Home Refractory This company is aiming for a same day review

This company is aiming for a same day review


Since there is no end in sight to the high demand for housing, the real estate industry is facing a serious problem: a dwindling pool of appraisers. HousingWire recently spoke to Chris Knight, CEO and Gabriel Hern, President of Opteon, which consists of a partnership AMC and a personnel appraisal company. We talked about the current market and how the real estate industry is tackling this industry-wide problem.

HousingWire: How is Opteon Addressing the Reviewer Shortage?

Opteon CEO Chris Knight

Chris Knight: The reviewer shortage cannot be remedied without addressing the bigger problem – the lack of focus on recruiting and training new reviewers.

I started my career as an appraiser in Australia. Australians have a different assessment training process than the apprenticeship model in the US. Even if a person wants to become a reviewer, they cannot do so unless they know a reviewer who is willing to mentor them.

So the problem we face is that valuers are retiring and very few new valuers are coming into the industry. We address this directly through our Opteon University program. We bring interested trainees together with experienced mentors. Opteon University opens the door to those who otherwise would not be able to become reviewers.

Opteon President Gabriel Hern

Gabriel Hern: Opteon University was founded out of necessity during the pandemic. Since the beginning of 2020, we have trained more than 150 cadets. But given the current need for assessors, we are increasing our program to accommodate more trainees.

HW: What are the advantages of a staff appraiser over a panel appraiser?

GH: We have built our model in such a way that we can offer our customers both options. Ultimately, it is always our goal to bring the right appraiser together with the right assignment. A large pool of panel experts enables us to provide truly nationwide coverage by providing rural services and ensuring geographic expertise.

CC: Allow staff appraisers Opteon Standardize reports and processes in some way
this is not possible with panel experts. In New Zealand and Australia, Opteon
created such a streamlined process with HR appraisers that we can offer the same
turning times. We bring that standardization and our proprietary technology to the table
to Opteon reviewers in the United States with the goal of achieving same-day turnaround times
in the future.

HW: Same day turn times is a lofty goal. How do you intend to achieve this?

GH: We’ve heard skepticism about same-day turn times, which is understandable. At the moment the average processing time is 1-2 weeks. I had my own doubts when Chris and I started talking about the opportunity. I then flew to Australia and saw first hand reviewers providing high quality same day turnaround times. So many companies are trying to modernize the industry with a heavy focus on technology with the end goal of replacing appraisers. This is the opposite of our approach – we want to empower reviewers and keep them in the field by providing them with technology, processes and data. This approach is in the best interests of the reviewers and our customers.

HW: What are your thoughts on companies taking a purely technical approach to the future of reviews?

CC: I think it’s a big mistake. As I mentioned earlier, I started my career as an appraiser. I know how much data is required for each report. Technology simply cannot compete with human knowledge and analytical skills. Don’t get me wrong, I think technology and modernization have a very important role to play in the future of real estate, but these should be used as tools, not substitutes. Provide reviewers with the data, technology, and standardized processes to work more efficiently.

GH: And as an industry we have to deal with the problems of long processing times and a
Shrinking pool of appraisers head-on. Without a bold approach, problems will arise
keep growing. Opteon is taking the lead, but the industry as a whole has to come
come together and embrace change if we are to address these issues.