James Fenner’s take from the panel discussion at Retirement Living 2017 | 14 November 2017

Yesterday yet again re-affirmed my belief in the consumer and how customer insight (+ future trends) are vital to any business.

I was on a panel at Property Week's Retirement Living conference and had the good fortune to sit next to Steve Schmidt who was a resident at Audley St Elphin's Park retirement village.

In a day of many knowledgeable speakers and panel members, he was by far the most interesting. Why? Because out of the hundred's in the room he was the only one who was actually living in a retirement home. He said what the experience was actually like and how it could easily be improved upon.

My last comment was for all those in the room to get Steve and some of his friends on their design team - it wasn't a flippant remark. Design around the customer and it's hard to get it wrong. I'm planning on heading up there to further our knowledge in this ever growing category. I'm also keen to see his raised bed allotment as by all accounts he's got some great vegetables coming through.