China Leads on Global Real Estate Strategy

Director Group consultant, Mark Robinson, recently undertook a real estate strategy review for a major global client occupying six city locations in China. Mark covered 2,750 kms over 8 days, including visits to Beijing, Shanghai, Xian and Wuhan where he gathered first-hand knowledge of the local occupier challenges.

“It was fantastic to experience the scale and diversity across the country. When you consider that the population in cities such as Beijing and Shanghai are three times that of London you begin to understand the scale of the country. Likewise, the cultural differences between cities – Shanghai, with it’s trading history and strong international theme as opposed to Beijing, the capital city, which retains much of its traditional authenticity. That said, many of the challenges that exist across these cities are ‘international’ issues, common to those we experience in home markets.

Not only did I get to experience the Tier 1 cities I also had the good fortune to discover some of the Tier 2 cities, such as Wuhan and Xian. There is huge investment to develop these cities but you get a real feeling that modern development is meeting ‘authentic’ China. At times, I felt a bit like a novelty attraction among the local taxi drivers and restaurant owners all of whom were very keen to welcome me to their country.

With limited local language skills, I was especially grateful to our brilliant colleagues Samuel and Jolyn from CREA who supported me throughout my trip.

I am already looking forward to my return trip later this month, re-establishing and building on the professional contacts made and expanding my mandarin!”

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