Be the change you want to see!

By Paul Morrish, Chief Executive of LandAid

Off to MIPIM 2020? First time? Good luck! Enjoy!

When I was appointed Chief Executive at LandAid, five years ago, no one told me about MIPIM. To be fair, no one told me I’d be strongly encouraged to throw myself into our fundraising challenges quite so energetically either. No mention of tough mudders, abseiling off tower blocks, nor cycling the length and breadth of the country, But they certainly didn’t mention MIPIM.

Perhaps that wasn’t surprising, LandAid is a charity that works to end youth homelessness. In the last three years we’ve been able to provide funding for over 500 homes for young people right around the UK.

The link, of course, is that every penny we raise comes from individuals and companies working exclusively in the property and construction industries. We couldn’t do what we do without the industry. In return, we help the industry work together to tackle youth homelessness and we champion those within the industry who want property to be a force for good.

So, this year’ll be my fourth MIPIM, and I’m beginning to feel like a veteran. But I remember distinctly what it all felt like first time round.

You’ll already have jumped the initial hurdles. You’ve managed to blag a place on the company’s MIPIM team; you’ve persuaded your husband or wife, that “Yes, it is work!”; you’ve got an Airbnb 10 miles from the Croisette that was so expensive you daren’t submit the invoice; and you’ve just worked out what the Croisette is.

Now you’ve just got to prepare. Business cards, comfortable shoes and a target list of clients you want to fit into your already disturbingly busy-looking schedule (for the full packing list check here).

And then of course there’s the reputation, and for many the reality, of MIPIM. Despite an impressive smorgasbord of thought-provoking content delivered by some of the most interesting, well-informed and thoughtful players in property, it is other appetites that grab the headlines.

Although the vast majority of the 26,000 delegates who arrive in Cannes in March behave impeccably, there are still too many who don’t, and who disgrace themselves, their companies, and the industry.

But, as Mahatma Gandhi so beautifully put it, you need to “be the change in the world you want to see”.

And there’s change afoot.

The profit imperative has not gone away (it never will). But barely a day goes past without another company outlining its social impact, or social value. Even investors are starting to ask, “But what difference will this really make?”

The industry has always been generous. There have always been charity days, bake sales, fundraising events, and charity partnerships. And the sums raised are not inconsiderable.

But what we are noticing at LandAid is that, finally, companies are treating their relationships to charities, and the work they do, with similar rigour they do other commercial decisions. They’re not looking simply to sign an oversize cheque for a good cause. They’re looking to make a difference, to have an impact. They want things to change, to get better. Their engagement with charities is a means to an end – not the end in itself.

LandAid works across our industry to end youth homelessness. We don’t partner with just one company, or even several companies. We work with over 160 companies and our ambition is to work with the whole industry. We are very clear about the impact we want to achieve, and how we intend to achieve that impact. Over the last three years, and with your support, we’ve provided around 500 homes for young people who’ve been homeless – in every part of the UK- enabling them to study, train, work, fall in love, and get on with their lives.

This has a huge impact. And it is an impact you enable us to effect.

At LandAid, whatever the headlines and the surveys may say, and notwithstanding the industry’s undoubted challenges, we know there’s much to be proud of as a property professional.

Ultimately, however, much will be down to you.

If you long for this industry to be the professional, progressive, successful force for good you know it can be, go to MIPIM, but be that industry. Do deals but talk to the person standing on their own trying not to look lonely. Network with your contacts but be curious and open to new ideas. Find your ‘familiar’ but challenge the orthodox. Have a glass of wine with colleagues but sit and talk to someone who actually lives in Cannes.

More than that, use the extraordinary opportunity of MIPIM to find out what the industry is doing to genuinely make the world a better place, and challenge it to do it faster. Exchange business cards but ask about sustainability. Attend panel discussions but ask about social value. Change the conversational dial and get talking about social good and why the property industry should be measured by it as much as by profit.

And if you run out of things to say, you can always ask: “So what do you do to support LandAid – the charity uniting the property industry to end youth homelessness?”

RICS leads the way on social impact

By Matt Howell, Managing Director UK & Ireland

As society places ever-increasing demands on businesses to do more to preserve the planet, we’ve launched our Value the Planet campaign to encourage the property profession to think and act more sustainably and to showcase best practice.

RICS is promoting the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals to ensure our profession’s commitment to delivering social impact through responsible and sustainable business practices. The campaign offers a great opportunity to highlight the public interest responsibility of RICS and demonstrate the benefits that the surveying profession provides in offering solutions to society’s most challenging issues.

This is especially important if we are to inspire the next generation of young people into a career in surveying. Generation Z is passionate about conserving the environment for the future and if we are to attract the best talent into our industry, we need to show that this is a profession that embraces sustainability and a responsible approach to business.

Alongside our campaign, we’ve launched the RICS Social Impact Awards to recognise the built environment’s positive and transformational contribution to society. It’s the only awards programme that celebrates the benefit that our built environment has on people’s lives. The RICS Social Impact Awards highlight excellence at a regional and national level, identifying the projects and individuals from the surveying profession making a difference.

Our built environment is so much more than bricks and mortar. Improving it is an opportunity to have a lasting impact on our society, enhancing communities and making lives better We hope that through these awards, we will inspire those already in our industry to do more than they thought possible and make property a go-to profession for the next generation.

So, think about projects to put forward in Autumn 2020 and let’s showcase our work and the positive force for good it represents.



While we can’t prepare you for Brexit, we can get you ready for the world’s leading property conference – MIPIM – and what better place to start than at the annual MIPIM Yes Oui Cannes (MYOC) event.

MIPIM attracts more than 26,000 delegates from over 100 countries and the pressure to meet as many prospects as possible in Cannes can overwhelm the hardiest veteran.

So, our first tip is to start your business development earlier than usual by attending MYOC. Organised by Derry Long, Liz Ackland and Neil Stanley, the annual event brings together the industry for an evening of pre-MIPIM networking so you can make worthwhile connections before you hit Cannes.

Our team has been attending MIPIM for over 15 years and our Maximising MIPIM blogs brings together our collective experience, knowledge and learning to make sure your experience is positive, rewarding, and fun.

We’ll be sharing tips and advice from our circle of trusted, MIPIM experts in the run-up to the conference, so stay tuned for more content and get in touch with any requests, gossip or insight at

MYOC takes place on Wednesday 4 March at the Forge in Cornhill and tickets are available here.

MIPIM UK – The major themes this year

MIPIM UK took place last week at Old Billingsgate, revealing the biggest themes from the real estate industry from the past few months and predicting what we can expect from the sector within the next year.

The two-day event began with Esther McVey’s keynote speech on the UK needing to build 300,000 homes per year by mid-2020’s to help end the housing crisis – a target which, according to The Times, is almost double the amount of new homes built in 2018. McVey continued her keynote speech by outlining her plans to create a planning “A team” to achieve the ambitious target. The A team of specialist planners will help councils accelerate the progress on projects with their specialist skills and technical know-how, which should help move on the progress with struggling schemes.

The housing minister also stated that within the next 10 years, the UK should aim to become the world leader in modular construction. She acknowledged its benefits of it being “less inconvenient and noisy for local residents” as well as providing “more certainty during construction”.  Its advantages seem to be recognised globally as this modern method of construction is being embraced in many countries. In Japan, Sekisui House, built 43,735 modular homes in 2018 and Sweden built just under half of its homes off-site. By comparison,  the UK currently builds around 15,000 modular homes per year, and the government will therefore need to commit to the modern method of construction if it is serious about becoming a world leader.

The inevitable topic of Brexit was also touched upon, Dr Nicole Lux mentioned that German banks are withholding investment from the UK due to the uncertainty in the economy. German banks are one of the UK’s biggest lenders for new commercial property opportunities, this could therefore pose a problem of raising capital for new development. However, Erik Sonden, Senior Advisier at DTZ, framed this uncertainty as a “short term transition period”, and explained that London has little to worry about as its grandeur and strong position as an investment market are enough to retain investors.         

As the day progressed towards industry trends, it’s no surprise that traditional commercial office space was said to be a thing of the past. With more and more  companies moving toward co-working spaces, serviced offices and/or agile working policies, all of which take into consideration the well-being of employees. Juliette Morgan, Head of Campus at British Land, attributed the future of the office space to hospitality, highlighting that landlords need to continue to treat occupiers as consumers rather than just tenants, through areas that stimulate employees rather than just a “sea of white desks”. Juliette finished by summarising the next big trends in the industry including zones that block Wi-Fi and have spaces for education, pointing to the fact that  consumers’ needs in the workplace are changing and offices are no longer about just place but quality.

This is the same in the retail sector. Despite the reported decrease in consumer confidence, Ben Rogers, Director at Centre for London, provided an interesting insight, stating that “Retail is not dying – bad retail is dying”. In order for the physical retail environment to compete with the online world, stores need to provide consumers with an experience, rather than the usual monotonous store visit. Through delivering a unique offering, this point of difference should generate more customer loyalty, helping brands stay competitive.   

With design now being centred around the people that inhabit the place rather than just the space, the future of the built environment looks more promising than ever to deliver more user orientated places. We look forward to seeing how these themes will develop when we all meet again at MIPIM Cannes 2020.      

Looking ahead to MIPIM 2020

It seems like only yesterday we were flying out to Cannes for the 30th anniversary of the biggest property event of the year but here we are today marking the six-month countdown to MIPIM 2020. It also means we’re back with our Maximising MIPIM blog – a place where you can pick up hot tips, advice, and recommendations in the run-up to the main event.

MIPIM is all about people and connecting with each other, which is why are starting the week again with our ‘Go Dutch Dinner’ on the Monday night. A fixture of the MIPIM calendar for more than ten years, Go Dutch attracts a broad range of companies from across the property industry – from developers and investors to consultants and construction professionals. We host around 120 people each year, many of whom are regular guests, but we love to see new faces too. If you would like to join us, please contact

We’ll be back soon with more content to fuel your excitement and quash your nerves, but in the meantime, we’ve got you covered with a back catalogue of our greatest hits, from what to pack, tips for MIPIM newbies, a guide to new business meetings and much more.

Your guide to packing for MIPIM 2019!

It’s that time of year again.

Today, out of offices will be set across the real estate world as thousands of industry players prepare to fly, cycle and hop aboard the Cannes Cannes Express for the biggest property conference of the year.

At a glance, the weather forecast is looking changeable so we’re not optimistic about breaking any temperature records. But, after more than 15 years at MIPIM we’ve picked up a few tips and tricks on how to make the most of your packing space and prepare for every scenario:

Your MIPIM Essentials:

BUSINESS CARDS and lots of them! Networking is why you are here, spread your cards across different bags, in your check-in and holdall. You never know who you might meet in the queue for security and you don’t want to be left in the lurch if the airline misplaces your bag (we know from experience).

Sensible shoes! We are championing trainers this year. You can still look professional and smart with some slick trainers. Limping along the Croisette after a day of events is not a good look, so break out your best Reeboks and Balmains!

Lots of layers. The sun may shine in the day, but the coastal breeze will come as a shock.

An umbrella/ raincoat. Any attendees last year will remember Thursday’s washout.

Sunglasses! (self-explanatory).

Your mobile office – a tote bag for the MIPIM freebies, headphones for phone calls on the move, a portable charger and a pen (retro, we know!) but a couple of bullet points written on the back of a business card will help with your follow up back home.

Medical supplies – the days are long and jam-packed with canapes and tipples, so make sure you stock up on some plasters, painkillers, and medicine.

If you do get caught out on this last point, then look out for the Holistic team who will be on hand with our ‘in case of emergency’ MIPIM tins.

Happy networking and we will see you on the Croisette.