Scottish Letting Day 2019
A record number of attendees flocked to our new-look annual conference and exhibition at Dynamic Earth in November 2019 where we saw the introduction of our newly rebranded annual conference and trade exhibition, Scottish Letting Day, at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh.
Building on the success of previous National Landlord Day and The Agency Business conferences, the launch of our new event continued to be the largest gathering of letting professionals in Scotland, breaking records as our biggest event to date. The conference was bustling with landlords, letting agents and letting professionals from across Scotland, all keen to learn what is new and essential within the industry and what is coming next for the sector.
The launch of our new conference brought a redesigned format to the day, replacing the main plenary with six different speaker sessions running concurrently over each of the seven time slots, allowing delegates to tailor the day to their interests. With a variety of private rented sector (PRS) stakeholders present, there were sessions targeting specifically letting agents or landlords or both, ensuring something for everyone.
The day started differently for those who had been to Dynamic Earth with us before owing to our new format. With delegates in six different rooms across the venue, some having braved the venue’s rainforest exhibit on their way, an introductory video from our chief executive John Blackwood welcoming delegates was played in each of the rooms before the speaker programme commenced.
Starting off the day in the Biosphere Green was Douglas Collingham, from TC Young Solicitors, exploring what letting agents need to think about when they are purchasing or selling businesses. Elsewhere, Steve Cox from Alan Boswell Group was discussing property insurance, Thomas Ashdown from Citylets was examining the market trends from 2019 and Elspeth Boyle from Landlord Accreditation Scotland was delivering a taster training session for letting agents.
Following a quick changeover, the second sessions of the day began. In the Ozone, our exhibitor speaker room, Kevin Dempsey from Legionella Edinburgh resolved any confusion around legionella, followed by Mike Smith from SafeDeposits Scotland who discussed the new amendments and initiatives put in place, as well as the work carried out by the SafeDeposits Scotland Charitable Trust. Meanwhile, Lucy Stone and Cecilia Parker Aranha from the Competition and Markets Authority were helping letting agents stay on the right side of competition and consumer protection law, while Anna Evans from Indigo House was encouraging people to give their opinion and perspectives on the PRS.
Another changeover and our resident SAL advice team, Caroline Elgar and Gail Bowden, were centre stage answering delegates’ burning questions. Meanwhile, Jackie Fraser from Chiene + Tait talked us through a tax return, Scott Restrick from Energy Action Scotland unwrapped the meaning of an EPC and Marianne McJannett from TC Young Solicitors gave us an update on employment law.
Then it was time for a well-deserved lunch, a chance to meet the exhibitors and to network. For our inaugural Scottish Letting Day exhibition, we had everything from deposit schemes and property management systems to virtual reality on offer. There were more than 40 exhibitors, all keen to show how they could help improve our delegates’ rental business and property portfolios. There was a definite buzz in the Stratosphere as business was done and stomachs were filled, preparing for the packed afternoon speaker timetable.
Kicking off the afternoon sessions were May Millward and Amanda Rigby-Greenhaugh from Scottish Mediation, guiding us on managing conflict with tenants. Elsewhere, Kirsty Leonard from Leonard Property Group was giving her insights on succeeding in the property market, while Fiona Watson from Paris Steele made landlords aware of the importance of succession planning for protecting their properties.
After another changeover, it was time for Kate Faulkner to outline her self-defence strategies for prospering in light of rent controls and the buy-to-let backlash and for SAL’s own Gail Bowden to explain the private residential tenancy. Stephen McAlaney and Gordon Spowage from Home Energy Scotland highlighted some of the support available to meet new EPC requirements. Then it was time for an afternoon break and a further opportunity to meet our exhibitors.
Returning to our final speaker sessions and it was time for SAL chief executive John Blackwood to update us on what the future holds for the PRS in Scotland, while Paul McFadden from Paul McFadden Wealth helped us to ensure we maximise opportunities in the event of a market crash.
Before we knew it, it was the last sessions of the day and Miles Duncan from LinkedIn Success Systems was ensuring our first digital impression was our best on LinkedIn, while Claire Mullen from TC Young Solicitors was providing some insight on what to expect at the First-tier Tribunal (Housing and Property Chamber).
Coats were then collected, exhibitor stands dismantled and delegates made their way home following a successful and informative day, which covered everything from tax and insurance to proptech and social media.
The launch of our new event also saw the addition of an exhibition evening on the Monday night preceding the full-day conference. This provided a relaxed environment for people to browse the exhibition, taking the pressure off of trying to do everything in one day. It allowed delegates more time to speak to our exhibitors and make the most of the event. With drinks flowing and snacks aplenty, this was a great start to, and celebration of, our new event.
We would like to thank our headline sponsors Alan Boswell Group, Citylets, The Letting Protection Service Scotland, SafeDeposits Scotland and TC Young Solicitors for their continued support and help in making the entire event a success.
Our exhibition evening was only possible thanks to the generous support of PayProp and Vouch, our evening sponsors.
Finally, our thanks also go to 3mc, our Ozone room sponsor, and again to TC Young Solicitors for their sponsorship of the Biosphere Green.