As it is now week 5 of our API office evacuation and remote working model, we felt it was time to provide you with an update on what’s been happening behind the curtain at API.

In the first instance, the API Board have extended their decision to pause all Face to Face events that were scheduled to the 31st of July. This decision currently adheres to government guidelines and will remain in place regardless of any policy change for the safety and wellbeing of our Members and our staff.  We are very excited about some of the fantastic innovation taking place internally. We are getting ready to launch a series of online events providing a full digital event experience to help break up the isolation of social distancing and remote work.

We are very proud of our members who appear to be using this time to further develop their skills and knowledge turning to our greatly enhanced API webinar and online learning programmes for information. With a mixed offering of both paid and free webinars, we have seen large numbers of registrations to our webinars, online courses and past recordings. We also saw the highest number of registrations ever for a webinar with 1899 members watching the COVID-19 Webinar representing 28% of the membership. This surpassed our previous record of 1087 attendees who attended our free bushfire webinar on the 12th of February. We had over 700 registrations for our Valuation protocols webinar yesterday.

Our special project teams are focussed on producing an important and relevant suite of content to assist our members adjust to our new working environment and we very much appreciate the positive feedback and the support we have received in the creation of this content.

Thankfully, all of our staff remain safe and COVID-19 free and hope this also remains a similar statistic amongst our membership. We have also been actively reaching out and calling Members as part of our member wellbeing program to check in and ensure we continue to provide support in this incredibly challenging time. Despite our team expanding to now include the children and pets of API, it may take a little extra time to get in touch with every one of our Members, so we appreciate your patience. If you are in need of extra support, we do encourage you to actively reach out so we can assist you.

Across the country we have been engaging with governments to communicate the innovation that has taken place in our industry so that we can continue operating – the new state of emergency protocols have been well received – and fortunately there has not been the same forced widescale business shutdowns in Australia like we have seen overseas, other than in high-risk, public exposed industries like hospitality. That doesn’t mean we haven’t seen unintended consequences for our members in some government policies and we’re working to address those local problems in places like Tasmania and Queensland.

Our Strategic mission at the beginning of 2020 was that this year was our Year of Innovation. This phrase refers to the multitude of projects, technology and systems advancements, process and policy improvements.  COVID-19 has not disrupted this original mission.  Whilst 2020 has rolled out as a complex, stressful and ever shifting challenge, it has served to give deeper meaning to API’s Year of Innovation. Our Board Nominations close tomorrow and our AGM is scheduled to proceed on May 27, with the release of our 2019 Annual Report outlining our 2019 achievements also at this time.

I am proud to assure our members that our ambitious agenda has only been minimally disrupted.

Rising to the challenge, our focussed, agile and positive staff (to whom I extend my utmost respect and gratitude) continue to deliver at the highest levels.

We are on track to deliver a raft of new and exciting innovations throughout the course of the short, mid and long term, with the support of our Board and our fantastic API tribe. As always, I welcome feedback and communication of all the issues facing our members for the present and beyond.

Amelia Hodge, CEO, Australian Property Institute