IQ spoke to Claudia Kapp, Director of Member Relations, for her insights on INREV’s evolution over the years.
Since INREV’s inception in 2003, the mission has been to improve transparency, professionalism and best practices across the European non-listed real estate industry. Twenty years on and the association is still upholding these key principles: through the good times and the bad.
The founding members set up INREV as a collaborative meeting of minds as opposed to a commercial venture, which is why INREV remains a non-profit association to this day. This essence of collaboration is why there’s always been such a strong sense of community among its membership.
INREV membership reflects the changes and challenges in the industry, from structural shifts in the local investor outlook to the need for information and collaboration in difficult times.
In the early days, the founding members and the Management Board were very hands on, supporting the small INREV team. As the membership grew, so did member services and the size of the INREV team. Since then, the association has become much bigger and more professional. Member involvement remains very strong with INREV receiving a record number of applications from members wishing to join committees and working groups, and to participate and speak in training, events and conferences.
Through thick and thin
The global financial crisis caused uncertainty, but INREV remained an important forum for members to exchange experiences and share solutions. And during the pandemic, INREV was an important community hub, addressing the challenges head on. ‘INREV membership reflects the changes and challenges in the industry, from structural shifts in the local investor outlook to the need for information and collaboration in difficult times,’ says Claudia. See ‘Times that shook the industry to its core’ article on page 12.
A global and diverse community
INREV and the European non-listed real estate market have grown in a global context. Both have matured, playing an increasingly important role alongside other markets in helping to evolve best practices globally. This international expansion has also been reflected in the increasing breadth of INREV’s membership. From 2016, there has been a steady stream of new members from Asia with numbers hitting a spike just before the pandemic. Similarly, many north American members joined the association, often from their European offices. This inflow stopped during the pandemic but picked up again in 2022.
While the industry still has a long way to go when it comes to diversity and inclusion, it has been refreshing to see more and more diversity in the community over the years. This is already reflected in INREV’s Young Professionals community. The association has also committed time and energy to further increasing the equality and diversity of its team, as well as that of its committees, working groups and line-up of speakers at events.
The association’s many and diverse events, seminars and training courses have become a cornerstone of its success, facilitating powerful networking opportunities and an invaluable opportunity to exchange ideas and best practice. Over the years, that power of community has fuelled INREV’s growth, which is reflected in key membership milestones, such as reaching 100 members in 2004, 300 in 2008, 400 in 2017, and 500 in 2022 .
Throughout INREV’s evolution, community has remained a consistent driver. As Claudia concludes, this will continue to be a critical focus: ‘As INREV continues to grow, one of the greatest challenges is to ensure we preserve the collaborative characteristics of the community so all members can contribute. After all, everything INREV does is with our members, for our members.’