Whilst the Expo Real 2008 was strongly influenced by the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, the following years showed a much more positive investment climate, which was also reflected in the mood of the participants.

This year, the market atmosphere leading up to the Expo Real is indeed very positive again. Although some politicians, media representatives and even big bankers have tried to suggest an impending economic apocalypse – the German property market has shown itself resilient against the negative news focused on the euro crisis or the poor economic performance of the U.S. and remains solid. In the first half of 2011, according to the IVD, the transaction volume compared to same period last year increased by almost 20% to over € 80 billion EUR (excluding share deals).

The current low interest rates and prices make market entry attractive. In the current market environment, the German Angst has passed – especially fears from individual’s own job loss or from a weakening in the economy. This results in a strong purchasing power whilst prices remain relatively high. In addition, currently there is simply a lack of viable other alternative investment options. The volatility of the stock market, fueled heavily by currency speculations and global instabilities, contributes to the move to the “real estate” asset class.

Expo Real is historically a working trade fair where many transactions are finalised. Afterwards follows the appointment of appropriate external service providers or the appropriate hiring of qualified employees. The continued optimism of market participants and the lasting commitment to the German market from national and international investors, however, has created a much more competitive environment to attract skilled and experienced cross-cultural property specialists.

Companies must once again work very hard to find suitable skilled workers and retain them. To place a simple advert on major online job boards and/or print media outlet will not yield enough results to fill a vacancy effectively and efficiently. Especially for international companies that have no subsidiaries in Germany yet, the market entry is tough. More and more companies are therefore in need of industry-specific professional recruiters to identify suitable candidates. They not only approach potential employees directly, but rather they consult the company in the entire recruitment process to overcome potential hazards such as counter- or buyback offers. These specialised firms can ensure that key positions do not stay vacant for long.

If you want to invest in Germany, do it now. The competition for talent will increase and make it harder over the next few years.

Cobalt Recruitment is the world leading recruitment consultancy for the real estate, construction and finance industries. 
In Germany, Cobalt has offices in Berlin, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt am Main. It advises national and international clients in finding suitable candidates for tasks along the entire value chain of real estate.

By Richard-Emanuel Goldhahn, Head of Cobalt Recruitment in Germany