The RED Foundation was set up with two main aims, firstly to join the dots between conversations and activity already happening across different parts of the sector, but often unbeknownst to each other, and secondly to raise awareness of data ethics.
It has been, without question, a strange year so far, but never has the need for these two things to be addressed been so important. Some of the initiatives and plans we had have inevitably been knocked by COVID19, but I think we have made some pretty good progress and have even been shortlisted for an EG Tech award.
However, to keep this going, we really need your help, so please have a look at the 'How you can help' section below and any support would be much appreciated.
Joining the dots
COMMUNITY - The primary aim was to build a community of people from all corners of the sector with an interest in data. The Real Estate Data LinkedIn Group, of over 250 people so far, is to provide a single place to share content and ideas around the topic of data in real estate with people from different disciplines or sectors.
STANDARDS - I've been working on a report, part supported by the UCEM that explores the role of standards in the use of data in real estate. This will be coming out in September, but it has been a fascinating journey. My hope is that this can be the start of a sector wide conversation about what we need to do moving forward.
PUBLIC DATA - the aim is to make public data, relevant to the real estate sector, more easily discoverable. We have made some progress on this, but it has been pushed back a bit by COVID19 meaning resources involved have had to focus elsewhere. We aim to make some more information available soon and will update you then.
UPRN - finally, the UK has recently made the UPRN (Unique Property Reference Number) more open. Having a common identifier for all addresses is a really positive step forward, but only if it is known about and adopted. We are working with a number of bodies to try and facilitate some activities that will help with both awareness and adoption of the UPRN.
Our aim here is to raise awareness that data ethics is important and give people a pointer of where to start. We have made good progress in this space and I am confident that it is an issue now much higher on the agenda. I have spoken at a wide number of (virtual) conferences on the subject in recent months and it is being covered more widely in the media. We have also had some great support for the RED Foundation Data Ethical Principles which are a good place to start.
How you can help
Firstly, please join the RED Foundation LinkedIn Group and encourage others to do so if they have an interest in data. More than that, please do share the content that you come across about real estate data and engage with the community about challenges that you are facing. More than any other part of the sector - data challenges need to be considered across the whole sector.
Secondly, please help raise awareness of data ethics. When talking to suppliers, customers or in your own business make sure it is always considered in the decision making process. In my opinion, the ethical use of data will be the biggest challenge for real estate in the coming decade. It is often just not considered and when it is, it is often considered as someone else's problem or being covered by GDPR.
As ever, open to feedback, thoughts and comments. Thank you for reading to the end and thank you for your support.