Consumer finance/home-equity lending a vibrant vertical market
Lenders are always looking for ways to streamline their operations and respond to opportunities in a more timely fashion. The substantial consumer finance and home-equity sector is a good example – and it’s a market that’s ripe for Zaio products.
Since interest rates on home-equity loans are generally lower than on credit cards, they’re often used by consumers to reduce debt or finance major purchases. What’s more, the interest is often tax-deductible. Most of these types of loans fall below the federally regulated transaction amount of $250,000, which means that in most cases a mathematical property valuation, such as an Automated Valuation Module (AVM) or an exterior only property inspection and valuation, is all that is required.
In order to be competitive, lenders often do not pass along the property valuation costs to consumers. As a result, lenders are looking for the lowest-cost valuation alternative, which effectively mitigates the risk and remains compliant. Not surprisingly, more than 90% rely in part on AVMs, the lowest cost valuation available today. But the AVM trend is changing. Declining real estate markets are warranting an upgraded property valuation product, though not necessarily a traditional interior appraisal.
There are other situations where an AVM may not qualify: lack of coverage, risk profile of the borrower, price tier of the home, type and style of the home, new construction, and combined loan to value (CLTV) of the total debt in relation to the property value.
Savvy lenders are starting to discover Zaio as a cost-efficient alternative. Zaio’s GeoScore™ is the only property valuation product that can accommodate the need for speed, with the added benefit of an unbiased, comprehensive and accurate valuation, including a site inspection. The Zaio product has resolved externalities that an AVM cannot, such as observed condition, quality, view, and location factors, positive or negative. “Zaio’s product provides the speed of execution lenders have been accustomed to when using AVMs, while offering a higher-quality, more detailed property valuation – inspected and signed by an appraiser – and a more cost-effective option than a traditional interior appraisal,” says Doug Vincent, Zaio’s Managing Director, Corporate Development.
Vincent adds that in this niche market, there is excellent potential for growth once you have a foot in the door. “In regions where Zaio offers sufficient coverage for a given lender’s use, the competitive advantages will be significant. Ultimately, that lender’s competitors will have to use the Zaio product as well,” adds Vincent.