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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
The challenges facing real estate societies
Article Type: Editorial From: Journal of European Real Estate Research, Volume 7, Issue 2
With many of the real estate societies around the world well established, the American Real Estate Society is now in its 30th year, and both the European and Pacific Rim societies were founded 20 years ago; a key issue is the future directions of these societies and what comes next in the evolution of real estate research. The question of maintaining relevance for mature real estate societies and the challenges posed was the subject of a special panel session at the American Real Estate Society meeting held in Coronado Island, San Diego, in April 2014.
Chaired by Eamonn D'Arcy from the University of Reading, the panel reflected on the visionary role of real estate societies in promoting applied research and building bridges to span the academic and industry interface. Key indicators of success were seen to be the leadership role provided by the various real estate societies around the world in terms of education, networking, publishing and the hosting of meetings. The multiple platforms of engagement offered were perceived as a key strength and part of the unique experience that was on offer, with the real estate societies reaching out to different markets and constituencies. A prime example of such innovation is the recent incorporation into the conference programme of the American Real Estate Society of a critical issues seminar which has sought to engage with all the professional groups involved in the real estate sector. A key issue stemming from the discussion at the Coronado Island conference was the translation of high quality papers in journals into a format readily accessible for the real estate industry. In this respect, the European Real Estate Society through its twice-yearly industry seminars is playing a leading role in providing the infrastructure to bring different market segments together and bridge the gap between academic research, industry and practice.
The proactivity of the real estate societies around the world in appealing to multiple customer segments and the synergies created between conferences, industry seminars and education were perceived by the panel to provide the real estate societies with considerable leverage. However, where societies are best placed within an increasingly crowded arena was considered as a key challenge together with the cautionary note of not extending the role of what are essentially voluntary organisations. Thus, whether there is a need to change, for example, to become more involved in a policy context, remains an open question. Also, positioning along a spectrum of influence remains a critical issue for the future of real estate societies. The panel consensus was a vision of multi-tasking societies with engagement at different levels and differentiated outputs. Central to this is the role of real estate societies in the dissemination of information with the real estate journals and special issues seen to fulfill a pivotal role. In this context, the Journal of European Real Estate Research will continue to seek high quality research papers but will welcome co-authored papers bringing together authorship from academia and industry.
Eamonn D'Arcy and Stanley McGreal