The launch of Locality Brokers is a great initiative from Locality to bring together property professionals and community enterprises – two groups that often think they are very different but often have more objectives in common than they realise.
The search for new business that complements CSR objectives can be a great fit with organisations seeking new ways to deliver services in the current difficult economic climate. Our members are always looking for new ways to grow their business and play a role in their local community and this service is a good place to start.
RICS, operating with a public interest remit under a Royal Charter which gives our organisation the objective of 'securing the optimal use of land and associated assets in meeting social and economic needs', already runs Charity Property Help which offers pro bono help on property issues to charities and other voluntary organisations. RICS is pleased to see Locality take this to the next level – using their excellent links with community enterprises to deliver business outcomes for all property professionals.
Under its public interest remit, RICS has always worked to ensure the profession operates for the public good. To this end, RICS established the independent Land and Society Commission in early 2011 to examine how to equip communities to fully embrace their emerging land and property roles in the localist context. The Commission sought to promote long-term cultural change in the way the property profession interacts with communities – we hope that Locality Brokers can play a part in achieving this change.
The Commission, chaired by Trevor Beattie, heard evidence from witnesses from the community enterprise, built environment, local government and valuation sectors as well as holding a half day community group workshop. recommended that RICS should seek to better support communities and encourage its members to give up some of their time to their local community. Locality's evidence to the Commission was obviously clear!!!
The role of the property professional assisting a community enterprise or charitable organisation can be varied – from providing assistance with the planning or design process to advice on ensuring the asset is energy efficient or day-to-day asset management. Best practice examples presented to the Land and Society Commission highlighted the many different ways property professionals can get involved – everyone has a specialism to offer.
RICS is continually working with members and other organisations to explore ways to better promote our own pro bono services and other services like Locality Brokers which promote the services of property professionals to community groups, charities and other voluntary organisations.
We are delighted to see Locality take the initiative and create Locality Brokers and RICS will work with Locality to see how we can best promote the service to our members, delivering both valuable business to professionals and help for community enterprise.