Getting our Claus out

Christmas Feature
This year we’ve made Christmas and Santa Claus come a little earlier. Who would not want to have his magical powers? That’s why at the end of November we gave a few of the biggest names in the sector the chance to be in his snow boots once, even if only in a break between meetings

Even though most of December, which can sometimes drag on with its short and grey days, still lies ahead of us, more often it is usually associated with Christmas time and the chance for a bit of rest and relaxation. This is also what we tend to wish others – and not only during the festive season. And what would our editorial Santa Clauses want to give if they had his powers? One would like some frost and snow for Christmas, because the wintery weather has usually not arrived in Poland by December 25th. Another Santa, by contrast, would like to give the country a year-round Mediterranean climate as a Christmas present. The list of gifts also includes: a magic button for solving all problems, the strength to fight against all health problems and for all your dreams and whatever you love, enough time for everything, and times that are more peaceful – because the ones we are living in are falling somewhat short of this. We would also wish you some peace and quiet at Christmas, much laughter and smiling, and yet more free time – if only for reading ‘Eurobuild CEE’.

And what would our real estate celebrities like to put on their sleigh if the red clothes, hat, beard and a team of reindeers were actually real? Find out in the comments below.

Grzegorz Czekaj, director, Galeria Echo:

This is what I would give to the people that surround me: the customers of Galeria Echo would be given unique vouchers and additional lotteries, competitions, concerts and games would take place throughout December. Meanwhile, the tenants of Galeria Echo would receive some rest in a place of their choice, anywhere in the world, As there would be even more customers in their shops than normally and Santa Claus’ helpers would be in charge of all the calculations. There would also be presents for all our partners and associates. I would also allow everyone in our sector to finally find more time for themselves and their close ones.

Czarek Jarząbek, president, Golub GetHouse:

As Santa Claus I would give my team the option of taking days off at any given time for any length of time while providing them with the possibility of working on exciting new projects and buildings. Next, I would wish general contractors flexible schedules and I would give all tenants the best space with the most comfortable working conditions. Our business partners and competitors would receive the most inspiring possibilities for the development of modern Warsaw. Merry Christmas!

Jonathan Steer, senior director, building consultancy, CBRE:

If I was Father Christmas I would love to be able to give the gift of “Christmas Spirit” to all people. We all have our own view of what the phrase Christmas Spirit encapsulates, but for me, and especially this year, it is being able to look beyond your own individual cares and concerns and reach out to others who are not as blessed or are in need. This year saw the biggest movement of refugees and displaced people since the Second World War, creating a huge humanitarian crisis. So please look beyond your prejudice and self-protection to offer a helping hand to the many who do not have the possibility of being in their own homes this Christmas. I wish all your readers a Merry Christmas and a peaceful 2016.

Sandra Wróblewska, senior business development manager, Kajima Poland:

If I were Santa Claus I would give:

Investors – staggering returns on this year’s investments, so that they could pay developers more money for new projects;

Developers – cheaper land and financing, rapidly obtained permits and a queue of tenants for new projects so that they can hire the contractors.

Contractors – simple projects, low prices of materials and efficient subcontractors;

Agents – higher volumes, more expensive buildings, easier transactions and faster closings so that they can offer more projects to investors;

Tenants – more contracts and orders because somebody has to ultimately pay for all that.

Marek Łukasik, project manager, Kajima Poland: On top of that I would add one extra hour a day for everyone to be used in any way they want.

Richard Aboo, partner, head of office agency, Cushman & Wakefield: Santa’s present this year to all is “more time”. More time to live, more time to smile, more time to hug your loved ones and more time to celebrate life and all one’s achievements, be they big or small!

Michał Sternicki, general manager Poland, Aareal Bank:

As Santa Claus I would give everyone the gift of more smiling. Particularly considering the fact that the current events all over the world, of a political and economic nature, don’t incline people to smiling. This is why we should smile more against all the odds and pessimistic moods!

Arkadiusz Rudzki, leasing & asset director, Skanska Property Poland:

Representatives of the real estate sector would get bicycles from me so that they could reach their workplaces fast and actively. Thanks to this they would not only be on time but they would also be happier, healthier and would make a contribution to the sustainable development of Polish cities. And then after an annual usage report I would know who deserves an electric car.

Bartek Włodarski, director of tenant representation, Knight Frank:

Not just this year but every December, this is a special time, may everyone remember. For you Santa Claus wishes, all the best dishes. And the gifts under the tree, bring joy to your family. That your hard-earned money, will flow like honey. Let your hearts rejoice but lift up your eyes – soon a magical sleigh will be hitting the skies!

Izabela Potrykus-Czachowicz, regional director and partner, Knight Frank:

(From one of Santa’s elves) Many presents and fun, in the year yet to come! All your dreams shall come true, and you’re never left blue. Best wishes to you wherever you go, but the time has now come to go out in the snow. We are eager to give you our positive energy – in the form of the presents to put under your Christmas tree. Santa is already de-icing the sleigh, may all you get what you wish for.

Karol Bartos, executive director, portfolio & asset management, Tristan Capital Partners:

If I were Santa Claus...

I would give all my family and friends from the real estate market a peaceful and warm Christmas, devoid of any professional stress. I would give their bosses a sense of financial freedom, so that they give pay rises and promotions freely. Brokers would be given higher margins, lawyers would get a 40-hour working week, investors would be given dizzyingly high returns and journalists an inexhaustible source of rumours. Finally, some developers would get a calculator instead of Santa’s rod [how naughty children are traditionally punished at Christmas in Poland]... Just kidding. Merry Christmas!

Sebastian Bedekier, regional director Poznań, regional markets, Colliers International:

I hope Poland continues to shine and attract new investors with its light. I hope Warsaw continues to grow strong and it sometimes shares the strength with other cities in Poland and I hope Colliers continues to be as vital and energetic as it has been so far and improves like the form of Poland’s footballers in the Euro 2016 qualifiers.

Tomasz Trzósło, managing director, JLL Polska:

If I was Santa Claus I would like to give people what is most important for them – good health to the ill, jobs to the unemployed, happiness to the depressed, and self-confidence to the timid.

May everything untangle

– all conflicts and wrangles

And all of life’s glitches

unfasten like hitches

And our pride and our follies

Amuse us like dollies

(Fr. Jan Twardowski)