The Luxury Property Show Q&A

The Greatest Show


With new owners at the helm, The Luxury Property Show is gearing up to be this year’s most prestigious real estate event. The Smart Group’s Director of Change, Jana Korpova-Harris gives Luke Thomas the skinny on how the company is delivering a brand-new show concept, with a sneaky peek at what the exhibition has in store for visitors

What made the Smart Group want to acquire The Luxury Property Show?

We launched the Smart Group in 2004, determined to make it a dynamic and vital part of international real estate. The various brands under this parent company are now very well established, all strongly focused on supporting property buyers to purchase safely. The group includes Smart Currency Exchange, which helps international buyers and sellers eliminate the risks arising from volatile currency movements. It also includes The Overseas Guides Company, which produces constantly updated information on how to buy property safely abroad. The Overseas Guides Company also helps buyers and investors to meet the very best international real estate agents, solicitors and go-to professionals they need to engage with during a purchase or sale of a property. We also run a series of roadshows throughout the UK, with friendly and relaxed seminars.

Buying The Luxury Property Show is a natural fit to this portfolio. We immediately recognised the potential to turn the event into a global one-of-a-kind marketplace. We want investors, buyers, sellers and UK-based financial advisors to meet the world’s most luxurious developments under one roof. No-one would argue that London (where the event has taken place for over 10 years) is centre stage for luxury real estate. We are perfectly placed to connect every corner of the world.

What can visitors expect from the exhibition?

This year is pivotal for us. As a new team, we are taking the show to the next level, showing visitors that investing in real estate and finding the perfect second-home is not only about the real estate itself, it’s also about the location, the tax regimes and, most importantly, the lifestyle.

How do you define the luxury lifestyle?

We’re creating a unique interactive experience for visitors at Olympia, showcasing the finer things in life. Examples include golf simulator sessions with our partner Golfzone, welcome champagne from Champagne Piaff, and an F1 simulator too. We’re finalising other fine food and wine tasting experiences, so watch this space. I can also reveal that we’ll be running a number of lifestyle workshops and seminars to help visitors with plans to move abroad, invest in luxury real estate and learn about world’s most tax-efficient regimes.

How will the show differ from previous years?

The quality, spectrum and location breadth of exhibitors is a seminal shift. We have fantastic coverage from Portugal, France, Spain, Gibraltar as well as the USA, Italy, the Middle East, Mauritius plus investment-led opportunities from all over the world. We will be covering the UK very well too, in what is an interesting time for British property. We have also teamed up with tax specialists given the uncertain political climate in the UK.

This year’s sponsors and partners include Rightmove & Abode2 and we’re collaborating with other London based private members clubs. Apart from a change in the mix of exhibitors and countries, the visitor experience will be very different to that of the previous years: every visitor will be able to enjoy new “experiences”.

What are you particularly looking forward to at this year’s show?

Personally, I am really looking forward to welcoming exhibitors attending for the first time. We’ll be partnering with the likes of Sothebys and Christies as well as Manoirs & Chateaux, Abels Movers, Blevins Franks and Corcoran from New York.

Tell us about the Smart Group and your brands. How do they stand out from what is a very competitive marketplace?

The Smart Group has several brands in its portfolio. All have one thing in common and that’s “helping to reduce risk”. Whether you’re a private or corporate client, engaging with Smart Currency Premier and Smart Currency Business, we will always talk to you about the risks you may be facing. Risks come in many forms and are all too often overlooked. One thing is guaranteed - we’ll always work hard to understand your risks. Then we’ll work with you to eliminate these via a range of tools available to our clients, and by putting together a bespoke partnership strategy.

Many of The Luxury Property Show exhibitors will know by now that our sole aim is to work with them on a partnership basis. With countdown to the October event well underway - we’re making great progress. One of the added-value exhibitor offerings is a complimentary listing on our Luxury Property Selection, which is a focused property portal attached to The Luxury Property Show itself.

What can we expect to see from the Smart Group in the future?

I’ve been delighted to see our group and brands grow organically. We’re also looking to forge additional partnerships within the UK, especially with tax advisory and accountancy firms. We’re acutely aware of the opportunities which exist in the UK, especially with British property continuing to attract international investment. The future is bright despite uncertain times in the UK.

Part of Smart’s portfolio of brands is The Overseas Guides Company – which will be very interesting for our readers. Tell us a bit about the company

The Overseas Guides Company with its rich story and consumer offering, is one of the UK’s longest established and most trusted sources of information on how to buy property overseas safely. It was established in 2004, as a direct response to the tragic experience of one of the founder’s in-laws whose life savings were taken by a rogue developer in Spain without the property being delivered. Sadly, she wasn’t the only one. So, 15 years ago we vowed to help British people (and indeed anyone else) buy property in a different country safely. That includes producing easy-to-follow, step-by-step guides to buying safely in all of our favourite overseas destinations.

Over the years we’ve also developed a panel of the most trusted agents, developers, property lawyers and other specialists. We can recommend them to our readers, clients who call us, roadshow and website visitors. We’re very proud of the fact that we’re able to help buyers find the right property abroad and bring joy to the whole experience safely with our recommended partners.

What can we expect to see from The Overseas Guides Company in the future?

I may be revealing too much here, but we are really excited about the ability to help even more property buyers worldwide. Our guides and content are written in English, however we’re in talks with several companies about the ability to provide this content in other languages. In addition, we’re in the process of developing tools for our clients and readers so that they can have even easier route to finding and buying a property abroad.

Can you give us some top tips for moving abroad?

Definitely. Get a good team on your side. We recommend that buyers gather what we call their “Golden Three”. First, that means a reputable agent or developer. Second, appoint an English-speaking lawyer. Third, use a currency and payments specialist that understands the unique challenges of buying property. Get these three elements right, and you’ll have no problem finding and buying that dream property abroad.

Where in the world is a great location to buy at the moment?

That’s the million-dollar question. I’d say that wherever you have set your heart on buying is a great location. At the Luxury Property Show we’ll be bringing together real estate agents and developers from all over the world. There’ll be something of interest whether you’re looking for a pure investment, a second residence or you’re moving lock, stock and barrel. Personally, I still see Spain and France as being hugely popular with British buyers. Not least because they tick all three boxes so well – investment, holiday home and retirement/relocation. Personally, I like the look of Portugal as a great place to invest too. As for Brexit, for wealthy clients I don’t see it as being an issue at all. There are so many ways to protect your freedom of movement – this will all be covered in seminars at the event.

Visit the Luxury Property Show website for more information: www.theluxurypropertyshow.com

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