The Australian Property Institute (API) has declared a state of emergency for the industry, triggering the operation of a set of valuation protocols developed in close consultation with the banking and professional indemnity insurance sectors, which will allow property professionals to continue supporting critical sectors of the Australian economy through the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

The new protocols enable valuers to continue performing valuations, even though they may no longer be able to conduct full physical or personal internal and external inspection of properties, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

API CEO, Amelia Hodge, said, “As Australian governments respond to COVID-19, restricting business activities and movement, and an increased level of deeply concerning information is emerging relating to the health crisis upon us, it is critical we have a framework for valuations to continue to take place.

“The property, financial services and government sectors rely on our members’ professional analytics and now more than ever Australians and key asset owners will be considering the options around their property interests.

“These sectors will be essential to Australia’s economic recovery.”

The release of the protocols follow a comprehensive review by the API, supported by industry stakeholders including banks, professional indemnity insurers and valuation firms, into how the sector can support the current challenges facing Australia’s economy and essential business functions. 

“Our members and industry have come together to provide for the use of technology, new tools, innovation and additional data sources to deliver expert valuations, while prioritising the health and safety of valuers, their clients and customers,” Ms Hodge said.

“While valuers might be restricted from undertaking physical inspections, the reforms allow them to utilise video streaming technology, drone footage and satellite mapping or ‘street view’ services to get the job done in this time of crisis.”
 
Ms Hodge also said that while these are extremely difficult times for Australia and for the world, she expects the challenges to present opportunities to further build on innovation, effective and efficient service delivery, and business model change.

“Property is a critical industry in Australia and it is resilient,” she said. “We have come through tumultuous periods before and we will do so again.”

The new valuation protocols can be found on the API website at: https://www.api.org.au/covid19-standards-and-protocols

About the Australian Property Institute (API)

The Australian Property Institute (API) is the leading and contemporary membership organisation for property professionals. API sets and maintains the highest standards of professional practice, education, ethics and professional conduct for its members. In turn the work of API raises the bar for the entire property profession and advocates on a range of member issues with a range of stakeholders. API is committed to building and maintaining a strong base for the future of the property profession through broadening the expertise and knowledge of membership. As a result, API’s impartial, objective and independent advice is sought after by a broad range of organisations including all levels of Government.