Meet The Woman Who Used A Racist Remark As A Spur To Create Her Own Property Network

Get to know BAME in Property's Founder, Priya Shah in this Bisnow interview by Mike Philips. Learn more about how and why she set up the group and what she's learnt about the industry on ethnic diversity.

Priya Shah was in a meeting with a client of the built environment communications agency she worked for, making small talk, chatting about holiday plans. She mentioned she planned to go backpacking around South Africa and Zimbabwe.

“But you’re a bit of an Indian princess,” the client replied with surprise.

The comment took her aback, and made her feel undermined and typecast. It raised eyebrows in the room, but no one said anything.

“Because it was a client, I found it difficult to say anything, and didn’t want to be seen as creating a problem,” she said.

In 2017, after the incident, she set up BAME in Property, a networking organisation for BAME real estate professionals. It has grown to 400 people in the network, and 14 partner organisations, including the London Property Alliance and the Royal Town Planning Institute.

Shah’s personal and professional experience gives her an insight into how the real estate industry can turn the current talk about diversity into real action. She said it will involve a real understanding of some of the economic and cultural factors holding ethnic diversity back, within BAME communities who don’t see property as a legitimate profession, as well as within the property industry itself.

Read the full interview here.