Realtors see opportunities in global property event

Six Nevada realtors are home from France after attending MIPIM, the world’s leading property market. And they’re hard at work on plans to go again — and they’re thinking about how to get the event to come to Las Vegas.

Their mission was to promote the Silver State to the nearly 25,000 attendees — the world’s property decision-makers — at the global real estate event. The National Association of Realtors and the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors arranged the trip to Cannes, France, from March 15-18.

“The purpose was to spread the good news and opportunities about business and real estate here in Nevada,” said Keith Lynam, a Henderson-based realtor and 2015 president of GLVAR. Lynam said many MIPIM attendees weren’t as familiar with Nevada as they were with Las Vegas.

“The Las Vegas brand is strong internationally and while we had people who didn’t recognize Nevada, when we said Las Vegas their eyes lit up,” he said. “We had the opportunity to bring investors in and take a look at what we offer and what we have here in the business community.”

In the future, Lynam said he’d like to go back to MIPIM with specific projects to pitch to investors. The event will be in Cannes again next March.

“This was definitely a learning experience for us to go back and bring specific projects or ideas like many others had,” he said.

Lynam said the group formed a data base to follow up with the investors who were at the event.

“We’d like to pitch a Nevada-based project to them and follow up on specific conversations we had,” he said. “In the long term, I hope this will help Nevada, specifically Southern Nevada, be more involved in global expos and opportunities.”

In addition to Nevada, the USA pavilion included the states of Florida, Illinois and Missouri and the metro areas of Miami, San Diego and Scottsdale, Arizona.

Las Vegas realtor Azim Jessa, chairperson of the Nevada Association of Realtors’ Global Business Committee, said MIPIM had been on the organization’s radar for a couple of years.

“It was bigger than any real estate trade show I’ve ever seen before,” he said. “The one great thing is that every time we attended an outbound trade mission to promote Nevada and Las Vegas, people didn’t realize there was so much available in Nevada because all they know is the Strip.”

He added, “They’re always surprised by our outdoor living, diverse economy, culture and population. We’re more than just the Strip.”

According to Jessa, MIPIM is not a one-time event.

“We need to build a presence and reputation there,” he said. “The best strategy going forward is to partner with the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance and the state to create a Nevada-specific booth or Las Vegas-specific booth to tout our projects.”

Jessa added, “We have opportunities for people to expand their businesses and commercial products that want to build their factory here, which would be phenomenal.”

Rena Levy, chair of the global business committee for GLVAR and a Las Vegas realtor, said conventions such as MIPIM are vital to the Silver State.

“We attend different real estate events in different countries to promote Nevada and Las Vegas,” she said. “(MIPIM) was the most powerful because there were so many investors and representation from cities across the globe. It was very powerful to see how people network and make those huge investments.”

Levy said she’d like to see MIPIM be held in Las Vegas in the near future.

“We need to compete with other cities and countries because we’re very attractive as a global destination and we have a lot to offer,” she said. “We need to think outside the box and create a global environment and the way to do it is to be out there.”

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