INTERVIEW: The Single Key to Success - Can You Provide Something Truly Unique?
Apr. 11, 2018
MIPIM Cannes is one of the most prestigious gatherings of the real estate industry. Taking place each March, more than 3,000 firms and some 25,000 individuals from management, government, and journalism gather in the famous retreat on the French Riviera. This high-profile event allows for direct contact with the latest and most important trends on the market while also offering an opportunity to be part of the community that chooses future trends.
I asked Aakash Ravi, Spaceti Chief Business Officer about his impressions of MIPIM. He gave us some advice that can help new firms attract attention and succeed in such a competitive environment, especially at such large-scale events.
What are the key points for a small company or a startup trying to attract attention at an event like this?
I think the key point is differentiation. For Spaceti, it’s the fact we have an all-in-one platform. Other companies might have their own specialities that they are focusing on. It’s important to have that, because if you are going to an event with 25 000 people and there are technology companies of all sizes, it’s very difficult to find your niche and get people’s attention, even for a few minutes.
So the best advice I can give a startup or an emerging company is to find a speciality and get everyone synced up on that speciality. Get in a mindset to sell that speciality to attendees, because these are high-level people who have seen many technological companies. If you don’t find that one thing, they are not going to differentiate you from the rest.
There is a huge discussion about technology changing the real estate industry as well as rising investments into proptech across the globe. In your opinion, what digital trends were the most visible in Cannes?
There are two sides to this question. First, in terms of property management there are a lot of trends about implementing smart building technologies, both in terms of getting more data out of buildings, as well as retrofitting buildings with new types of sensors, hardware, and software applications to improve the indoor experience. That’s the management side.
At the same, there are many trends on how to use the abundance of data in: real estate transactions, office leasing, property transactions, and using this data to help make the life of large agencies a lot simpler by having it all in one place. These are the two biggest trends I saw. One on the property management side of real estate, and the second on the transactional side.
This is not the first real estate event Spaceti is attending. How do you rank MIPIM 2018 from your professional, as well as personal point of view?
It was incredibly insightful from the professional point of view, chiefly because the level of attendees. When you are a young company dealing with the big dinosaur of real estate, you get stuck in middle management; in the processes. The big executives forget about you, even though you do have a good product that could help them.
But the great thing about MIPIM is that you get to have discussions with high-level decision makers, which is great both in terms of learning, as well as moving things forward.
From the former standpoint, you get to learn a lot more about other different companies: what their goals are, how they position themselves, and how you can help them. That’s all fantastic, because you learn how to help the client and not just to sell your product.
At the same time, it’s very useful from the practical standpoint of moving things forward because often executives don’t realise what’s happening on the lower level of the company. They don’t realise how they become stuck in processes and getting visibility by having discussions helps with moving things forward.
From my personal standpoint, it was an incredible event in terms of personal growth. For the founder of the company and someone who deals with so many day-to-day issues, you forget about the bigger picture and where the industry is going to be five years from now.
Being at MIPIM with so many other smart people, not just from real estate, but also from the technology industry and different people from the governmental side, it gives you so many perspectives. Having different points of view gives you a better outlook. You can see where you can position yourself and your company in the future. It was a very good event for reflection as well. So, looking at the big picture, it was a fantastic experience.