Meet our new blog contributor Julie Jones! Julie serves as SVP of Valuation Transformation and Engagement for Class Valuation. In this capacity, she is dedicated to driving thoughtful change in the valuation industry through responsible innovation and stakeholder collaboration.
We sat down and got her take on valuation innovation:
You’ve been working in the mortgage industry for over 18 years. What attracted you to this sector?
I started working in an appraisal office when I was 17-years old as an administrative assistant but left when I graduated high school. During my second semester of college my father became ill, so I returned home, enrolled in real estate appraisal classes right away, and started my apprenticeship shortly after. Having the flexibility to make my own hours was invaluable during that time and throughout the ten years I had my own shop.
What excites you about working specifically with Class Valuation?
Class Valuation has a reputation of stellar customer service, exceeding the needs of their clients and maintaining a great working relationship with their appraiser partners. The fact that it’s a tech-enabled company, leading innovation and change in our industry, makes me proud to be on the team. The valuation industry has been ripe for modernization for a long time, and I am thrilled to be part of it.
Since being hired late last year, has your new role surprised you in any way?
Absolutely! Part of my role includes keeping our appraisers informed of upcoming changes and training them on new products and technologies. If seen as opportunities rather than challenges, modernizing an appraiser’s practice can increase efficiencies and improve the quality of their reports. Appraisers have historically been categorized as resistant to change, but what we are finding in our outreach is that they are ready for that change!
What’s a new bit of technology in the valuation space that you’re most excited about?
Hands down it’s InsideMaps. I have been blown away by the power of 3D property scanning. Appraisers do not receive formalized education on how to measure a home, so if improper practices are learned early on, they likely carry those habits throughout the rest of their career. And if property characteristics are not captured properly, how reliable is that appraiser’s opinion of value?
Perimeter sketches currently included in appraisal reports don’t paint the full picture of functional utility or mitigate the risk of fraud or negligence. By standardizing the inspection process, 3D scanning virtually eliminates the margin of error while providing more consistent and granular property data.
Where do you see Class Valuation in the next 5 years?
We are already one of the top AMCs in the country, and our technology investments will have set the new standard for valuation in the next 5 years. Lenders, investors, consumers, and all mortgage industry stakeholders demand more data and transparency. Class Valuation is delivering on that.
A big portion of your role is staying on top of the industry. What do you do to keep up with valuation trends?
Like most people in the business, I have my preferred media outlets, and I attend conferences regularly. But to really have your finger on the pulse of the industry, you simply need to listen. I interact with our clients, appraisers, and consumers every day to understand their challenges and learn how we can serve them better. Building trust and maintaining an open dialogue are key to any successful partnership.
Now that we’ve introduced you to our newest blog contributor, be on the lookout for blog posts directly from Julie in the coming months. Want to be notified of our latest blog posts? Sign up below.