Maximizing MIPIM

Attend the Premier Global Commercial Real Estate Conference with a Solid Game-Plan

Traveling to the MIPIM conference in Cannes, France, is a substantial investment of time, energy, and capital. You must research attendees in order to spotlight people with whom you wish to connect.

The days begin early at MIPIM and last until midnight, which means powering through eight hours on the expo floor followed by meetings over dinner and cocktails. As soon as your head hits your pillow, your phone will start buzzing because work is happening back in the U.S. In the end you’ll return haggard from what everyone thought was a vacation.

REALTORS® who frequently attend MIPIM say the experience is absolutely worth it because they’re building great business relationships and bringing investment back to their markets. But they all offer these words of caution: “be prepared.”

So how can you maximize MIPIM to make your own lasting business relationships with international investors interested in your market?

Chad Gleason, CCIM, advises starting by focusing your attendee research. Gleason was part of a team from Washington State who prepared for the conversations they wanted to have by aggressively going after people most likely to invest in technology. “Let’s just say between Amazon, Microsoft, and Nintendo,” Gleason quips, “the Seattle market has a lot of coders.”

In previous years, Gleason was surprised to learn how investors at MIPIM dug deeper, asking about the conditions on daily commutes and educational opportunities for their children. “Be prepared to walk them through some of that,” he says. “It’s a great way to have generalized conversations.”

Gleason encourages attendees to incorporate a second prong to research in order to have accurate information about key aspects of your market like cost of living, local school systems, and economic development strategies. “It’s a great way to have generalized conversations,” Gleason says.

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Gleason’s group found an ally in Melinda Goforth, Vice President of Business Development for Greater Seattle Partners, a public-private partnership created to advance economic growth and competitiveness for the Greater Seattle region. Because MIPIM is focused primarily on commercial investment opportunities, Goforth argues attending the conference is an important part of foreign investment strategy.

“When you consider Europe accounted for 40 percent of all new investment into the United States in 2017,” Goforth says, “and roughly $5 trillion in transatlantic commercial sales a year between the EU and US, can you afford not to consider the European market?”

Connecting with Goforth for MIPIM is bringing value back home for Gleason and his state association. “Washington REALTORS® has always wanted a confidant in Seattle’s economic development office and because of MIPIM we now have one who cheers us on. It’s a significant play.”

As CEO of Missouri REALTORS®, John Sebree sees a great deal of value in consulting a state economic development official, and has worked the past three years with Dennis Pruitt, Vice President of International Business Recruitment for Missouri Partnership®.

“Dennis has such great knowledge of all sectors of Missouri’s economy,” Sebree says. “If a potential investor wants to talk health care, aeronautics, auto manufacturing, or AgTech, he speaks their language.” Pruitt and the Missouri REALTORS® work in tandem to recruit companies interested in new industrial plants, agriculture development, renewable energy, and potential office projects to Missouri.

MIPIM 2019 By The Numbers

  • 30th Annual Conference
  • 26,000 Participants
  • 5,400 investors
  • 3,800+ CEOs & C-level professionals
  • 3,100 exhibiting companies
  • 360+ speakers
  • 100 countries


You save $900 with your special NAR member registration rate – a 46% discount!

Pruitt suggests attendees start those conversations by focusing on regional economic development organizations from other countries. Consider outreach to any international sister cities for your region first.“It's interesting to learn about their approach to economic development,” Pruitt explains, “and they are a good source of intelligence for potential leads.”

The work paid off in a big way with a substantial investment in Missouri from a senior executive at a French company Sebree met the first year at MIPIM. “He needed our help to sell an industrial property his company already owned in Missouri,” Sebree says, “and as a result of our work on that project, he committed to bringing additional employees to our state for his multiple industrial interests. We have worked with him ever since.”

Chris Anderson of the Greater San Diego Association of REALTORS® brought a specific project to MIPIM her second year in attendance. “Seaport Village was under consideration in SD and they were looking at developers who would redo our harbor, basically, and they needed funding.”

Anderson worked with an economist from the mayor’s office and a port authority official, planning meetings with attendees who would be interested in investing in the Seaport Village project.

“We knew that investment would create more viability in SD,” Anderson explains, “which would make it more appealing to other international investors and travelers, and it would generate business for local REALTORS®.” The mission was a complete success, as Anderson explains. “We received an investment of hundreds of millions from Singapore.”

Want to join members like Gleason and Anderson to increase awareness of commercial and luxury development opportunities in your market? Learn more at and begin your research.

NAR USA Pavilion Partners

These markets will be represented in 2019: Illinois, Missouri, Los Angeles/Beverly Hills, North Carolina, Washington State, Rhode Island, Coastal Carolina/Myrtle Beach, Miami, Florida, Scottsdale, Georgia, New York, New Jersey, & Texas!


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