It is not uncommon for appraisers to utilize third-party commercial inspection. This is sometimes referred to as a hybrid appraisal. By definition, a hybrid appraisal is when someone performs a property inspection other than the appraiser who is completing the report. Why would appraisers want third-party assistance? This model can save appraisers time and allow them to focus on the appraisal report itself. It’s also an effective means to delegate responsibility to analysts and candidate appraisers within the firm. When seeking appraisal assistance, a reliable commercial real estate appraisal app is essential. If your app does not have the ability for both the appraiser and the inspector to save and share inspection data, it’s hard to save much time.
First and foremost, your commercial property inspection app must be able to go through the inspection process seamlessly. An inspector’s photos and notes make up a large portion of an inspection. Sharing them should not require syncing, plugging in equipment, or waiting. If it does, you are losing money because time is money. So often I see appraisers rely on fumbling with camera cards, wires, and oversized files. They lose the benefits of hiring third-party help because so much time is spent waiting. Photo uploads should be automatic.
At the very minimum, photos should include:
An appraiser in our office recently benefitted from this information being shared on a real-time basis with his assistant. She gave him a call when the photo information didn’t match the property. Turns out, he was inspecting the property next door! Crisis averted.
Asset managers commonly do frequent appraisals of properties in their portfolios. They need the ability to document capital improvement items. In this case, property managers or contractors can do the inspecting by simply taking photos before and after work is complete. Then, the asset manager’s property database has a history of the improvements for future reference.
In a loan officer’s case, software that allows them to do something as simple as taking a few photos and make comments may be all that is necessary. Flexibility is important so they can work quickly.
In addition, staying hands-free during the third-party commercial inspection using speech-to-text functionality is a game-changer. Having software that is compatible with the function is key. Further, your software should allow inspectors to create sketches. These sketches can outline exterior and interior layout, as well as anything requiring explanation further than dictation. Notes and sketches should be made readily available so that an appraiser can contact the inspector while they are still on site. This eliminates any possible confusion or risk of overlooking key factors.
What does all this and more? Realquantum. The realquantum mobile app has empowered me to accomplish all the above on my iPad. In addition, I like that I can get to Realquantum Web on the iPad too. It connects me to my property database, calculation engine, and report writer. All in one place, no matter where I’m working.
Any type of report that monitors property value should allow the functionality mentioned above in third-party commercial inspection. It is important that your software allows inspectors and appraisal teams to go from minimal level reporting to as detailed as necessary.
Dan Craig, MAI is an accomplished commercial real estate appraiser, investor, developer, and attorney.
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