LAS VEGAS – Fresh from a trip to France where they sold the Silver State to attendees of the world’s top global real estate event, six of Nevada’s leading REALTORS came home with more than just French food, fond memories and fun photos. They all returned from MIPIM, the world’s leading property market held March 15-18 in Cannes, France, with lessons learned.
“I know that our Nevada group learned a lot and got to spread the word about how great our state is,” said Kevin Sigstad, a past president of the statewide Nevada Association of REALTORS (NVAR). “More importantly, as great as the event was, the lessons we learned and experiences we gained will help us do an even better job selling Nevada next time around.”
Sigstad, a longtime REALTOR based in Reno, was one of six leaders of the NVAR and the Greater Las Vegas Association of REALTORS (GLVAR) who represented Nevada at the event, along with several other local real estate professionals who attended on their own. GLVAR representatives included GLVAR Past Presidents Keith Lynam and Heidi Kasama and GLVAR CEO Michele Caprio, as well as Las Vegas REALTORS Rena Levy and Azim Jessa.
One of Jessa’s key takeaways was that “the U.S. is severely underrepresented” at what he called “the largest commercial real estate trade show in the world.” Of roughly 23,000 attendees, Jessa said only about 400 were from the U.S., which happens to be the leading location in the world for foreign real estate investment. Kasama agreed, adding that she was also impressed when she learned that “about 20 percent of the people walking around the event were actual investors.”
To attract more of those investors to buy real estate in Nevada, Jessa suggested the state should continue to send real estate and possibly government and other business leaders to MIPIM and similar events. He suggested it may be beneficial to partner with leading local economic development agencies, such as the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance and Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada.
All the Nevadans who attended were impressed at how everyone responded to Las Vegas and its world-famous reputation as an entertainment capital. Kasama recalled a typical conversation during the trade show when she told a foreign real estate professional that she lives in Las Vegas, to which the attendee responded, “Las Vegas? I was there once and I lost money.” Kasama then offered her a souvenir casino chip and said, “Here. Let me pay you back.”
Over time, Lynam said Nevada’s payoff from the trip will likely come from increased awareness about Las Vegas and all of Nevada, including its competitive advantages of relatively low business and personal taxes, warm weather and business-friendly climate and, of course, it’s world-class shopping, dining and entertainment attractions.
“We need to just milk that Vegas brand,” Jessa agreed, adding that future attendees would be wise to “create a place at the event where people come to learn more about all the things we have here,” including new and futuristic developments by companies like Tesla and Faraday Future.
Sigstad summed up the experience this way: “The MIPIM event in Cannes, France really was amazing. I brought back an increased knowledge and awareness of how the global community markets real estate. I was deeply impressed by the level of engagement and investment in the real estate profession from great people all over the globe. The displays and presentations prepared and showcased by so many real estate professionals, especially the European contingent, were very elaborate and fascinating. I really enjoyed the experience. To be selected to represent Nevada and be part of NAR’s group was an honor.”
The Nevadans were part of a growing USA pavilion hosted by the National Association of REALTORS (NAR), the nation’s largest real estate trade organization. This was the second year of NAR’s expanded presence at this global event, providing local and regional U.S. markets the ability to showcase opportunities for foreign investment.
“The U.S. is consistently among the top-ranked markets for real estate investors,” said NAR President Tom Salomone, broker-owner of Real Estate II Inc. in Coral Springs, Florida, adding that recent world events further “strengthen the U.S. position as the safest place to put money and see strong returns for both domestic and international investors.”
GLVAR and NVAR leaders added that Las Vegas and Nevada have become increasingly popular places for foreign buyers to invest in homes and other forms of real estate. Industry research reveals foreign buyers plan to invest more cash in U.S. real estate in 2016 than in 2015, which saw massive inflows of foreign capital to the U.S. market. In fact, 64 percent of foreign investors surveyed by the industry association AFIRE plan to increase U.S. property investments in 2016.
In addition to Nevada and the Las Vegas area, U.S. markets featured in the USA pavilion included the states of Florida, Illinois and Missouri and the metro areas of Miami, San Diego and Scottsdale, Arizona. The CCIM Institute and the Institute of Real Estate Management, both affiliated commercial industry groups of NAR, were also be featured in the USA pavilion.
Some 23,000 leading real estate executives from 89 countries, including an estimated 4,800 investors, traveled to Cannes for the four-day annual gathering of the global real estate industry. The event brings together investors, developers, end-users, architects, hotel groups, public authorities, city mayors and property associations from around the world.
About the GLVAR
GLVAR was founded in 1947 and provides its more than 12,500 local members with education, training and political representation. The local representative of the National Association of REALTORS®, GLVAR is the largest professional organization in Southern Nevada. Each GLVAR member receives the highest level of professional training and must abide by a strict code of ethics. For more information, visit www.LasVegasRealtor.com.
About the NVAR
The Nevada Association of REALTORS® is a professional trade association with more than 15,000 members. NVAR is committed to protecting, promoting and preserving our communities. Visit www.NVAR.org.
About National Association of REALTORS®
The National Association of REALTORS®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association. NAR’s 1.1 million members, including NAR’s institutes, societies and councils, are involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
MIPIM, the world’s leading property market, brings together all the key actors of the real estate business. Investors, developers, end-users, architects, hotel groups, public authorities and property associations gather in Cannes for four intensive days of networking, matchmaking and development of international business relations. MIPM has established itself as an essential meeting place for city administrations that attend in order to both promote inward investment opportunities and discuss major key policy issues that urban conglomerations are facing around the world. Learn more at www.mipim.com.