It didn’t sit well with Michael Tidwell (above) when an appraisal report he submitted for a large commercial property in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Los Angeles was rejected by a bank reviewer who insisted the lot was valued too high.
Tidwell, a Black appraiser who is also a valuation and advisory director at the global real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield, said it took months of back and forth, with the issue getting escalated to the bank’s top brass, before they ultimately agreed with his initial assessment.
“The reviewer didn’t respect the community because he felt like, ‘Oh, it’s a Black neighborhood. It’s crime-ridden and violence and all of that. There’s no way this place is going to be able to make money,’” he said. “It’s frustrating because even when you do your job or you may know the value of the community, somebody that’s not from that community, a lot of times, they’re not going to see the value.”
Tidwell is in a unique position on the inside of a tiny and largely insular appraisal industry of 78,000 whose membership is more than 85 percent white, with less than 2 percent of appraisers identifying as Black.
Read rest of story here.