Benchmarking in the rural sector

Benchmarking is the process of comparing an organisation and its operations/processes against other organisations in the industry or sector in which it operates, or in the broader marketplace. Challenging the performance of any business using benchmarking should be imperative in any economic climate. However, with so much change in the rural sector currently taking place, the need for rural businesses to benchmark is even more critical. RICS have published this Insight paper on rural benchmarking with the aim of equipping RICS rural professionals with benchmarking skills, which will ensure their reputation as the most trusted advisers and those best placed to add value to rural property, and to ensure that land-based businesses are maintained and enhanced.

This insight paper provides a holistic overview of benchmarking, its applicability to the rural sector and provides an insight into available tools and what some in the sector are currently measuring and benchmarking with some real-life case study examples. Preliminary research for this Insight paper indicates that the current use of benchmarking tools is inconsistent across the rural sector. One of the key findings of the paper itself highlights the clear need for some consistency in benchmarking performance of rural estates and rural land-based businesses, which often have a diverse range of assets and income streams, coupled with diverse ownership motives, which RICS will be further exploring.