British Property Federation Publishes Next Steps to Redefine Real Estate

7 Nov 2019

Policy area: BPF, Diversity and Inclusivity, Sustainability

British Property Federation Publishes Next Steps to Redefine Real Estate

  • BPF President announces the next phase of its Redefining Real Estate campaign.
  • Redefining Real Estate campaign seeks to build stakeholders’ trust in the property industry and increase the economic and social value it creates for communities.
  • Among the new initiatives is support for the creation of a new Real Estate Data Foundation, and the establishment of partnerships with BAME in Property and industry charity LandAid.

7 November 2019, London: British Property Federation President Helen Gordon yesterday   announced the first wave of initiatives to be launched under the BPF’s campaign to Redefine Real Estate.

Redefining Real Estate is a long-term programme, which seeks to change perceptions of the UK’s property industry and to challenge the real estate sector to do more to support communities through creating economic and social value.

Speaking at the BPF’s Annual Dinner on 6 November, BPF President Helen Gordon said:

“The world in which we operate is changing and the property industry must also continue to adapt. We are increasingly under challenge from our stakeholders to be a greater force for good, and we must respond by better understanding, and increasing, the social value that our industry creates.

“This is why we launched Redefining Real Estate in July, committing our industry to making a greater contribution to the UK’s communities and to improve trust in what we do, in partnership with national and local governments.

“I have been heartened by the response from our members, partners and stakeholders. There is a real appetite for action, and today we are setting out more details about the next phase of this programme for change.”

One of the initiatives announced by Helen Gordon was support for the establishment of a new Real Estate Data Foundation. Dan Hughes, founder of the foundation, said:

“This will be an important step for the industry, and I welcome this early show of support.  There are certain issues to be negotiated in the sharing, use and stewardship of data that are outside the means of individual companies to resolve, particularly where they involve cooperation or coordination with others. We hope to harness industry expertise to arrive at practical advice and research to help practitioners on their data journey.”

Another of the initiatives announced yesterday was a new partnership between BAME in Property and the BPF. Priya Shah, founder of BAME in Property, said:

“With nearly 45% of London classifying as black, Asian or minority ethnicity (BAME), and 14% of the UK as BAME, our involvement with the BPF is not only timely but important. The role of planning and real estate is to deliver diverse and inclusive communities and I am delighted to be able to join forces with a leading organisation to support and advise them in their work.”

Welcoming the partnership with BAME in Property, Melanie Leech CBE, chief executive of the BPF, said:

“The BPF has committed itself to championing an industry that promotes a culture of inclusion and is able to attract and retain talent from all parts of our society. We are already working with a number of key partners to drive change across the industry and I am delighted that we will also now be collaborating with BAME in Property to promote best practice and diversity throughout the industry.”

Redefining Real Estate Initiatives

Redefining Real Estate focuses on four themes: creating wealth and contributing to a productive economy; fostering a diverse and skilled workforce; reinvigorating and strengthening communities; and safeguarding the environment.

The BPF is setting out a series of actions and commitments under each of these themes.  Included in the first wave of initiatives are:

Creating wealth and contributing to a productive economy

  • Support for the new Real Estate Data Foundation: The property industry is data-rich and the BPF is providing resource to help the establishment of the Real Estate Data Foundation, which will provide a platform to exchange information to help maximise the productivity of the sector and improve the service that our industry delivers to its customers.

Fostering a diverse and skilled workforce

  • Working with diversity and inclusion partners, including our new partner BAME in Property, combined authority partners and elected mayors to open the property sector up to recruitment from a wider range of socio-economic backgrounds.
  • Opening up our young professionals’ network BPF Futures to the public sector, to create a community which builds trust and understanding across young professionals building their careers in the public and private sectors   

Reinvigorating and strengthening communities

  • Contributing to the work of the High Streets Task Force and:
    - working with charities and other organisations to make available and promote the use of temporarily vacant space by community groups
    - supporting policies to identify the owners of properties that are left empty, so they can be brought back into use.
  • A new strategic partnership with the property industry LandAid, to help tackle youth homelessness and to explore how our members can provide training and employment opportunities to the young people that it supports.

Safeguarding the environment

Embedding the principle of Net Zero Carbon in all our policy work to avoid enshrining barriers to reaching 2050 targets and working with the UK Green Building Council and Better Buildings Partnership to support members and their supply chains to meet the Net Zero pathway.