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Software engineer here. What are your thoughts on currently available appraisal software?

Mejappz

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
The initial plan would not be to compete for market share with appraisers using forms designed for Fannie Mae. That would likely be the equivalent of trying to make an operating system to compete with Google or Microsoft. The majority of my work lies outside of GSE forms, and that is what we have discussed making, something with more bells and whistles than a Word document with a spreadsheet built in, which is what quite a few appraisers like me use.

I like the idea. I think there is some interest from residential appraisers to complete a mini-narrative for nonsecondary work or non-lending assignments.
 

bnmappraisal

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2011
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
The initial plan would not be to compete for market share with appraisers using forms designed for Fannie Mae. That would likely be the equivalent of trying to make an operating system to compete with Google or Microsoft. The majority of my work lies outside of GSE forms, and that is what we have discussed making, something with more bells and whistles than a Word document with a spreadsheet built in, which is what quite a few appraisers like me use.
Salut' :beer: to your son (and you) taking on this initiative I honestly wish him (you both) the best of luck
I love the above (my bold) I've grown my biz to 20-25% private/non-lending work and it seems to be expanding
I use Total right now for my software, and pay for the Elite package (runs around $1,500 a year)
I have been very pleased with Total (although I'm not a fan of the current company that owns it) and have been using their software since GO (back in 2006 as a trainee)
Right now I use their GPAR for my private/non-lending, but wouldn't be adverse to checking out other "form(s)" for private/non-lending
Again, best of luck and please keep us posted - I'd definitely be interested in checking out the "final product"
 

Zoe

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2020
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Tennessee
The initial plan would not be to compete for market share with appraisers using forms designed for Fannie Mae. That would likely be the equivalent of trying to make an operating system to compete with Google or Microsoft. The majority of my work lies outside of GSE forms, and that is what we have discussed making, something with more bells and whistles than a Word document with a spreadsheet built in, which is what quite a few appraisers like me use.
You are looking at more commercial appraisers then. Your dad is CG so that makes sense. You might should post again not only on this forum but other appraiser forums as well and pose question. You could target both because so many residential appraisers do non GSE work. I would make commercial appraisers a primary target as well.
 

Tejus

Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Texas
Hi there,

I'm looking to build real estate appraisal software if there's enough that I can improve on compared to what's already in the market. My father (@nauthead) has been appraising for quite a few years and seems pretty dissatisfied with what's available, but I wanted to hear from other appraisers as well.

What software do you currently use?
What are some of the pain points you have using it?
Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the pricing scheme?
How do you think it could be improved?
After reviewing the available appraisal sw products 15 yr ago, there were so many issues with them that I developed my own appraisal sw. It's based on MS Excel and has everything I need to run an appraisal business. I've been using it exclusively since then.

Your proposal to develop a new appraisal sw may be difficult due to external factors, such as upcoming FNMA / FHA changes in the appraisal process. I haven't seen any FNMA / FHA proposal details, but I've heard rumors they want the Appraiser to fill out data fields which map to specific forms based on property type. This is similar to what I implemented 15 yr ago.

As an alternative to appraisal sw, I suggest you consider providing a consolidated MLS. This would save the Appraiser from searching multiple MLS's when searching for Comps, then having to merge the search results from multiple MLS's. I think every Appraiser would be interested in this (and many realtors). The local Realtor Boards should be doing this, but many of their leaders are fighting it for political reasons. Background info is available at:
https://www.nar.realtor/about-nar/policies/MLS-consolidation-resources/challenges-and-obstacles

You would need to do the following:
- Setup an implementation plan. I recommend state by state. If you can implement each state, then convert it to a single nation wide system.
- Contact all the MLS's in your selected state.
- Determine what is necessary to access each MLS db. This could be performed real time or in batch mode. I don't believe real time access is required. If your system updated on a nightly basis then that should be adequate.
- When importing data from each MLS db, you'll need to normalize the data into a consistent data model. This can be table driven. Once you have the transfer mechanism in place, new MLS's can be added by adding additional table entries to your mapping tables.
- You'll also need to resolve things like duplicate entries in different MLS's.
- Your system would need property searching and exporting capabilites similar to existing MLS systems.
- Appraisers can access your system and search all MLS Comp info for the state.
- Appraisers would then be able to drop their membership to all their MLS's (and possibly NAR) and only need to have a single membership to your system to search for all the MLS Comp data. Your membership fee should be similar to a single MLS membership fee.
- Your system needs to be able to export the Appraiser selected data similar to MLS's. The exported data can be used by whatever appraisal sw the Appraiser selects.

bueno suerto.
 

Sid Holderly

Senior Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Indiana
There is no Linux version of any forms software. Cloud-based programs are still problematic in many rural areas because of connection speed. I currently use SFREP and prefer it over alamode & Clidkforms. I do not use Ag-Ware because it has a lot of stuff midwest Rowcrop farms do not deal with and use narrative (Libre Office) for land and special projects. A form system for non-lender work where page-by-page selection could be made to build a form would be helpful, non of the current truly have this though some are close. ie 1 page for subject info, 1 to several pages for comps(sales listing income all separate), 1 page for cost analysis, 1 or more pages for income analysis,1 page for summaries, the requires cert pages, narrative qualifications addendum, etc. Set fo they could be used as a form set or as inserts into a narrative report. The narrative software currently available does not give a low volume office much advantage over any typical (doc & spreadsheet) office suite. Their databases are more set up for large companies and large commercial

Most MLS systems can export to spreadsheets now, the problem is selecting the fields that are applicable to analysis. They differ depending on the type of property you are appraising.
Most MLS systems do not allow appraisers the use of their data unless you belong to their MLS. Some entities that have aggregated MLS data do not include some of the fields needed for some types of appraisal (lake property waterfront).

Many extra things that some form companies charge extra for are available free with just a few clicks in a browser.

I would look at a viable cloud-based system, none of the current ones are viable for me.
 
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