Virtual Inspections have become necessary to move transactions and comply with regulations during the pandemic. While lenders have been flexible in using virtual inspections as part of the underwriting process, in-person inspections will likely be the preference in the future. However, the pandemic has given a guidebook to the possibility for virtual inspections, how they work and how and when they can be useful. Doing a long-distance inspection might not ever become the standard, but it will be a tool that lenders can use in future deals, beyond the requirements of the pandemic.

Essentially, virtual inspections and a high-level video conference call with onsite staff, who will assist in doing a recorded walk through and answering questions for the inspector. There are several guidelines to follow to successfully complete a virtual inspection. “Virtual inspections involve an inspector connecting with a property’s onsite staff via video conference or an app created specifically for virtual inspections,” Matthew Stoehr, chief technology officer at Sabal Capital, tells “To be successful, the property’s staff must be completely transparent when showing the property and forthright about issues that could impact funding or appraisal. Depending on the onsite staff, this may be easy to accomplish or it could be very difficult, but either way the thoroughness of the inspection is in many ways out of the inspector’s control.”

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.

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