This new year is full of new possibilities and endless hope for our future. The Biden Administration promises changes almost immediately, so how will the housing industry and appraisal industry change? We’re hosting a free webinar on January 28th at 11 am, “State of the Industry: 2021 and Beyond, Ushering in the Biden Administration.” The panel hosts include the experts such as Josh Walitt, Bill Garber, Jessica Lynch, and Sehar Siddiqi. We sat down with Greg Stephens, coordinator of this webinar with Metro-West Appraisal Company, to learn more about this free upcoming webinar.
Buzz: What is your background in the industry?
Greg: I began appraising real estate in Silicon Valley California in 1977 and built a 5-office regional appraisal firm offering both residential and commercial valuation services. My involvement with appraisal organizations began with the Society of Real Estate Appraisers where I held several Board and Office positions prior to the merger with the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers to form the Appraisal Institute. Before moving to Texas in 2001 to work for a national lender, I also conducted appraisal-related QE and CE courses and seminars in partnership with an appraiser partner and continue to provide CE courses through the seminar company.
After moving to Texas, I remained active in appraisal organization leadership, serving on the Board, committees and as President of the North Texas Chapter in 2013, serving on the Board and committees of the National Association of Appraisers, serving as President of the state appraisal organization Foundation Appraisers Coalition of Texas, currently contract for audit and compliance review services of residential and commercial appraisal reports for the Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board and in December 2020, was appointed to the Dallas Appraisal Review Board to serve terms in 2021 and 2022.
Buzz: What are we hoping to change after 2020?
Greg: In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic created a literal and virtual paradigm shift for virtually everyone – the way we live, the way we work, and our interactions in public and private.
My focus is on the valuation industry, so what I hope to see change is a move back to as much normalcy as possible, especially those other professions we directly interact with and rely upon to perform our respective services – mortgage lenders, real estate agents, builders, governmental staff within zoning districts, and building permit departments, for example. Virtually everyone we interact with are now working remotely in homes, communicating via cell phone and challenged to have access to the same level of information available within their respective offices. The new protocols regarding property inspections, verification of property conditions, health concerns of homeowners as well as appraisers limiting interior inspections have all impacted the ability for appraisers to effectively, and efficiently, perform valuation services.
Buzz: What are some things to look forward to this new year?
Greg: There remains a great deal of uncertainty as to what 2021 and beyond is going to look like.
Much of the uncertainty is related the COVID-19 pandemic which is thus far unabated, so fear of us individually, a family member, or colleague catching it remains high. The government-mandated lockdowns in 2020 proved devastating to thousands of businesses across the country, some forced to close, other’s survival still questionable. The forced closure of schools has adversely impacted families and the level of education children are receiving. A hasty broad distribution of the vaccine becoming available to the general public and hopefully resulting in a positive response in reductions of new positive cases is obviously high on the list.
Buzz: How will the new administration impact the state of the appraisal industry?
Greg: This question provides a great segue from the previous question. The new administration has made it very clear they intend to undo much of what the previous administration put in place over the past four years, beginning with the signing of multiple executive orders on Biden’s first day in office.
Regardless of political affiliation, uncertainty is inherent when any new administration takes over. This transition will be no different. As with the Pandemic, when first discovered in March / April of 2020, it is too soon to be able to gauge any impact to the real estate markets.
Buzz: Why should appraisers join your webinar?
Greg: As discussed in this interview, there is a great deal of uncertainty as we enter into 2021.
For our webinar, we put together a team of panelists representing some of the major stakeholders in the industry and I am confident the information they will be sharing will be of great interest to and benefit for appraisers as well as other participants in the industry. Bill Garber and the Appraisal Institute -the largest appraisal organization in the country, has been representing the interests of appraisers on Capitol Hill for years, and will be sharing his insights into what we can expect to see from the incoming administration and the work being done to protect and preserve the interests of appraisers.
Jessica Lynch with the National Association of Home Builders is a previous webinar panelist to the Buzz Webinars, providing an abundance of data she has shared with the audience. The relationship between appraisers and home builders has never been more important than now, so we look forward to her participation on the 28th.
Sehar Siddiqi is also a long-time contributor, sharing extremely pertinent information and perspectives from the National Association of Realtors, information that has in the past and continues to be extremely useful to the appraisal community.
Joshua Walitt is the Vice President of the National Association of Appraisers, is a practicing appraiser and consultant, and will be providing an update on the activities of the NAA and their primarily boots on the ground appraiser membership as we head into 2021 and beyond.
So hopefully you see why Metro-West and Appraisal Buzz are so excited to be a part of this extremely timely and informative webinar and why we believe it will be informative and beneficial for the entire appraisal community as well as other market participants. Be sure to register and tune in on January 28th at 11 am to watch “State of the Industry: 2021 and Beyond, Ushering in the Biden Administration.”
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