Several appraiser organizations—the Appraisal Institute, the American Society of Appraisers, the American Society of Managers and Rural Appraisers, and the Massachusetts Board of Real Estate Appraisers—have announced that they are banding together to support the development of industry training to address unconscious bias in valuations.
“Acknowledging that bias exists is but one small step,” says Lorrie Beaumont, president of the American Society of Appraisers International. “Together with our partners, we commit to doing the hard work of educating our members about the various ways bias can affect their work, and provide them the tools necessary to overcome bias. By doing this as a profession, and not merely as individual organizations, we hope to underscore to our members and the public just how important this issue is to all of us.”
All four organizations also are committing to a review of their code of ethics and governing documents to ensure that they all firmly address bias and discrimination issues among protected classes.
“During this important time in our nation’s history, our organizations stand together to enhance existing training and ethics initiatives and work even harder to ensure that the appraisal process is free of bias or discrimination of any kind,” says Jefferson Sherman, president of the Appraisal Institute.
In June, the National Association of REALTORS® introduced a new training video for members called “Bias Override: Overcoming Barriers to Fair Housing,” created in partnership with the Perception Institute.
The 50-minute video offers strategies for checking your own bias and highlights how to show respect, ensure fairness, and improve business relationships.