The US-based Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) officially launched its first African Chapter at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg last week, increasing its global footprint to 15 international chapters and over 20 0000 individual members.
The South African Institute of Black Property Practitioners (SAIBPP) said in a statement that it regards the launch of the African Chapter of IREM 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," according to SAIBPP.
"Commercial property management (CPM) remains one of the few professions within the real estate sector that remains unregulated and not standardised, with limited options available for formal certification."
Professor David Root of the University of Witwatersrand School of Construction Economics and Management said at the launch there is a need to improve standards of education in the property management field. He said that "property management doesn't really have the best reputation in the industry" and that there is a 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, according to SAIBPP.
The IREM programme enjoys support from commercial property companies such as Pareto, which have partnered with IREM and SAIBPP to fund the 40 CPM candidates 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," said Mutshekwane.