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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Professionalism in the real estate sector

Professionalism in the real estate sector

The real estate sector is a key driver in the growth of the Cambodian economy with construction approvals having increased by 158 per cent in 2011. In order to facilitate more investment an open and transparent property market is important.  Valuations are the backbone of an accurate and trusted real estate market that will encourage investment. Inflated or inaccurate values will have negative impacts on the investment levels in the market due to increased risk. 

With the advent of the Cambodian Stock Exchange, companies which intend to list are likely to require an independent valuation of their property assets within their listing document. As properties can form a significant component of the company’s assets, an accurate valuation of the properties is crucial to determining the correct offer price on the stock exchange.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors is a professional body that sets the bar on professional standards, ethics and practice standards. Involvement with the RICS offers set practice standards, for example for Valuations there are standards that are known as ‘The Red Book’. These standards are mandatory for any company regulated by RICS and ensure strict professionalism and standards in the delivery of accurate valuations and valuation reports.

Within the Real Estate sector worldwide there is no other professional body like the RICS, dating back to 1868 the wealth of knowledge and experience is impeccable.  The RICS, which has its Asian headquarters in Kong Kong, has used this esteemed history and knowledge to draw together set standards and codes of practice to enable professionals to work to an extremely high level.

To regulate these standards professionals look to become a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors within the world of surveying. A term that will be rarely heard of in Cambodia yet is the peak status within Europe and America for the surveying profession. To become a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors shows the competence of an individual. The process requires a minimum of 24 months professional experience in the industry to enable the candidate to be ready to undertake the APC (Assessment of Professional Competence). The CBRE Cambodia office has two highly experienced British Members of the Royal Institute of Royal Surveyors, David George MRICS and Ryan O’Sullivan MRICS. CBRE’s regional chairman, David Simister FRICS, is a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors the pinnacle accolade obtainable from the professional body.

Due to the current low supply of professionalism within the market a key area of focus will be Property Management, as well as the set mandatory fields. As the Real Estate market within Cambodia leaves its infancy stage professionalism and regulated practice will become regular requirements. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors themselves look to promote good practice and have been into Cambodia on numerous occasions providing advice on Government Regulation within the Real Estate sector, something all of us within the sector can only applaud.

Owen Williams is a surveyor with CBRE Cambodia and is currently working towards becoming a Member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. owen.williams@cbre.com

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