A round up of the Russian overseas property shows Spring 2012 - what is in store for Developers and Agents working with Russian clients?Spring is traditionally one of the busiest times on the Russian Property Show calendar with a number of major events taking place in Moscow and St. Petersburg. The snow came relatively late to Russia but when winter came it was cold, dark and long. Organisers use this time to run events allowing potential Russian investors a few hours of hope whilst discussing their plans in warmer climates.
Transparency in most Russian events remains a subject for discussion with some organisers claiming vast numbers of visitors whilst visits to these events show empty aisles and frustrated participants! Only one company to date uses technology to accurately state the exact number of unique visitors to their events in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
The season kicked off with the specialised Bulgarian Home exhibition in February. It may surprise many around the world how high the interested is in Russia for property in Bulgaria. There are many reasons including traditional bonds, a long history of vacations on the Black Sea, language and mentality similarities. The Bulgarian Home Exhibition saw a total of 114 participants eagerly meeting 5,860 visitors over the 2 days of the event.
The Moscow International Investment Show, a specialised event targeting primarily investment opportunities abroad took place over an early March weekend. Visitor flow to this event is carefully targeted by the organisers, ensuring sufficient visitors for the 196 International developers and agents. Visitor numbers were on par with the autumn event with 6,790 registered through the doors.
The largest event in Russia in terms of floor space is the DomExpo which combines both domestic and International real estate. Whilst held in an impressive central Moscow venue this event continues to fail in attracting sufficient or targeted visitors. Held over 4 days, the frustration of the participants was easy to see as they awaited in vain for the sparse number of visitors.
St. Petersburg saw an interesting development with two organisers competing on the same dates with venues less than 200 meters apart! However again the need for specialisation was so apparent with one event full of visitors targeting only overseas property for their 147 participating companies and the rival event with few stands and low quality visitors primarily looking for local, subsidised property. The difference was amazingly transparent with delighted faces at the St. Petersburg International Property Show with 6,863 visitors, an increase of 5.5%
The show to beat is the Moscow International Property Show, held this year 06&07 April. Despite un-seasonal late snow falls the crowds again descended on the T-Module Exhibition Hall for the bi-annual event. With 218 International property developers and agents covering more than 40 destinations around the world. A staggering 7,902 visitors passed through the doors making this one of the most visited shows in Europe!
So what is actually happening in the market? All economic indicators are positive. Earnings are increasing whilst local costs remain generally the same, resulting in additional disposable income and consumer spending. Interest in the principle of owning property abroad continues to increase as the developing Russian middle class plays 'catch-up' with their European neighbours.
Regular participants at the Overseas Property Shows in Russia meet generally with 2 types of clients. Firstly those new to the market who realise that their current savings would enable them to but a property abroad. They are amazed at the vast variety of countries and properties abroad making it difficult for them to refine their search. One famous quotation was from an interview where a lady from St. Petersburg was quoted as saying that she had narrowed her search and that she would either buy in Montenegro or Panama! The second category includes those that have made their research, generally have visited the destination and are now looking for the actual property. This sector is learning how to play the market to make the best deal possible.
Experts in the Russian market appreciate the need to participate at many shows during the year using them as opportunities to meet with new potential investors and to service their existing contacts.
The future from Russia is looking good as the spring shows have indicated, now is the time for concentrated marketing and creative sales.
This article was compiled by Mike Bridge who is able to combine his earlier in-depth knowledge of the Property Show business and his current interest in the Russian market.