'We've got work to do': NC appraisers seek to diversify industry as 95 percent are white

Akilah Davis Image
Saturday, December 3, 2022
NC appraisers seek to diversify industry as 95 percent are white
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"We've got some work to do"

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- When Floyd Wicker became an appraiser almost 30 years ago, he couldn't imagine the eye-opening journey ahead.

"I've had people refuse to let me in the house to appraise the house because I was Black. On the other side, I've had people say 'oh my god' you're Black. I've never seen a Black appraiser," said Wicker. " That's why the profession should reflect the population."

Wicker, 82, calls himself the oldest Black appraiser in North Carolina, and he's working to bring more diversity to the industry.

"There's been a lot of conversation about diversity and racism in appraising nationally," said Wicker. "Try to identify the minority appraisers in North Carolina and see if we can get them to come together for a meeting and talk about the things we face as minorities in the profession.

National numbers show in North Carolina white appraisers make up 95 percent of the industry. Appraisers that identify as Black or Hispanic make up just four percent total, but those groups account for 30 percent of the state's population.

"We've got some work to do," said Julia Matteson Mcintosh.

She is part of Floyd's group of appraisers providing support to one another. In her spare time, she offers classes in her home for new trainees interested in learning about the industry. Mcintosh says there's plenty of hurdles that keep minorities from getting into the business like the need for supervisors.

"I would like to say that what I'm doing is valuable to the industry because I'd like to say it's going to produce more minority appraisers," she said.

Mcintosh says a lack of funding and resources also plays a major role in limiting representation. Wicker believes it also comes down to community support.

"Years ago, when there was a lack of female appraisers somebody in the industry wanted to increase the effort and everybody got behind that effort," said Wicker. "I think if the same orgs get behind now, we can increase the minority appraisal population.