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ValueLink Quick Start Guide

System Setup

     Setting Company Settings and Preferences

     Setting up Additional Administrators and Staff Members

     Setting up Appraisal Types

     Setting up Clients

        - Client Users

        - Client Specific Engagement Instructions

        - Client Specific Product Lists

        - Client Specific Fee Tables

        - Setup Client UCDP Submission Credentials

        - Client Approved Appraisers

     Setting up Appraisers

        - Sending an Email Invite to Appraisers

        - Import Appraisers from an Excel File

        - Recruit Appraisers from Appraiser Directory

        - Manually Adding Appraisers in the System

     Setting up Appraiser Profiles

        - Additional Users for Appraisers

        - Appraiser Fee Tables

        - Setting up the Coverage Area

        - Appraiser Licenses

     Setting up Integrated Payment Processing

     Setting up Automated Alerts

     Setting up Common Responses

     Setting up Review Checklists

     Setting up Appraisal Statuses

 

Order Management

     Ordering an Appraisal

        - Adding Comments

        - Adding Supporting Documents

        - Edit Appraisal Details

     Assigning an Order

        - Direct Assignment

        - Broadcast Assignment

        - Bid Requests

        - Assign to a Reviewer

        - Assign to Staff

     Scheduling an Inspection

     Submitting a Report

     Reviewing a Report

     Revision Requests

 

System Setup

Once your account has been set up, our support team will send you an email informing you that you are ready to get started. This email will also contain the URL (e.g. amc.spurams.com) to your ValueLink system and the credentials to log on and start using the system. You may then begin the system setup process.

 

Setting Company Settings and Preferences


When you are getting started, it is best to take a brief look at the company settings screen. This screen lets you control the way the system behaves during day-to-day use and lets you change the system as per your requirements. Some of the items you can set using the company settings are:

  • - Company Profile
  • - Company Logo
  • - Automatic/Manual Numbering
  • - Automatic/Manual Status Updates
  • - Itemizing Invoices
  • - Compliance Certificate
  • - Default Order Instructions for Appraisers
  • - UCDP Integration Settings

Just go under Admin -> Company Settings to see all settings and make adjustments as needed.

 

Setting up Additional Administrators and Staff Members


You may add as many administrators and staff members to your ValueLink account as needed. Administrators have complete control over all items in the system from order management to accounts and reporting. Staff Members can manage orders for the company, but they do not have access to system administration, accounts, and reports.

To add an administrator or a staff member, browse to Admin -> Users. Click on the Actions button on the top right of your screen and select Add New User. Enter the user’s name, select the role (select AMSAdmin for Administrators, and AMS Staff for staff members), set a password and provide an email address for this user. Click Save to add the user to the system. The system will automatically send an email to any user you have added along with their username and password and a link to the system. Add as many users as you need.

 

Setting up Appraisal Types


You can set up an unlimited number of appraisal products that you would like to offer to your clients in the system. They system allows you to set up both Residential and Commercial appraisal types.

It is really easy to set up appraisal types in the system. Go to Admin -> Appraisal Types to see the list of pre-listed products. You may add/modify/remove items from the list as per your requirements. Each order type listed will be available as an option on the order form.

To add a new product, click on the Actions button on the top right of your screen and select Add New Appraisal Type. Fill out the form and click on the Save Appraisal Type button to add it in the system. You may also set a Default Appraisal Fee (what you will charge the lender) and a Default Appraiser Fee (what you will pay the appraiser) for each product.

To modify an existing appraisal type, click on the Edit icon  next to the appraisal type. Fill out the form and click on the Save Appraisal Typebutton to save the updated information.

To remove an existing appraisal type, click on the Edit icon  next to the appraisal type. On the Update Appraisal Type screen, click on the Actions button on the top right of your screen and select Delete this Appraisal Type. The appraisal type will be removed from the system.

 

Setting up Clients


Before creating orders, the lenders need to be set up in the system. If you are a lender using the system to manage your appraisal desk, you must set up at least one branch/department.

Setting up the client/branch is very simple. From your Home page, browse to Admin -> Clients.Click on the Actions button on the top right of your screen and select Add New Client. Fill out the form with the details for the lender/branch and click Save Client to add the lender to the system. Once a client is set up, you have the ability to add client-specific details in the system including:

  • - Users (Branch Managers, Loan Officers, Loan Processors etc.)
  • - Engagement Instructions for Appraisers
  • - Product Lists
  • - Fee Tables
  • - UCDP Submission Credentials
  • - Approved Appraisers

 

Client Users

Each client/branch can have multiple users set up in the system. Users for a lender may be added to the system if you want the users to log on and directly place orders with your company. Client users can also manage and view the status of their orders from the system and can also retrieve appraisal reports once the order is completed.

To set up client users, browse to Admin -> Clients and click on the lender’s name. Scroll to the bottom of the lender’s profile until you see the Users for this Client section and click on Add New User button. Enter the user’s information, set a password and provide an email address for this user.

If you want the user to be able to see all orders for this client, check the Is Master User option. If this option is not selected, the user will only see his/her orders and orders where he/she is specified as an additional user on the order. If this user needs to receive emails for all order for the lender, check the Copy on emails for orders option.

Click Save User to add the user to the system. The system will automatically send an email to the user you have added along with the username and password and a link to the system. Add as many users as needed for the lender.

 

Client Specific Engagement Instructions

You can specify client specific engagement instructions which automatically appear at the top of the engagement letter that is sent out to an appraiser when an order is assigned to them.

Setting up client specific engagement instructions is very easy in ValueLink. Browse to Admin ->Clients and click on the lender’s name. Click on the Actions button on the top right of your screen and select Set Engagement Instructions. You can engagement instructions for both Residential and Commercial orders. Fill out the instructions in the space provided and click on the Save Engagement Letter Text to save the instructions.

 

Client Specific Product Lists

You can set specific client specific product lists so that only those products are made visible to the client when they are placing orders with your company. This ensures that your clients see data relevant to their company.

Setting up a product lists for a lender/branch is extremely simple. Browse to Admin ->Clients and click on the lender’s name. Click on the Actions button on the top right of your screen and select Manage Products. You can choose to make your entire product list visible to the client OR you can select the products for the client. Select the Appraisal Type by clicking on the Select box for any as many products as you need.

 

Client Specific Fee Tables

Fee tables are a useful tool to ensure that the correct fee is being charged to each client every time an order is placed. Once a fee table has been set up, the appraisal fee is automatically populated for the order using values from the lender’s fee table.

Setting up a fee table for a lender/branch is extremely simple. Browse to Admin -> Clients and click on the lender’s name. Click on the Actions button on the top right of your screen and select Manage Fee Table(s). You can specify the Client fee and the Appraiser fee in the space provided along with the Estimated Turn Time. Once done, click the Save Appraisal Fees button at the bottom of the page to save the fee table in the system.

 

Setup Client UCDP Submission Credentials

ValueLink enables you to submit orders to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac via the Uniform Collateral Data Portal (UCDP) on your client’s behalf. UCDP submission is a premium feature and should be requested when signing up for your ValueLink account.

If UCDP submission is enabled on your account, you will need to set up your client’s UCDP credentials in the system. This can be done by browsing to Admin -> Clients and clicking on the lender’s name. Click on the Actions button on the top right of your screen and select Set UCDP Credentials. Enter the client’s Business Unit Number along with the Seller Number and Branch Identifier for both GSEs. Click on the Save UCDP Information button to save this information in the system. You will now be able to submit UAD XML reports to the GSEs on behalf of your clients from your ValueLink system.

 

Client Approved Appraisers

Use ValueLink to set up an approved appraiser panel for each client. This panel can be used during order assignment to assign orders to approved appraisers for the lender/branch.

To set up approved appraisers, browse to Admin -> Clients and click on the lender’s name. Scroll to the bottom of the lender’s profile until you see the Approved Appraisers section and click on Add Appraiser button. Select all appraisers  you want to add to the panel and then click on the Actions button on the top right of your screen and select Add Selected Appraisers to add the appraisers to the panel for this lender.

 

Setting up Appraisers


There are multiple ways to get appraisers set up in your ValueLink site. You may:

  • - Send an email invite to appraisers
  • - Import the appraisers from an Excel file
  • - Recruit appraisers from our directory of over 16,000 appraisers nationwide

Manually add each appraiser to the system

 

Sending an Email Invite to Appraisers

You may use any of the popular email services (MailChimp, CampaignMonitor, iContact) to send an email invite to appraisers. You may set the text of the invite to suit your needs, but it must contain the link below that the users can click to get to the registration form:

https://[my-company].spurams.com/AppraiserSelfRegistration.aspx

Replace [my-company] with your ValueLink subdomain. The appraisers who receive this email will be able to fill out the registration form, submit their profile, along with their E & O Insurance and supporting documents. Every time an appraiser registers to use your ValueLink system, you will get notified by email. The email will contain a link that will allow you to review the appraiser’s application and approve or decline it. Once approved, you may assign orders to the appraiser.

 

Import Appraisers from an Excel File

If you already have a list of appraisers you work with, they can be easily imported into the system using an Excel file in Comma Separated Value (CSV) format.

To import appraisers into the system, browse to Admin ->Appraisers. Click on the Actions button on the top right of your screen and select Import Appraisers. Select the CSV file from your computer and click on the Upload button to load the data in the system. If appraisers will be logging in to use the system, users will have to be created for each imported appraiser.

 

Recruit Appraisers from Appraiser Directory

If you are a new AMC or an existing AMC looking to expand to new regions, ValueLink has the ultimate solution for you in the form of a nationwide appraiser directory built directly into the system. Using the directory, you can search for appraisers and invite them to sign up in your ValueLink system. Once set up, these appraisers can be assigned orders.

To recruit appraisers from the appraiser directory, browse to Admin ->Appraisers. Click on the Actions button on the top right of your screen and select Recruit Appraisers. You can search for appraisers by State, County or Zip Code and Radius. You can then select which appraisers you want to invite and send them an email form within the system to come and signup with your company. Once they submit their information and their profiles are approved, you can begin assigning orders to these appraisers.

 

Manually Adding Appraisers in the System

You can always add appraisers manually into the system so that you can assign orders to them.

Adding appraisers to the system is very easy. From your homepage, browse to Admin ->Appraisers.Click on the Actions button on the top right of your screen and select Add New Appraiser. Fill out the appraiser’s details and enter their username and password before clicking on the Save Appraiser button. The appraisers profile will be created and they will receive an email with the link to the system and their log in information.

 

Setting up Appraiser Profiles


Once the appraisers are set up in the system, you can update their profiles to include:

  • - Additional Users
  • - Appraiser Fee Tables
  • - Coverage Area
  • - License Information

 

Additional Users for Appraisers

Each appraiser can have multiple users set up in the system. Adding at least one user for an appraiser is required.

To add a user for an appraiser, go to Admin ->Appraisers and click on the appraiser’s name. Scroll to the bottom of the appraiser’s profile until you see the Users for this Appraiser section and click on the Add New User button. Enter the user’s name, set a password and provide an email address for this user. If you want the user to be able to manage the profile for this appraiser, select the Is Master User option. If this user needs to receive emails for all assigned orders, select the Copy on Emails option.

Click Save User to add the user to the system. The system will automatically send an email to the user you have added along with the username and password and a link to the system.

 

Appraiser Fee Tables

Fee tables are a useful tool to ensure that the correct fee is being set for each appraiser every time an order is assigned. Once a fee table has been set up, the appraiser’s fee is automatically populated for the order using values from the appraiser’s fee table.

To set up fee tables for an appraiser, go to Admin -> Appraisers and click on the appraiser’s name. Click on the Actions button on the top right of your screen and select Manage Fee Table. Enter the fee for each Appraisal Type in the space provided and click the Save Appraisal Fees button at the bottom of the screen to save the fee table in the system.

 

Setting up the Coverage Area

The coverage area feature can be used to find appraisers when there are no appraisers within close proximity of the subject property.

To set up the coverage area for an appraiser, go to Admin -> Appraisers and click on the appraiser’s name. Click on the Actions button on the top right of the page and select Modify Coverage Area. Select the State and County and click on the Add County button to add it to the Coverage Area. Individual zip codes can be added or removed by checking the boxes listed on the screen.

 

Appraiser Licenses

Use ValueLink to track licenses for each appraiser. Add one license per state for each appraiser in the system. The licenses are automatically verified with the ASC.gov website to ensure that accurate data is shown in the system.

To add licenses for an appraiser, go to Admin -> Appraisers and click on the appraiser’s name. Scroll to the bottom of the appraiser’s profile until you see the Licenses section and click on Add License button. Fill out the form and click on Save Appraiser License to add the license information to the appraiser’s profile.

 

Setting up Integrated Payment Processing


Integrated payment processing is an add-on feature within ValueLink that allows customers to process credit card payments from within the system. The service links your ValueLink account to your payment gateway allowing customers to manually run credit card payments, or receive payments from customers on an order-by-order basis.

Currently supported gateways are:

1) Authorize.net (Recommended. Click to sign up)

2) PayPal Website Payments Pro


To set up your payment gateway information, go to Admin ->Payment Gateways and click on the Edit icon  next to the payment gateway you want to use.

For Authorize.net, enter you API Login ID and Transaction Key from your Authorize.net accountand click on the Save Payment Gateway button to save the information. You can also check the CIM Integration Enabled box if your account has CIM enabled. This will allow you to save the credit card information on file when the order is placed and bill the card when the order is completed. Click on the Actions button and select Activate to process payments with Authorize.net.

For PayPal Website Payments Pro, enter your API Username, API Password and the API Signature from your PayPal account and click on the Save Payment Gateway button to save the information. Click on the Actions button and select Activate to process payments with PayPal Website Payments Pro.

Payment processing is an OPTIONAL premium service.Your payment processor may also charge additional monthly and transaction fees.

 

Setting up Automated Alerts


Automated Alerts can be set up in your ValueLink system for order management and vendor management. These emails are automatically triggered after a specified time from and event. E.g. An email is sent out to the administrator if the order has been created, but not assigned in X number of days. Automated alerts ensure that you remain on top of your orders and your vendors are delivering reports in a timely manner. They also help keep track of your vendor’s License and Insurance is expiring and automatically requests them to update their profile in the system.

To set up automated alerts, go to Admin ->Automated Alerts.Toggle the On and Off buttons to enable the listed automated alerts. You can specify the time interval for when some alerts are triggered as well. Once you are done, click on the Save Alert Setting button at the bottom of your screen to enable automated alerts.

 

Setting up Common Responses


Common Responses are a great way to save time and make your appraisal desk more efficient. Common Responses are blocks of text (e.g. client-specific instructions, appraiser instructions etc.) that can be typed and stored in the system. These can be used when posting comments to your clients and appraisers, without having to type or copy/pasting the entire text again and again. Once set up, just select the common response on the comment screen and it auto-populates on the text area.

To set up common responses, go to Admin ->Common Responses. Click on the Actions button on the top right of your screen and select Add New Common Response. Enter the Common Response Name (which will appear in the dropdown on the comment screen) and the Common Response Text. Click on the Save Common Response button to save it in the system.

 

Setting up Review Checklists


Review Checklists can be built right into ValueLink, enabling you to complete your appraisal review process within the system and making it completely paperless. Review checklists are completely customizable and can be tailored to your internal QC policies. Your reviewers can check the orders against these lists to complete their review. A PDF document of the checklist is automatically attached to the supporting documents of the order once the review is completed. The system comes with pre-built checklists for Residential and Commercial order reviews.

To set up review checklists, go to Admin ->Review Checklists. Click on the Actions button on the top right of your screen and select Add New Checklist. Enter a Name and Description of the checklist and click the Next button. Click on “Click here to add the first field” to start building your checklist. Add as many fields as you like with the option of checkboxes, radio buttons and drop downs. Click the Done button at the top right of your screen to save the checklist in the system.

 

Setting up Appraisal Statuses


You can set up your own custom workflow in ValueLink by setting up Appraisal Statuses in the system. The status of appraisal orders can be updated manually and fall into categories that your company would like to use.

To set up appraisal statuses, go to Admin ->Appraisal Statuses. Click on the Actions button and select Add New Appraisal Status. Enter the name of the status and specify if you would like to give status update access to your appraiser and reviewers. You can also mark the status as important so that it shows highlighted on your Dashboard. Click on the Save Appraisal Status button to save the status in the system.

You also edit existing appraisal statuses by clicking on the Edit icon  next to the appraisal status. You can then enter the changes and click on the Save Appraisal Status button to save the status in the system

 

2. Order Management

After you have completed the steps above, you are ready to start entering orders into the system. As an alternative, you can have your lenders log on and place orders directly in the system.

 

Ordering an Appraisal


To add an order, just click the Create an Appraisal button on your dashboard. Fill out the form to enter order details. All required fields are marked with an asterisk. Fill out the form and click Continue. Review the order details and click Confirm and Create Order to enter the order.

 

Adding Comments

Comments are a great way to share information with all the parties involved in the order. To add a comment, browse to the manage appraisal screen and scroll down to the comments section. Click the Add Comment button to add a comment. Add the comment to and select if you wish to copy the lender or the appraiser on the email. When a comment is posted, the administrators and the selected parties will be notified. All comments will also be shown on the order details screen in the comments section.

 

Adding Supporting Documents

Any documents that are associated with the file or can help the valuation process can be attached to the order under the supporting documents section. This section can contain anything ranging from purchase contracts to engagement letters and more. To add a supporting document, browse to the manage appraisal screen and scroll down to the supporting documents section. Click Add Supporting Document to add a document.

 

Edit Appraisal Details

You can always go back and update the order information in case of any discrepancy or an adjustment. To Edit/Update the appraisal order information,browse to the manage appraisal screen. Click the Actions button on the top right of your screen and select Edit Appraisal under General Options. Make the required changes and click the Continue button. Review your changes and click the Save Changes button at the bottom of your screen to update the appraisal details.

 

Assigning an Order


Once an order has been entered into the system, you may assign it to an appraiser. ValueLink provides 3 options for order assignment to appraisers. For review purposes, the order can also be assigned to staff users and external reviewers.

 

Direct Assignment

Use the direct assignment option, if you wish to directly assign an order to an appraiser. To use direct assignment, click on Unassigned Orders on your home screen, and click on the order number for the order you wish to assign. On the manage order screen, click on the Actions button on the top right of your screen and select Assign to Appraiser under Assignment Options. On this screen, you will see the order details. The appraisers who are close to the subject property are listed below.

To select an appraiser, click on the Select button next to the appraiser’s name. If a fee has been defined for the appraiser for this order type, the system will automatically populate the appraiser’s fee. You may change the fee manually as needed. Once you are satisfied, click on the Assign Appraisal button to assign the order. The appraiser will be notified by email when the order has been assigned. The appraiser can then log on and accept or decline the order.

 

Broadcast Assignment

Use the broadcast assignment option if you do not wish to spend too much time selecting an appraiser. Send the request to multiple appraisers, and the first appraiser to accept the order will get the assignment while all other appraisers will not be able to access the order. To use broadcast assignment, click on Unassigned Orders on your home screen, and click on the order number for the order you wish to assign. On the manage order screen, click on the Actions button on the top right of your screen and select Assign via Broadcast under Assignment Options. On this screen, you will see the order details. The appraisers who are close to the subject property are listed below.

To select the appraiser, click on checkbox next to the appraiser’s name. After your selection is complete click on Select Checked Appraisers. You may change the appraiser’s fee manually as needed. Once you are satisfied, click on the Assign Appraisalbutton to assign the order. All the selected appraisers will be notified by email when the order has been assigned. The first appraiser to accept the order gets to complete the assignment.

 

Bid Requests

Bid Requests are an excellent option when you are not certain about the fee for the appraisal order. This option is really handy when working on commercial appraisal orders. You can send a bid request to multiple appraisers and they can view the order details and place a bid for the order. To send a bid request, click on Unassigned Orders on your home screen, and click on the order number for the order you wish to assign. On the manage order screen, click on the Actions button on the top right of your screen and select Send New Bid Request under Bidding. On this screen, you will see the order details. The appraisers who are close to the subject property are listed below.

To select an appraiser, click on checkbox next to the appraiser’s name. After your selection is complete click on Select Checked Appraisers.Enter the Bid Closing Date and any comments that would help the appraiser. Once you are satisfied, click on the Send Bid Request button to send the request. The appraiser will be notified by email when the request has been sent. The appraiser can then log on and place a bid on the order. Anytime a bid is placed, the administrators will be notified by email. To see placed bids, just go to the manage appraisal screen and click on View Placed Bids. Select the bid that best fits your needs by clicking on the green checkmark next to the bid. Set the appraiser’s fee and click Assign Order to assign the request.

 

Assign to a Reviewer

You may use external reviewers to perform review work for your company. To be able to perform review work, an appraiser must also be set up as a reviewer in the system. To assign the order to a reviewer, browse to the manage appraisal screen. Click on the Actions button on the top right of your screen and select Assign To Reviewer under Assignment Options.

On this screen, you will see the order details. The reviewers are listed below. To select a reviewer, click on the Select button next to the appraiser’s name. You may change the reviewer’s fee manually as needed. Once you are satisfied, click on the Assign to Reviewer button to assign the order for review. The reviewer will be notified by email when the order has been assigned. The reviewer can then log on and review the appraisal report whenever it is submitted.

 

Assign to Staff

Orders can also be assigned to staff users so that it appears in their queue and they are responsible for managing that order. To assign the order to a staff user, browse to the manage appraisal screen. Click on the Actions button on the top right of your screen and select Assign To Staff under Assignment Options.

On this screen, you can select up to 3 staff users who will be copied on all communication for this order. Click on the Assign to Staff button to assign the order to the selected staff members.

 

Scheduling an Inspection


When an appraiser has accepted an order, they can set the inspection appointments in the system. To set the inspection appointment, the appraiser should browse to the manage appraisal screen, click on the Actions button and select Set Inspection Date. The appraiser can then enter the date and time for the appointment and any additional comments and click Set Inspection Appointment to save it to the system. When an appointment is set, the administrators and the lender will be notified that the inspection has been scheduled.

 

Submitting a Report


When an appraiser has prepared a report for an order, they can submit the report using the system. To submit the report, the appraiser should browse to the manage appraisal screen, click on the Actions button and select Submit Appraisal Report(s). The appraiser can select the report from their local computer and click the Upload Report(s) to submit the report. Whenever a report is submitted, the administrators, the staff members and reviewers will be notified via email. The order is automatically set to File In Review status and the report is available for review.

As an alternative, your appraisers can email the report to the administrator and the administrator can then log on and upload the report to the system.

 

Reviewing a Report


When an appraiser has submitted a report for an order, it is available for review. To review the report, the administrator or the reviewer can browse to the manage appraisal screen and click on Review Appraisal Report(s). Click on the report to download it to your local computer. After reviewing the contents, you may decide if the report is acceptable or if it needs revisions.

If the report needs revisions, you can decline the report and provide the changes that need to be made to the order. When submitted, the order will be moved to Revision Requested status and the appraiser will be notified by email that adjustments are needed.

If a report is acceptable, you may accept the report. There are multiple rating options available to help you rate the appraisers work. These ratings are aggregated and displayed on the appraiser’s scorecard report.You can mark the order as completed and email the report to the client and the borrower from this screen as well. Click the Submit to accept the report. If you chose to mark the order as completed, it will move into the Completed status. If you need to make final adjustments to the order before marking it completed, the order will move into the Accepted status.

This would complete the workflow for an order.

 

Revision Requests


If it any point in time, a revision is needed to a report after it has been marked completed, you may reactivate the order. To reactivate the order, browse to the manage appraisal screen. Click on the Actions button and select Update Status under General Options. Select the Revision Requested status and enter the revision message. Make sure to copy the Appraiser on the status update. Click on the Update Status button to send out the revision request.

This will put the file back in review and notify the appraiser to make corrections to the report and resubmit it. The appraiser can then make those adjustments and re-submit the revised file. Once the revisions have been received, you may review the order and accept or decline it. This process can go on until the desired changes have been made. When the report is accepted, the order can be marked as completed to close out the order.

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