Olivier de Treglode, founder and CEO of LPS, tells us more about the behaviors of China-based homebuyers as well as the future of LPS and the next editions to come in Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen and Chengdu.
The sixth consecutive edition of LPS will be held in Shanghai this coming December 6-8 at the JC Mandarin Shanghai. What will be the highlights of this coming edition?
Olivier de Treglode: Our team is working hard to make sure that LPS Shanghai 2013 will present a truly spectacular panel of luxury homes. The most important goal for us is to able to present a selection that is diverse, prestigious, and truly international.
Diversity is achieved by bringing a large range of widely contrasting property types: tropical villas, ski resorts, modern luxury condominiums, historical chateaux, chic apartments in the world’s busiest capitals, secluded private islands. We feel that bringing such contrasts and variety to the show gives our Chinese homebuyers with more inspiration and ideas on where to find the property of their dreams.
And of course, diversity also comes in the form of diverse locations. We work hard to have properties from as many countries and cities as possible, and we will have over 30 countries represented at this year’s LPS Shanghai.
Another key aspect for us is to focus on bringing high-quality companies and brands that have a well-established reputation for excellence. This ensures that the properties showcased are of the highest standards, and that the purchasing process will be safe for our high-profile Chinese homebuyers.
That’s why we’re delighted to welcome important names such as Sotheby’s International Realty, Keller Williams, Re/Max, Coldwell Banker, Re/Max, and also some less famous but prestigious boutique companies who are leaders in their respective markets.
LPS is a “luxury property show”. But how do you define what is and what is not a luxury property?
Olivier de Treglode: The definition of a luxury property might indeed vary from one homebuyer to another, according to their different expectations in terms in lifestyle, location, architecture and price.
At LPS, we try to keep an open approach to how we define luxury property, but at the same time we do make sure that only premium high-end homes are being showcased.
To us, a luxury property generally has a distinct combination of desirable qualities: a favorable location, a lifestyle that it offers its inhabitants, unique architecture, and also the emotional factor that can create a very special link between the buyer and his home.
I think the most important thing about a luxury property is its uniqueness and its ability to meet the expectations of its owner.
Many LPS exhibitors are returning exhibitors who have participated in several shows. What keeps them coming back?
Olivier de Treglode: While everyone knows that the China market has huge potential, it’s not an easy market to enter and develop. Companies who exhibited at our previous events know that LPS is the best platform to efficiently interact with Chinese luxury homebuyers.
We are working hand in hand with our exhibitors not only during the show, but also before and after the show, to maximize the opportunities for them to network with investors and homebuyers. I believe that the privileged relations that we have with our exhibitors, together with the concrete results and sales resulting from our shows, are the key reasons why exhibitors come back and exhibit again at LPS.
Countries such as China, USA, Australia or Canada have always been among the most represented countries at LPS, and since then, many more countries have joined the show. How do you explain this increasing number of countries represented at LPS?
Olivier de Treglode: Countries such as USA or Australia have always been favorite destinations for Chinese homebuyers. As the China market is becoming more mature, the expectations from Chinese homebuyers are also becoming more diverse, as homebuyers are increasingly more aware of the advantages of investing in other countries.
Many countries now have a card to play in attracting Chinese buyers and that’s why countries such as Spain, Cyprus, Portugal, Thailand or France have been more and more popular over the last years at our shows. We are still welcoming new countries at every edition of LPS, the recent ones including Burma, Finland, Latvia or Montenegro.
As information is becoming more and more available, more countries, regions and cities will be able to attract buyers and investors from China, and naturally, even more countries will be exhibiting at LPS in the future.
There are many property shows held all over the world, and more and more property shows are being held in China. What makes LPS different than other real estate exhibitions?
Olivier de Treglode: LPS is targeting a different market than other property shows and has a totally different concept. Our market is a niche market, entirely focused on luxury homes and targeting only Chinese HNWI and UHNWI homebuyers and investors.
To answer the specific needs of our target audience and the specificities of our core market, we have implemented a whole concept, which goes beyond being just a property show. We have created a unique environment and atmosphere that highlights the unique beauty of a luxury home and rich lifestyle associated with owning one.
To create such an exclusive environment we need to pay attention to every detail. From choosing a luxury venue (always located in the heart of the city to provide easy access for our VIP home buyers) to designing high-end show invitations, publishing our glossy show magazine to ensuring our exhibition booths are of the highest quality, every aspect of LPS needs to be of the highest standard in order to conform to our show concept.
Our show is invitation-only and several high-end events are held throughout the three-day show. These include our LPS Gala cocktail and our VIP Buyers reception, as well as many other exclusive events.
This show allows luxury homebuyers to interact with prestigious real estate brokers in a chic yet comfortable atmosphere, and this has a great impact on the success of our events.
How did you come up with the concept of LPS?
Olivier de Treglode: We noticed that Chinese homebuyers have a growing appetite for international luxury properties and at the same time, that there was an absence of a real platform for them to directly interact with luxury homes specialists from all over the world.
In talking and sharing ideas with VIPs and luxury homebuyers from all over China, we realized that they needed both information and inspiration. That’s why we decided to create LPS as a platform not only to allow them to network with prestigious developers and brokers from all over the world, but also to allow them to find inspiration by browsing spectacular luxury properties, some of the world’s most outstanding estates available for sale.
What are the next steps in the future development of LPS?
Olivier de Treglode: In addition to LPS Shanghai and LPS Beijing, we will launch in 2014 the first edition of LPS Shenzhen. Having three shows every year in Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzhen will allow us to cover the key cities in Northern, Eastern and Southern China. The next step for us will then be to cover Western China, and we have our sights on a LPS Chengdu in the future.
We are very confident in the Chinese market, and therefore we aim to bring the show to more and more locations. Cities such as Hangzhou, Xiamen, Tianjin and Wenzhou are all interesting to us as potential show sites for the near future.