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RESI 2011 was the best RESI yet. More than 1,000 people attended this year’s residential property event at the Celtic Manor in Wales. The highlight of this year’s conference was the RESI Dragons’ Den, a take on the popular TV show where residential property business ideas were pitched to a panel of influential experts.

Bruce Ritchie, CEO of Residential Land, was the panel chair and judge – bringing with him fellow residential property experts Tony Pidgley, Nick Candy and ex-Dragon himself, James Caan.

Entrants to the competition were required to submit a 500 word proposal about their business idea. The judges were looking for innovative, serious and determined proposals. A short list was drawn up and 4 finalists were chosen to present their pitches to the panel and audience at the RESI conference in the Canaerfon Suite. Property Week filmed each of the pitches:

Lucky Wu: A Chinese property portal setup by Sherry Madera to showcase overseas property to Asian investors

Click-to-Purchase: A website created by Neil Singer that provides real-time property auctions

My Space Pod: Affordable custom built accommodation made from recycled shipping containers, presented by Sam Minionis

CheckYourLet: A ‘TripAdvisor style’ review website for private rental properties pitched by Howard Morgan

Each of the confident pitches had business merit in their own right, but it was Howard Morgan, Managing Director of consultancy firm RealService whose idea for a private-rented sector review site won the support of the four RESI dragons’.

The audience too seemed to be behind the idea as Morgan confidently pointed out that such site already existed in the US and said “Something like this would come to the industry anyway and therefore it’s much better to be organised professionally, co-ordinated and supported by the people in the industry.” After Morgan successfully swayed the judges and walked away with a prize trip to Austria, he was quickly cleaned out of business cards by potential backers in the audience.