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RICS set to play a growing role in growing Brazilian real estate markets

RICS entered Brazil following in the wake of real estate market growth which has been largely stimulated by foreign investment and has worked mainly within the valuation and facilities management sectors.

But is now looking to direct its attention towards construction, according to RICS country manager for Brazil Marcia Ferrari.

She explained that 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,’ she said.

‘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,’ she added.

In Brazil RICS 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. Recently RICS moved towards signing memorandum of understanding with the Brazilian Association of Developers (Abrainc).

Ferrari also explained that a lot has changed in the last decade in the Brazilian market since RICS opened its first office. ‘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,’ she pointed out.

‘I believe that being part of the international market involves learning about international standards and that allows a local professional to respond adequately when an international player wants to do business in Brazil. A common language ensures the transparency needed to make investment decisions,’ she added.

The trend in the South American country it towards more and more globalisation. Brazil has signed up to the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) which 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).

Ferrari has identified a number of growing trends. She believes one of the most important is Building Information Modelling and other innovations 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,’ she said.

‘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,’ she added.

Ferrari 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.