With the property world coming together in Cannes for Mipim 2019 just a couple of weeks before Brexit day (if in fact 29 March turns out to be Brexit day), there’s no doubt it will be a topic that is discussed at length in the Palais de Festivals and up and down the Croisette.

Richard Williams

However, there is no mention of the B-word from the nine expert thought leaders who have contributed to this Mipim edition of Perspectives. They are instead looking far beyond Brexit and focusing on the structural changes that are affecting the industry.

How the industry gets to grips with technology is obviously one of the biggest. Yardi regional director Richard Gerritsen says the property industry will require a change in the kind of people it hires to properly take advantage of the data generated from real estate. He predicts data scientists will have a huge part to play in the future of real estate. “Clearly there is a gap between raw data and we, as property professionals, making decisions that directly affect our assets,” he says, adding that turning the thousands of data points into useful actions is the challenge for the industry.

Investors are always looking for new growth sectors and there are few that are growing quicker than the science and technology industry. Bidwells partner Saul Western discusses how the real estate sector can tackle some of the risks associated with investing in the nuanced sector. With government backing infrastructure projects in the so-called Oxbridge Growth Corridor, there has never been a better time to invest in property in the sector. However, as Western points out, it comes with its own pitfalls for the uninitiated.

Tackling the housing crisis has been top of the agenda for the industry for some years now. GL Hearn managing director Deborah McLaughlin says the industry must channel some of the Winston Churchill spirit to hit the 300,000 new homes target. She explains that after Churchill was elected in 1951 on the manifesto of “building houses for the people”, the UK regularly built more than 300,000 homes a year thereafter. What the industry can learn from history, she adds, is that private sector housing alone has never met housing demand and collaboration between local councils and private developers is required to deliver the housing that the country needs.

You’ll find plenty more forward-thinking pieces in this packed edition of Perspectives. I hope you enjoy the read.

Richard Williams is Property Week’s news content editor