The Property Witch

First female Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors chief ‘will fly flag for region’

A city planning consultant is all set to receive the honour of the first ever female president, of The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Louise Brooke-Smith has pledged to fly the craft for her region, in an entirely new role.

She led a management buyout of her Edgbaston firm, Brooke Smith Planning two years ago and now, will become RICS president in 2014.

Ms Brooke-Smith said: “I will be the first president from the West Midlands and that is big news for the region. I will be flying the flag for the West Midlands but clearly I am going to be representing a global community of property professionals.

“But part of me will always be explaining to people across the world that the UK doesn’t stop at London and that there are other regions. I will be selling the whole of the UK, not just London.”

Ms Brooke-Smith acknowledged her pride in taking on the role, and also paid tribute to her staff at the Birmingham consultancy celebrating its 20th birthday next year.

Until 2014 her role will chiefly be an ambassadorial one, beginning now, and will involve extensive travel around the world.

Being a seasoned globe-trotter, she worked in Zaire and India quite early in her career. She completed a Commonwealth scholarship in East Africa, having also worked in Pakistan and China.

Ms Brooke-Smith said: “I am really enthusiastic and absolutely over the moon and honoured to have the position of being the president in a year’s time and I also want to make the most of this year.

“We have a brilliant team here and I couldn’t do the role without the support of the team at my firm and my family as well. I wouldn’t have gone through each stage of the presidency ladder without that support.

“My mantra is if there is an opportunity take it. You need to be able to recognise it as an opportunity and make the most of it but that mantra has followed me all the way through.”

She added: “RICS has a huge and influential impact and our membership is growing phenomenally beyond the UK.

“We represent 180,000 professionals across the world in 140 countries and that includes a strong and growing student membership.

“We are increasingly talking to a global membership, not just to UK property professionals.

“The president elect year will be a very busy year and I will be travelling all over the world touching base with our world regions.

“It is an ambassadorial role but that role increases in tempo until the big year.”

With increased number of investments directed to sub-Saharan Africa, its influence is increasing, but the organisation has been invited to go into lots of countries to help the formation of emerging policy.

They also opened a new school in New Delhi this year – the School of the Built Environment – and it is 300 per cent over-subscribed, all graduates being guaranteed work.

India, being in great need of property professionals, has been provided with this setup, being backed by the Government of India.

It is also working with a World Bank venture on standardising measurement, overcoming the inconsistent approach of professionals towards value and measure.

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