Effective 8am AEST Monday 30 March 2020, the API Board has declared a State of Crisis/State of Emergency in accordance with the API Valuation Protocol – Guidelines For API Declared Time Of Crisis and/or State Of Emergency Impacting Physical Inspections Of Real Property dated 29 March 2020.

A copy of this Valuation Protocol is attached for consideration by all API members and stakeholders.

This decision has been made recognising the evolving COVID-19 health, economic and employment crisis in Australia.

A Message from our CEO Amelia Hodge

As we navigate the uncertainty caused by COVID-19 in 2020, the API is standing behind our members, their role in the property industry supporting over 1.4 million Australian jobs, and the part we have to play in our nation’s economic recovery.

The API has worked with members and stakeholders to ensure our industry remains able to work through this crisis to support our financial services and government asset owner sector, which the Australians and their communities will be relying on more than ever. This work has prioritised the health and safety of members, their clients and customers and utilises technology, tools, innovation and additional data sources to deliver quality outcomes.

The Board and I would like to thank all parties that have worked together to review our industry’s business models and practices in order to meet the current challenge facing Australia’s economy and essential business functions. This collaborative effort will ensure continuity within our profession and help shield the sector, and indeed everyday Australians, from the unprecedented circumstances created by COVID-19.

COVID-19 has seen Australians have to adapt to an unusual set of circumstances, and the support of our banking, PI and LMI partners has made this possible.

We will continue to engage with government and industry stakeholders to highlight the critical role our members play in the economy and in supporting key industry stakeholders, including financial services, government, and plant and machinery asset owners.

In these times of crisis there is a need to accept amendment and innovation to former practice and procedures (including tools) governing the preparation of valuations. These amendments relate to the inability of a property professional  to conduct full physical or personal internal and external inspection of properties and allow the use of alternate methods to source property information.

While these new protocols allow us to work through the immediate crisis facing our industry and the wider economy, they also preserve the integrity of our professional standards that so many Australians rely on.

Finally, I want to reflect on how all the changes relating to COVID-19, from this Valuation Protocol to government business restrictions, affect us personally. My parents live in my home with my university aged children. John and Kerrill are robust, healthy and young in mind and heart but have a serious recent pneumonia history and are in the high risk age group. Frankly there is no way I would allow any external service provider into my Brisbane home, nor look to finance any of my diverse personal property investments with any financier that did not allow innovative provision of service continuity. I know there are many API members, property occupants and many of our own industry community who have similar concerns.

This is a new world. It will have challenges but also present an opportunity to build innovation, effective and efficient service delivery and business model change and, ultimately, resilience throughout the sector. This is what the property sector has done before and ultimately what we are about.

Rest assured the API is working to protect our industry and our mutual livelihood in these difficult times.

Member Education Resources and Tools

This latest protocol relating to Crisis/Emergency situations works as part of a suite of documents developed by the API to assist members to continue to conduct valuations during COVID-19:

  1. API Valuation Protocol – Crisis or State of Emergency
  2. API Valuation Protocol – Significant Valuation Uncertainty (version 2)
  3. Addendum to the ABFI Residential Valuation Standing Instructions

This documentation provides guidance for utilising a range of technologies as an interim alternative to enhance external and internal valuation inspections in place of a full physical inspection. The protocols have been drafted to extend to all property types and include statutory valuations.

We thank you for your feedback in relation to the API Valuation Protocol – Significant Valuation Uncertainty, which we released on 25 March. We have incorporated suggested changes from members.

We will be providing the following supporting resources for our members in the coming days to upskill and support them to adjust to the new format provided in these documents.