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August 31, 2023

Digital Transformation in Appraisals: Preparing for the Future

In an industry steeped in tradition and expert judgment, the growing influence of technology isn't just another phase—it's a new, exciting frontier. Digital transformation in the appraisal sector is rapidly shifting the focus towards data-driven decisions, enabled by enhanced access to multiple data points from various sources. In this blog, we will explore how this shift is both needed and beneficial, streamlining workflows and ushering the industry into a new era.

The Digital Shift: From Paper to Big Data

Gradual Beginnings

Appraisers have been adapting to new technologies for years—GIS for mapping, form-filling solutions, and real-time databases for property history have radically changed the industry for the better. However, as the tech has evolved, so have the expectations on data quality; the bar has risen significantly with the advent of cloud computing, big data, and machine learning.

The Data Revolution

The modern appraisal industry is pulling together thousands of data points from public records, aggregated market data, and other common areas, elevating the entire appraisal process and helping expert appraisers craft far more precise calculations.

Why This Transformation is Inevitable

Regulatory Changes

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are leading the way in calling for standardized, machine-readable formats with the new UAD framework. This isn't a demand for conformity but an acknowledgment of the need for efficient, reliable data. The UAD change is not a bureaucratic hurdle but a recognition that standardization is crucial for accurate, efficient operations in a data-driven world.

Market Volatility

Real estate markets are becoming increasingly volatile, influenced by everything from shifting tastes to interest rate changes. In such an environment, having access to real-time data and analytics tools can be a game-changer for appraisers. A data-driven approach is the only way for our industry to defend that our valuations and reports are accurate.

Consumer Expectations

People are getting accustomed to digital-first companies' quick, transparent, and user-friendly services. In response, the appraisal industry is evolving to meet these expectations without compromising the integrity of the appraisal process. Digital transformation on this side builds trust by enhancing the quality and reliability of the entire appraisal experience.

The Appraiser's New Toolkit: More Than Just Tools

Empowering Not Replacing

The aim is not to replace the appraiser but to empower them. Automation and digital tools are meant to amplify skills, freeing appraisers to focus on intricate analyses and client interactions. 

One of the most significant advantages of the digital shift is the capability for seamless integration of varied data points into a single interface, enriching your data sources without complicating the workflow. This is critical as appraisal requirements continue to become more complex and involved.

But is there Usability for All?

A common barrier to technology adoption is the perception that these tools must be simplified. However, the modern trend is toward intuitive design to make digital platforms accessible and user-friendly for professionals at all tech-savvy levels. If a platform is designed correctly, getting up to speed effectively and efficiently should be the norm. 

The Future: Data-Driven and Human-Centric

The appraisal industry stands on the brink of a significant transition that combines the best of human judgment with the capabilities of modern technology. This digital transformation is a revolutionary shift—empowering appraisers to elevate their practice, meet evolving market demands, and pave the way for a data-rich and human-centric industry. 

We need better solutions in our industry, it’s a core driving factor on why we created Appraiser Toolkit. We can’t wait to reveal it to you on September 17th! Join the waitlist here.

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