31 January 2013 | InterContinental Hotel, Park Lane, London

EY Real Estate and Hotels Workshops

‘Setting a course for the future’

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Have a clear strategy

Increasingly positive economic indicators and real estate sentiment polls suggest deal activity is set to increase in 2013. Now is the time to finesse strategies and put them into action.

The real estate professionals attending EY’s conference were positive about 2013: 86% said they were in buying mode - up from 70% in 2012. This also compares well with the 75% of respondents to EY’s Trend Indicator 2013 who expected transaction volume this year to exceed that of 2012. As for the Eurozone debt crisis, 61% of conference participants expected this to increase European investors’ activity in the real estate market in 2013.

These positive indicators suggest that, after years of reduced activity, now is the time for action. Strategies for capitalizing on today’s real estate opportunities, wherever they arise, must be firmed up and acted upon.

Alastair Campbell, keynote speaker at this year’s conference, shared his insights into strategy execution from his time as Director of Communications & Strategy for former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair between 1997 and 2003. In a world where negative media stories now overwhelm the positive ones by a ratio of 18 to 1, Campbell highlighted the importance of developing and communicating a clear strategy. “First, set the objective - your goal. Then work out your strategy - how you are going to get to what you want to achieve. Only then can you afford to go tactical - deal with the nuts and bolts.”

Alastair Campbell's tips for strategic success:

  • Good strategy is about action, not theory.
  • The best team leaders are the best team players. Strategy is a team game - it’s best when understood from the boardroom all the way down the organization.
  • Be bold!
  • Be adaptable. Always challenge yourself and others.
  • Stay calm in a crisis.
  • Listen but lead, not listen and lead.
  • Get good out of bad - every setback is an opportunity.
  • Understand the negative media culture - you have to set your own agenda.
  • Get your head above the parapet when things go wrong -
    don’t try to hide. You will be held to account eventually.
  • Visualize the victory!