The event takes place on Thursday 19 September at Bike Park Wales, in Merthyr Tydfill. “I’ve got some places left, but not many,” said organiser Samuel Empson, sales and marketing director at PropList. “We’re inviting asset managers, surveyors, investment companies, private investors – we're trying to make it as broad as we can. We’re putting people up so we want them to come from all over the country.
“Networking events are prevalent in our industry. I wanted to do something a bit different. I’m a massive mountain biking fan. There is so much for road cyclists but I’ve not seen a single event for mountain bikers. Property leans towards road cycling because it’s is easier to just take the bike out of the garage and start riding. But there are a lot of people mountain biking.”
PropBike is covering the costs for 150 guests to choose from around 40 descents from the 491m peak of Myndd Gethin, with coaches for beginners and course guides for more advanced riders. Each rider will have enough time to complete up to a dozen runs. Coaching, bike hire, helmet and padding, lunch, dinner and drinks are included, as well as transport and hotel rooms for the night of the event. A charity auction will take place to raise money for the Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team.
“It’s about the networking,” Empson told Velocity. “The people you meet at events like this, you tend to stay in contact with the rest of your career. And an event like this gives you something to talk about when you come to the networking bit in the evening.”
The event will mark the re-launch of the PropList online commercial property search engine. “It’s a complete redesign,” said Empson. “The whole back end and the way the site works, to make it more efficient."
“We’re not reinventing the wheel but we’re partnering with very good companies, bringing products in via open API [Application Programming Interface – the code that allows apps to communicate with each other]. The ability to do 2D, 3D, virtual tours, for a set cost per property, as a one-off cost that agents can charge-on to clients. And if you want to put the content on your own website or on other property search sites then fine, we’re not precious about it.”
The redesign will sharpen PropList's already focused approach to the specifics of commercial property searches, as opposed to residential, Empson said. “Resi is about location plus requirements: price, number of bedrooms. But with commercial you’re not looking for the exact thing you want. Often you get a shell that you fit-out. Your options for location are wider – it’s more about transport routes than places. And searchers might be looking for development or investment potential – the ability to turn it into something else, such as resi or, for investment, the cost vs return plus the amount of work you need to put into it.”
Empson said PropList’s database has surged in the last 18 months, from 1,000 properties and 500 visitors a month, to over 35,000 properties and 65,000 monthly visits.
"PropBike is a PR exercise for us," he said. "For the last year we’ve been focused on bringing agents to the site, but now were focused on end users, occupiers, investors, developers – the people who will use the site to find property.”