Low mortgage rates fuel demand for valuation and settlement services
HousingWire recently spoke with Keith Murray, president and CEO of VRM Mortgage Services, about the importance of diversity in an organization and how VRM has continued to serve its clients in an unusual year.
HousingWire: The term we keep hearing to describe 2020 is “unprecedented.” How has VRM continued to serve its clients in such unusual times?
Keith Murray: VRM has always taken a community-first approach to serving the needs of our clients. We do this with a talented team of professionals that we support with superior technology and continuing education to keep abreast of how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted real estate markets across the country.
Since our vendor partners are our eyes and ears on the ground, we support them as well, with a variety of educational offerings though our VRM University platform. By marrying the best of the best of internal and external resources, VRM has continued to deliver superior results for our customers during these historic times.
HW: With so many different national, state and local directives on foreclosure, forbearance and eviction programs, how is that impacting some of the services you provide?
KM: We have seen a reduction in our REO-related services due to CARES Act directives. However, as part of the VRM Real Estate Alliance, our service offerings include Appraisal Management offered through PCV Murcor and Title and Settlement Services offered through HighTide Settlement Services. Our valuations and settlement services are seeing increases in business flow due the current low interest rate environment.
HW: VRMU provides educational courses on a number of topics for real estate and mortgage professionals, including diversity and inclusion. Could you explain a bit about the difference between those two terms and why that is important as companies try to make progress in this area?
KM: We measure diversity and inclusion at VRM and are very proud of the educations offerings available to the industry on the VRMU platform. We view diversity to be reflected in the characteristics that each of us are born with. Inclusion is how an organization creates a culture that welcomes and celebrates diversity.
We see diversity as critically important to the success of VRM. Through diversity, we have benefited from the variety of experiences and perspectives that individuals bring to the organization.
HW: Companies have learned a lot about their technology in the last five months. What are your takeaways from this period of rapid acceleration in areas like eClosing?
KM: We got confirmation that our technology and Continuation of Business (COB) plans are rock solid. Back in March, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic declaration, within 24 hours we were able to relocate all of our employees to work from home without any disruption in service to our customers. Our two primary takeaways: don’t skimp on good people or good technology.
HW: When you look toward 2021, what are you optimistic about for our industry?
KM: First and foremost, I’m optimistic that our healthcare professionals will have effective COVID-19 vaccine and therapeutics.
I’m proud of how our industry has navigated the pandemic and continued to deliver solutions to this country. I’m optimistic that with the health crisis under control, the lessons learned will spur more innovation in product, services, technologies and business models.
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