July 3, 2020
The spread of the novel coronavirus has made its way through the United States, causing disruption in practically every industry. From nursing homes to day care centers, restaurants and civic amenities to sports and entertainment, no one industry has been immune. This is also true for the real estate appraisal business, which has traditionally relied on people stepping inside a home to inspect it and get a better understanding of a home’s potential value.
Now, with social distancing measures still in place and stay-at-home mandates being renewed temporarily, home appraisal businesses are having to rethink their business strategy. This has spurred on such measures as Curbside appraisals and desktop options for potential homebuyers and the appraisers they work with, and opened the door to startups, like Bowery Valuation, which just captured seed funding to expand on automation tools for multi-family appraisals.
But no matter the course of action taken to adopt to this new normal, it’s easy to see that technology, in its various forms, is providing the Real estate appraisal business a way to navigate in the era of COVID-19.
Here are some tech-friendly tools that real estate appraisal businesses can use to continue their services and provide the best possible estimates for their clients.
The Use of Drones
With recently relaxed aviation laws geared towards low-flying drones, real estate appraisers can get a whole new view of the properties they represent. Drones can give you an edge over others and make the appraisal process more streamlined. Drones can help in a wide variety of tasks, including roof inspections, property feature flyovers, and panoramic views of a property or home.
The ability to take detailed, high-resolution images is a major benefit of using drones in the appraisal process. Drones can take pictures where other forms of aerial photography fall short, especially in close range. They can also operate in inclement weather.
Report Streamlining Tools
Real estate appraisal reports are no longer a hand-written task as many appraisers have switched to word processing commercial appraisal software. The option now is to use special reporting software solutions that streamline appraisal work and help create an easy to use database as well. Here’s how these tools can improve the accuracy and efficiency of the reporting process:
- There are many advanced appraiser software solutions that include modules to streamline the process of writing narrative reports. These tools can make sure the style of the report is consistent and the text is clean. The programs can help manage multiple formats and file types as well.
- Most appraisal reports include visual proof to back up the data described in text form. The top software packages can include image management tools that provide appraisers the option to store the images taken during an inspection in an easy to recover way and to manage the quality of images.
Software tools in the appraisal industry have been developing for years. But with the spread of COVID-19, software has been thrust into the spotlight. By using real estate appraisal software, the process is performed more quickly and accurately. This can result in faster processing of property sales and purchases.
Software options today can help appraisers with detailed analytics and compiling comprehensive reports for appraisal needs. By compiling reports and storing appraisal data more securely, businesses can see time-saving benefits. For more efficiency, software can also respond to a variety of operation features like shortcuts for data entry and the ability to spread appraisal information across various screens.
Tools like ACI Analytics can perform research-driven analytics projects and contain built-in listing databases to help keep information organized. This makes it easier to perform property cost analysis. Appraisers can use similar software to inspect a property, perform research and make reports- all on one platform.
While the U.S. waits to see when the spread of the coronavirus will significantly slow down, the real estate appraisal industry is forging ahead with new technology and updated tech-friendly options that continue to streamline the process and assist the appraisal businesses.
About Associations Liability Insurance Agency (ALIA)
The ALIA Team (part of the Riverton Insurance Agency Corporation), specializes in helping real estate professionals find the affordable and comprehensive liability insurance they need, without the hassle. ALIA dates its roots to 1991 with the founding of FREA, Foundation of Real Estate Associates. In 2013, ALIA was created to work with multiple insurance companies thereby broadening the portfolio of products to customers. For more information about our products and services, contact us today at (800) 882-4410.