As more and more appraisers flock to the commercial real estate sector, there’s no doubt regarding the benefit that banks and lenders receive by working with a trusted Appraisal Management Company (AMC). Even if the AMC does not have a specific, affiliated brokerage, both parties will be able to rest assured knowing that they’re working with a trusted partner on a given project.

Successful relationships with AMCs are vitally important to the lender in terms of compliance management and growth within their own real estate market.  In evaluating potential AMC partnered-appraisals, lenders should consider whether the AMC:

  • Has a sizable panel of approved appraisers. At Oxford Appraisal Management, we are comprised of a strong team of at least a dozen appraisers with the MAI designation.
  • Has a history of communicating well with the specific bank or lender.
  • Offers high-quality appraisal reports. Oxford ensures a timely appraisal process with 100 percent compliance.
  • Has a reliable compliance department. Oxford’s experienced team will deliver a reviewed, certified, and 100 percent-compliant project while working together and in communication with your staff.
  • Evaluates all reports from the lender’s point of view.
  • Provides consistent appraisal turnaround times.

Additionally, and as a resource for both AMCs and lenders, AMCs should be operating under the following best practices to ensure that they’re following the best practices for Lender-AMC communication.

Best Practices for Lender-AMC Communication

Maintain an Open Line of Communication

When it comes to the professional relationship between an AMC and its bank or lender, the AMC should be open and able to alert the lender of any potential problems and delays that unfold. Delays that threaten a rate lock can be expensive, and it’s better for all parties involved to have a realistic estimate of the time for appraisal delivery very early on in the process – as well as any and all changes along the way.

Be Accessible

One of the best practices regarding AMC-lender communication relies on the AMC having proper systems in place to handle the assignment, orders, and delivery of reports. A successful AMC will have a tried and trusted method of action and communication in place to ensure a beneficial process and relationship.

At Oxford, our online portal is highly secure and available 24/7 to qualified parties via login credentials. We monitor the appraiser throughout the process and the qualified parties receive automated email updates notifying them of progress each step of the way. When completed, we review and certify the appraisal for 100 percent compliance.

As mentioned before, it is also super important for the AMC to provide a realistic deadline to the lender. This communication will allow the lender to alert its real estate partners and borrowers of a potential closing date. Of course, no one wants a delay… but more importantly, no one can afford an unforeseen delay.

The AMC should be able to properly communicate with the bank/lender staff as well as the broker staff (owners, processors, etc.).  Above all else, the number one concern is keeping everyone fully compliant.

Establish Key Points of Contact

Another key factor in successful lender-AMC communication is to have one dedicated person as the “go to” for our lender clients.  This ‘client relations manager’ of sorts should serve as the AMC’s team lead.  They should be an experience appraiser who is completely familiar with the AMC’s set up, requirements, and how it handles its business.

If a client calls the Oxford office, they are connected with a client relations manager who is familiar with their account.  This ensures that our clients are talking to the right person every time and that they don’t have to call in and speak with someone different and explain their story over and over again.

Our leads are backed by an entire team of account managers, processors, quality control specialists, and staff appraisers behind them ready to handle your business.

Find the Right Fit

Every lender is different… therefore, it’s important for an AMC to team up with a financial institution that has configurable processes similar to its own.

Questions to consider on both ends (for this one, we worded it in the eyes of the lender):

  • Does the AMC focus on a specific financial demographic or are they flexible from one lender to another?
  • How many different types of institutions does the AMC work with? Are they all wholesalers? Do they have a good variety of credit unions, direct lenders, and regional banks?
  • What kinds of technology are available that would benefit your company?
  • What are the hours of operation for the AMC? How will you get in touch with them at a moment’s notice?

At Oxford AMC, we understand that every lender we work with is set up completely different – from the small to the large. We cater to each of our partners’ need with the utmost care and concern to ensure that everyone is happy and that the appraisal process goes as smoothly as possible.

As a lender, staying in constant communication with an agent is only truly possible when your chosen AMC provides up-to-date, accurate information. After all, things tend to go a lot more smoothly when everyone is on the same page.

Oxford’s highly-skilled and experienced appraisers perform every technical review. The firm has worked with both lenders and regulators to offer unmatched third-party appraisal management expertise to financial institutions. Want to learn more? Get in touch with the AMC experts at Oxford today!

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