The Real Estate Data Foundation is a not-for-profit initiative bringing together the whole sector around the topic of data and to raise data ethics up the agenda and we are delighted that SIOR Europe is supporting this collaborative alliance.
But what is 'data ethics', why should you care and what should you do about it?
Ethics is important in all corners of real estate, but as the volume of data that we collect and use grows, it is important to make sure that we apply ethical thinking to this. Having the technology to collect data and being allowed to under law is not enough - we need to consider whether we should be collecting and using the data. Ethics is all about asking 'should we?' If buildings of the future are about the user's happiness, health or productivity we can collect huge amounts of data on all of this - but should we? Where does the risk outweigh the benefit?
Before COVID, the idea of having your temperature taken to assess your health to be allowed to enter a building seemed inconceivable, yet for a while it became the norm. At what point should we stop collecting and using this data?
A more extreme example may be the decision about placing cameras inside buildings. This can allow all sorts of data to be collected and used to improve the experience for the resident, but there is a high risk that residents will resist it – and complain about it, as happened recently when North Ayrshire Council used Facial Recognition Technology in its school canteens. But what if the cameras are used to assist the elderly to continue living on their own by providing an automatic alert system for any falls or health problems? As long as data was suitably anonymised and secure and residents were fully aware of what was being collected and why, then this may feel like a more acceptable use case.
Whatever your views on the examples above, we can see that the ethical use of data is not black and white which is why the real estate sector needs to be on the front foot.
Data ethics in real estate matters for 3 reasons:
The ethical use of data is complex and subjective, but the good news is that it is easy to take significant steps towards making sure that you are using data in an ethical way. The RED Foundation has developed 6 data ethical principles that we ask both people and companies to sign up to. Sign up to these today and build them into any decisions you make relating to data and you are well on the road to addressing it.
For those who wish to take a step further, we have published a Data Ethics Playbook which builds on these principles and provides practical guidance on how to build data ethics into your thinking.
Written on behalf of the RED Foundation by:
FOREWORD BY THE EUROPEAN CHAPTER PRESIDENT, ANDREW SMITH SIOR FRICS.
As COP27 has drawn to a close, SIOR Europe is keen to join the conversation about the focus that the summit brings on climate change impact to share commentary and advice from our members, all of whom support greater action in the race to net zero.
Our members have put climate change impact at the heart of their consultancy in response to the market and clients’ increasing ESG requirements and have embedded it into every stage of the property process.
The SIOR Europe Diversity and Inclusion Committee held a webinar to mark International Women's Day, which this year has the theme of ‘break the bias’. The inspirational discussion focused on championing women in real estate and finding positive ways to empower more women to join the industry and stay to build fulfilling careers.
Chaired by Andrea Carpenter, Director of Women Talk Real Estate, we welcomed an expert panel of women who shared their unique perspectives and experiences – Katie Whipp, head of Deepki, Sonja Beier, Counsel at DLA Piper, Nicola Mottershaw, Partner at Vail Williams, and Małgorzata Kalinowska - Klimek, VP Franchise Operation Poland & Eastern Europe at Accor.
The session kicked off with participants relaying what prompted them to enter the industry and find their own place within it. We heard how Nicola was encouraged to become a chartered surveyor by her father. She wanted variety, problem solving and transactional work, and occupier advisory ticked all the boxes. Małgorzata studied hospitality in Poland, being promoted over many years as she worked for numerous hotels. For Katie, it was not a conscious decision – her real estate journey stemmed from being open to opportunities she came across in London. Sonja, too, was not aware of the industry before her internship as a corporate lawyer, which led her to the real estate team.
They shared the changes they have seen for women in their part of the market. All agreed that there has been positive progress.
We then explored what is hindering more female participation and progress in real estate.
Looking ahead – the panel agreed that we must act to encourage more women into the industry. When asked what advice they would give their former selves and other women, responses ranged from remembering to celebrate achievements, to finding what you are most passionate about and not doubting yourself because it is not a traditionally female-dominated area. Recognise that you have a voice that matters, talk to people and seek the necessary support along the way.
Renata Osiecka, Managing Partner at AXI Immo Group, concluded the session by highlighting that, while it is uplifting to see more women in business and leadership positions, there is still room for improvement in encouraging young women to join the sector. We must lead by example and show that diversity is an asset that adds value to companies, the industry and society.
FOREWORD BY THE EUROPEAN CHAPTER PRESIDENT
As the second week of COP26 comes to a close and with a day dedicated to the built environment, we publish the second part of SIOR Europe’s Members’ and Industry Insights, this time focusing on the experiences of our members across the UK & Europe.
Our report provides insight into how different countries are responding, shares solutions that can be applied elsewhere and demonstrates how climate change is increasingly integrated into the transactional process as a means to add value.
FOREWORD BY THE EUROPEAN CHAPTER PRESIDENT
As COP26 gets underway, SIOR Europe is keen to join the conversation about the focus that the summit brings on
climate change impact to share commentary and advice from our members, all of whom support greater action in
the race to net zero.
Our members have put climate change impact at the heart of their consultancy in response to the market and clients’
increasing ESG requirements and have embedded it into every stage of the property process.
On 5 October 2021, Built Environment Networking brought together the great and the good in the logistics sector to consider how the industry is changing and how best to respond. With a focus on the positive, SIOR Europe was delighted to be a sponsor and support a discussion around the many solutions and opportunities emerging.
The virtual conference covered topics from freeports to climate change and congestion to technology, with speakers from companies ranging from Aberdeen Standard Investments and Europa Capital, to Prologis, St Modwin and Hermes, as well as SIOR’s industry partner TSL, a leader in turnkey capital projects.
It also looked at current and future developments, to the value of circa £6 billion, including those breaking new ground in achieving net zero carbon and those that will provide integrated, strategically located hubs across the UK, driving economic growth.
Key trends emerged:
Our key take out from the conference was a real commitment to driving improvement and best practice on every level. At SIOR Europe, we welcome this with open arms. It is why we exist.
Representing the top advisors in our industry, our members are dealing with multi-million pound/euro deals every day, many in the logistics sector. They have developed solutions to many of the challenges we heard about at the conference, and bring insight from across the UK, Europe and beyond. You can find out more about them and how they can help you here.