Taking time out

Jo Edwards – Business Development and Marketing Director

I’m a firm believer that time spent away from the office can add value to the time you spend in the office. Getting away from the usual routine and day to day distractions allows you to focus your thinking on some on the bigger opportunities and challenges instead of getting bogged down in the small ones. The small ones are still important of course, but often they can be set aside for a while (or even better, delegated!) so that they aren’t the only things you think about. There’s a great quote from an old Bruce Lee movie, I forget which one, which goes something like this: ‘It’s like a finger pointing to the moon. Concentrate only on the finger and you will miss all the heavenly glory.’ Wise words Bruce.

Meeting with people other than your work colleagues can also help to give you a different perspective. I’ve recently returned from attending my first MIPIM. Le Marché International des Professionnels de l’immobilier, or MIPIM for short, has become the premier networking event for property professionals. The official delegate count for the 2017 event was 23,000 but the total number of property professionals who descended on Cannes for the second week of March was probably closer to 35,000. Thousands go to MIPIM and don’t attend any of the official MIPIM events, or even enter the exhibition hall at all. The majority of meetings take place in the cafes, bars and restaurants which line Cannes’ harbour and beachfront.

[pull_quote]Up until about 15 years ago, MIPIM had a reputation as being something of a jolly for successful executives[/pull_quote]

A chance to top up their tan and push the boundaries of their expense accounts. These days it’s an exhausting three (or more!) days of morning to night time meetings with professionals from every possible aspect of the property industry. Developers, architects, brokers, planning consultants, lawyers, agents, valuers, lenders and building material manufacturers; Whatever part of the construction and housebuilding supply chain you’re interested in, you’ll find hundreds of other likeminded people there as well. It’s excellent for developing your contacts in sectors you wouldn’t usually mix with and for broadening your horizons when it comes to thinking about the issues we in the property business face. People seem to arrive in MIPIM with a different mindset. Conversations are about strategy, the bigger picture, growing connections and looking to the future.

That kind of time out of the office is invaluable, in my view, and I certainly intend to return next year. However, in the meantime I’m also going to ensure that I get out to see plenty of brokers and business associates a bit closer to home. I’ve decided that the best way to maintain UTB’s specialist perspective is to take lots of other perspectives into account too.