Appraisal Department More Than Just Necessary

A Chief Appraiser friend of mine sometimes laments that the C-suite and lenders perceived him as a regulatory hurdle to overcome rather than a valuable resource. But, he and his team were determined to change that perception.

Seth Godin’s book, Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable reminds us not be invisible. A Purple Cow is a metaphor for something that is out of the ordinary. Not even to be “very good”, but rather something remarkable.

How would it feel for your department to provide excellent service to your bank?

Becoming Partners in Success

We realized that the key to elevating our department was to shift from being a regulatory “have to” and become strategic partners in the bank’s success. We proactively collaborated with the C-suite and lending teams, offering insights on market trends, property valuations and risk assessments. By involving ourselves early in the decision-making process, we earned their trust and established our credibility as invaluable contributors.

Leveraging Technology and Data

We embraced technology centered around YouConnect as our appraisal management platform. Automation streamlined our workflow, reducing turnaround times significantly. Moreover, harnessing data-driven insights like collateral concentration enabled us to make better-informed decisions, mitigating risks and improving the quality of loan portfolios.

Unleashing the Power of Customer Experience

In our pursuit of greatness, we didn’t overlook the importance of exceptional customer experience. We understood that borrowers often found the appraisal process intimidating and confusing. So, we worked on making the journey smoother for them, providing personalized guidance for our Relationship Managers based on clear communication.

A Culture of Continuous Learning

To foster a culture of excellence, we encouraged continuous learning and professional development among our team members. We organized regular training sessions, workshops, and cross-functional collaborations to enhance their skills and expertise. Our employees have become true experts in their domain, further increasing our department’s reputation.

Embracing Proactivity and Innovation

A key aspect of our transformation was embracing a proactive approach. Instead of waiting for problems to arise, we anticipated challenges and developed innovative solutions. Our forward-thinking attitude impressed both the C-suite and lending teams, as they began to rely on our department for strategic insights.

Measuring Success

To showcase the impact of our efforts, we implemented robust performance metrics. By tracking key indicators such as appraisal delivery times, reporting, vendor management, with full transparency, we demonstrated the tangible value our department added to the bank’s bottom line.

4 Benefits of Transcending Necessity

The elevation of our appraisal department has had a profound ripple effect on the entire bank. Here’s how the entire organization benefited from our transformation:

  1. Improved Loan Portfolio Quality: With enhanced appraisal management, the bank’s loan portfolio became more stable.
  2. Competitive Edge in the Market: Our proactive approach and innovative strategies gave the bank a competitive edge. Lenders were more willing to work with us, and customers appreciated the streamlined process.
  3. Enhanced Customer Loyalty: The improved customer experience led to greater customer satisfaction and hard-to-get bank loyalty. Satisfied borrowers were more likely to use other banking services, further deepening their relationship with the bank.
  4. Positive Reputation: As our department became synonymous with excellence, the bank’s overall reputation has become more competitive. This positive perception attracted more high-value and more desirable customers.

Contrarians may see this Chief Appraiser success story as “interesting” but not applicable to their bank. That said, the journey from a good to great appraisal department was not without its challenges.

However, by adopting a proactive mindset, embracing innovation, and focusing on strategic collaboration with the C-suite and lenders, my friend elevated his department. This transformation not only improved his bank’s overall performance, but also fostered a culture of excellence within his organization.

Be excellent for your bank.

Stand out.

Be a Purple Cow.

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