Long a high hurdle on the real estate track, the appraisal process may be getting a little less complicated for real estate agents and their clients. An appraisal software that was previously only available via web browsers has been adapted to be used on mobile devices by HouseCanary, a provider of real estate valuation and appraisal products.
Founded in 2014, HouseCanary is extending its all-in-one appraisal software from desktop to mobile devices.
HouseCanary Appraiser is a cloud-based program that is known for its ability to simplify the complex process of appraisals. The software utilizes easy-to-use features that eliminate data entry and that generate comparables with the smallest gross adjustments. It is also the only software of its kind that does not require plugins, which are an extra expense.
According to the company, the software utilizes HouseCanary’s proprietary algorithms that draw on more than 1 billion historical home transactions in the U.S. as well as the hundreds of current demand inputs collected at the block level, and providing that data directly to appraisers for their analysis.
The integration of a mobile application allows appraisers to complete reports from start-to-finish while on site, ultimately cutting down on time and costs.
“We’ve seen appraisers finish appraisals in under two hours using this single software—a complete game-changer,” noted Steve O’Brien, HouseCanary’s director of Real Estate Analytics and an assessor and chief appraiser for more than 35 years. “Adding integration with mobile phones makes this technology even more groundbreaking, making it the most robust appraisal solution available on mobile. Imagine producing UAD compliant appraisal reports in half the time, wherever you need to work.”
Michael Dresden, president of Dart Appraisal, a leading nationwide, independent appraisal management company, explained that by drawing on its unique core competence in data, HouseCanary has been able to make some truly unique and powerful enhancements to appraisal technology.
“They’re not merely a software company; they’re a supplier of property analytics to mortgage lenders and saw the opportunity to supply the same data to appraisers to make them more accurate,” he said.
Real estate agents have long relied on data and predictive analytics to develop a strategic business plan. This information is changing the way we do business today.
HouseCanary has taken this trend a step farther to develop a dataset to expand the available information and create a valuable resource for agents and brokers. It can create a three-year projections of a home’s value to the “why behind the value”—including market demand, months-of-supply, macroeconomic data and rental values.
Based in California, HouseCanary collects real estate data and creates products to help professionals in the industry perform. To date, the company has raised $33 million in Series A financing from investors like Hillspire, Eric Schmidt’s family office, Alpha Edison, Raven Ventures and ECA Ventures.
Lauren Pressman, head of real estate investments at Hillspire, said that as a real estate investor, she has experienced first-hand how hard it can be to get good data that doesn’t go stale.
“Most real estate data is issued quarterly or in single reports, forcing real estate investors to make decisions based on lagging, outdated and often not validated data,” she said. “I think we all saw the negative impact of many of these decisions during the housing crash.”
Jeremy Sicklick, co-founder and CEO of HouseCanary, told Forbes that the advances by his company really are only the first steps in streamlined real estate transactions.
“This year we will see appraisals go to five days [compared to weeks]. Next thing is streamlining the financing,” he said. “Streamlining the finance process opens everything else up. Whether you are a consumer, a realtor, a lender or an appraiser, we want them all to have access to the same information to get the same value in a consistent way.”