In this week’s surveying around the world feature, we visit RICS Country Manager for Brazil Marcia Ferrari. We talk about the surveying industry in Brazil, and the importance of RICS growth in the region. RICS entered Brazil following in the wake of real estate market growth which has been largely stimulated by foreign investment. The office has been working mainly within the valuation and facilities management sectors, but is now looking to direct its attention towards construction.
How does RICS contribute to the Brazilian real estate market?
RICS came to Brazil to help stakeholders from abroad who wanted to invest in the country. It is only natural that this type of investor needs valuations carried out in accordance with international standards. When an investor is purchasing portfolios across the world, they need to use a common language.
What are the main partnerships RICS maintains in order to operate in the market?
Whenever RICS opens an office in a new country, there is some give and take: what the organisation can give to the country and vice-versa. The professional bodies understand that we are here to contribute. In Brazil, we have 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. Recently, we signed an intention of memorandum of understanding with the Brazilian Association of Developers (Abrainc).
What has changed in the Brazilian market since RICS opened its local office?
A lot has changed in the last decade. A great deal of investment came from abroad and, along with it, there was a surge of interest in professionalism and international standards. Both multinationals and local companies seek qualified people for their teams. It is this demand for professionals that spurs the gradual improvement in our market.
What can the Brazilian market learn from the international market?
I believe that being part of the international market involves ‘speaking the same language’. Learning about international standards allows a local professional to respond adequately when an international player wants to do business in Brazil. The common language ensures the transparency needed to make investment decisions.
What are the major trends for the Brazilian market?
The trend is more and more globalisation. Brazil has signed up to the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). This will make it easier for a foreign investor to buy a Brazilian company, as they will be able to understand their accounts. The same goes for real estate valuations with the adoption of the Red Book and International Valuation Standards (IVS). On top of this, RICS is working closely with over 30 associations, including Secovi-SP, on International Property Measurement Standards (IPMS).
What are the major trends and technological breakthroughs in the real estate market?
I believe Building Information Modelling (BIM) is amazing. During the first Summit we organised in late March, we had a panel discussion on education. During the session, the Brazilian army presented their fantastic BIM programme, with about 80,000 buildings and pieces of land, throughout the country, all modelled according to BIM. This helps them track all the data within the system. For me, this is a major trend. Another underlying innovation is the relationship of the market with sustainability. RICS awards a certificate called SKA. By the end of the year, we want to have our first SKA pilot project in Brazil. Sustainability is not a fad, it is a necessity.
What does the future hold for RICS in Brazil?
We always follow market demand. Over the last few years, we have done a lot of work on valuation, through small groups, in order to understand the Red Book and IVS. Now we will direct our attention to construction, probably in a partnership with the International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI) or with Secovi-SP.
Marcia is responsible for developing the RICS operation in Brazil, aiming to increase RICS recognition in the region through growing membership, developing training and products, and promoting events and conferences.