Real estate technology company Clear Capital has launched a new homeowner-enabled appraisal inspection tool, which adheres with encouraged social distancing protocols in light of the coronavirus.

OwnerInsight is a tool that offers homeowners high-quality information and images of the interior and exterior of their homes to lenders, appraisers, and appraisal management companies through a secure interface.

Kenon Chen, executive vice president, corporate strategy of Clear Capital , told HousingWire that this free service will benefit both the user and consumer.

“Over the past couple of weeks, we have witnessed firsthand the difficulty of navigating physical appraisal inspections,” Chen said. “Whether it’s a shelter in place area, or even just an area where you’re getting the borrower, their occupants and the appraiser comfortable with physical inspection, it is a difficult thing.”

“We see it causing impacts and delays to the lending process,” Chen continued. “We were already looking at potential solutions for alleviating that, not only for our own company, but for the industry at large. We were happy to see the guidelines that were put out this week from the FHFA and GSEs on ways to reduce friction in the appraisal process, by enabling both desktop appraisals to be performed as well as exterior appraisals.”

OwnerInsight was built to work on camera-enabled mobile devices with no need for app downloads, with photo metadata captured to ensure protection against fraud.

The tool, which will be launched the week of March 30, has long term benefits for lenders, according to Chen.

“I really feel like it needs to be done the right way, in a way that also puts protections in there around fraud, and other aspects,” Chen said. “We have already been working on what the next generation of this was going to look like, including ways to capture the home in a completely digital format and 360 [degree] format. That’s something we’ve put together we’re pioneering as well, this is a stepping stone towards that.”

Clear Capital is also partnering with Ellie Mae, to make OwnerInsight available to lenders who are on the Ellie Mae Digital Lending Platform via Encompass Partner Connect.

“During this unprecedented time, the need for innovative technology solutions that keep mortgage processes moving forward while limiting in-person interaction is critical,” said Parvesh Sahi, senior vice president of Business Development at Ellie Mae, in a statement. “Clear Capital’s OwnerInsight will give our lenders the ability to connect homeowners and appraisers while ensuring a compliant and efficient mortgage process to solve both immediate and long-term lender needs.”

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