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News & opinion

19 DEC 2018

Happy holidays from Neil Shah

Wishing you the very best of the festive season, I want to personally thank the dedicated members of the RICS profession and staff in the Americas for their commitment to the organization. We have accomplished so many things this year, but none of it would be possible without the support and efforts of our professional staff and industry volunteers. We embarked on this journey at the beginning of the year to achieve our four strategic goals:

  • To be known globally as an influential thought leader that affects real change in society. We want to bring about beneficial, positive change in response to major challenges the world faces.
  • Trusted by stakeholders and society to promote the usefulness of the profession for the public advantage. We want to be trusted globally to set and enforce consistent standards for the profession. These standards can be internationally recognized or locally relevant.
  • Highly talented individuals will choose to qualify, commit to lifelong professionalism, and work to RICS standards. We will inspire more diverse entrants into a purpose-rich profession that plays a major role in shaping the world we live, work and play in. Our professional qualifications will continue to remain relevant in a world disrupted by new technology and advances in big data.
  • A sustainable 21st century professional body where the profession and our employees will be highly engaged in both our direction and our purpose and those who engage with us and consume our products and services will be satisfied that these add real value.

Looking back on what has been a very eventful and at times chaotic year, I can say that we've made good progress towards all of these goals in the Americas.

Our thought leadership was delivered to markets across the Americas through our summit series, as well as online through various thought leadership and professional development platforms. This coming year, we'll continue on that path with the addition of RICS' World Build Environment Forum Summit that will be held in NYC this May. In addition, we've continued to engage the leaders of our profession through forums, roundtables and sector-specific summits. These are not only to deliver thought leadership, but to be guided by the market for our focus and future strategies.

Our standards continue to gain prevalence in some of the more sophisticated markets globally. International Construction Measurement Standards (ICMS) have been adopted by firms and end users across the region. We've continued to support IVSC and The Appraisal Foundation in helping harmonize international and U.S. valuation standards. We've collaborated with leading organizations to deliver standards and credentials in facility management and business valuation. Our industry-leading quality assurance offering continues to pro-actively support professionals across valuation, construction and the entire profession.

While growth of the profession hasn't met up to our own expectation in quantity terms, it has more than exceeded our quality expectations. Some of the largest, most influential employers of real estate, construction and valuation professionals have chosen to be part of our employer programs. Through these relationships we've developed an understanding of how to add value for individuals, their employer firms and their clients. This continues to be a critical path to growing the next generation of professionals in addition to growing relationships with the leading universities that focus on our professional disciplines.

We've developed a brand ambassador program that takes advantage of our growing universe of professionals and stakeholders. This program helps drive our strategic objectives of thought leadership, trust and confidence through professional standards to audiences an order of magnitude larger than the norm. RICS is also a leader now in forging strategic collaborations with partner bodies that match our interests using the best of our global platform, quality assurance regime and domain expertise to deliver engagement to professionals in markets across the region.

Stepping back from the hustle and bustle of our daily professional (and personal) lives and taking stock in what our professionals and staff can accomplish together is very impressive. Going into 2019, my wish is for that partnership to forge an even more significant impact towards our goal to be the most sought after professional status on the planet.

I wish you and your families the very best for this holiday season and for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.