Friday Letter The polls are open

Which firms stood out from the real estate crowd in the past year? Which deals epitomised 2009? Who should be crowned industry figure of the year? Have your say in the PERE Awards 2009. By Zoe Hughes  

What will 2009 be remembered for? A year when global property valuations fell through the floor, when banks continued in their reluctance to lend and when some of the biggest real estate deals closed at the height of the market started to unravel. Undoubtedly yes.

However, 2009 will also be remembered as a year when real estate investing once again became a truly opportunistic sport. A year when returns were earned not merely through cap rate compression and financial engineering, but through adding value. Real estate, as one market participant told PERE earlier this year, is back in the hands of the real estate professionals.

But which professionals are we speaking about? Which firms shone in 2009 as they came through the worst real estate recession in a generation and which deals captured the imagination of a global industry? This is where PERE asks you to decide.

In launching the PERE Awards 2009, we are asking you, our readers, to nominate and vote for the people, deals and organisations you feel most deserve recognition in 2009.

The rules are simple. All you have to do is click here to go to our awards website and choose which region you’d like to vote in – Global, North America, Europe or Asia.

You can vote for as many, or as few, categories as you wish. And you don’t have to vote in every region or category: just the ones relevant to you. But remember, you can only vote once and you can't vote for your own firm.

To aid the voting process this year, we have presented four suggestions in each award – but the fifth box is the most important. If you believe an alternative person, deal or firm should win, use your vote to say so. Voting will stay open until 22 January, 2010, with the results published simultaneously on and in PERE magazine in March 2010.

Why should you vote? The PERE Awards is the only global private real estate investment and finance awards voted on entirely by the industry. We pride ourselves on the fact there is no absolutely sponsorship. It’s all down to your vote … so make it count.