RICS qualification provides confidence for global moves
Susanne Lyon-Josephs reflects on the impact that RICS qualification has had on her career
Real estate is positioned at the center of some of the most consequential issues of our day, says Alexandra Faciu MRICS, a newly appointed member of the RICS Americas World Regional Board. As the global community turns its attention to solve issues such as sustainability, work productivity and rapid urbanization, many of the gains will be made by those working in real estate from construction to infrastructure.
As populations continue to urbanize, REITs can be central to improving the lives of future generations by making forward thinking-investments and being a force for positive social change.
"It's essential to have public and private professionals ensuring consistent and transparent practices that work for everybody and build trust, and RICS is the organization that is helping to achieve that," said Alexandra. "I am looking forward to driving enthusiasm for that effort."
Alexandra has been a qualified professional for 18 years. Currently the Executive Director of Portfolio and Asset Management with Cominar REIT, a publicly traded real estate investment trust headquartered in Quebec City, she is leading portfolio and asset management for one of the largest commercial property owners in Canada. She is committed to building the profile of international standards and the importance of quality assurance in risk management in her sector.
Based out of Montreal, Alexandra has a unique perspective on how cities can balance historic architecture and infrastructure with innovative solutions in a rapidly growing urban center. Over the course of her distinguished career, she has worked with many international real estate portfolios, including projects in the UK, Brazil, Mexico, Romania and the US.
The built environment must adapt to the needs of its community, she continues. Global and regional economic trends, for example, influence occupier needs and asset managers must be flexible to subtle and less subtle changes to adapt to demands.
"The low unemployment rate in Canada has meant occupiers want be more flexible to attract and retain talent. Employees place a premium on health and well-being so occupiers are looking for dynamic and flexible workspaces that provide more natural light and fresh air. Sustainability measures are also popular among employees."
Tech culture is another area to watch, according to the recently-appointed board member. Technology has enabled entrepreneurs to enjoy the benefits of working in an office through co-working spaces. Co-working allows small companies to scale up or down according to their needs and benefit from the inspiration and energy of working in a buzzing office. Occupier-centric changes in asset management can drive meaningful change for improved productivity and sustainability.
“It’s essential to have public and private professionals ensuring consistent and transparent practices that work for everybody and build trust, and RICS is the organization that is helping to achieve that. I am looking forward to driving enthusiasm for that effort.”
Alexandra Faciu MRICS
Executive Director of Portfolio and Asset Management, Cominar REIT
In these and other rapidly changes trends, RICS is uniquely placed to provide trusted knowledge, data and insight for consistent and comparable information on which to base decision-making in the built environment. Faciu appreciates the value of building transparency as a foundation for confident markets.
"RICS is deeply invested in understanding land, infrastructure, construction, valuation and real estate as part of larger dynamics and broader conversations," she states. "I'm excited to be on the Americas board to help lead the charge for high standards and futureproofing solutions in the interests of the circular economy."
Real estate, from undeveloped land to urban centres, requires innovative thinking to address the challenges and opportunities of urbanization, the scarcity of global resources and climate change to help build resilient, successful communities. "We need to look at local issues through a global lens since these issues don't end at the borders of our community."