Market Insight

Embracing innovation is key for next generation of surveyors

February 17, 2016

Innovation is about the generation of new ideas, learning from other people or industries, and applying that learning to help transform something that already exists, or create something entirely new. But it doesn’t have to be big to be innovative!

Every generation faces challenges and as a result of the ever shifting property sands, the biggest challenge for this generation of surveyors is to understand and make an effective contribution to the competitive world of property asset management.

So how can our students embrace innovation and apply it to help differentiate themselves from the property crowd?

This is one of the key messages I focus on when asked to speak to students at Reading University, to help our next generation of surveyors to understand the value of innovation – both in helping the sector continue to evolve, and to allow careers to be successful and flourish.

Not since the advent of Computer-aided Design (CAD) and Building Information Modelling (BIM) has the sector truly experienced an innovation leap, so what could innovation in the world of property asset management look like, and what can be learned from other sectors?

Our next generation of surveyors are what we call Millennials – that generation of youngsters who grew up surrounded by technology. These ‘technology natives’ have known nothing but constant innovation and change in technology, and this is something that could be embraced and applied to the property world to great advantage.

Take the use of ‘disruptive technology’ as an example. How can our graduates of the future embrace the use of more disruptive tech such as apps, for example, to drive efficiency savings and increase accuracy in the industry?

And what’s the best way for students to emulate such innovation? In my experience, it’s as much about having the confidence to be innovative in the first place, and being brave enough to operate outside their comfort zones.

This allows future graduates to learn best practice from others, and to use this skill to demonstrate true quality and freedom of thought in the development of fresh ideas. They don’t have to be successful ideas, indeed failure can be turned into competitive advantage, and Google even has a special ‘failure lab’ where it rewards staff for failure for that very reason! Even if your idea does fail, by demonstrating a flair for thinking differently, students can really make themselves stand out from the crowd to potential recruiters.

The key is to think for yourself – don’t just sit and read the books on your university reading list, do your own research, seek out trends and find your own way. Essentially, it’s about being the Steve Jobs of the surveying world. Be disruptive, but in a positive way! And have the courage to be different in order to be the very best you can be and stand out from your peers.

To find out more about property asset management and the graduate careers opportunities with Vail Williams, don’t hesitate to get in touch.