CSS Talks Appraisal Management

With Valley Bank’s Director of First Mortgage Operations

valley bank director
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How would you describe your experience working with CSS?

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“When you’re trying to work with a partner on the AMC side who’s supposed to be working with the appraiser, the last thing you want is a game of operator.

I think the best part about CSS is the communication. The responsiveness—if I have a question, I don’t have to go to a thousand different people or go to a call queue and wait. I can email Sherri or Deneil, and they’ll get back to me pretty much immediately. They follow through with communication and are responsive. That's why we continue to do business with CSS.”

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What benefits do you see when using CSS?

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“At CSS, everyone understands the appraisals, so I think that’s another big part of it—the experience levels are there. (CSS) is able to get things figured out and solutioned quickly because they can speak the language.”

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How has using CSS impacted your core metrics?

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“As it relates to the appraisal turn time metric, CSS really manages that. As a partner, there’s peace of mind where if we have an appraisal that’s taking longer than it should, CSS is going to be asking the right questions to push that along. Similarly, on the communication front, the CSS team will send information gathered through surveys or data where there’s pockets of delays based on geography. That information is useful in case we want to add CSS appraisers to the pool to help us get appraisals through quicker. I think all that plays a role where, particularly being in a busy environment, that stuff has been key in helping us maintain service levels.”

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What benefits can you derive from using CSS for your long-term goals?

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“When [an] appraiser goes out to a property, they’re a representative of Valley National. That’s what the customer knows. And if there’s a bad experience with the appraiser, that’s a reflection on our organization.

That can create negative press, which can impact us getting deals. If you have a bad appraiser out there who doesn’t know what they’re doing, it causes delays in the process, and can cause reputational risk—that's a big deal. I think what we have with CSS is [they] really help us with that customer experience by helping us to manage those appraisal turn times. CSS does a really good job of helping us mitigate any of those customer concerns by providing feedback and managing the pipeline proactively.”

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What is the differentiator of CSS?

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“One point of contact—that's really the key difference. You [CSS] have Sherri, Deneil, and they just jump right in—they'll get their hands dirty and make calls to appraisers. That’s where [CSS] really has—the ‘edge.’ When we’re working with our backup AMCs because of coverage, if something goes sideways, we reach out to the rep, and the rep is responsive, but they don’t have any control. And it feels like you’re just lost in that big, huge AMC vortex.”

CSS & VNB

Background of VNB:

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