2020 Virtual Conference Program

Platinum

Media

Gold

Monday, October 5, 2020


9:30 am
VIRTUAL LOUNGE OPEN FOR NETWORKING 
10:00 am
CO-CHAIRS' WELCOME & OPENING REMARKS

Stéphanie Beauregard

Catherine Vourakis

Conference Co-Chairs:
Stéphanie Beauregard
, Real Estate Lawyer, Delegatus Legal Services Inc.
Catherine Vourakis, Director, Leasing, Manulife Real Estate


10:05 am
HOW ARE THE MONTRÉAL OFFICE AND INDUSTRIAL LEASING MARKETS PERFORMING? HOW MUCH DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITY ARE WE SEEING?

How much momentum do the leasing and investment markets in Montréal have currently? Have there been any bellwether transactions? What is the outlook for the remainder of this year and beyond in the office & industrial asset classes? How much development is underway? What is the status of these projects? How are market fundamentals including vacancy rates, absorption rates, and cap rates?

Speaker:
Laurent Benarrous, Principal, Avison Young


10:30 am
RETAIL HAS BEEN HIT HARD BY THE PANDEMIC, WHAT WILL BE THE LASTING EFFECTS?

As the dust settles on a new normal—the shock of mandatory quarantines, curtailed consumer mobility and spending has now subsided—retail will likely continue to feel the impact more than most. While retailers to date have rightly been making short-term decisions to help them get through the immediacy of adaptation, it's time to shift focus to a long-term approach. Why? Because the pandemic will eventually pass and, when it does, many of the things we used to take for granted will have been transformed. Retailers will similarly have to transform if they expect not just to survive but to thrive in the consumer environment that awaits. A rich discussion with a seasoned panel of experts to examine the current state of the market and propose some solutions for the long-term health of retail brands. What collaborations have emerged from this crisis? 


10:55 am
COVID CASE LAW REVIEW AND FORCE MAJEURE DEBATE

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is causing unprecedented disruptions to business operations on a global scale. As these disruptions continue, and the economic effects mount, more industries will be significantly impacted. All companies need to assess not only their own, but also their counter-parties’ contractual rights, obligations, and remedies in case performance is delayed, too difficult or simply impossible. This session will examine the recent Case Law judgements followed by a debate on the rarely-invoked “force majeure” clause, you can expect a heated exchange! 

Moderator:
Nathalie Bédard
, Partner, Donati Maisonneuve

Speakers:
Steven Chaimberg
, Partner, Miller Thomson
René Gauthier, Partner, Cain Lamarre


11:40 am
VIRTUAL LOUNGE 20 MINUTES HOSTED BY SPECIAL GUEST

12:00 pm
CONCURRENT SESSIONS (Select A1, A2 or A3)
SESSION A1:
HOW CAN YOU REINVENT A SAFE AND PRODUCTIVE OFFICE ENVIRONMENT IN A COVID
WORLD?  

A critical question that all organizations have been examining in great detail is how to bring their people and teams back to the office in tandem with the goals of staying safe and productive. As lockdowns ease, what has returning to work in physical office space and buildings looked like? What has been a blueprint of essential changes look like that offices need to make? Are there various minimum standards that are part of the detailed strategic planning? A diverse panel of experts will offer their insights on how to reinvent the workplace to help you bring people back to the office safely while providing a productive environment. They will address a wide range of issues that will range from considering ease of employee travel into the office, rules on how to reopen the office, and biosafety measures to space management that enables physical distancing, working patterns, and staying flexible and adaptable in situations and conditions. 


SESSION A2:
BE A BETTER BROKER, INSIGHTFUL TIPS FOR THE YOUNG BROKERS

Most real estate agents are cast into their world with only basic training. The real know-how required to succeed in the business is often picked up along the way through failures - if they manage to hold on long enough. This training offers techniques derived from years of transactional experience to assist brokers and accelerate their ability to conclude transactions. 

Moderator - Trainer:
Gil Kastner
, Senior Real Estate Executive


SESSION A3:
COMMUNICATION IN TIMES OF CRISIS, YOUR MOST IMPORTANT ASSET

The coronavirus pandemic has put the business of risk communication front and center. Every day, it seems, we are getting mixed messages from our leaders, messages that differ in their tone and content depending on who is talking. In a situation full of unknowns, as with the early days of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa five years ago, sometimes communication is all we have. Good communication lets people know what they should do, how they can protect themselves and others and helps them balance their fears with concrete information they can use. This session will examine the different communication strategies that where deployed during the pandemic.


12:50 pm
VIRTUAL LOUNGE 20 MINUTES HOSTED BY SPECIAL GUEST

1:20 pm
CONCURRENT SESSIONS (Select B1 or B2)
SESSION B1:
LEASING IN A COVID WORLD, HOW HAS THE TENANT EXPERIENCE BEEN AFFECTED?

Unlike economic challenges of the past, COVID-19 has immediately and vastly altered the commercial real estate industry on a global scale, and in ways the industry has not previously encountered with the purely economic downturns.  One of the most apparent changes is evident when handling commercial leasing, especially the Retail & office sector. What has changed?

SESSION B2:
HOW TO MANAGE DIFFICULTIES AND CHALLENGES WITH YOUR TENANTS? 

This session will examine some of the issues that have arisen with respect to tenants’ capabilities to honour their leases and pay their rent. Do tenant guarantee, indemnities, letters of credit, deposits, and other forms of tenant covenants apply? How do you work with tenants without waiving all of your rights? What happens when the tenant goes bankrupt or seeks protection of insolvency laws? How do you secure and protect your tenant allowances in this market?  To what extent can you use creative financing between landlords and tenants? Under what circumstances do you need to move forward with litigation?


2:15 pm
CLOSING SESSION
THE LEASING MARKET OVER THE NEXT TWELVE MONTHS: WHAT WILL THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE? 

How are leasing strategies shifting given the hot market conditions in Montréal? Discussion will focus on a broad range of topics including: In a covid-19 world, How important is operational excellence as a way to raise the quality of the landlord’s brand in this very competitive leasing market and for tenant retention; and how are landlords using creative renovations and positioning of the property as a strategy to attract tenants. What are some of the most effective ways of increasing the value of your existing assets while in turn providing greater value to your tenants? How important is tenant retention to building owners and managers? If so, then what practices should they be following in dealing with tenants during the life of a lease? What key benchmarks and metrics are being used by landlords to evaluate their real estate portfolio performance? Technological innovation is changing the world much more rapidly than we think. How can real estate owners adapt their buildings and leasing strategies in an age of constant market innovation and disruption?


3:00 pm
ADJOURNMENT

3:10 pm
VIRTUAL LOUNGE – OPEN DISCUSSION ON THE DAY