Locale at MIPIM 2018

Our Head of Sales and Marketing, Jack, shares his thoughts on our recent trip to MIPIM 2018…









The Locale team took some time out to visit MIPIM 2018 in Cannes last month. 24,000 visitors and 3,100 exhibitors made for a very busy 4 days.

The main focus of this year’s MIPIM was on the increase in global urbanisation. People continue to gravitate towards the cities, no matter at what stage in life, and there was much discussion on what impact this will have on new cities and buildings, and our existing city property stock. The next stage, and where our focus lies, is then educating the property market to be prepared for this shift.

Better performing properties with improved monitoring meant that data and its analysis was another trend and an absolute key consideration for property managers and owners. Coming from the data world, I was fascinated to see how much similarity there is in this new industry for me, compared to the more established world of IT. Data brings actionable insight which, when well presented, will help the property market adapt to these new challenges and trends.


Not only is MIPIM a magnificent place to learn, it also brings the opportunity to meet new and old friends in a beautiful location and discuss business and of course pleasure! We had so many successful meetings and will definitely be back at MIPIM 2019.

Looking forward to seeing you next year!

Locale on the Loose!

Last Tuesday the Locale team headed to Oxford Castle to take part in their Jailbreak Escape Room as our latest staff social. One of our developers, Justin, shares his account of the evening… 

Collared to put up ‘two sentences’ for the weekly blog, I briefly considered the subject matter: a recent outing to Oxford Castle’s ‘Escape Room’. Egged on by the mellifluous sounds filtering through from The Bear next door, I hastily penned the following in an email to the editor and hit SEND:

1. We got locked up.

2. We escaped.

3. Nothing. There is no third thing…

Job done! I’m off home for tea and medals (via The Bear!).

Or so I thought… SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed) called me over & I was invited to step into her office; The door was closed and there was a click followed by a soft hum and, as the glass panels went opaque, all sounds from the rest of the office faded away. Is this ever a good sign? Er… No.

This is never a good sign. This is never, EVER a good sign.

It doesn’t take Einstein to realise that praise does not require a hermetically sealed room with sound-proofing turned ON and any chance of witnesses actually being able to witness anything, turned OFF. My mind races and I’m hit by the sudden recollection of a little bit of typically, utterly unbelievable office gossip that now seems all too real; a coffee machine moment intimating the editor’s former career as an interrogation consultant to the security services. Who the hell ‘consults’ in this line of work? Bones broken and teeth extracted at £5 each, 3 for a tenner & I’ll throw in the fingernails…? It’s Albert Pierrepoint all over again, being this country’s longest serving hangman wasn’t his day job (greengrocer by day, publican by night), it was his hobby! I’m staring down the barrel of a rendition flight to Gitmo and a sartorially challenging orange jumpsuit (it turns out that I didn’t escape that little gem as you’ll soon discover) and my mind is accelerating furiously in reverse for that J-turn to see if I had remembered to pack the parachute. No, of course I hadn’t.

In a word, #*$@!

Now on the receiving end of a fusillade of rainbow invective, I have insight into Captain Nolan’s first thought when he realised the Light Brigade had taken a bit of a wrong turn. Sounds like ‘duck’.

In fact, I suspect it was probably more like an allegro assai of ‘Duck! Duck! Duck! Duck! Duck! Duck!’ But I digress…

I couldn’t possibly lay such invective before your sensitive eyes, dear readers but suffice it to say that I was subjected to a raised eyebrow and a stern look that I once heard referred to as a ‘glare’. Hell hath no fury and all that… But I am an intelligent man; I’ve been about a bit; I’ve seen this look before and can read between the lines – she was slightly miffed. What was all the fuss about, I wondered? Asked for two sentences I delivered three. Short, to the point and humorous – the perfect delivery reminiscent of Truman and Underwood or even today’s young gun, #613 Anderson. Surely worse things have happened at sea?

With a heavy sigh and her Zen dialed up to 11, I was invited to review, for my edification, recent submissions by esteemed colleagues, consider my position and resubmit. You and I both know this wasn’t an ‘invitation’ and I slunk off to peruse the blog and be duly ‘edified’. 350 words!??! It’s meant to be a short anecdote, not the OED! Bloody do-gooders…

So, what did happen, that fateful Tuesday evening?

It was a dark and stormy night… well, no, it wasn’t, but I thought I’d grab your attention.

It all began with a warning order that everyone had 5 minutes to wind up that thing they pretended to call ‘work’ (Ha! As if…) and be ready to leave – promptly. Some 20 minutes later the shore party finally disembarked the good ship Blue Boar and, pausing briefly for a gargle at one of the many taverns en route, arrived at Oxford Castle to be presented with a glass of wine (I sense a pattern here).

X-Rays and strip-searches robbed us of all contraband: padlock keys (duh!), metal files, rope ladders, crockery set, cuddly toy, general escape equipment and the like. Our host delivered a most illuminating instruction in the form of “You have to escape” at which point the gaoler arrived to incarcerate this motley collection of miscreants.

On entry to the cell, team Locale pooled their amoebic minds (I hear yells of ‘Speak for yourself!’) into a functioning collective and dove into a series of conundrums involving, amongst other things, a map, a game of scrabble, some coins, a jigsaw puzzle, a deck of cards, a couple of substitution ciphers, some more coins, a Ouija board and a walkie-talkie in a hamster cage. Given that the previous occupant of the cage had clearly managed to leg it, we felt confident. After all, if a hamster could do it… and WE still had our glasses of wine!


There was some head scratching and frustrated lock rattling and at one point, there was even a brief discussion that someone should fall on their sword to effect a suitable distraction. TDC was volunteered, she’s always threatening to stab someone – KARMA! 🙂 In the end, this ignoble sacrifice wasn’t necessary and, without giving the game away for those who have not yet had the pleasure, the sequence of clues was successfully navigated in the right order(ish), leading to the necking a bottle of gin and bribery with cold, hard cash. As if by magic, a pile of the aforementioned sartorially challenging orange (I can’t bring myself to call it cloth) appeared and everyone donned their ‘disguises’.

It was at this point that the team briefly departed reality as a dozen Oompa-Loompahs in badly fitting and, frankly, visually shocking onesies made their bid for freedom. The gaoler must have been blind, drunk, and probably blind drunk to think that this dubious crew were, in her reality, a team of contractors coming off shift – she even held the door open!







Once back in the sanctuary of the Castle reception area (and, I note, tactically placed gift shop!), contraband was returned and normality resumed, well, in terms of clothing that is. The team were proud to hear that Locale now held the record as the quickest team to complete the escape and, on a personal note of glory, I was the only person they had seen complete the map challenge without help. So there! (it wasn’t that hard…)

In conclusion:

1. We got locked up.

2. We escaped.

3. Nothing. There is no third thing…

An Interview With Our Senior Project Manager

Locale is hiring a Project Assistant,  so we grabbed five minutes with our Senior Project Manager Jade, to get a feel for what a prospective candidate can expect from a career in our Production department.

What’s your role & how do you contribute to the business?

As Senior Project Manager, I assist with the management of the core product and oversee the successful end-to-end delivery of all projects. The role involves regular contact with client stakeholders, building new product features and functionality, configuring modules and drinking lots of great coffee!

What do you see as being the most challenging part of your job?

Juggling multiple deadlines, but it keeps things interesting and no day is ever the same!

We are recruiting for a Project Assistant within your department, describe the person you feel would be best suited to the role and the company.

We’re a close-knit and passionate team. Someone with plenty of personality and who is excited to be a part of Locale’s ongoing success would be an ideal fit. The ideal candidate will be a tenacious and a fast learner and keen to hit the ground running. Organisational skills are a must too as there’s often a lot of things happening at once!

What has been your best moment since joining Locale?

I was really proud and excited when the first piece of custom work that I had been involved in scoping out was delivered to clients. As a project manager, there’s a great deal of satisfaction in finalising a project that addresses a client’s needs and offers daily efficiencies.

Why should someone consider working for Locale?

It’s fun and fast-paced! Our clients and our product are always evolving – it’s exciting to be part of the Locale team.

If you think you’re a good fit for this role, head over to our Careers page for more information.

An Interview With Our Lead Developer

We are currently looking to hire a Mid-Level Developer, so to give prospective candidates an insight into what we’re looking for and what they can expect from a career at Locale, we grabbed five minutes with our lead developer Jonathan!

What’s your role & how do you contribute to the business?

As Lead Developer, I am responsible for managing the development team and selecting the right platform and methodologies for future work.

What do you see as being the most challenging part of your job?

Prioritising work has always been a challenge as we inherited a large amount of legacy code from the previous developers and we are always juggling the requirements of our individual clients with what is best for the future of the overall product.

We are recruiting for a developer within your department, describe the person you feel would be best suited to the role and the company.

While we are always on the look-out for the “perfect developer”, it is important to understand that we are still a small team, with a lot of involvement with the rest of the company.  Being a PHP master or a Linux ninja is just as important as taking part in the annual office “bake-off” and posting entertaining photos of dogs in the Slack channel.

What has been your best moment since joining Locale?

During a meeting with a client, someone made an off-hand comment about being a “bug fixing genius” and so an acronym was coined.  At our annual Christmas party, the development team were presented with “BFG” t-shirts in recognition of our contribution to Locale’s success!

Why should someone consider working for Locale?

We are a small and dynamic team of people with an exciting client base – all tucked away in an office on one of Oxford’s cobbled streets and across the way from the city’s oldest pub.  We also have regular staff social events, a fridge full of beer in the kitchen and an awesome coffee machine plus benefits that include healthcare and discounted gym membership, what more could you ask for!

If you think you’re a good fit for this role, head over to our Careers page for more information.

Another Engagement In The Locale Office!

Love is in the air, once again, here in the office! Hannah, one of our Project Managers, returned from the festive break with the fabulous news that she and her boyfriend, Jack, had got engaged!

The pair had been away to Venice together over New Years, and he proposed on their first day in the city. While they don’t have a specific date set yet, they hope to tie the knot in 2019.

We are so, so happy for the pair, and would like to wish them both all the best wishes for their future together!

Hannah’s engagement is the third in the Locale office in the last year – surely, there must be something in the water?!

Locale’s Annual Christmas Party!

Friday the 15th of December was a big day for us here in the office – the date of our annual Christmas Party! We were all very much in the festive spirit having decorated the office the week before and celebrated Christmas Jumper Day. We swapped our festive woollies for our best  ‘black tie’ attire and headed to the venue, which was kept a secret in the run-up to the night and only revealed an hour before the party. This year we celebrated at the prestigious Macdonald Randolph Hotel.

Locale Christmas Party Runner Up Employee of the Year

On arrival, we were met with glasses of champagne, which were continually filled throughout the night. Speeches were made before we all sat down to eat, recognising just how much the company has grown in the last twelve months and how many new additions there have been to the team. Awards were handed, with Frances being awarded Employee of the Year for 2017, having previously won the first ever Employee of the Quarter. Scott came a close second, and was awarded this year’s runner-up. An award was also handed to Jade for ‘Longest Running Office Joke’, which had the whole group laughing for way too long!

The final ‘gifts’ of the night were given to Jonathan and Andy (who was unfortunately unable to attend as he was busy getting married!) our office ‘BFG’s’ or ‘Bug Fixing Geniuses’ and their biggest fans, Eszter and Frances, our fantastic support team. We expect to see them all sporting their personalised t-shirts in the office at least once a week!

The BFG cropped

We sat down to our starters and main courses, before a break for a very grown-up game of Pass The Parcel, the handing out of Secret Santa gifts and the Annual Christmas Party Quiz! Copious amounts of champagne and wine throughout the night led to lots of giggles, many silly selfies and even a few disagreements about the names of Santa’s Reindeer. One thing that we could agree on, was that a fabulous night was had by all! Here’s to a wonderful and hopefully even more successful 2018…

Locale ‘Make The World Better With Their Sweaters’!

As many people will be aware, December 15th is Christmas Jumper Day in aid of Save The Children! Here at Locale, we are already very much in the festive spirit after decorating the office last week. We were super excited to don our festive knitwear and flaunt our festive woollies, made even better by the fact that it was in aid of charity…!

The office was, for the day, manned by the big man himself Santa Claus alongside multiple ‘Mini Me’s! We also had a sequinned Reindeer and Beagle, an Elf, a Snowman  – as well as a very confusing at first, ‘No L’ hoodie worn by Jonathan in the far left of the picture above…

Christmas Jumper Day Locale Santa's Lap

The team each paid a contribution of £2, of which all the money goes to charity, to take part in two sweepstakes with prizes for the winners – having to guess which Christmas song James Corden was ‘listening to’ and which festive item was ‘being held’ by Jon Snow! Scott actually managed to guess both the song and the item correctly with the answers being ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ and ‘Christmas Ties’, but was kind enough to give his prize to the newest member of the team, Andi.

The team raised around £30 in aid of Save The Children which goes towards supporting children in various ways, such as providing food, bringing essential healthcare and educating them all over the world. We all very much enjoyed the chance to be festive yet again, especially Eszter who as we all know, loves Christmas! We hope to support Christmas Jumper Day 2018 as well…

Christmas Jumper Day Winners!

Locale’s Employee Of The Quarter!

The Employee of the Quarter October to December 2017 has been decided – and the winner is, Hannah! Hannah was the runner-up last Quarter, so she is a very deserving winner this time around. Hannah takes the crown from Scott, who won last Employee of the Quarter!

Hannah is one of our Project Managers, and has been with Locale for almost two years! She’s been super smiley, positive and hardworking for the last few months and is very deserving of the award this time around.

We also announced the runner-up for this quarter which was, yet again, Jael! Jael also tied with Hannah as runners-up last Quarter.

Runner Up Employee of the Quarter October to December 2017

Employee of the Quarter is always peer-voted, and the reappearance of both Hannah and Jael proves just how important they are, and how much they are both valued. Congratulations to our final winner and runner-up of the year!

News On The Block

The Locale team were delighted to hear that one of our clients, FirstPort were shortlisted as finalists in 10 individual and one corporate category at this year’s News on the Block Property Management Awards 2017-18.

These awards celebrate professional excellence in the UK property management industry and have become an important event in the calendar to recognise specialists, both at an individual and company level.

The FirstPort team were nominated for an impressive number of awards, including the Customer Service Award and London Property Management Company of the Year.

At the awards ceremony on 30th November 2017, FirstPort took home the New Build Property Management Company of the Year award, and John Graham was the winner of London Property Manager of the Year. They also came Highly Commended in a number of other categories.

Congratulations to them from everyone at Locale!