Residential bidding:  Internal FAQ

Why are you enabling residential bidding?

Based on market demand, our clients (lenders and AMCs) look to us to provide solutions that improve their operations. One complaint we’ve received recently is that placing an order to a single appraiser and waiting for that appraiser to respond is adding a lot of time to their assignment process — especially in markets that are busy and appraiser availability isn’t a guarantee. They asked for a way to let multiple appraisers know there was an assignment, then let each appraiser communicate their availability. This gives them the ability to run appraiser assignment as a parallel process rather than reaching out to one, getting a response, and then reaching out to another. We know that these types of systems have been exploited in the past and appraisers generally have had bad experiences. But it’s our hope that the users of Mercury Network will use this feature for its intended purpose, and that your experience with it will be much better than any other system you use.

Are we calling this a broadcasting system?

No. Broadcasting connotes a situation where bid requests are indiscriminately blasted to hundreds of appraisers looking for the first or lowest bidder. In contrast, our bidding system allows the client to use their existing ISS factors to select a group of appraisers who are highly qualified for the order. Then, to reduce the time wasted when multiple appraisers decline the order one after another, all the selected appraisers receive the request at once, shortening the time to identify the appraiser who’s best qualified and available to service the order.

Is everyone going to be happy about this?

Lenders and AMCs have requested this and will be pleased it’s available.

Appraisers will benefit in several ways:

  • Reducing the time it takes to assign an order means the appraiser has more time in which to complete their work. (Lender’s due date - assignment time = appraiser’s turn time)
  • When fees and/or due dates are unlocked on a bid request, the appraiser has more of a say in their fees and turn times.
  • Because Mercury Network’s innovative features (like residential bidding) continue to attract a larger number of lenders and AMCs to the platform, Mercury vendors have exposure to a larger number of potential clients.

Some appraisers might perceive residential bidding as a process that lowers their fees or commoditizes them because (based on experience with other “bidding” systems) they believe the system is meant for their clients to find the lowest or first bidder. Our residential bidding system can be used that way, but we’ve designed it as a tool that directly targets the delays when assigning orders which are complex, rural, in hot markets, or otherwise take a long time to be assigned. We’ve created residential bidding to solve this problem; the intent is not to lowball appraisers or drastically lower their turn times.

Is the client obligated to award the bid to anyone?

No, the client doesn’t have to award the bid. In fact, some of your clients will issue bid requests simply to gauge the availability and interest of appraisers for the specific property, the area, or other factors.