Diary of an estate agent: Cannes

Early flight out to Nice this morning as I head over to MIPIM in Cannes. This huge property event brings together the who’s who of property from all over the world. It’s the biggest event to hit these parts each year and makes the annual film festival look small!

I use it as a great opportunity to meet up with clients, investors and developers in a slightly more relaxed environment than the hustle and bustle of London, where time seem is a precious commodity.

After an interesting afternoon the last event of the evening is a meeting with some clients who develop a lot in Soho and Fitzrovia and then to bed. 

I’m up and out for breakfast for a meeting with some property investors. The sun is shining – another benefit of hosting the conference in this part of the world. 

I’m staying about 10 minutes outside of Cannes and as I head in you can start to see the tell-tale signs of a big property conference – smart blue suits, brown shoes and orange lanyards holding the name of each delegate.

The conference centre is buzzing and the London Stand has some familiar faces. 

I head to Café Roma which is a bustling hub near the main conference centre where you arrange to meet various contacts.

Many of the delegates are always running late from other meetings or ad-hoc chance encounters, but that’s the relaxed vibe here. I catch up with my contact who is an Asian buyer introducer for both bulk purchases and smaller assets in London. 

As the sun heads down, the bar thins out as people depart for their various dinners and networking events.

I head off to drinks organised by Assael Architects who have designed the stunning new Dukelease development on Cleveland Street near our Fitzrovia offices back in London.

There’s time for a quick bite before my final destination at Bar 72 next to the Martinez hotel. 

Day three and this is the big one for me. Breakfast with Four Communications on the beach for much needed coffee and bacon baguettes.

I get there a little later than planned and the room is packed with property movers and shakers, many of whom I’ve met before, but it’s also great to meet some new acquaintances too. 

Everyone is talking about the market and the economic environment and drawing conclusions from the sentiment in the room. 

I meet up with my colleague Simon and we head off to the quieter corners of the conference to find a coffee bar that’s still in the sun. We drop a pin or two from Google Maps so our property colleagues can meet us as arranged. 

The meetings go well and we decide to stay for lunch while we meet some clients of ours who have asked if we are free at the last minute.

They join us for pasta and a glass of rosé before we all head off in separate directions to various property events and client meetings. 

Last thing tonight is an event with Cowel Group and James Pendleton who have arranged drinks and nibbles while the football is on. This is my last stop of the evening before I head home to bed.

Definitely taking it easy today! I’m at a gathering at a private villa which is the perfect spot to meet some new, and old, faces. It’s almost impossible to network like this back in London because you just don’t get so to speak to so many people in one spot.

I head to a bar called California and meet up with some PRS clients of mine – these are specialist landlords in the rental sector. It’s more relaxed than Café Roma and you can sit down. 

Finally a smart gentleman with a white shirt, black waistcoat and slicked back hair approaches me and I ask him for a small beer, only to be advised he isn’t a waiter but in fact a property developer.

Cue some uncomfortable seconds while I try to regain my composure! 

Early morning is the time for me to depart before it gets too crazy as the MIPIM exodus back to various parts of the world descends on Nice airport.

An eventful week and some quality time spent with some true greats of the property world, some of whom I’ve known for over 25 years, but it is now time to head back to the office and my team in London. 

The next MIPIM UK Property Summit is from 14-15 October at Old Billingsgate in London. For more details visit https://www.mipimuk.co.uk/en-gb.html

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