RICS Expands Role in Brazilian Real Estate Markets

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors expands its presence in Brazil, directing its attention towards construction.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors will expand its presence in Brazil, directing its attention towards construction.

Neil Shah, RICS managing director, Americas

Neil Shah, RICS managing director, Americas

“We’ve been in the Brazil market going on three years now,” Neil Shah, managing director of the Americas for RICS, told Commercial Property Executive. “Brazil is an important real estate investment market as the development over the last decade has been substantial. There’s a strong need for skills development, capability building and having a set of standards for professionalism in the real estate market.”

Up until now, RICS has worked mainly within the valuation and facilities management sectors. According to Shah, RICS entered the market three years ago based on relationships with global real estate services firms, hiring bright young architects and engineers that didn’t really have the kind of background in real estate or credentials that were recognized.

“We did a lot of training in development with that sector,” he said. “Now, we are expanding into the construction world—project management, cost management, commercial management capabilities—because RICS, thorough all the disciplines that we have members in, we cover dirt to disposition. Our entry was in advisory services but we’re really getting into the front end of the life cycle of real estate now, which is the development of the asset.”

Neil and Team Brazil: Rafaela Thomsen, Heigor Freitas, Vinicius Amantini, Fabiana Gimenez, Marcia Ferrari (country manager or RICS in Brazil) and Neil Shah during the RICS International Summit, Brazil in São Paulo.

Neil and Team Brazil: Rafaela Thomsen, Heigor Freitas, Vinicius Amantini, Fabiana Gimenez, Marcia Ferrari (country manager or RICS in Brazil) and Neil Shah during the RICS International Summit, Brazil in São Paulo.

RICS has engaged stakeholders in the market—contractors, developers, construction companies, etc.—and leveraged its relationships to develop and deliver the capability to train people in the market. It has developed relationships with the Brazilian Institute of Valuations and Building Inspections (Ibape), the Brazilian Association of Facilities (Abrafac), and the São Paulo State Housing Syndicate. RICS also signed an intention of understanding with the Brazilian Association of Developers (Abrainc).

“All economies go through ebbs and flows, but regardless to where Brazil winds up after the election in October, we believe there is a strong need for infrastructure development, for skills development, and for on-going education and professionalism. That’s why we are committed to the region,” Shah said. “For us, it’s an important time to be there to work with other organizations and be a part of the fabric of the real estate industry in Brazil as more and more international investment has flown into the country to develop commercial property, to develop retail property and build the profession itself.”