ER-Insights: May 2022
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On the road: MIPIM and international travel
The reopening of international travel this year has been a significant milestone in the world’s emergence from the pandemic, providing a welcome opportunity to reconnect with partners around the globe after what had effectively been two years of confinement. 

In Q1 we travelled to Europe, the Middle East and MIPIM, where we met with a range of investors, financiers and other industry stakeholders. It was great to sit down in person and talk to our partners, and we felt real value in doing something that had been pretty much normal business activity before the pandemic. Here are some quick observations from those travels:

-The conversation has moved on with Brexit and Covid getting ever smaller in the rear-view mirror.

-Inflation is at the forefront of minds, both as a key risk factor for construction prices but also as an opportunity with the protection real estate can provide in an inflationary environment.

-In contrast, there was relatively little focus on rising interest rates, with investors generally comfortable with the tightening real estate spread.

-The attraction of real assets increases in times of uncertainty with a growing focus on truly core markets, particularly for offices – see our MIPIM News article here.

-London has remained liquid throughout, underpinning its global gateway status and investors and lenders alike continue to increase allocations to London and the UK.

-A desire for thematic and programmatic investment is also increasing, with an emphasis on the ability to scale opportunities.

-Environmental and social sustainability were central themes – see our own ESG statement here
Market Insight
Real estate debt market

We have recently refinanced two London assets which has provided interesting insights into a rapidly evolving lender landscape and product offering. Alongside real estate fundamentals and strategy, sourcing the correct financing is an important driver of value and we have been active across the debt spectrum, sourcing core-plus office finance and bridging and development debt. 

Our work in this area has thrown up several emerging trends and topics that are explored in greater detail here. In summary, while general liquidity remains strong across the market, the expanding range of propositions and structures available makes the ability to analyse and overlay the right financing for the real estate strategy a crucial part of project success. Importantly, it’s where we have the necessary skill set that can add real value to the projects we are delivering.
Five Questions For...
Simon Turnbull, brand and marketing creative

This quarter we check in with Simon Turnbull, a good friend of ERI and a "boss" in brand strategy. He has worked with leading names such as EDITION Hotels and also created “Bureau”, the brand for our most recent London development. 

 1. Does the future of real estate marketing lie in digital or physical experiences?
The future of real estate marketing lies in the future of the real estate, a hybrid. Driving digital on my side is the overriding need not to waste any natural resource by producing material collateral. On the physical side, as the workplace moves towards increasing and welcoming socialisation, the meaningful provision of personal (broadly health and wellbeing) and communal (broadly F&B) amenities is a rich, exciting opportunity for brand messaging.

2. What other sector could property learn from in terms of brand strategy?
Any sector that is entirely focussed on the needs of consumer demand. On understanding, then obsessively matching user expectation with product experience. Real Estate is one of the last sectors to readily embrace the fundamental commercial imperative in doing that. Outmoded supply-side thinking still percolates. The harsh, new reality for property clients now is that listening should be far more of a priority than speaking.

3. What is the most innovative trend in real estate that you're excited about?
Within the real estate, there are some interesting growth opportunities in optimising the potential of sites at the centre of cities: light industrial, science co-working, events spaces, data storage and markets.

4. What is one building that inspires you and why? 
The Pub. The longer I stay the more inspired I get. 

5. Where is your favourite place in London and why?
Very difficult to answer. I’ve been in a torrid love affair with this city for a long time. If it ever disappoints, I’m willing to forgive. If I had to choose, I started out working in Soho and always enjoy being in and around there.
About Town
London Event Highlights

Here are the ERI team's top picks of what's on in London in the world of art, design and enjoyment.

The Garden of Privatised Delights
until 15 Oct 2022
The Garden of Privatised Delights returns to the UK after being exhibited at the Venice Architecture Biennale. The exhibition explores the privatisation of public space in the UK today, and considers the role that design and architecture can take in supporting a more inclusive future.
Apricity Restaurant 
Having just opened its doors this month, Apricity is a zero-waste restaurant pioneering the principles of a circular economy. The restaurant sits in the shell of a former fashion outlet in Mayfair, led by the multi-award-winning chef Chantelle Nicholson. 

Lord's Cricket Ground: England vs. New Zealand
2 - 6 Jun 2022 
Held at the Home of Cricket, England will face New Zealand as part of the men's international fixture at Lord's from June 2 in the first Test of the summer.