An Opportunity for CEE Realtors to Send a Positive Message to Investors

Over 5,000 international investors and 60 institutional investors, representing $600 billion of combined allocation to real estate, are coming to the resort town of Cannes on the French Riviera in search of investment opportunities.

Filippo Rean, director of the Real Estate Division at Reed MIDEM, and the organiser of MIPIM, the world’s largest real estate event, in Cannes, spoke to Jerry Cameron, about the 2017 edition pf the real estate fair and the role Central and Eastern Europe plays at MIPIM.

MIPIM has been taking place in Cannes since 1990 and seems to be growing year on year, with over 23,000 participants. Who do you think can benefit most from taking part in the conference?

Since MIPIM’s creation in 1990, we have had many up and downs (the Gulf War, the oil crisis, the crash in 2008 etc.): However, those MIPIM gatherings were the most crucial as it was the moment for professionals to discuss and share their points of view and to shed new light on the global context of real estate and how to draw opportunities from it. Personally, I am very eager to speak to the numerous US and UK delegates that will be attending this year, to get their own points of view about how situations are unfolding in their respective countries.

Personal contact is still at the heart of business life, despite the fact that everyone seems to have less and less time for face-to-face. Year-on-year, at MIPIM, we see how valuable it is for attendees to get together once a year with the entire global real estate community to take the market’s pulse and to do business. Having so many key players, from over 90 countries, in the same location for a four-day period ensures that attendees get value for their money and also for their time out of the office.

We have increasingly seen more participants from emerging Europe. How would you explain that growth?

In recent years, at MIPIM, the emerging Europe conference programme format has been focused on bringing together those CCE countries that are present at MIPIM, to send a clear message of unity to investors and developers alike. This has created a knock-on effect, where those CCE countries that were not initially very present at MIPIM see the benefits of coming on-board and show-casing their own strengths, both as a country and as part of the CCE, as a whole.

We have an impressive line-up from CCE including the cities: Riga, Tallinn, Brno, Ostrava, Prague, Budapest, Katowice, Kraków, Łódź, Poznań, Warsaw and Wrocław, followed by governmental agencies such as the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA), the Polish Military Property Agency and the Pomerania Development Agency. Then , there are businesses and development projects: Echo Investment, HB Reavis Slovakia, Park City, Kraków Nowa Huta and the Murapol Group

We have also had a strong presence of political officials from emerging European countries who have thrown their weight and support behind their country’s participation at MIPIM.

What CEE-related events at MIPIM would you recommend those investors who are potentially interested in the region?

One stand-out session for me is Polska & CEE: Closer Together or Further Apart? To be held on 15 March, 2017.

Filippo Rean (both photos courtesy of MIPIM)

Why is it important for businesses, IPAs and the governments of these countries to take part in MIPIM?

Cannes is a truly unique location in so far as that it is a place where the participants of a big events such as MIPIM can dedicate their entire time on-site to making deals and networking, from dawn till dusk.

MIPIM is a rare opportunity for the real estate world and its counterparts to get together in the same location, once a year, to take the market’s pulse, send key messages to industry professionals and investors, as well as take stock of what opportunities and/or issues can be seen on the near horizon.

In the case of the UK and Brexit for example, this edition of MIPIM will be a crucial one for the UK to send a powerful message to world real estate and investment that it is open for business. They will be attending with a powerful delegation made up of private and public heavyweights who are keen to attract foreign investors.

What general advice would you give to locations wanting to draw investors’ attention to the opportunities they offer?

A strong marketing/communications plan is essential, to start with. MIPIM is a large event with over 23,000 participants and covering over 19,000 sq. metres, so visibility is vital. There must also be a solid programme of both conference sessions and networking events to ensure that messages can be spread and contacts made at every given moment.

Finally, use all the tools that MIPIM provides its attendees, to organise their meetings in advance: the online database where you can find all the names and contact details of all the participants in order to organise targeted meetings.