Last week I managed to sneak away from the end-of-year busyness of the office to go along to a Land & New Homes Network event – specifically the Southern Counties Builder Breakfast.
Officially I was there as a speaker, but the real joy of being invited events hosted by the Land & New Homes Network is getting to hear other people sharing their knowledge, too.
Normally we aren’t really meant to share what we hear (after all, people might not go along if they can get all those great insights online afterwards). But I asked very, very nicely and they’ve made an exception for me – just this once.
So here are the top five things I learnt from the speakers.
Emissions are important – and they go well beyond CO2
It’s been a big year for environmental concerns – what with chaotic weather, Extinction Rebellion etc.
A lot is said about CO2 emissions, but Ryan Johnson and Peter Home of Turley Planning gave a talk about the other impacts that the property industry can have on the world around them – like nitrogen and phosphate run-off.
Ryan and Peter showed that the vast majority of these elements come from agriculture, but it’s far easier to regulate (and by extension, demonise) the property industry to give the illusion that something is being done.
My takeaway? It might be a tricky time ahead, but if we keep doing everything we can – and pushing back when we’re told we’re not doing enough – we should be able to weather the storm.
The regional focus is invaluable
There are a lot of different property events, all with different scopes and specialities. But one of the good things about these Land & New Homes Network events is their focus on regional data.
Nationwide trends are great, but they aren’t all that practical. There’s so much that can happen on a regional level that could fundamentally change the way you’d interpret the information, and act on the advice.
At this event, for instance, the Land & New Homes Network shared information on a series of site visits across the Southern Counties region. In the last three months, they’ve visited more than 1,100 sites with planning consents to see what has been built already, what is under construction and what hasn’t yet started.
This means housebuilders in the area can now engage with any of the Network’s agents in the region to get a clear understanding where they can buy and build straight away.
That regional focus doesn’t just apply in the room.
Social media is a wide, open field of prospects. But the problem with that is that simply throwing money at it means you risk promoting yourself to the wrong people. Maybe they aren’t interested in buying at that time. Or maybe they’re in the wrong area.
Well, Land and New Homes Network had some good news – they gave us a sneak peek at their new tool – IGNITE – essentially an AI-powered hyper-targeted system to give you the most bang for your property industry online advertising buck.
It seems pretty smart – a system to help you target the right prospects in the right places at the right time.
The attendees are hungry for better ways to do things
A lot of people giving lip service to the idea of new ways of doing things, while they then go right back to the old way as soon as they leave.
But here there was a palpable sense of hunger in the air. These are the people who crave better ways to work. They aren’t giving up their morning to get a breakfast, they’re looking to get an edge, any edge, over the competition.
This is great for us (lots of questions from interested developers wanting to know more about LandInsight, of course). But it’s also great for the wider industry – that level of dedication to their craft is going to be what drives the industry for years to come.
The non-competition aspect is a godsend
Land & New Homes Network have a non-competition rule – when someone joins the Network, they can be sure that none of their competitors will be able to join.
The impact this makes on a room is subtle, but undeniable.
They hear information, and know that their competitor isn’t privy to the same input.
They can talk openly, collaborate with other attendees without checking whether a rival is sat ten feet away listening in.
And they can be sure they won’t have multiple agents sending the same deals, trying to outmanoeuvre each other (at their expense).
That makes for a pretty great atmosphere (especially over breakfast).
The power of great events
When it feels like you’re just putting out fires every day, it can be tough to pull yourself away to go to these kinds of events. But when you’re there, you immediately remember the value of them.
It’s not enough to go to one big event a year and hope that’ll tide you over. There’s nothing quite like a good local event to remind you why you got into this business – and inspire you with what to aim for next.
The good news is that we’re working on some great info about property networking events that we’re sending out at the start of next year. Watch this space… (and sign up for our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss out using the LandBot to the right).
But until then, Land & New Homes Network are an excellent place to start.
Calum is a Sales Manager for LandInsight. He is the proud owner of Malcolm, the lovable cockapoo (half Cocker Spaniel, half Poodle) who you may hear in the background every once in a while if you call the office. Malcolm, that is, not Calum.