Dear Readers,

A few months ago, I would have flown to New Orleans for the Valuation 20/20
(formerly known as Valuation Expo) appraisal conference, reporting live on the news
and notes my audience would find beneficial to their businesses.

But with the arrival of the COVID-19 coronavirus resulting in a pandemic placed
upon the country and stay-at-home orders by state government officials, “virtually”
everything changed. And virtual is an operative word in that such a technological
method would now be the safest of business practices for conference attendees; as
opposed to boarding airplanes.

And so, like many other business professionals, yours truly found himself at home in
front of his computer attending the Valuation 20/20 conference. This was a first for
me, and I have to say that I found the entire experience informative, impressive and
unquestionably unique.

It truly was just like being there, with the ability to see and hear veterans of the
appraisal profession delivering a great deal of insight on many topics, while moving
about the simulated hotel lobby or checking out one of the many vendor/sponsor
booths, which was just a click of the mouse away.

Valuation 20/20 was the first 100 percent virtual trade show for real estate appraisers.
Keynote speaker and best-selling author, Cathy O’Neil (“Weapons of Math
Destruction”) got everyone’s attention with a discussion of the dangers of algorithms
over real-life human input-how very timely when human interaction on the job has
been so greatly reduced. Scott Reuter delivered all of the guidelines and flexibilities
Freddie Mac has put into place to help make the appraiser’s job a little easier during
this national health crisis, while Adam Johnston of Genworth Financial gave his
perspective on virtual interior inspection tools and fraud controls.

Conference organizers also managed to keep intact one really exciting factor always
available to those who could physically attend shows – the notion of winning prizes.
The Valuation 20/20 staff incorporated a system where attendees could earn points
and possibly have a prize delivered right to their doorstep.

There were many more speakers and presentations. Be sure to look for our conference
stories coming soon at

Traveling down this new road paved with the technology necessary to combine
conference networking with all the comforts of home was most interesting. Stay safe
and continued good health!

Your valued editor,
Mike Holzheimer