Last month, I caught up with one of Asia’s better-known real estate fund managers for tea in the trendy Shoreditch area of London. Used to seeing the man suited, I was thrown when he greeted me donning hipster trainers, skinny jeans and a loose T-shirt.

Resisting the temptation to question his attire, I asked him instead why we were convening in the café of a serviced office for tech and other kinds of creative companies, and in an area like Shoreditch. This part of London is hardly known for institutional grade opportunities.

Actually he wanted to open his firm’s European headquarters in the neighbourhood. He also wanted to work with the operating business running that particular office.

By his reckoning, engaging with this kind of occupier was a conduit to making his office portfolio more popular among some of the most important occupiers in the market – not the financial services or law firms, but the innovators of this world.

He was preoccupied with understanding what occupational trends are and will be popular. Well, we care about that too.

Indeed, the popularization of real estate is a theme that permeates this month’s package of PERE magazines.

In this March issue, there’s a focus on Blackstone’s sold-out gig at New York’s Waldorf Astoria in which the sector’s most popular firm presented its latest global opportunity fund before apportioning $10 billion of positions in it.

Naturally, the Annual Review and Awards special magazine contains the most popular stories ran in 2014 as well as a comprehensive run-through of the firms and individuals whose activities in the year proved so popular you crowned them award winners.

And, in the Future for Real Estate special report, which we have run with TIAA-Henderson Real Estate, you’ll discover how some of the brightest minds at the firm are contemplating the demographic trends that will inform the popular real estate decision-making of tomorrow. That report is trying to provoke blue-sky thinking when engaging with the private real estate sector. So was my Asian fund manager in Shoreditch. Both understand investing in ‘popular’ must be at the heart of what they do. That’s why we track their exploits.


Enjoy the issue,

Jonathan Brasse

Senior Editor