Two large privately-owned valuation groups have joined a new residential valuation quality assurance body, Austwide Valuations, in a move they say will improve standards in the industry.
“The decision to form an alliance comes after lender sources reveal a decline in valuation service and quality from some major groups not equipped with the systems and experienced valuation personnel to deal with the increased demands of the industry,” said chief executive of WBP Property Group, Greville Pabst.
WBP Property Group and MVS National Valuers will align forces as members of Austwide Valuations from 27 August 2012.
WBP Property Group said while the two groups will continue to operate independently, “the Austwide Valuations membership alliance will set a new benchmark for valuations standards and provide greater service and coverage for each group’s clients”.
The company added that Austwide Valuations sets quality assurance standards, including risk analysis parameters specifically designed to protect valuation clients and their business interests.
“MVS and WBP are structured similarly, with an important emphasis on technology and quality assurance, which is particularly important to financial institutions,” Mr Pabst continued.
“We have both embraced the changing face of the valuation and property industries in Australia and identified early opportunities to expand and develop business in major capital cities and regional centres.”
Mr Pabst said many smaller regional and rural valuation firms are struggling to meet current compliance standards.
“Australian lenders, government and professional services groups are increasingly seeking national suppliers, creating pressure on smaller-scale local operators,” he said. “Austwide Valuations membership is open to all valuation firms striving for greater quality control measures. It will offer valuation firms from all over Australia the opportunity to reduce insurance risk and improve reporting standards.”
Late last year WBP Property Group, a Victoria-based property valuation company, acquired Adelaide-based Mason Gray Strange Real Estate Valuations (MGS) and announced an alliance with Queensland-based valuation company Herriots.
Mr Pabst said the moves were aimed at appeasing lenders who wanted access to more national valuation providers.
MVS National Valuers spokesperson Jeff Keane stressed that Austwide Valuations is not a branding initiative.
“It [Austwide Valuations] is a national initiative to improve the standard of residential real estate valuation services in Australia,” he said.
“With an emphasis on quality and risk-mitigation, Austwide ensures valuation products and services are compliant with lawful and regulatory guidelines, reliable and accurate and of a high professional standard.”
“Austwide Valuations has developed a quality assurance certification standard known as AustwideQA. The certification standard is designed to monitor and manage quality control, risk compliance and performance under a strict Code of Conduct for Austwide members.”