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Update from MIPIM

Take a look at the latest update from MIPIM by Mark Noonan, our Customer Relationship Director… 

Two days into MIPIM 2016 and how does the world of property feel? Well, it certainly feels dominated by residential and it feels like the UK investment is leading that charge. Be it debating whether PRS needs its own use class, or even to be called build-to-let rather than PRS, to high rise in London or low rise in Lincolnshire, accommodation is clearly the product everyone wants or is selling. 

But how does that affect Simons Group? What’s the world like for us, and how is it out of London? Well, it’s certainly busy. The launch of the new “Midlands Engine” pitch book on Tuesday was an extremely exciting event – has the Midlands stolen the march on the “Northern Powerhouse” and linked themselves together in a way that the northern cities seem not to have yet? It certainly feels so. The buzz around development potential in the midlands is really exciting; even the fact that the midlands teams locate themselves near to each other in the Palais indicates a push in the same direction. This, with our clear focus to do more for less, places Simons Group and our three group businesses at the heart of what’s going on. It’s particularly gratifying to be part of what’s going on in Lincolnshire too, and to be here supporting that. 

Yesterday I was interviewed by The Lincolnshire Echo and asked my thoughts on MIPIM. Although this focussed on Lincolnshire - we are supporting the GLLEP after all - it provoked thoughts about the property world and how much it’s changed. MIPIM hosted a “Women in Property” debate on Tuesday. It’s a sad fact that women make up a minority of the attendees at MIPIM – indeed, the majority of women you see are ‘promotion girls’, rather than deal makers, but it does feel like positive change is afoot and seminars like this must help alongside the type of work we get involved in with the CBI and the Great Business Debate back home (See Sustainability Manager Dr Rosi Fieldson’s fantastic blog here:  http://www. greatbusinessdebate.co.uk/ opinion/girls-that-build/ ). I wonder how the majority of attendees would feel about mainly ‘promotion boys’? 

Simons Group, with our family roots have always been proud of our impact on society and the planet being a positive one, and our Building Greener strategy pays testament to that, but it is interesting to note that there is very little talk about sustainable building as a thing in itself. The great news is that the simple answer to that seems to be it is definitely becoming the norm. A few years ago, one of our customers reflected that if you weren’t prepared to embrace sustainability then you wouldn’t be around – it seems MIPIM this year is populated by those who were prepared to embrace it. That’s great news for a company like us who want to tread lightly on our children’s planet. 

MIPIM is a time for networking and conversation. Everyone here wants to do business and that’s why we come, but it is interesting to see how much that’s changed. Yes, there are still those who overindulge and I’m sure there are a lot of sore heads, but the undercurrent is different. Legal & General’s Cycle to MIPIM rode into Cannes on Tuesday; 100 riders who have ridden all the way from London. When the conversations over dinner drift off work for a bit, they usual move towards health and fitness – cycling again being a common passion that certainly seems to be taking over as the networking tool in place of golf; and there is, more often than not, a glass of water alongside the glass of wine. The conversations still flow, the difference is that you now have more faith that they’ll be remembered in the morning. 

So two days gone; two, officially, to go – although Friday is wind down and catch breath. We’ve had great conversations that give me real confidence that we will have the two strategic care customers we need; we’re breaking into local city networks and will be seeing work come as a result of that, which will give our people some respite from travelling the country; our script of retail, industrial and health, supported by expanding into care and education is clearly one that sites well in the property world at MIPIM. I reflected, while watching Paul talking on the GLLEP sponsors video, that the plan is good, always has been, and it feels like we will continue to go from strength to strength if we’re focussed on it.

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