As unprecedent times continue with the pandemic and racial justice matters, the Appraisal Institute strives to help combat unconscious bias in the valuation profession. Learn more about that, and other timely updates, from the past month.
AI Joins Forces with Other Organizations to Combat Unconscious Valuation Bias
As you might have seen in the Oct. 16 news release, the Appraisal Institute joined forces with the American Society of Appraisers, the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers and the Massachusetts Board of Real Estate Appraisers in showing support for the development of additional training that addresses unconscious bias in valuation.
AI has worked with these professional organizations frequently this year, while collectively addressing COVID-19 pandemic appraisal issues and policy issues facing the valuation profession.
We pledge to develop training programs for appraisers covering unconscious bias issues, helping to increase awareness by connecting the appraisal community with thought leaders on bias and discrimination. We also commit to taking steps to enhance our respective Code of Ethics to more firmly or overtly address bias and discrimination issues with protected classes.
AI Addresses Alleged Valuation Bias
As you’re probably aware, the topic of diversity and alleged bias in the valuation profession has been covered in the media recently, and it’s an issue that AI continues to take very seriously.
As the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers with over 17,000 professionals, and with more than 73,000 appraisers in the U.S., there’s no way we, or anyone else, can categorically say that no bias exists in the profession and that no individual appraiser has any bias. “Good” appraisals are credible and well supported – as you know, value is not a fact to be found. Attempting to find a non-appraiser’s opinion of the “correct” value sends us quickly down a rabbit’s hole. Instead, we are springing into action with a range of programs meant to attack whatever unconscious individual biases may exist; addressing matters of diversity within the profession; and developing policy solutions relating to mortgage financing and community and economic development.
I’m also pleased to share that AI has been proactive in discussing these timely issues during the past few months, with our messages focusing on the great steps AI is taking to address these critical issues.
- AI distributed a news release on Sept. 10, which addressed numerous proactive steps that our organization already is taking to address these issues, as well as others in the pipeline. The news release is available via the following link: https://www.appraisalinstitute.org/appraisal-institute-seeks-to-expand-diversity-combat-alleged-bias-in-valuation/?CategoryId=1
- Based on the Oct. 16 news release, you know about our collaboration with ASA, ASFMRA and MBREA, but I’m also glad to tell you that we’ve had productive discussions with TAF about finding common ground in this area and those talks continue.
- I encourage you to save the dates of Dec. 9-10, 1 p.m.-4:15 p.m. EST, for a joint symposium with the Appraisal Institute and The Appraisal Foundation, “Promoting Trust for Fair and Affordable Housing.” This free symposium will give real estate appraisers the opportunity to hear from leaders from across the appraisal profession, mortgage lending and academia in a discussion on fair and affordable housing issues. Discussion topics will include the latest research on fair and affordable housing, impact and innovation in the appraisal process and potential legislative, regulatory and financing solutions that can promote community and economic development. Stay tuned for upcoming speaker announcements and registration information.
- If you follow AI on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, you might have seen our posts about these issues, both proactive (directing individuals to our news releases and President’s Message) and reactive (in response to questions from our followers).
- I’ve also had the opportunity to personally address these topics in interviews with CityLab (part of Bloomberg), National Mortgage News and others, and we’ve made new connections with members of the media around the country who are covering these issues.
- I’m also pleased to let you know that we published a lengthy post on AI’s blog last week hitting these issues head-on. It’s worth noting that members of the media around the country are among our social media followers. You can read the blog post via the following link: http://blog.appraisalinstitute.org/appraisal-institute-reinforces-commitment-to-expand-diversity-tackle-housing-challenges/
- Further, as I, and the organization’s other elected officers, present at upcoming chapter events around the country, we’ll be sure to let members and other attendees know about our efforts.
As AI’s 2020 president, and a fellow appraiser, I can assure you that your organization is taking these issues seriously and will continue to proactively share our message with a variety of audiences around the country.
Get the Latest News and Updates on How COVID-19 Affects Appraisers
AI will continue to compile vital information about this ever-changing environment. On our Coronavirus Updates page, you’ll continue to find news and updates from government-sponsored enterprises and agencies. You’ll also find all of AI’s resources that are relevant to the pandemic including: AI Answers, webinars, ANO articles, guides, summaries and emails.
Please visit the Coronavirus Updates page on AI’s website.
AI Webinars Continues to Provide Timely Information for Appraisers
Here’s some current and important information that may be useful to your business.
The Appraisal Institute continues to host AI Answers sessions on select Wednesdays. These sessions are conducted via GoToMeeting. Please check out the recordings of these sessions.
During the Oct. 7 session, I spoke with Appraisal Institute Director of Government and External Relations, Bill Garber; Sellers & Associates Manager, Leslie P. Sellers, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS; and Jones, Roach & Caringella, Inc. President and CFO, Stephen D. Roach, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, to spotlight changes from the 14th edition of the newly released book, “The Appraisal of Real Estate,” 15 edition.
On Oct. 14, Bill Garber spoke with Appraisal Institute Manager of State and Industry Affairs, Scott DiBiasio; and Appraisal Institute Manager of Federal Affairs, Brian Rodgers, about state trends and new federal proposals relating to employee and independent contractor status.
On Oct. 21, Bill Garber was pleased to speak with James Heaslet, chief appraiser of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, and Pete Fontana, chairman of the Montana Board of Real Estate Appraisers, about opportunities with AAPP and use of trainees in general.
AI Publishes ‘Scope of Work,’ Third Edition
As you may know, the Appraisal Institute’s body of knowledge expanded this month with the publication of “Scope of Work,” third edition. The scope of work concept is fundamental to appraisal, and its proper application ensures that appraisers can provide various services and maintain flexibility in their assignments, which has become increasingly important in our rapidly changing business environment.
“Scope of Work,” third edition, addresses the evolution of the scope of work concept in the appraisal profession and the current scope of work requirements presented in the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice, the Appraisal Institute Standards of Valuation Practice and the International Valuation Standards. Case studies and appraisal report templates are provided to help appraisers understand how scope of work can be applied in a variety of assignments.
In this book, readers will learn that identifying the scope of an appraisal assignment allows valuers to address their clients’ concerns with professionalism and flexibility. Readers will also learn that properly identifying the parameters of an assignment also allows appraisers to take advantage of new business opportunities. As of this writing I have read about half of this book. Properly describing your scope of work to your client, either verbally or in your engagement agreement, can set you apart from your competition. I urge you to get a copy and stay tuned for the companion seminar.
Order your copy today!
Q3 2020 ‘Volunteers of Distinction’
Congratulations to the AI professionals honored by the Appraisal Institute in third quarter 2020 as a “Volunteer of Distinction:”
- Edward S. Falkowski III, MAI, SRA (Philadelphia Metropolitan Chapter);
- Norman C. Hulberg, MAI (Northern California Chapter); and
- Rachel Massey, SRA, AI-RRS (Great Lakes Chapter).
Any AI professional in good standing may nominate another AI professional in good standing at VOD@appraisalinstitute.org.
Check out the Nomination Form and Program Description for further details.
Other News Around the Appraisal Institute
And here’s some other important news from the Appraisal Institute:
- I participated in two important interviews during the past month. One with America’s Commercial Real Estate Show discussing appraising during the pandemic, and in the other, I talked to Appraisal Buzz about how I got into the valuation profession and my vision for AI.
- AI posted a new video to its YouTube channel during the past month, featuring AI President-Elect Rodman Schley, MAI, SRA. This video includes information about the organization’s efforts on behalf of residential appraisers.
- Have you read the latest issue of The Appraisal Journal? If not, check out the terrific content!
- The Appraisal Institute continues to expand its social media activities. Be sure to follow AI on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and its blog, Opinions of Value.
Have a safe month!