Front row (l to r): Vicky Silvano, Nancy Suvarnamani, Gary Clayton, Moses Hall, Marsha Collins-Mroz and Genie Birch. Back row (l to r): Maurice Hampton, Matt Difanis, Mikus Kins, Andy Velkme, Claire Sylvestre, Joan Caton, Susanna Cherubin-Delisi, Noah Ruggieri, Alex Ruggieri and Don Pasek.

Illinois REALTORS® attending an international real estate conference in France this week are getting a chance to learn about the impact of population growth in large cities as they also have the opportunity to market the state abroad.

Illinois REALTORS® has one of the largest REALTOR® delegations to MIPIM, and its members are busily engaged in talking up the state and its attributes. Before it left for France, the state delegation got a special briefing from a public-private economic development agency, Intersect Illinois, on Illinois’ advantage as a market for foreign investment.

MIPIM is one of the largest real estate conferences in the world.

“The theme this year is on global urbanization, and since Illinois is home to one of the greatest cities in the world, our members are getting a lot of useful perspectives on upcoming trends,” said Matt Difanis, Illinois REALTORS® president. “The point is for our members that honing a business around good urbanization is critically important.”

Difanis said attendees at an opening session on Tuesday in Cannes, France, were told almost all of the expected population growth in the world will be in urban areas. Rural areas may maintain current levels overall, but aren’t expect to post significant growth in the decades ahead.

The state association has one of the largest delegations in the NAR pavilion which houses a number of state and local REALTOR® associations. Illinois REALTORS® boosted attendance this year by awarding 10 members stipends to attend the event. Difanis said about 20 people from the state association have made the trip to Cannes.

MIPIM runs through Friday. It features a massive trade show and a multitude of breakout sessions. Check out the photo gallery below, courtesy of Matt Difanis.