DAY THREE: While the rest of RESI highlighted diversity within the industry, Day Three was diverse in another way, with a fantastic spread of speakers on topics ranging from hostage negotiation to wildlife preservation

Back DAY THREE: While the rest of RESI highlighted diversity within the industry, Day Three was diverse in another way, with a fantastic spread of speakers on topics ranging from hostage negotiation to wildlife preservation

While the rest of RESI highlighted diversity within the industry, day three was diverse in another way, with a fantastic spread of speakers on topics ranging from hostage negotiation to wildlife preservation. 

The day started with some much needed R&R as with a debate on the changing relationship between residential and retail. The main takeaway was that both sectors benefit when they collaborate. Emma Cariaga, Head of Operations at British Land, pushed back on the idea that online shopping is taking over, talking of the “huge demand for day to day shopping" that still exists. While there has been talk of resi bailing out retail, all the panellists agreed that well planned retail can breathe new life into a community by bringing people together over shared resources. 

Next delegates were treated to an a talk from Kirk Kinnel, a former hostage negotiator for Police Scotland. Kirk applies the lessons he learned in the field to everyday scenarios, teaching people how to use their language to understand others, and to get the outcomes they want. Kirk talked passionately about the “power of listening” and using your language to give people the a perception of autonomy in order to get them on board with your way of thinking. Perhaps he should coach the UK's Brexit negotiators.

After a much needed break, with many no doubt filling up on coffee after yesterday's late night, delegates were treated to an uplifting presentation from Adrian Thomas, project manager at the RSPB on wildlife friendly housing. Adrian highlighted some alarming statistics on the decline of key species in Britain before outlining what the property world can do to help, pointing to a development in Aylesbury Vale by Barratts with special bricks for swifts and green pathways for foxes and hedgehogs.

That positive note was followed by a more downbeat speech by former New Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell. “I wish I could spread lots of joy and happiness," Campbell lamented before tearing into Theresa May, Trump, Brexit and Corbyn. A brief show (or rather no show) of hands showed many in the audience shared his pessimism. A quick Q&A session did little to lighten the mood, although one lucky delegate had their day made by getting a free signed copy of Campbell's latest book 

Mark Easton then returned to the stage for one last time, offering final thoughts on the lessons learned. He praised the efforts that have been made to make the event the most diverse yet, and called for even more progress next year, which I'm sure Liz Hamson and the Property Week team, with the industry's help, will deliver. He ended on a rousing note, echoing housing minister Kit Malthouse yesterday by urging everyone in the audience to go out and work together to solve the housing crisis, and to use their platform to bring the joy of a decent home to people across the country. We'll see if his words were heeded next year.

Neil McKenzie, Blackstock