You may have heard of CubiCasa, but you may not know what it is or how it can be used to help your business. That’s exactly why we’re here! In this article, we’ll be taking a look at some of our top customer success stories using CubiCasa for appraisals. We sat down with real estate appraisers, brokers, and AMC representatives, and here is what they had to say:
6 Success Stories Using CubiCasa for Appraisals
- 1. Desktop appraisals, Complex Properties, and even Appraisals… ON CRUTCHES!
- 2. Real Estate Appraiser Starts to Use CubiCasa Digital GLA to meet new Fannie Mae Requirements
- 3. “The Home Was Shaped Like an S” – Measuring Difficult Properties Made it Easy With CubiCasa
- 4. CubiCasa Survived The Appraiser Coach’s Review – And his Messy Storage Room
- 5. This Real Estate Broker was blown away the first time she saw CubiCasa app in action
- 6. How AMCs are integrating CubiCasa Digital GLA technology to fulfill Desktop and Hybrid Appraisals with ease
- Interested in CubiCasa digital GLA solution for appraisers, AMCs and lenders?
6 Success Stories Using CubiCasa for Appraisals
1. Desktop appraisals, Complex Properties, and even Appraisals… ON CRUTCHES!
Jamie Owen is not new at leveraging technology for his appraisal practice:
“I am a huge fan of using technology when appraising properties. I remember using pocket PCs to collect field data. Remember them? And I remember the first time I started using a digital camera instead of a 35mm camera to take pictures during my inspections. That was a huge game-changer. And I’ve been measuring homes using a laser for many years now.”
He is a State Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser that has been appraising since 1997 and was licensed in 2000. For Jamie, CubiCasa was “the next new and cool tool” that he needed to try out.
The challenge: Jamie wanted a way to perform desktop assignments with ease
Jamie described his first experience with CubiCasa in one of his blog posts – (and he put a very funny title). Here’s what he had to say:
“One of my bank clients ordered one of the new Desktop Appraisals that Fannie Mae is accepting”.
“The catch with these types of Desktop appraisals is that Fannie Mae requires that the appraiser has to include a sketch of the home being appraised that shows the exterior dimensions and an interior layout which consists of the interior doors and walls.”
Now, how could he do that without a personal inspection of the subject property or the comparable properties identified in the report?
“I called the listing agent on the property I was to appraise and asked if they knew how an appraiser might go about obtaining a floor plan. She had no idea”
Jamie found himself at a dead end and managed to have his assignment converted to a traditional type of appraisal so that he could personally make the inspection. Ironically, that’s when he came up with the solution: CubiCasa.
Why CubiCasa is the right solution for Jamie’s business?
“It was at this point that I remembered CubiCasa. CubiCasa is scanning software that can be installed on most smartphones as an app that you can use to scan each room on each floor of a home. Once the scan is uploaded, within a day or less, they will send you the floor plan.”
Jamie tried out the app and was impressed with its ease of use and accuracy. Now that he is comfortable with the new technology, Jamie can accept Desktop and Hybrid assignments with confidence:
“My wife and a friend of mine are going to do the scanning of the homes when I accept a Desktop or Hybrid style appraisal report. And I will disclose their professional assistance in my report.”
But the story does not end here. Because if you give Jamie the right tool, I promise you he’ll come up with other innovative use cases that you had never even thought of.
Other than for desktop and hybrid assignments, Jamie uses CubiCasa for traditional assignments as well – for example, when he need measurements, GLA and floor plans for very large, luxury properties. In addition, CubiCasa helps for his recent assignments…on crutches.
Watch the full story of Jamie in this video here:
2. Real Estate Appraiser Starts to Use CubiCasa Digital GLA to meet new Fannie Mae Requirements
We recently had the pleasure to interview Nikki Rinkus, field staff appraiser at Clario Appraisal Network. She has been appraising real estate in the Chicagoland market for 30 years and also holds her sales broker license. Over those 30 years, she has experienced unprecedented technological shifts in both arenas and has always been an early adopter. No wonder when Fannie Mae announced the adoption of ANSI standards, Nikki did not want to miss out.
The challenge: Aligning with ANSI measuring Standard in 2022
As of April 1, 2022, Fannie Mae started to demand that appraisals requiring interior and exterior inspections on certain properties (residential properties) must comply with a specific measuring standard from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI, Z765-2021). For instance, floor plans for residential properties must be computer-generated, indicate all the dimensions needed to calculate the GLA (Gross Living Area) of a home, show the calculations to demonstrate how the estimate for GLA was derived, and more. To align with these new requirements, Nikki decided to give CubiCasa a shot:
“Earlier this year when Fannie announced the adoption of ANSI standards I became very motivated to start using the technology to get a jump on becoming compliant in a way that might have been more of a pain point without it. Since then I have used it in almost 100 reports.”
How does CubiCasa help Nikki in her appraisal practice?
“It saves me time, it’s accurate, it’s ANSI compliant, and it looks cool! But best of all it was the last step in digitizing my field inspection which means now all I need to do an inspection is my phone. No more clunky clipboard, pen, and measuring device! Also, I am in Chicago where the weather can be somewhat temperamental so no more exterior measurements in inclement weather is a huge plus!”
Check out the full story of Nikki HERE
3. “The Home Was Shaped Like an S” – Measuring Difficult Properties Made it Easy With CubiCasa
What would you do if you had to measure and sketch a very complex property, all angles, and curves, in terrible weather conditions?
Keep reading this crazy appraisal story David Schiffmayer, owner of Evergreen Appraisal, recently shared with us.
He is a Certified residential real estate appraiser based in Colorado that provided valuations and appraisal services to organizations such as Wells Fargo, Fannie Mae, and Stewart Lender Services throughout his career.
The challenge: An appraisal on a complex property with many angles and curves (and a snowstorm in between)
If an appraisal was a nightmare, It would probably be close to David’s experience:
“After traveling down a treacherous mountain road in a heavy snowstorm (the kind where you don’t know where the road ends and the cliff begins) I arrived at the subject property. I had done my homework and knew the home would be difficult to measure all angles and curves, but when I arrived it was FAR MORE EXTREME than I had imagined. The home was shaped like an S. Had I asked for plans in advance– yes. Did anyone have them – no. Should I flee immediately? Absolutely.”
Other than being an incredible storyteller, David is also not the kind of person that gives up easily.
How did CubiCasa help David complete that difficult assignment?
“Completely unprepared, I started my first scan. It took about 30 minutes to take a video of the house. The app kept me on track with helpful feedback like “stop moving so fast!”, “don’t move sideways!”, and “tilt-up, tilt down!”.
David did not have many expectations: “honestly there was no way it was going to work. The house was too extreme”.
But guess what? The next morning David he had its floor plan ready.
“And there it was… Beautiful. Pristine. Impossible. Like magic, I had a sketch with GLA and more… a floor plan, kitchen islands, and bathtubs. Seriously, how was this even possible?”
David, It’s called CubiCasa Magic!
Read the full story of David here
4. CubiCasa Survived The Appraiser Coach’s Review – And his Messy Storage Room
Dustin Harris is a successful, self-employed, residential real estate appraiser who has been appraising for over two decades. Owner and President of Appraisal Precision and Consulting Group, Inc., Dustin is a popular author, speaker, and consultant. He also owns and operates The Appraiser Coach where he personally advises and mentors other appraisers helping them to also run successful appraisal companies and increase their net worth.
With the CubiCasa app starting to get popular among appraisers, Dustin Harris wanted to try the software himself and understand what the hype was all about.
How was The Appraiser Coach’s experience with CubiCasa?
The Appraiser Coach took some time to test the tool and give the most honest review for his appraisers and readers. At the time of the review, The Appraiser Coach had tried the CubiCasa app 3 times. Here’s how it went.
Dustin admitted being impressed with the results scanning his home, also given that he has a pretty “messy” storage room with a weird-shaped wall:
“My storage room is a mess now. It’s not actually messy, it just has a lot of stuff in it. And there was a whole section that you really could not even get within, I don’t know, 4 feet of the corner? You certainly couldn’t see the corner. It was there, but you couldn’t see it because we’ve got some food storage in there and some other things […] In the same room there’s kind of a 45-degree wall that kind of angles out and then bends over and goes back and forth. It’s kind of a wonky thing. And I thought, well, yeah, good luck, CubiCasa.”
Can you guess how the story goes on?
“Guess what, folks? They didn’t need luck. They got skills because both of those things were in there. It was as if that storage room was empty.” Also, “it was no harder for CubiCasa to get that wall correct and get the dimensions correct as it would be for a straight wall.”
Here’s what Dustin has been telling his appraisers regarding the CubiCasa app:
“I tell my appraisers – Listen, you show up to one of these luxury properties that It’s almost 10,000 square feet and you know you’re gonna be there over an hour, trying to sketch it out. Well, use CubiCasa.”
“Yeah, you still might be there 45 minutes total, right? But it’s a whole lot better than trying to do something wonky. And what about these ones that have all these angles? And it’s just a great thing to have in your backpack, I think. It’s a great program. I will continue to use it when I need to.”
You can listen to The Appraiser Coach’s unbiased review of the CubiCasa app here:
5. This Real Estate Broker was blown away the first time she saw CubiCasa app in action
Rosa A. Troia is an Associate Real Estate Broker for the esteemed luxury agency Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty. She has been in real estate for 30 years and described the moment she first saw the appraiser using CubiCasa as one of those ‘wow’ moments.
A broker’s “first encounter” with CubiCasa: The Appraiser completed his assignment with just their phone – no DISTO, no pen & paper.
Here’s how Rosa recalls the her experience:
“I just finished up an appraisal appointment for my client. This is when the financing bank hires an independent professional to give them information on the property valuation. […] Normally they sketch the layout out with pen and paper and they use a pocket laser or I’ve even seen a measuring tape.”
Not this time though. Rosa continues:
“This appraiser was using this fantastic new app called CubiCasa.”
She was stunned to see the app provided floor plans for the appraiser “just like that”.
How Is Rosa planning to use the CubiCasa app in her business?
Rosa Troia had never used an app like this before, but after watching it work firsthand, she saw its potential immediately: “Can’t wait to implement this into my listing details. Can it really be this easy?”
6. How AMCs are integrating CubiCasa Digital GLA technology to fulfill Desktop and Hybrid Appraisals with ease
Mueller Reports is a nationally recognized industry leader in property data collection and real estate valuation services located in Tonawanda, New York. With a national network of field representatives and staff appraisers who use proprietary technologies to collect, evaluate, and exchange data, Mueller Reports provides insurance carriers and financial institutions with high-quality reports and peace of mind from coast to coast.
Earlier this year, Mueller Reports finalized an integration and enterprise partnership with CubiCasa.
The Challenge: empowering Mueller’s national network of field representatives to complete reports with faster turnaround times and increased accuracy
The CubiCasa app is now fully integrated with Mueller Reports’ own proprietary app, Mueller@Home, which provides homeowners with the ability to complete property surveys from the comfort and safety of their home.
“This partnership marks a major milestone for our company,” says Mueller Reports CEO John Noe. “With the innovative CubiCasa software, our field staff will be able to render a digital floorplan of a subject property with nothing more than their smartphone. This will result in faster turnaround times and more accurate reporting from our real estate and appraisal professionals.”
Why CubiCasa and Mueller Reports’ partnership was successful?
“Not only will our inspectors be able to collect the most accurate data more effectively, but homeowners will be able to conduct their own independent surveys, too. Ultimately, our staff, clients, and homeowners all get a boost, so the partnership is really a win-win-win for everyone.”
Interested in CubiCasa digital GLA solution for appraisers, AMCs and lenders?
Professional appraisal-ready GLA reports. Skip the pen and paper, and save hours of manual work!
1. Create the floor plan with interior walls automatically without special hardware.
2. Gross Living Area (GLA) Calculations created automatically including floor plan in one single file.
3. Consistent GLA results that align with ANSI® Z765 industry standards set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
4. Easily Integrate with AMC technology through SDK and APIs.
5. Scanning the property requires only minutes of work on-site and requires no training.