August 4, 2010

Software Company Moves to Daniel Island

Katy Stech  /  Post and Courier

10-year-old Avista Solutions coming from Columbia

A South Carolina software company that works behind the scenes on a typical person's largest lifetime purchase has found a new place to call home.

Avista Solutions, a 10-year-old company that makes and sells a computer program that lenders use to process mortgage information, has moved its headquarters from Columbia to Daniel Island, it was announced this week.

The company's new office in the Ryland Square complex will house about half of the company's 40 employees. Chief Executive Officer Mark Phlieger said he expects that number to grow as the company sells software to more companies.

The company's sales representatives are scattered throughout the country.

Lenders have long used computers to store and process home-loan data, but some older computer programs can't transfer that information to other participants in the complicated mortgage-lending chain.

"It was a disconnected process, and they were doing things like faxing, e-mailing and overnighting documents," Phlieger said.

The company's software can simplify and share that information, as well as process loans, produce signing papers and offer users different pricing scenarios.

Lenders process about 700,000 mortgage applications each year using Avista's system.

Phlieger and his wife, Judy, started the company in 2000. He had a software background, and she ran a large mortgage lending company in Columbia.

The couple decided to relocate to the coast for the Lowcountry lifestyle. They were recruited to the area by the city's Digital Corridor, an initiative that is focused on attracting more technology jobs to Charleston.

Avista's CEO said his firm also was attracted by the city's cheaper business license rates and by the region's growing population of skilled tech workers.

"It's a business decision because the kind of people we need to recruit are drawn to that quality of life," he said.