INREV recognised the importance of training as early as 2007, when it was clear there were no courses that focused primarily on the needs of non-listed real estate.
Johlyn da Prato, who is now INREV’s Director of Marketing and Communication, was involved in those early developments. ‘It was an exciting time,’ she remembers. ‘There was a need for practical training courses that focused on the fundamentals of non-listed real estate. And the industry looked towards INREV to fill this gap. We started with a blank sheet of paper, but with bundles of enthusiasm from members, who wanted to share their expertise.’
'INREV’s priority has always been to provide practical courses to help people in their day-to-day work rather than just taking a theoretical academic perspective,’ explains Hedda Hollander, INREV’s current Director of Events and Education. ‘We still continue to take this approach, although we do now focus on academic rigour as well, particularly via the INREV-Henley Certificate, which INREV has been offering since 2017.’ adds Hedda.
Indeed, INREV’s training offer has broadened dramatically since the early days. Casper Hesp, Syntrus Achmea and Chair of the INREV Training Committee commented ‘Back then the starting point was to ask what professionals needed to know at each stage of a vehicle’s life cycle, and to provide a basic understanding of the many different roles involved.’ This was the thinking behind INREV’s Foundation Course, which still sits at the heart of the training structure.
INREV’s priority has always been to provide practical courses to help people in their day-to-day work rather than just taking a theoretical academic perspective.
The plan was always to harness the wealth of expertise to be found among the membership. ‘One key aspect of INREV training has always been the quality of the tutors,’ says Casper. ‘They are all enthusiastic professionals with great experience in their specialist areas, and INREV courses give participants the opportunity to engage actively with them, which they really appreciate.’
Since 2007, the range of subjects covered by INREV training courses has grown dramatically, reflecting burgeoning demand from members. ‘The 18 courses that were offered last year related to areas as diverse as fund structuring, valuation and reporting, risk management, portfolio construction and ESG,’ explains Casper. ‘This year, INREV will be expanding the ESG training offering due to the intense level of interest, with an ESG Essentials course in June and an Advanced ESG course later in the year.’
There has also been a growing recognition of the importance of continuing professional development. 'Many organisations now need to highlight professional development in order to operate effectively in the industry,’ says Casper. ‘All INREV courses are CPD Certified, so delegates are not just able to increase their knowledge, but also to show their professional development and maintain a competitive edge.’
The broadening of the training offer over two decades is not just evident from the range of content available and its recognition via certification, but also an expansion of the media by which training is provided. For example, eLearning was introduced in 2019 on due diligence and INREV NAV, with participants studying in their own time before coming together for sessions with industry experts. The effectiveness of on-line training was confirmed during the Pandemic, when Covid-related restrictions on meetings also meant that class-based courses were converted to online. Today we offer several eLearning based courses from the popular Foundation Course to the Ten Pillars of Real Estate and most recently the ESG Essentials course so that delegates can learn at a time that suits them through interactive learning in addition to live zoom sessions.
This variety of media is helping INREV to meet the ever-growing demand for training, especially among Young Professional members. ‘The courses are often sold out within days,’ says Hedda, ‘meaning that waiting lists are often needed. The challenge is to maintain INREV’s unique training quality, keeping small groups of no more than 30 for in person courses, while also ensuring that the most experienced and engaging members of the industry step up to give the courses. As has been the case from the start, INREV wants its members to be able to find the kind of training that can put them at the forefront of their peers.’