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Valuation: does it matter if you’re black or white?


By Ashley Stewart-Noble

Valuation: does it matter if you’re black or white?

Imagine if the value of your house was impacted by the colour of your skin.

Awful, isn’t it?

More so because for many this is a reality they face.

That’s why this article is important, looking as it does at unconscious bias in the valuation industry around our most valuable asset, our home. While Johnnie White, the charismatic CEO of the American Society of Appraisers, looks at the situation in the US, his words resonate with a global audience.

This article walks a definitive line of authoritative, approachable and compassionate. There’s no hectoring tone, no remonstration, just a detailed look at the situation and how valuers can make a difference to redress this imbalance, no matter where in the world they are.

Finding a journalist to cover this was a challenge. I wanted someone who knows the US real estate market well but also one who has the editorial chops to cover issues around race in America. Step up Sibley Fleming, a renowned built environment journalist who also has decades of experience in covering civil rights activities from her home state of Georgia.

The connection, empathy and understanding they share shines throughout this piece.

I wanted to illustrate the article with photography that reflected the gravity of the topic and the authority of Johnnie White all the while capturing his more playful side.

Our creative team found Ryan Donnell, an East Coast-based photographer who captured exactly the look and feel we wanted to illustrate this piece. While setting the tone for his words, it also illustrates Johnnie’s approachable, fun side, rounding off an article that should leave us all with plenty to think about.