As the COVID-19 pandemic continued to challenge communities across the globe over the course of last year, our professionals played a fundamental role in helping society to respond and build back better. Against the backdrop of these unprecedented and sustained challenges, RICS monitored developments, continued to seek clarity from governments and signpost useful guidance for the membership, from finance to wellbeing and created COVID-19 guides to surveying services.

Stories of resilience from our members  

Professionals in the built and natural environment have held firm on their singular purpose of delivering to the public advantage by showing great resilience during the challenging months of COVID-19 and producing some outstanding achievements. Here is a selection of stories from some of our professionals in different parts of the world.

Building information modelling (BIM) in Portugal 

Bruno de Carvalho Matos MRICS has been at the forefront of leading change in the Portuguese construction market. He has driven new procurement, contracts, and monitoring procedures for the Portuguese realty market to ensure adequate BIM application across the industry supply chain.

Bruno believes that project managers should play an active role in leading the way for a sustainable and resilient built environment by unlocking the full potential of digital transformation in construction.

Contract management and Alternative Dispute Resolution in Latin America 

Romania-based contract management and alternative dispute resolution expert Cristiana Roscoiu MRICS enabled millions of families across Latin America to have access to decent living conditions despite the disruption caused by COVID-19. Cristina worked in more than 20 projects spread throughout the region to ensure communities were not impacted, and contracts were managed to resolve issues as efficiently as possible so that parties did not reach disputes. She firmly believes that flexibility, innovative solutions, motivated teams, and good communication can transform difficulties into advantages.     

Valuation in India 

Indian valuation firm Indaslab showcased seamless business resilience by migrating to digital working to support clients remotely during the pandemic. The firm led a multi-million-dollar project under volatile conditions to confidently attest and perform the valuation on time of a debt-ridden company.

The challenge was to defend the value of the project against the Security Exchange Board of India, tax authorities, statutory auditors of the companies, and multiple bankers. The small-medium enterprise adhered to the core valuation techniques and followed a structured approach to carry out the assessment. Parag Kulkarni MRICS, Founder, firmly believes that data-driven conclusions can safeguard professionals from grossly wrong deductions, and crisis does not warrant one to be pessimistic and undervalue. The true test is to remain dispassionate to achieve a fair value.   

Restarting economies

The pandemic impacted different countries at different times and in different ways. China is often depicted as having been the first in, and the first out, of the pandemic’s initial grip. As such, it dealt with the process of re-opening properties and provided guidance on the wide range of considerations for many of our professionals.

The China conference in Shanghai was our first face-to-face event that brought together around 40 speakers and an amazing 500 attendees from the whole of the region’s built environment to engage in our thought leadership. On the same evening we hosted the RICS Awards China, which also welcomed a crowd of over 500 to celebrate some of our profession’s brightest stars in China. This marks a return to in-person events and highlights how we have embraced digital first but not digital only.