Spotlight on the Expertise Behind Lenders’ Risk Management: Talent, Data, Scopes, and Technology

Dianne Crocker
June 22, 2022 3 mins
Lender, Lending & Appraisal

At this week’s Environmental Bankers Association summer conference in Charlotte, LightBox SVP Alan Agadoni moderated a panel titled Stronger Together: A Look at the Myriad Skill Sets Behind Property Valuations, Environmental Due Diligence and PCAs.

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The purpose of this panel—featuring leading experts from the worlds of PCAs, Phase Is, and appraisals—was to explore how professionals are responding to the intense pressure on vendors to complete their assessments quickly and accurately even as scopes of work are expanding along with the data universe. Agadoni moderated a discussion that brought to the surface how these disparate functions that rely on different skill sets are critical for enabling smart decisions in commercial real estate lending, and how technology is advancing to address the industry’s pressure for efficiency.

Below are a few highlights from the panel:  

“I think we would all agree that 2021 was an unprecedented year with record-breaking transaction volume and lingering post-pandemic operational challenges. As we wrap-up the first half of 2022, even with forecasts of volume regression for the next couple years, I don’t hear anyone suggesting that the pace of due diligence is going to slow down. Or that the volume and complexity of data we need is decreasing. Or that new technical challenges to our standard scopes of work will stop emerging. This puts enormous pressure on providers to be efficient and to tailor their services to each project.”

~Alan Agadoni, Senior Vice President, LightBox

“As the data tent grows, it is becoming more important than ever for PCA professionals to understand the use and purpose of their reports, and to be aware that different data sets may be needed for lenders, investors or asset managers for a given project. Also, new technology tools like drones, 3DVR, smart building systems, and report-writing platforms are raising the bar on what users may expect from providers.”

~Jim Bartlett, Senior Vice President, Bureau Veritas 

“If you’re an appraiser and doing things the same way you were 10 or 15 years ago, you’re doing it wrong. Trading hours for dollars and patching together a report from various spreadsheets and word processing platforms is a thing of the past. You must leverage technology to become more efficient and produce a better product. Many large institutions no longer require just a report anymore. Clients are demanding digestible data and conclusions to do their own risk assessment and collateral monitoring. Appraisers must evaluate how they can focus their time assessing risk, analyzing the data and provide quality reporting for customers. They need to leverage technological efficiencies for research and report creation; then provide a credible end-product and data set that is meaningful to clients. Embracing this mindset is how your appraisal business will remain relevant.”

~Candi Coleman, MAI, Head of Lender Strategy, LightBox 

“At TRC, a big challenge today is that climate change risks and rapidly-evolving ESG impact all of our clients. We are lifting our talent with awareness training on what’s under the ESG umbrella and pairing them with SMEs to better understand the challenges that are clients are facing. Our team members are prepared, inquisitive, and problem solvers who know how to use new tools and data to assess these new risks effectively. I see a huge brain drain in the next five years. We have early career team members who want more projects focused on climate and ESG drivers, and we need to be responsive to that career growth pathway in order to retain and attract staff.”

~Beth Myers-Graham, Chief Growth Officer: Environment, TRC