US-based Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) officially launched its first African Chapter at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, increasing its global footprint to 15 international chapters and over 200 000 individual members.
As the leading international association of professional property managers, the establishment of a South African IREM chapter is an important step towards professionalising the commercial property management industry in South Africa. IREM is responsible for determining global best practice, promoting superior management and maximising value of real estate investments through education and certification.
Commercial Property Management (CPM) remains one of the few professions within the real estate sector that remains unregulated and unstandardised with limited options available for formal certification. Professor David Root, Head of School at the University of the Witwatersrand’s School of Construction Economics and Management in his address, noted the need to improve standards of education in the property management field stating that “property management doesn’t really have the best reputation in the industry” and highlighting the need to “design programmes that are internationally competitive”. The IREM CPM qualification introduces an internationally recognised standard for CPM while enabling increased international mobility for domestically educated commercial property managers as the qualification is globally recognised and accredited.
The launch event was well attended by key representatives from the national department of public works, the private sector, academia and IREM International and was addressed by the IREM International President, Mr Don Wilkerson.
The IREM programme enjoys support from leading commercial property companies such as Pareto Ltd., who have partnered with IREM and the South African Institute of Black Property Practitioners (SAIBPP) to fund the 40 CPMs who have taken the course and qualified thus far. Vuyiswa Mutshekwane, SAIBPP CEO said: “It has been very encouraging to see how enthusiastically the industry has embraced IREM and pledged their support. Professionalising the property industry is important in ensuring sustainable transformation. We are proud to be partnered with IREM in driving this process.”