Walker & Dunlop Looks to Modernize the Multifamily Valuation Business with Apprise
Technology and data are here to make things easier, faster and more accurate than ever before. However, some industries have lagged behind. This inspired Walker & Dunlop and its data science partner, GeoPhy, to fulfill a need in the market related to multifamily valuation.
“We built Apprise because we saw a significant opportunity to improve a critical part of the underwriting and valuation process that has largely gone unchanged for decades,” says Brad Savage, Chief Product Officer for Apprise by Walker & Dunlop. “It is the natural and needed progression of any industry to harness the power of technology to make its practitioners more efficient and more informed. This is something we’re seeing in nearly all industries, except commercial real estate valuation…until now.”
Apprise by Walker & Dunlop integrates data feeds and business processes that cover 80 percent of the steps in the traditional appraisal process. This can often result in appraisals in five days or less, compared to up to three weeks for traditional reports. The process is powered by GeoPhy’s Automated Valuation Model (AVM), which automates data feeds and can pre-populate relevant fields, preventing errors or duplicate entries that can happen with manual submissions. Selection bias is also reduced with the valuation tool, as the software’s artificial intelligence and machine learning increases objectivity.
The new venture combines Walker & Dunlop’s underwriting expertise in the commercial real estate space and knowledge from Apprise’s highly regarded appraisers with GeoPhy’s data science and technology capabilities.
“The tool we’ve built is multifaceted but straightforward,” Savage explains. “It starts by synthesizing every commonly relied upon data source, supercharges the analysis and then streamlines the reporting process. By accelerating around 80 percent of the traditional process, the appraiser is freed up to focus exclusively on analyzing the data, drawing inferences from the trends and formulating better-supported opinions of value, ultimately furnishing their clients with more reliable information, faster.”
Apprise, an independent company, has launched in 30 states and should be nationwide by this summer. It is a 50-50 joint venture between Walker & Dunlop and GeoPhy, with separate offices and systems.
“GeoPhy’s unique approach to data science is a first for the industry and has finally made possible instantaneous analyses from millions of relevant data points,” Savage continues. “Walker & Dunlop has always been focused on improving the client experience and removing friction from every interaction and transaction it facilitates. Apprise is just one more opportunity to improve the customer experience and differentiate from the competition.”
— By Nellie Day. This article is posted as part of REBusinessOnline’s Finance Insight series, leading up to MBA CREF 2020. Click here to subscribe to the Finance Insight newsletter, a four-week newsletter series, followed by video interviews from MBA CREF.
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