[/caption] The Niche Report talks with StreetLinks about their recent acquisition of Corvisa, CEO Steve Haslam What exactly does StreetLinks do?
StreetLinks began as an appraisal management
company; however, we’ve been expanding our business to include a differentiated suite of valuation services and lending technology solutions including BPO, intelligent automated valuation and review products, quality control solutions and more. Our products and services help banks, lenders and other mortgage professional
s simplify and improve their everyday business operations. We heard you recently acquired mortgage software provider, Corvisa. What prompted that acquisition and how will the companies be working together?
Both companies were leaders in appraisal fulfillment, serving different market niches. By joining forces, we’re able to offer lenders a ‘one stop shop’ for appraisal fulfillment services. Now, we can work with any lender to evaluate their processes and resources to tailor an appraisal solution that specifically addresses their needs, whether that’s a full-service solution, a self-managed solution or a hybrid of both. As a result of the acquisition, we’ve changed our name to StreetLinks Lender Solutions which better exemplifies the breadth of what we can offer lenders. What is most exciting about the acquisition is the added mortgage, appraisal and technical expertise our combined team now possesses. In addition to appraisal solutions, we are now positioned to accelerate the launch of new and improved valuation and lending management products that will further improve the efficiency of our lending partners. With HVCC going away, do lenders still need an appraisal solution?
Absolutely. The new regulations place broader emphasis, accompanied by stiffer penalties, on appraisal independence compliance. It’s now more important than ever for lenders to take measures to ensure a non-influence environment. A proactive approach to compliance is the best way for lenders to protect their business and to create an environment that is positive for both consumers and the industry as a whole. The key for lenders is deciding what appraisal fulfillment process will work best for their organization and to choose a valuation partner that will evolve with their organizational needs. There are lots of companies that offer appraisal services. What sets StreetLinks apart?
First, the fact that we offer the complete range of appraisal management
options from self-managed software to fully-managed nationwide services and anything in between. If a lender can imagine it, we can customize a solution that works for them. It’s something that no one else in our sector is doing. Specific to our appraisal management
solutions, we do not dictate appraiser fees in our full service model. This allows us to attract appraisers that simply won’t work for other AMCs. Our IQ-Select™ assignment methodology is focused on proximity, quality, service and capacity – not fee. In addition, our manual QC review process ensures that appraisals are complete, accurate and that they meet industry/lender specific guidelines the first time they are delivered backed by the most comprehensive warranty of quality and compliance in the industry. Our self managed software is an end-to-end solution that allows lenders to self-manage every aspect of the appraisal process including integrated credit card processing, configurable appraiser selection, client defined user access, management and communication hierarchies, and appraiser payables. Do you see the changes in the industry/compliance rules affecting your business?
The recent regulations continue to focus on appraiser independence and fair compensation to appraisers. StreetLinks was first to market with our Certificate of Non-Influence, long before HVCC. In addition, our full service model has always allowed appraisers to set their own fees. Creating a positive, professional environment for appraisers allows us to attract the highest quality appraisers in the industry enabling us to provide the best service to our lenders. Our self-managed technology suite offers lenders a great deal more than just compliance such as improved accounts receivable and payable functionality, communication features and reporting. It’s always been about helping lenders improve and simplify processes. You mentioned that StreetLinks is planning to expand their product offerings. Can you elaborate?
Lenders can already take advantage of several additional products. Our SCORe product is a comparable opinion report that gives lenders an affordable and more reliable alternative to AVM’s.
We also have products that help lenders better manage their business and streamline daily processes. Our powerful business Analytics module and online Closing Calendar are stand-alone products that can also be integrated into our self-managed appraisal platform.
In early 2011 we’re planning on launching several new products beginning with a robust, configurable BPO product line and a Quality Control module that will allow lenders to quickly build and customize automated appraisal QC processing inclusive of proprietary and lender-specific underwriting guidelines. We’ll also be launching a series of Intelligent Valuation Model (IVM) products differentiated by added data sources and improved data distillation and appraiser-based regression modeling. So what should lenders look for in a solution vendor?
Lenders need to look for providers that will be partners
- not just vendors. Few lenders have the resources or IT knowledge to effectively manage a multitude of technology products and service vendors – especially ones that may not work together. It’s not efficient or cost-effective, plus it creates a change management nightmare as you grow. Ideally, lenders should look to minimize “vendors” and maximize the solutions that they get from each provider. Key things to consider are: Breadth & Depth of Service -
The best solution providers can offer more than just one piece of the puzzle - whether that’s a wide range of options in their services, extra education or training, or a suite of useful lending products. Those types of value-adds will get you the most bang for your buck. Flexibility -
Providers should be willing to work with you to get the right fit for your organization and not push you into a service just because they’re selling it. You should also know that their service or software can expand quickly should your staff grow. You don’t want to go through the hassle of switching providers at a time when you’ve got bigger things to focus on. Integration -
Look for providers that are tightly integrated with the key platforms you already have in place, like your LOS system. This will reduce the amount of work and process change on your staff. Industry Involvement -
Your providers should be invested and active in the industry. They should be up on compliance and committed to continually improving their products or services to ensure innovation and high quality. With your focus on expansion, where do you see StreetLinks in 2-5 years?
StreetLinks will continue to grow as a leading product and service provider to the mortgage community. Our reputation in the appraisal management
space is and will continue to open doors for our new product channels. While many of the products that we will introduce are in the market today, we will continue to innovate and provide tangible differentiation and value to our client partners – just as we have done over the last few years. StreetLinks provides a suite of lending services and technology solutions for mortgage lenders, servicers, appraisers and other mortgage professionals. Contact StreetLinks by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 1.877.715.8082 to speak with a solution consultant.
[caption id="attachment_7186" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Steve Haslam"]