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Building Skills for the future

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As a company that has always employed a small diverse team, we were pleased to attend the London Property Alliance’s launch webinar for their latest research report ‘Building Skills for the Future: A Survey of the Central London Real Estate Sector’. This new major piece of research focuses on the skills needed to future-proof Central London’s real estate industry and found that businesses should be recruiting more people from outside the sector to bring about much-needed cognitive diversity and ensure decisions-makers are responsive to disruptive trends.

Some key findings of the report following an industry wide survey included:

  • The trend most likely to disrupt the real estate sector was found to be the climate crisis (90%), followed by technology (85%) and the digital world (74%)
  • Nine out of ten respondents thought that the sector should recruit more people from outside the industry with social sciences being the most popular sector to recruit people from
  • Lack of awareness of jobs in real estate and the sector not being willing to take risks was found to be the biggest barrier for people wanting to join the industry from other sectors
  • Innovation, collaboration and influencing skills were highlighted as the top three skills which companies should invest in developing, to enable the traditionally slow-moving property profession to respond to disruptive trends and economic ‘shocks’ such as the Covid-19 pandemic
  • There is a desperate need to diversify the workforce in the sector to get access to a broader range of experiences and view points in decision making as the report found that only 9% of respondents to the industry survey were BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnicities) compared to over 40% of the London population

The research also provided a five-point plan to tackle these challenges, which includes: creating work cultures that enable and encourage innovation; developing new skill sets for a radically changing world such as innovation, problem solving and data analytics; developing cognitively diverse teams by recruiting from a wider talent pool and people from diverse social and ethnic backgrounds and working collaboratively with RICS, RIBA and real estate universities to ensure the skills taught match modern industry needs.
Merchant Land welcomed the opportunity to hear from the expert panel about how to tackle the issues highlighted in the report to future proof Central London’s real estate industry. Overall, the research is a real eye opener and something for the industry to seriously consider and look for ways to address the skill shortages and lack of diversity across the sector. From experience we would comment that it is easier to adopt and encourage diversity in an SME environment as viewpoints from all employees have an opportunity to be heard and factored into decision making.

You can read the report in full by clicking here.