New Year, new challenges, new opportunities and another year to Grow!

The world faced incredible challenges in 2020. I must give a shout out to the Black Lives Movement which provided space for me to question my own white privilege and seek solutions in my own way to help communities of colour. Covid-19 prevented us all from doing so many things we love, and the US election had us all perplexed one way or another. Not to mention the forest fires that decimated parts of California, Oregon, and Washington and terrorized Australia for months.

Real estate in BC had one of the best years on record in terms of volume. In April / May 2020, the world (and real estate in BC) came to a halt. All of us were questioning the future. Will values drop 20%? 50%? Will this be a 6-week inconvenience or 12 months of uncertainty? Turns out to be more the latter. Real estate volume exceeded the 15-year averages for many months and prices increased 5-10% in 2020, people worked from home, spending more time with family and being more effective, and we all learned to function professionally in sweatpants during our zoom meetings.

Upon reflection, Adlaw Appraisals had four key successes in 2020.

  1. We had a record year with fewer appraisers than we did in 2019. This speaks volumes about the synergy we have created. October 2020 was our busiest month on record and surpassed our lofty expectations.
  2. Our Adlaw team got stronger. With the success of our Okanagan office, we hired a Vernon based appraiser. She was born and raised in Vernon, has 5 years of appraisal experience and knows every corner of that city. We also found our 3rd Admin all-star which has allowed for Yuki to work on higher-level initiatives. The advent of Covid-19 tested the resilience of our staff and appraisers and has made us even stronger as a result.
  3. Adlaw hired our first Manager of Appraisal Operations and Quality Control in 2020. Having a dedicated appraisal manager has allowed me to: Step away from the day to day operations and focus on doing more interesting appraisal assignments (Commercial, litigation, etc); Focus on the client experience, adopting new technologies to better our clients; Play my first game of weekday golf since 2012 which was a small but significant step for me.
  4. I was personally requested to speak to lenders and associations across the country, with regards to appraisal theory, review and fraud prevention via Zoom Presentations. Communicating these concepts to others allowed me to better understand my profession in the context of mortgage lending in BC.

The biggest challenge in 2020 was adapting to the ever-changing impacts of Covid 19. We had to balance the interests of our appraisers, our clients, and the appraisal institute of Canada. The result was all of our appraisers adopting all health recommendations and completing “modified full” appraisals which is a combination of an exterior site inspection in conjunction with photos provided by the client. Kudos to property owners, property managers, real estate agents who all participated in providing time & geo stamped photos to ensure the appraisal met the requirements of the lender.

Looking forward to 2021, I want to make Adlaw appraisals the most trusted appraisal firm in British Columbia for lenders, mortgage professionals and appraisal management companies. We will do this by providing consistently exceptional service to our clients, and doubling down on our values of “integrity, accuracy and speed.”

A friend of mine said it best, “it is not lost on me that some people’s worst year on record is one of my best.” For me, this was true both personally and professionally. In 2021, mental and physical health will be at the forefront of my life – since without this I can offer nothing to my friends, family, and clients. Thank you to those who supported Adlaw Appraisals in what was a challenging but fruitful year. I will continue to find ways to bring more value to our clients year after year, and I look forward to 2021 with great optimism.

To health, wealth and whatever else makes you smile,

Adam Lawrenson, BBA, AACI

January 4, 2021