Has there ever been a more exhilarating – or terrifying – time to be working in the residential sector? I can’t think of one. The sector has had to deal with challenge after challenge this year: the fourth housing minister in 12 months, the chaos caused by Brexit, the ailing prime market in London and a new government target of 300,000 new homes a year, to name just a few.

Liz Hamson

Trying to accurately forecast the future is nigh on impossible. That is why this week, as we begin the final countdown to the all-new RESI Convention on 12-14 September at the Celtic Manor resort in Wales, we have tried to make it easier for you by dedicating this digital-only special issue to the sector.

I hope you enjoy the selection of special features, podcasts, news and views – and I hope to see you at RESI this year. If you are thinking, ‘nah, it’s not for me’, I would urge you to think again. We have refreshed the RESI brand to reflect the changing nature of the sector – and people in it – and ensure that it is the most diverse, relevant and engaging RESI yet. Hence the strapline: Debate. Diversity. Delivery.

Highlights on this year’s agenda include a keynote speech from Kit Malthouse, who will be delivering his first major public speech to the sector since becoming housing minister. We will also be debating big issues such as: the housing crisis; where next for BTR; the gathering momentum behind modular and modern methods of construction; the growing use of residential to drive retail regeneration; and the transformative impact of proptech.

When I say we, I mean you. This year’s RESI is the most interactive ever thanks to dynamic new formats such as Question Time-style panel debates, practical masterclasses, ‘ask-the-expert’ sessions and interactive ‘in the round’ breakout sessions. We are also inviting the industry to get involved in our RESI hackathon, which this year has set participants the challenge of devising an app to promote rental housing to Generation Rent.

As many of you know, we have been working hard to improve the diversity of RESI. Times have changed and so must we.

I am particularly looking forward to celebrating our first group of RESI Trailblazers: the rising stars of the sector as nominated by our newly convened RESI Senate. Another important new initiative this year is Joint Victories, which will celebrate the best public-private residential-led joint ventures – at a time when such partnerships have never been more critical.

In fact, there are a whole host of new and exciting features this year. The agenda is the definition of jam-packed. See for yourself here. Plus, to make RESI more accessible, we have introduced all sorts of special discounts – for groups, under-30s and local authorities, for instance.

We are also currently holding a flash sale until midnight on Friday 10th August offering a 10% discount on all standard rate tickets. So don’t miss out. Book now. I look forward to seeing you next month in Wales. Meanwhile, enjoy this special digital-only RESI issue…