Over 500 sales and lettings agents, proptech innovators, portal senior staff and industry regulators packed the Hilton on Park Lane, London, hotel on Tuesday for the annual The Negotiator Conference & Expo.
Highlights of the day’s presentations, panel debates and speeches included time on the podium from The Rt. Hon. Iain Duncan Smith – who talked candidly about the missteps the government has made over Brexit and the housing market.
Leading the debates was BBC Radio 4 presenter Justin Webb plus there were appearances from many high profile figures including ARLA’s David Cox, Sir Peter Bottomley, The Guild’s Iain McKenzie, Richard Donnell from Hometrack, Kate Faulkner, Ombudsman Katrine Sporle, Adam Walker, Jeremy Tapp and, at the end of the day, a keynote speech from Countrywide CEO Alison Platt.
During that, Alison made the case for a robust property market in the future despite the current headwinds, and also revealed how Countrywide’s digital hybrid roll-out is progressing.
There were also lively sessions at the day’s proptech sessions, at which Zoopla Chief Strategy Officer Paul Whitehead said the next 12 months will be a crunch-time for many proptech start-ups.
He said it that it was time for many of them to start delivering on their promising starts, and that while many would succeed, inevitably many would fall by the wayside.
50 of the industry’s leading suppliers were also at the conference, including sponsors and exhibition associates includging ZPG, Paid & Co/Homelet, goodlord, One Dome, Oracle Group, Spark, vouch, yomdel and Reapit.
The event came to a food and drink highpoint in the evening when over 750 industry players sat down to attend The Negotiator Awards in association with Spark, hosted by comedian Jimmy Carr whose ability to both shock and amuse in equal measure proved undimmed.
Highlights of the evening included the winner of Rising Star of the Year Mitul Gadhia of Whitegates, Website of the Year winner Winkworth, Franchise/Network of the Year winner Belvoir and Lifetime Award winner John Hards, the former MD of Countrywide’s lettings business.
The top three estate agencies of the year were Next2Buy (small, Tyne & Wear), Thomas Morris (medium, Cambridgeshire) and Bradleys (large, West Country).
The party then went on into the small hours and included a Michael Jackson tribute band and charity casino.
Read a full list of the winners here.