impact on the volume we receive the following month and helps the client mitigate repurchase demands on defaulted loans. 


On behalf of the entire team, we truly appreciate your investment in us and look forward to providing continued benefits to all of our partnerships.  Please enjoy this edition of the newsletter and provide comments to

 Jim Beatty. SRA, SVP, Chief Appraiser  

The Benefits of Effective Communication



Urban Lending Solutions Appraisals (ULSA) is an appraiser run company.  Our leadership team holds active appraiser licenses and most have over 20 years of experience in the industry. Their unique perspective permeates every level of our organization from our approach to communication to our review process. That is why ULSA is built around appraiser to appraiser communication to benefit the clients we all serve and our appraiser partners in streamlining the appraisal process.


Our appraiser partners find that discussing the details of a particular order with someone familiar with the requirements, regulations, and with similar experience in the industry has obvious advantages. The role of the in-house appraiser, because of their experience gained in the field, is to work with the panel appraiser on appraisal issues and clarification requests. The feedback we receive from our panel appraisers has been enthusiastic and appreciative that their appraisal questions are always addressed by someone with appraisal expertise.  We also have a team of coordinators whose main responsibility is communicating with appraisers regarding the placement and on-time delivery of orders.  They are USPAP trained to better understand the complexities of the appraisal industry, but leave the complex appraisal issues to the appraisers. This division of responsibilities is central to the quality and efficiency that ULSA is known to deliver!


For clients working with an AMC, the advantages of having the leadership and review team with field experience as well as the practice of appraiser to appraiser communication lies in everything from a faster turn time to the quality of the reports received.  There are so many steps between the creation of an appraisal order and the return of that order that any number of factors could delay the return of the report.  Based upon real life experience, ULSA set up the end to end order management process to avoid common pitfalls, assist appraisers in challenges such as tracking down data in rural areas, and guiding coordinators in accurate appraisal assignment, to name a few.  When skill sets are properly aligned, and appraisers in the office are communicating with the panel appraisers on appraisal issues and guidelines, the results are a better appraisal report completed as timely as possible with a fee appraiser that actually enjoys working as a partner to ULSA!  


Worth the Risk?


Outsource. That one word can have an immediate negative association, especially in today's economic climate. Ask any hard working American what they think about outsourcing and you're likely to find a strong opinion. Outsourcing has been labeled as capitalizing on productivity to the detriment of quality or relevant experience of the outsourced provider, a simple bottom line dollars and cents equation. <Read More> 

Appraisers House of the Month

Custom Home


This beautiful Northern Colorado location consists of 55+ acres with a custom built 5,500 SF 'Castle.'  The property's unique location, amenities, and design style make appraising this property anything but a "run of the mill" 1004 valuation!   How often do you see a property neighboring the subject as an active rock quarry when considering marketability?  Not to mention the subject's 900 SF accessory dwelling unit, large enclosed outbuilding, and private landing strip.  Let's take a look. <Read More>

Market Outlook


Most publications and industry experts agree that the real estate market is in an upward swing of recovery.  Beyond the refinancing boom that is still generating new opportunities for us all, there is a new onset of first time homebuyers that are taking advantage of the still low (but slowly rising) interest rates and still low (but slowly rising!) home prices. <Read More>

Barbara Lucero, Transaction Manager 

Barbara Lucero joined ULSA in August of 2012, and has been in the appraisal industry since the late 1990's. Barbara recently took over the position of transaction manager and oversees the appraisal coordination team. Barbara sat down for a brief interview with me to discuss life and her job here at ULSA. <Read More>

In This Issue
Custom Home
Market Outlook

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