Last day at MIPIM

by on for The Lawyer

Apologies for lateness today. Anyone at MIPIM will understand why. Frankly, you’re lucky to be getting a blog at all.

It’s the last day and I see groups of men standing on street corners with suitcases, quietly waiting for their taxis to the airport. They replace the night time corner-dwellers, pneumatic women in towering heels, looking for another kind of pick-up altogether.

There’s a sleazy underbelly to MIPIM and it’s not pretty. A walk along the Croisette after midnight is a journey through the dark underbelly of the property industry. You’d think that these days, the thought of being captured on someone’s mobile phone camera might be a disincentive to fun and frolics, but some of the dinosaurs here are still partying like it’s 1999.

Ignore those who tell you that there’s only one letter difference between networking and notworking; like everything else, you get out what you put in. And time and again, the meeting that you drag yourself to because you have to, even though your brain is bleeding from too many drinks/late nights/boring conversations/timewasters/pests is the one that turns out to have the real opportunity, the seriously interesting information and if you’re very lucky, the new client.

Very often, the one you think is THE ONE turns out to be full of the proverbial and the quiet one in the corner is the one that delivers. Never forget to follow up, even with the longshots. At this point, I think I’ve got three or four that are hot to trot and a host of others who may be also-rans.

And I’ve been mulling over the oft-repeated phrases; any/all of these could be found up and down the Croisette, day and night:

• We’re at the top of the market, it’s downhill all the way
• The market has a way to go yet and we’re confident that prices will hold, due to lack of product whatever happens in the election
• Mansion tax won’t have any appreciable effect under £3m
• Mansion tax will ruin the market under £3m as prices are depressed from above
• PRS is the new big deal and you should get into it.
• PRS is all tied up now between the big five and you’re too late to the party

All are agreed that a notable feature of MIPIM this year is the absence of Russians. A prominent feature of the event for some time now, the large Russian stands, with their obligatory Amazonian hostesses have all but disappeared. Or so I’m told.

Notwithstanding that I did actually have an official pass to the exhibition (yours for a bargain €1750) I didn’t use it, other than to get into otherwise inaccessible hotels and yachts. Oh, say the organisers, but there are all the conferences and the talks and all that precious information. Indeed there are interesting talks but I’ve never yet met anyone who has actually been to one.

Who wants to be in an airless conference hall when the sun is shining, it has, all week.

Who was it who said that the sun shines on the righteous? Must have been an agent.