Happy Birthday BPF Futures!

5 Dec 2018

Kemi Oguntoye, Property Consultant at SAY Property Consulting and former BPF Futures Advisory Board member wishes the network a happy 1st birthday.

Almost a year ago today, BPF Futures was officially launched with a party in east London, bringing together students, junior professionals and senior leaders from the built environment. The celebration marked the culmination of two years of planning, preparations and industry-wide consultation – and signalled our commitment to seriously engage and craft a representative voice for juniors in our sector.

With this in mind, BPF Futures launched with a remit to provide its members with cross-industry purposeful networking, professional development, and the opportunity to learn about and influence governmental real estate policy.

Since last December, over 1000 junior professionals have signed up as members of BPF Futures, exceeding initial targets and expectations by a ratio of 3:1. Over 200 companies are represented amongst the network, this is approximately half of the BPF’s total membership at an organisational level. On top of that, around a quarter of the BPF Futures’ membership is based in the regions. The figures speak for themselves – it has been a fantastic first year.

A busy calendar of events has been curated with the aim of developing junior professionals into the property industry’s future chief executives. All events are put together with the underlying aim of fostering greater links, at a junior level, across the different sectors represented in real estate to improve cross-sectional understanding of the built environment.

Events include site visits to major developments across England led by the development teams creating the new spaces, interactive workshops on policy, access to senior real estate professionals, speed-networking events, regular newsletters, podcasts with expert interviews and feedback mechanisms to ensure the events reflect the aspirations of our members.

As a former BPF Futures advisory board member, I could not be prouder of some of the achievements of the network to date. Particularly, the growing representation of the regions, as well as further afield into Scotland. On a personal level, the advisory board has been an excellent illustration of what BPF Futures aims to do, bringing together young professionals from the different spectrums of real estate – creating connections, where they may not have existed otherwise.

I also recognise there is more to do, namely in speedily attracting and representing a greater proportion of junior professionals from BAME backgrounds and those with disabilities. Partnering with existing organisations with outreach among these groups will be vital to encouraging more diverse talent to consider our sector as a career with longevity. Watch this space!

I hope BPF Futures’ achievements going forward can be held up as a credible exemplar to our industry, the Government and, even more importantly society’s younger generation; be they school leavers, apprentices or graduates. The need for diverse visibility in a prominent network, such as BPF Futures cannot be overstated. It reinforces our message, that like me, not only are all welcome here in the industry but they are an essential part of our sector’s success.