Panel managers take a beating


It’s currently a funny place being a valuation panel manager.  

Historically, many larger firms sought out this role as it introduced certainty into variable business flows and helped develop strong ties with lender clients. 

The model essentially worked because peer firms on the panel were hungry for work and swallowed as much as could be thrown at them.

Indeed there were often polite and not so polite debates about whether firms were receiving optimum volumes, led by respective account managers within the lenders. 

Today, it’s very different.

Some panel firms have become very selective about what they take and where, leaving the panel managers to mop up the rest and almost inevitably have poorer service levels as a result – and then carry the can for overall service degradation to boot. 

The contracts written in the last three to five years simply did not take account of a resurgent market. But put the violins away, to a large extent, that is just life. 

Looking longer term, I guess it could mean there is less appetite for this once prized role.

It has also been interesting to see the most proactive lender sales execs switching from the role of procuring work for strategic partners to holding those same firms to serious account for not offering  what they believe represents reasonable coverage. 

The best relationships work both ways and, in an ideal world,  surely valuer firms which have been helped to survive in lean times would repay the favour to the lenders who helped them do so? 

It doesn’t seem like an unreasonable request but perhaps I am being old-fashioned!?