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Property
Land your dream job!

By Helen Isbister and Morris Bryant

Australia

Published by Career FAQs Pty Ltd


© Copyright Career FAQs Pty Ltd, 2008

This book is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research,
criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part of this publication
may be reproduced by any process or by any means, electronic, photocopied, recorded or
otherwise without prior written permission of the copyright owner. Inquiries for reproduction
should be addressed to the publisher, Career FAQs Pty Ltd.

Published by
Career FAQs Pty Ltd
Suite 76, The Hub
89–97 Jones Street
Ultimo NSW 2007
+61 2 9282 9383
www.careerfaqs.com.au

National Library of Australia


Cataloguing-in-Publication entry:

Author: Isbister, Helen.


Title: Property : land your dream job / authors, Helen Isbister
& Morris Bryant.
Edition: 1st ed.
Publisher: Ultimo, N.S.W. : Career FAQs, 2008.
ISBN: 9781921106606 (pbk.)
Includes index
Subjects: Real estate business – Vocational guidance – Australia.
Real estate agents – Employment – Australia.
Other Authors: Bryant, Morris.
Dewey Number: 333.3302394

Publisher: Sue Stevens


Editor: Rachael Bond
Publishing Assistants: Amanda Evans and Jade Maloney
Cover design and desktop publishing: Claudine Barker
Internal design and artwork: Terri Marzullo, H2M Creative Services
Illustrations: Tim Hutchinson
Indexer: Caroline Colton, indexat
Printed by Globaprint www.globaprint.com
Advertising sales enquiries: Will Santow

Special thanks to the Property Council of Australia for their support and to Dr Richard Reed,
Professor of Property and Real Estate, Deakin University for reviewing the content.

Career FAQs acknowledges the following copyright owners for permission to reproduce
their work.

Graduate Careers Council of Australia, www.graduatecareers.com.au

Australian Bureau of Statistics

Avdiev Property Industry Remuneration Report 2007

Property Investment Research for extract from the Australian Property Funds Industry
Survey 2007

Every effort has been made to contact copyright owners and obtain permission.
However, should an infringement have occurred, Career FAQs apologises for the
omission and requests that the copyright owner contact them.

Disclaimer
The opinions and statements made by people who contributed to this book are not those of
Career FAQs. The publishers do not claim to represent the entire extent of the professions
included and career choices. The aim has always been to provide a broad overview of the
possibilities available.
As such Career FAQs Property does not purport to be a true and accurate record of the
industries included, relying on the voices of those working in the jobs to tell their stories.
Inaccuracies may arise as a result of the nature of this book. Users should follow the links to
actual websites of organisations to ascertain current practice in these jobs.

An imprint of Career FAQs


Foreword
Property professionals are nation and community builders.

We’re responsible for the built environment. That means we weave


the nation’s social and economic fabric into places where Australians
live, work and play.

We’ve also taken the lead in creating a more sustainable society.


A huge priority for today’s property professional is to better balance
the communities’ increasing economic demands with a commitment
Nic Lyons
to conserve our precious natural environments. These are huge and
National President of the
incredibly inspiring challenges that define our industry. Property Council of Australia

Property professionals are problem-solvers. If tackling a multitude of Nic Lyons is National President
of the Property Council of
tasks with passion, wit and intuition is your strength, then the property Australia, which represents
property investors and managers.
industry will provide you with a lifetime of stimulation and rewards. In his day job, Nic is CEO and
Managing Director of the GPT
Today’s property sector offers an enormous array of career pathways. Group, which is one of Australia’s
top listed companies.
You could:
Nic’s 25 years in property and
funds management includes stints
■ m
 anage a multi-billion-dollar investment fund that includes at ING, where he was the General
Australian and international properties Manager of Listed Property
Trusts, and Lend Lease, where
he was CEO of Real Estate
■ d
 evelop new communities that deliver a mix of homes, commercial Investments.
and social facilities, or rebuild existing suburbs Nic has a Bachelor of Commerce
degree and a Diploma of Applied
■ m
 anage buildings and facilities to increase the economic Finance and Investment. He is
also a Fellow of the Financial
productivity of businesses and provide uplifting places to work Services Institute of Australasia
and socialise and a Fellow of the Australian
Property Institute.
■ create markets by selling property or leasing space

■ r esearch the marketplace, analyse opportunities and take charge


as a deal maker between other parties.

Every one of these jobs has changed radically over the past decade.

We now work in a global industry, which means there are huge


opportunities for international work and travel. The property industry is
also closely linked with the capital markets, which includes institutions
such as the stock exchange, superannuation funds and the finance
sector, all of which add diversity to property career path opportunities.

The property industry is a green leader. Every new investment-grade


building will meet international environmental standards. >>

iii
Property

The retro-greening of Australia’s existing buildings is a key to


achieving deep cuts to greenhouse gas emissions and water usage.
We need new leaders willing to take on this challenge.

Above all else, the property sector creates wealth that is shared
across the community. We deliver economic, social and environmental
dividends that help Australian communities grow and prosper.

The common thread is a desire to work closely with people, which can
include building occupants, investors and community groups who
want to shape a new development site.

If you’ve got a passion for the biggest nation building challenge on


offer, a career in property is for you.

Nic Lyons

iv
Contents
Our sponsors x
How to use this book xi

The big picture 1


Why property? 1
What is property? 2
What do people working in property do? 3
What does it take to be successful in property? 4
What’s happening in property right now? 6
Current size of the industry 7
Building for sustainability 9
What are the job opportunities? 10
Sales and leasing 12
Funds management 12
Development 13
Asset and facilities management 14
Across the board 14
Working for government 15
Sustainable building 15
Overseas opportunities 16
Women in the industry 17
How much can I earn? 18
Who are the main employers? 21
Real estate agencies 21
Diversified property companies 22
Corporate Real Estate 23
Government 24
What are employers looking for? 25
Peitra Moffat – Head of HR, Lend Lease Retail
and Communities 26
Alice Harle – HR Consultant, AMP Capital Investors 29
Karen Schmidt – Director of Commercial Property, Western
Australian Government Department of Housing and Works 32


Property

What support organisations exist? 35


Australian Property Institute 35
Facilities Management Association 36
National Association of Women in Construction 36
National Real Estate Franchise Association of Australia 37
Property Council of Australia 37
Real Estate Institute of Australia 38
Royal Australian Institute of Architects 38
Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors 38

Sales and leasing 39

Elliott Placks – Sales Executive, Ray White Double Bay, Sydney 40


Liza McKilliam – Real Estate Agent, RE/MAX, Brisbane 42
Ian Triganza – Commercial Sales Executive, Jones Lang LaSalle,
Sydney CBD 46
Grant Jennings – Associate Director, Commercial Leasing,
Savills, Sydney CBD 51

Funds management 55

Adam Learmonth – Executive General Manager, FKP Funds


Management, Sydney 56
Ben James – Trust Manager, Mirvac Property Trust, Sydney 61
Victor Georos – Industrial Business Park Portfolio Manager,
GPT Group, Sydney 65

Development 69

Ellie Schwab – Development Manager, Lend Lease, Melbourne 71


Caroline Choy – Property Development Manager, AMP Capital
Investors, Sydney 74
Joanna Russell – Director, CBRE Projects, Sydney 77

Asset & facilities management 81

David Wellman – Senior Strata Manager,


Strata Title Management, Sydney 82
Michael Caramanis – Asset Manager, Delmege, Sydney 85
Peter Lau – Account Manager, Knight Frank Newmark, Sydney 89
Lauren Cassar – Property Asset Manager, Stockland,
North Sydney 93

vi
John Shaw – Shopping Centre Manager, Stockland,
Burleigh Heads, Queensland 96
Rachael McKay – Facilities Manager, Jones Lang LaSalle,
Melbourne 99

Across the board 103

David Viarella – Property Valuer and Land Economist,


Stanwell Tops, New South Wales 104
Jonathan Rivera – Residential Research Manager,
PRDnationwide, Brisbane 108
Priya Parasuramar – Graduate of Architecture,
HASSELL, Adelaide 112
Phil Harris – Sales Partner and Corporate Auctioneer,
Toop & Toop, Adelaide 116
Victor Di Felice – Special Counsel, Property Law,
Harwood Andrews, Melbourne 120

Government 123

Leon Yates – Senior Urban Designer,


City of Melbourne Council 124
Joshua Brogan – Indigenous Community Liaison Officer,
Department of Housing and Sport, Darwin 128

International 133

James O’Brien – Chief Financial Officer, South-East Asia,


CB Richard Ellis, Singapore 134

Sustainable building 137

Joe Karten – Technical Coordinator, Green Building


Council Australia, Sydney 138
Kevin Miller – Architect and Director, Collard Clarke Jackson,
Canberra 142

Ready, set, go for it! 145

What qualifications do I need? 145


University courses 147
Bachelor of Property 148
Bachelor of Business Management/
Bachelor of Economics 149

vii
Property

Sustainability 150
TAFE courses 151
Diploma of Property (Real Estate Agent’s Licence) 151
Other course providers 152
Registered training organisations 152
Australian Property Council courses 154
First National Real Estate course 154
How do I get the job? 155
How are people recruited? 155
Job advertisements 156
Work experience 156
Networking and headhunting 157
Working your way up 158
Recruitment agencies 158
Graduate programs 159
Approaching companies directly 160
What are recruiters looking for? 161
Geraldine Sheehan – Director, Collins Realty 162
Michael Smith – General Manager, Delmege Commercial 165
John Bunting – Group General Manager Human Resources,
Mirvac 167
Stand out from the crowd 170
Create an outstanding application 170
The résumé 171
Tips: The résumé 172
The cover letter 173
Tips: The cover letter 174
Selection criteria 175
Tips: Selection criteria 175
How to stand out at the interview 176
Preparation 176
Presentation 177
Performance 178
How do I leave gracefully? 179

viii
Starting your own business 181
What can I do right now? 182
Buzz words 183
Appendix 1 185
Comparative starting salaries of various professions 185
Appendix 2 186
Sample résumé 1 186
Appendix 3 188
Sample résumé 2 188
Appendix 4 189
Sample cover letter 1 189
Appendix 5 190
Sample cover letter 2 190
Appendix 6 191
Sample resignation letter 191
Photo credits 192
Index 193

ix
Property

Our sponsors
A big thanks goes out to our sponsors for their generous
contributions.


How to use this book fyi
Many words, phrases,
All Career FAQs books follow a similar format, starting with The big abbreviations and acronyms
picture and ending with Ready, set, go for it! In the middle, you’ll find are defined in buzz words at
the back of this book.
lots of interviews with people talking about their jobs.

To help you navigate through the text and also find information
beyond this book, the following icons are used throughout.

cv is a snapshot of each interviewee’s career


pathway – it shows some of the stepping stones
along the career path that led to their
current position

directs you to another Career FAQs title that might


detour
interest you

find out tells you where to find out more about a particular
more topic or organisation

provides interesting additional information, which


fyi
might come in handy!

provides a brief definition of a word, term or


glossary
acronym that appears in bold in the text

in
brief
sums up a specific job, including salary,
qualifications, number of hours worked, work–life
balance and flexibility, as told by our interviewee

MYTH explodes a popular myth about the industry


or profession
fact

xi
The big picture
Why property?
When the other kids were digging holes in the sandpit were you
allocating plots and building high-rise style sandcastles? When they
built castles did you construct mega-mansions and shopping villages
complete with car parks, cinemas and food courts? Or maybe you
were too busy peering over the neighbours’ fence with designs for
a subdivision?

If you think you’ve got the confidence to pull off a huge sale, represent
all kinds of clients and provide the pen when someone signs the
contract for what could be the biggest financial decision of their life,
then a career in the exciting and varied property industry might be a
wise choice.

When I listen to interviews with sporting people and they say


they can’t believe they get paid for doing something they love,
I feel exactly the same way. There is nothing quite like the
adrenaline when a deal is done.
Ian Triganza – Commercial Sales Executive, Jones Lang LaSalle, Sydney CBD

Beyond the obvious jobs in buying and selling, there are tonnes
of rewarding roles in investment, development, management
and analysis.

Want more quality career resources


from Career FAQs for FREE? Click here 
Property

If there is a constant between all the different opportunities available,


it is the chance to meet and liaise with a wide range of people and
build solid relationships.

In the words of Darryl Kerrigan, ‘a man’s home is his castle’, so you’re


not only dealing with individuals’ largest financial assets, but also
constructs of immense sentimental value. That’s a challenge, but one
that can be very rewarding.

For Inspection
In the city of Giza in Egypt, the pyramids
are believed to have been built over a
12-year period. The Great Pyramid was
150 metres high and consisted of three
million blocks of stone.

What is property?
Ever since the cave men were laying claim to cosy little nooks and
sprucing them up with paintings on the walls, shelter has been a
fundamental requirement for existence. The Egyptians knew the value
of impact, design and functionality when they built pyramids that
are still sturdy nearly 5000 years later – and things have only been
progressing since then.

In the world of bricks and mortar, the sky’s the limit. The property
industry is all about the built environment – houses, flats, shopping
centres, factories, football stadiums, churches, hospitals, office
buildings and high-rises.

I love the diverse experiences that come with property.


Because it touches such a broad range of other industries,
I’m always learning about different areas of the economy and
business market.
Ben James – Trust Manager, Mirvac Property Trust, Sydney

There are huge teams of people involved in pulling these architectural


triumphs together and making sure they serve their function
– developers, valuers, designers, architects, researchers, analysts,
facilities managers, project managers and more, all work to create
our nation’s infrastructure and make sure that we are secure and
protected from the elements.


The big picture

What do people working in


property do?
Because the property industry relies on such a diverse collection of
skills, visions and characters to turn bricks into something brilliant,
the day-to-day work and long-term goals of people working in
property can vary significantly. In the most general sense, most
property employees make sure that clients’ needs are met at every
stage: from the construction or development of a property, through
the ongoing management and tenant representation, to the sale and
leasing of sites. The following illustration shows what people in the
different areas of the property industry do in the course of their jobs.

Sales and leasing Funds management


Market properties and find potential  ssess financial viability of
A
buyers or leasers developments and assets
Scope out property to list for sale Assess current and future risks
or lease Develop and execute investment
Liaise with property owners and development strategies
Value properties Apply for and manage funding
Assess clients’ needs to help them for projects
find properties Interpret property market dynamics
Write and negotiate contracts Assess economic performance and
devise financial strategies

Asset and facilities


management
Development Look after the day-to-day
Acquire or identify sites for operations of a property
ople
What do pe
development Represent clients and locate
Oversee development or properties for
construction of company
assets working in them to occupy
Oversee efficient
?
Liaise with contractors and
external parties
property do operations
Set long-term strategies
for buildings’ profitability

Government
Sustainable buildings Manage property assets and
Plan sustainable office tenancies
developments Design and implement public
Develop strategies to space urban
improve building efficiency environments
Advise developers and build- Advise on planning and
ers on sustainable projects development regulations
Assess buildings on their Liaise with property
environmental impact stakeholders


Property

What does it take to be successful


in property?
The construction of a new hospital, football stadium or ice-skating
rink is not a job for the faint-hearted. The property game is fast,
competitive and the stakes are high – players need to be quick,
motivated and up for the challenge.

You need energy, confidence, excellent communication skills


and a likeable nature – people need to trust you. Since the
market is always changing and you are dealing with different
clients and properties, it is important to never stop training
and honing your skills.
Liza McKilliam – Real Estate Agent, RE/MAX, Brisbane

The range of opportunities and roles involved in property


means that there is room for people with different skills, passions
and personalities.

If you can sell ice to an Eskimo and excel in the arts of persuasion and
communication, then your people skills and way with words might
be put to good use in sales and leasing. For those with the vision
and commitment for building from the bottom up, town planning,
development, construction or architecture might be your calling. If the
glossary adrenaline of fast-talking and quick sales sounds exciting, then maybe
A gavel is: you should grab a gavel and get auctioneering.
– the hammer used by
an auctioneer. The most important personal quality to be successful in any
business is trust and integrity in your dealings with people. Our
business is strongly based on relationships and your reputation
can be your biggest strength or weakness; the ability to get on
with people, and have people like and trust you, goes a long way
towards achieving success.
Victor Georos – Industrial Business Park Portfolio Manager, GPT Group, Sydney

Throughout all the different sectors, a dedication to hard work, self-


motivation and the confidence to liaise with a wide range of people
are the qualities which remain constant.


The big picture

We asked people working in different jobs in property what it takes to


be a success. They said that you’ll make it if you have:

■ strong communication and negotiation skills

■ confidence and good people skills

■ solid ethics and morals

■ clear judgment and vision

■ enthusiasm and self-motivation

■ a team player attitude

■ dedication to the industry and clients MYTH


to be successful
■ a good understanding of the property market in property, you
■ ambition to succeed must work seven
days a week
■ good numeric skills
Many companies,
■ an understanding of economics. such as GPT, have
launched programs
People working in property will inevitably be dealing with high stakes that give employees the
opportunity to negotiate
and issues that are very important in people’s lives. This means that

fact
flexible working hours,
all tasks must be carried out with care, morals, dedication and a keen which include options
to work from home.
eye for detail.


Property

What’s happening in property


right now?
The property market is incredibly dynamic and is always going
through different phases in terms of which areas are booming. This
has a direct effect on job opportunities and the money that can be
made. While some general trends can be seen across the property
sector, it is important to remember that there are no hard and fast
guidelines. The market can fluctuate from suburb to suburb, city to
city and country to country.

The state of the property industry is directly tied to the state of the
economy. If the economic cycle is in a strong phase, property prices
increase, there is a higher demand for development and there are
plenty of jobs available in the sector. A recession or depression, on the
other hand, has the reverse effect, whereby demand falls along with
property values.

The past decade has seen an economic boom and, consequently, the
property industry has been active and full of opportunity. According
to the Property Council of Australia, housing prices have risen by
168 per cent over the past decade in comparison to the growth in
real wages of 56 per cent. While this is not an ideal situation for
homebuyers, as often reported in the media, it has meant that people
working in property have been able to prosper. Although the market
stalled somewhat in many areas in Australia in 2003, Queensland and
Western Australia remained the boom states in the noughties mainly
due to the demand for resources.

A surge in infrastructure investment across most of the nation has


fyi
seen a significant growth in construction and development jobs.
Funds management jobs may Architecture and other construction roles are in high demand, and
be classified under ‘banking
many firms are having trouble filling roles. There is also a demand for
and financial services’ on
some job search websites. people working in funds management – looking after the acquisition
and management of investment assets.

The increasingly hot competition for houses has seen the art of
auctioneering come to the fore as potential buyers battle it out in
bidding wars. Recently, roles such as planners, valuers, analysts,
finance executives and development managers have also been in
high demand.

In fact, there is currently a skills shortage across the property


sector so if you know your stuff, you could snap up a good position.


The big picture

As with most industries, the exponential growth of technological


capabilities has meant that many specialised jobs have become
necessary to deal with the new issues and procedures. For example,
sustainable building is one area that has been in very high demand.
As buildings become more complex, a greater skills base is
needed to keep everything in order and this, in turn, means more
job opportunities. This also means that, in many areas, tertiary
qualifications are becoming more important as employees have to
set themselves apart from the throngs of other eager people trying to
break into the market.

Current size of the industry


At the moment, property employment figures are pretty promising.
According to the 2006 Australian Bureau of Statistics Labour Force
Survey, there are nearly 70 000 real estate agents and property
managers in the Australian property industry, of which 92.8 per cent
work in the private property and business sector. In addition, there are
at least 13 000 people working as valuers and land economists.

A 2007 property Investment Research Report shows the property


investment market continuing to grow (up 29% from 2006). The report
found the Australian property fund management industry has gross
assets of over A$356.6 billion across 897 funds which are run by 217
funds managers on behalf of over 1.2 million Australians.


Property

Benefiting from the compulsory superannuation introduced by the


Federal Government in 1986, the funds management sector has seen
exceptional growth. Before 1986, superannuation funds covered less
than half of the work force, and existed mainly in the public sector and
among large private sector employers.

Now, with every employer contributing to employee superannuation,


contributions that need to be invested have increased from $40
billion in 1983 to $860 billion in 2005–06. Funds management is an
area expected to deliver great employment prospects with excellent
salaries for those with the skills and ability to manage and invest such
vast sums of money.

For Inspection
A Macquarie Bank survey in 2007 found
there were 14 000 real estate agencies
in Australia employing 95 000 people,
the top 1 per cent of whom earn over
$1 million a year.

In addition to the people already identified, there are many more


people working in property law, construction, architecture and design,
engineering, and surveying. These are just a few of the professions
that work directly with – and are a part of – the property industry.
Add in the many occupations that help build and manage the
nation’s infrastructure, and the property industry becomes one of the
dominant employment sectors in the Australian economy.

In fact, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2003


‘property and business services’ was the third largest employment
sector in Australia with 15 per cent of the work force employed in it, in
some capacity or other. However, this figure only includes residential
and commercial property operators and developers, real estate
agents and non-financial asset investors – it doesn’t include other
professions such as architects and lawyers who work in property.
While different statistics measure different aspects of the industry,
it is clear that the property industry is a large one and important to
Australia’s economic viability.

The majority of property employees work in eastern Australia


– about 30 per cent are in New South Wales and the same percentage
in Queensland.


The big picture

The figures also show that property attracts a higher proportion of


male employees – women account for only about 39 per cent of the
work force.

While major cities are always developing and are in the centre of the
market action, there is also a push for new property outside the major glossary
cities. As the baby boomer generation retire to coastal and country Baby boomer is:
hideaways, existing properties in cities are going to become available – the name given to the
generation born between
while the demand for regional properties will also accelerate. And,
World War II and 1965
with the growing opportunities in funds management, as more when there was a huge
companies and individuals look to invest their money in the property spike in birth rates.
market, more and more budding young property professionals will be Retrofitting is:
able to get their foot in the door! – the process of fitting
something onto another,
as part of repair
Building for sustainability and maintenance.

Are you pedantic about dripping taps and lights left on in empty
rooms? If you sort out the recycling to the last scrap of cardboard
and bottle cap, you’re not alone. More and more, the environment
is becoming a focus across all aspects of society and, likewise,
sustainable design is now a strong part of the property industry – both
in the residential and commercial sectors.

Sustainability in property can involve incorporating ‘green’ features


into the original design and construction of buildings, which
affects the impact the building has on the environment in the long
term. Sustainability can also mean retrofitting existing buildings
through refurbishment or development. These days, green options
are increasingly on the mind of companies and clients alike as the
demand for environmentally friendly buildings increases. fyi
Between 2004 and 2007, 38
To ensure tenants have a hand in making sure buildings operate
buildings throughout Australia
efficiently, the Green Building Partnership has developed a Green were awarded Green Star
Lease to officially put the responsibility on tenants to maximise the certification, while another
417 were registered and
sustainable elements of the building. Terms of the lease encourage awaiting assessment.
tenants to reduce consumption of energy, water and materials, and
produce as little waste as possible.

The Green Building Council of Australia has developed a system of


find out
environmental rating called Green Star that offers buildings certified
ratings from four to six stars for their sustainability in areas such as more
design and construction, lighting and comfort, energy efficiency and Green Building Council of
Australia
alternative sources, efficient use and reuse of water and materials, www.gbcaus.org
consideration of land use and ecology, emissions, and innovation.


Property

What are the job opportunities?


Property markets are famous for fluctuating – booming and crashing
– and this translates directly into the job opportunities available
at any one time. It is all about supply and demand. If there is a big
development boom, there is a consequent rise in jobs. When the
market is in decline, jobs are more difficult to come by. Advancing
technology and an increasing focus on specialisation is creating new
jobs that may not have existed 10 years ago, and some traditional jobs
are phasing out.

Sales and leasing


Funds management
Commercial Sales Executive
Portfolio Manager
Associate Director, Commercial
Leasing Funds Manager
Sales Executive Trust Manager
Real Estate Agent

Asset and facilities


management
Property Asset
Development Manager
Development Analyst Strata Title

What are
Development Manager
Manager Shopping Centre
the job
Building Manager Manager
Project Director Facilities Manager
s?
opportunitie Tenant Representative

Across the board International Working for government


Property Lawyer Chief Financial Asset Manager
Architect Officer Urban Designer
Auctioneer Indigenous Community
Valuer Liaison Officer
Residential Research Engineer
Analyst Pollution Officer

10
The big picture

The diversity of roles means that once you are in the industry, there
is the opportunity to broaden your skills and move around into other MYTH
areas that may tickle your fancy. Working in different sectors will you can only make
money on property in
deepen your knowledge and experience of the market and employers
metropolitan areas
look favourably upon this.
Western Australia has
Take a look at the different opportunities available – you can be recently experienced a
boom in rural property
involved in so many different aspects of property. Try to get a

fact
sales and development,
feel for as many as you can, then focus on one you enjoy, work spurred on by a natural
hard and spread your horizons from there. resources boom.
Lauren Cassar – Property Asset Manager, Stockland, North Sydney

Jobs in property can be divided into the following main areas which
focus on the different stages of conception development and
management of buildings.

■ Sales and leasing

■ Funds management

■ Development

■ Asset and facilities management

■ Across the board

■ Working for government

■ Sustainable building

■ Overseas opportunities

Some jobs transcend the different sectors – jobs such as property


lawyers, research analysts, valuers and jobs in government
departments. These jobs are discussed in the chapter ‘Across the
board’.

Many people start off in residential leasing and sales to learn the
basics of the industry and market before moving into more specialised
roles in the sector. Others start off in a particular area and steadily
climb the ladder until they have acquired the knowledge and
experience to work on bigger and better projects. Many large property
companies have their graduate recruits rotate through different
parts of the business to develop their skills and experiences across
the board so that they can decide where their abilities would be best
put to use.

11
Property

Sales and leasing


If you have the gift of the gab and know how to close a transaction,
then a sales or leasing role could be for you. The largest sector of
the industry, this is where most people will interact with property
professionals when they buy, sell or lease a property.

While many other property roles involve communicating with others


in the industry, and professional clients and businesses, leasing and
sales is for those who enjoy meeting with the public and assisting
them with their property needs. On the commercial side, this is
usually a nine-to-five job during the week. In residential sales and
leasing, you will probably have to work some weekends for open
houses and auctions, and have some weekdays off to make up for it.

In real estate, sales roles involve listing properties and finding buyers
who will pay the right price. Leasing is about managing residential
properties for the owners and finding reliable tenants who will look
after the place and pay their rent.

Sales and leasing executives may also work in acquisitions or


commercial leasing roles.

Funds management
It’s not a secret that huge amounts of money can be made by
understanding economic markets, foreseeing development and
acquisition opportunities, and investing money in the right assets.
Funds managers must have a strong idea of the types of risks that will
affect the assets such as fluctuating interest rates which may make
fyi
borrowing money more expensive
Managed funds exist across
a range of industries and Since the introduction of compulsory superannuation in Australia
money is invested into in 1986, property funds management has taken off exponentially as
shares, bonds, commodities
and real estate. While all of
billions of dollars around Australia are put into managed funds to
these asset classes require (hopefully) grow in size before retirement rolls around. This, coupled
varied expertise, at the end
with the property boom, over the last decade has meant that property
of the day, it’s about playing
the market, predicting investment and funds management has become a thriving, lucrative
opportunities and getting business. It’s fast, exciting and the stakes are high, but the returns can
good returns on their
clients’ cash. be great – not only financially, but also in terms of career satisfaction.

It’s big business and one of the fastest growing areas within the
property industry. In 2007, Mirvac Funds Management managed

12
The big picture

approximately $9.1 billion on behalf of more than 40 000 institutional


glossary
and retail investors in three areas: real estate equity, real estate debt
Real estate equity means:
and infrastructure.
– listed and unlisted funds
Those working in this field often come from accounting and economic and mandates.

backgrounds. Strong numeric skills are very important as much of Real estate debt refers to:
the work involves forecasting, setting and managing budgets, and – debt funds.

analysing the financial viability of projects and ventures. Infrastructure refers to:
– the roads, railways,
Strong teams of professionals in this area work together with schools and other capital
managers, researchers and other property specialists to pool their equipment which comprise
the basic framework of a
resources and knowledge. Finance professionals are in high demand country or region.
across the property sector and employment opportunities exist in
the large property organisations, banks and specialised property
funds managers.

The good news for those who see this as their future is that the
personal income levels can also be considerable. Salaries of over
$200 000 plus substantial bonuses are not rare.

Development
Build it bigger – higher and wider! Or just build more. Do you ever look
at a disused factory building and envisage the shopping centre that
could be? Or maybe you’ve looked at your backyard and think you can
get away with a subdivision and a block of flats?

The development sector is for those who like to expand and advance
– both the buildings themselves, and the wealth and business of
their company and its clients. Development managers oversee the
development process with a hands-on approach, often onsite. They
liaise with colleagues and external contacts to ensure the project runs
smoothly through the concept, design, construction and leasing or
sales stages.

With some experience in project management under your belt, the


next step on the ladder can involve a role in research and acquisitions:
identifying and purchasing possible sites for development, and
commissioning the projects. People in this position have a wide
scope of the industry as a whole, know all the trends and hot
spots, and have insight into where the market will take them next.
For the ambitious, that means hard work, high responsibility, and a
high salary!

13
Property

Asset and facilities management


When the last glass of champagne has been downed at the launch
party of a new shopping centre, velodrome or multistorey office block,
for some, the real work is only just beginning. With numerous tenants,
long- and short-term maintenance issues, and future operations,
many buildings, once developed, need full-time carers to make sure
they remain functional and profitable.

Just think of your own home and all the things that constantly need
fixing and re-fixing – faulty dishwashers, leaking ceilings, problems
with utilities and clogged drains. On a smaller residential scale, real
estate agents liaise with tradesmen to keep rental homes habitable.
In commercial property, it is on a much larger scale – buildings with
hundreds of workers or tenants, and shopping centres with level upon
level of shops. Facilities managers, caretakers and office managers
take care of day-to-day operations and make sure that everything runs
smoothly. They ensure that the utilities are working, the tenants are
paying their rent and the building is secure.

Asset managers work more on the strategic and financial level,


managing the investments – they keep abreast of the market, set
lease agreements and look after any major works or redevelopments
to do with the building.

Across the board


While the managers named previously tend to look after the big
picture and coordinate developments and properties, there are a
fyi whole team of specialised professionals who make the construction
and continued growth of infrastructure possible. Before a project can
Before banks agree to a
mortgage (lend money), they get off the ground, specialist researchers look into the viability, risks
require a valuation just to and estimated profits of the project. Valuers analyse the market and
make sure the property is
actually worth what is being
determine the current market value of properties.
paid for it.
Opportunities for people with all kinds of experience and backgrounds
are numerous, so don’t think that you can’t be involved in property
if selling isn’t your thing! There’s a place in property for lawyers
specialising in property law, conveyancers, urban designers and town
planners, and builders and construction workers.

14
The big picture

Working for government


While the property industry’s private sector is very visible in the
community – cranes on the horizon are always a good indication
of property development – sometimes the work that goes on in
government departments to make sure that buildings and the built
environment of our cities and towns conform to regulation is not so
visible. There are also people who manage property owned by the
government and others who manage the construction of public works.

A local government department responsible for planning and


development of the urban environment within its jurisdiction may
have engineers, urban planners and designers, architects, and
environmental officers. A state government department has a larger
jurisdiction and is often responsible for public and community glossary
housing, major government projects and capital works. The Capital works refers to:
engineers, architects and environmental officers working at state – physical facilities and
infrastructure such as
level would have different priorities from those working for local
schools, roads, bridges
government. State and territory governments are also responsible for and water systems, that
special needs housing. For example, Aboriginal communities require last longer than the term
of a particular council.
people to liaise with the communities so that their particular housing
needs are met.

Sustainable building
These days sustainability and efficiency is a consideration in just
about everything and, when we spend around 90 per cent of our lives
in buildings, property needs to take environmental considerations
seriously. In fact, this is where a significant portion of Australia’s
greenhouse gas emissions and use of resources can be reduced.

Whether you’re seeking a career directly in the sustainable building


sector or not, keeping it green is bound to be a major part of any
property role and many property professionals are undertaking extra
training to keep up to date with green developments.

If you want to make sustainability your main focus, there are


opportunities available for architects, designers and developers to
find out
specialise in sustainable building and development. There are also more
opportunities within organisations such as the Green Building Council
www.gbcaus.org
of Australia (GBCA) or the Australian Building Greenhouse Rating
www.abgr.com.au
(ABGR) to develop and administer building efficiency ratings.

15
Property

Overseas opportunities
Australians often fill overseas property positions, particularly when
there is a boom in a specific market. The huge growth in the property
market in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates over the last few years
has opened up employment opportunities for both international and
local developers, for example. If you’re working for a multinational
company, you may even have the opportunity to take your skills
overseas while working for the same firm.

While the skills and requisites may be the same, the different
characteristics of overseas markets may mean you feel out of your
depth, no matter how successful you have been in Australia.
detour
However, a good property employee adapts and works with the
If you like the idea of working current trends and your experience can be applied anywhere.
overseas, check out Career
Either way, working overseas can be a great opportunity to get
FAQs Going Global.
a broad perspective of the industry, gain wider experience within
www.careerfaqs.com.au
your company and, of course, experience another culture.
Property is an excellent ticket for travel.

16
The big picture

Women in the industry


In recent years there has been a growing interest from women
in careers in the property industry, and it is expected that the
ratio of women to men will begin to even out – as it has done
in many other industries. While we’re still not witnessing an
influx of women wielding toolboxes and hammer drills in the
construction sector, women are succeeding in the professional
roles of property – valuing and assessing properties, overseeing
developments, and managing assets and clients. Women
are beginning to choose property above other options in the
investment world.

There are more and more women entering the industry and
many of the clients we deal with are also female, so it’s a
natural progression to see an increased number of female
professionals coming into the industry.
Matthew Buckley – Head of Queensland Valuation Division, Savills, Brisbane

As more and more women enter the industry, organisations and


government initiatives supporting their career development and
education are also beginning to appear.

Building a Better Future, for example, is an initiative between the


National Association of Women in Construction and the Federal find out
Government. It promotes the opportunities available to women in more
the construction industry. www.buildabetterfuture.com.au

For Inspection
In 2006, 47 per cent of Jones Lang
LaSalle’s 1300 staff were women, and
23 per cent of their directors were women.
According to Dr Richard Reed, Professor
of Property and Real Estate at Deakin
University in Melbourne, the male/female
ratio of people studying property is
about 50/50.

17
Property

find out
more How much can I earn?
See comparative starting When it comes to the property industry, people can make very
salaries of various
professions in Appendix 1.
good money. We’ve all heard a story about the young real estate
entrepreneur who made a fortune by the age of 25. There is a huge
scope of incomes depending on sector and experience, but things are
looking pretty good all around – it isn’t just the price of property going
up. The salaries of the people in this book give some idea of the scope
of incomes on offer.

Age Position title Salary @ 2007 Years in Years in


A$ job industry
23 Indigenous Community Liaison 47 000 6 months 1.5
Officer
24 Residential Research Manager 60 000 2 5
25 Architect 40 000 – 50 000 2.5 2.5
25 Technical Coordinator 50 000 6 months 3
26 Commercial Sales Executive 40 000 – 60 000 2.5 8
26 Sales Executive 100 000 + 4 5
27 Sales Partner and Corporate 250 000 – 300 000 2 6
Auctioner
29 Facilities Manager 65 000 – 80 000 2.5 8
29 Senior Strata Manager 80 000 – 100 000 2 8
30 Account Manager 80 000 – 100 000 2 10
30 Projects Team Director 80 000 – 200 000 3.5 10
32 Commercial Sales Executive 50 000 – 100 000 6 6
commission
33 Trust Manager 250 000 + 10 months 13
performance
bonuses
37 Chief Financial Officer 300 000 – 400 000 1 10
39 Asset Manager 70 000 – 200 000 4 months 15
39 Development Manager 50 000 – 60 000 14 14
40s Property Development Manager 100 000 2 7
42 Valuer 100 000 – 4 20
200 000 +
43 Architect 100 000 8 19
45 Business Park Portfolio Manager 200 000 7 24
45 Urban Designer 60 000 – 90 000 1 15
55 Real Estate Agent 400 000 7 8.5
Career FAQs property salary snapshot, 2007

Want more quality career resources


18 from Career FAQs for FREE? Click here
The big picture

As you can see, salary isn’t particularly linked to age or experience


in the property industry. It is usually based on the particular skills,
strengths and performance of each employee and can be greatly
different across the sectors and roles.

Salaries in the property game tend to raise exponentially as you climb


up the career ladder. You could start out on a base salary but end
up earning very big bucks with salary and bonuses or commissions
adding up to a substantial amount. That said, there is also a huge
scope for entrepreneurs in property and, if you have the wits and
savoir faire, you could be raking it in, in a big way. Often when you
read about self-made millionaires, they have made their money
through developments and property investments.

According to the Avdiev Property Industry Remuneration Report,


the last 15-year period of economic growth across the industry saw
property wages grow at almost twice the rate of other jobs. This,
mixed with a skills shortage across the board, means that many
talented property professionals can name their price. Since a quality
employee with the smarts and skills can really boost the profits of
an organisation, most companies are prepared to pay premium rates
and offer very attractive incentives to lure and retain staff. In sales
and leasing roles, employees are usually paid commission on the
transactions they settle. Commissions are based on the percentage of
the value of the property sold.

The high earners are obviously the high performers, and are
making most of their income on commissions. For the top sellers,
the rewards can be great.
Geraldine Sheehan – Director, Collins Realty, Devonport, Tasmania

Working for yourself as an independent agent can also be very


lucrative if you’re prepared to put in the hard work.

I love the freedom of being my own boss and being able to earn
as much as I possibly can – it really is entirely up to me and my
own self-motivation.
Liza McKilliam – Real Estate Agent, RE/MAX, Kenmore, Brisbane

In other sectors, employees who secure large deals and strong


portfolios can also receive healthy commissions and bonuses. There is
also a trend of poaching employees away from other companies with
higher salaries and benefits.

19
Property

The big property bucks are, not surprisingly, typically found in the
areas dealing with funds and asset management. Property funds
managers typically top the pay charts with base salaries of $260 000
not uncommon. Asset managers and shopping centre managers earn
$170 000, while senior project managers also earn over $100 000.

The big property bucks are in asset and funds management as the
following data from the Avdiev Property Industry Remuneration
Report, July 2007 shows.

Position title Average base package*


@ July 2007 A$
Architect 75 000
Asset Manager 160 000
Corporate Real Estate Manager 103 000
Development Manager 140 000
Facilities Manager 80 000
Fund Analyst 89 000
Funds Manager 278 000
Leasing Manager 126 000
Portfolio Manager 162 000
Project Director 220 000
Shopping Centre Manager 128 000
Tenant Representative 84 000
Valuer 78 000
Average base packages for mid-level roles in property, July 2007
Source: Avdiev Property Industry Remuneration Report, 2007 ©
* National figures that include super and company benefits

The figures shown as income are not the highest incomes possible –
they are all based on mid-level roles. In addition to the base packages,
each of the positions listed can attract additional income in the form
of incentives ranging from 10 per cent to 100 per cent of the base
package.

20
The big picture

Who are the main employers?


Most property employers (92.8 per cent) are in private industry
with government jobs making up a small but valuable part of the
industry (1.4 per cent). Private industry jobs range from local real
estate agencies to the largest nationals and multinationals with
divisions across the spectrum – each offering their own benefits.
Smaller companies might require their people to have a broader skills
base given the nature of small business environments, while larger
companies tend to have more specialised roles and may provide the
option of moving to an office in another city, suburb, or country. There
are also opportunities in property to do contract work, or start your
own business or franchise.

Whichever route you take, there’s nothing to stop you moving


between a few different kinds of employers. Property is such a diverse
industry that the opportunities really are boundless.

Real estate agencies


Real estate agencies hire a lot of entry-level employees, so this is
where many property employees start their careers. The roles in real
estate are mostly based around sales, leasing and administration.
There can also be opportunities in other areas of property such as
acquisition and development.

In general, however, these companies are involved with the day-to-day


selling and leasing of residential, commercial and industrial properties
and are the first point of call for the property needs of the likes of you
and me.

There are always positions in this sector for the right people – either
in the independent agencies or within the main real estate franchises.
Many of the high sellers stay on in the sector for their whole
career because of the high commissions available that make for a
comfortable lifestyle

Some real estate specialists include:

■ Century 21 ■ Ray White Real Estate

■ Elders Real Estate ■ RE/MAX

■ First National Real Estate ■ Taylor Nicholas.

■ Raine and Horne Real Estate

21
Property

Diversified property companies


At the top end of the property industry are companies that have
diversified areas of expertise. The diversity in the structures of well-
known national and multinational property companies tells a lot about
the diversity of the property industry, as the following table shows.

Company Areas of expertise


AMP Capital Investors • Funds management • Office and industrial
• Shopping centres
CB Richard Ellis • Sales and leasing (including • Appraisal and valuation
industrial) • Investment management
• Corporate services • Research
• Property, facilities and project • Consulting
management
Delmege Commercial • Investment sales • Development
• Asset management • Syndication
• Commercial leasing • Residential sales
• Strata management
GPT Group • Operations in Australia, the US, • Asset management
UK and Europe • Property management
• Property investment • Development
• Funds management
Jones Lang LaSalle • Property management • Valuation and advisory
(retail and commercial) • Project and development
• Health and aged care services
• Sales and leasing • Research and consulting
(including industrial) • Corporate solutions and
• Facilities management client services
Knight Frank • Commercial and retail agency • Facilities management
• Leasing • Retail sales and project
• Industrial and business space management
services • Investment property
• Residential and land marketing management and property
• Valuations accounting services
Lend Lease • Retail and residential property • Operations in:
management – UK/Continental Europe/
• Property investment Middle East
find out
more
• Construction – Asia Pacific
– United States
Mirvac • Funds management • Development (construction,
www.ampcapital.com.au • Hotel management finance and estimating,
www.cbre.com.au • Shopping centre management architecture, interior design,
sales and marketing)
www.delmege.com.au
Savills • Corporate real estate services • Property accounting and
www.gpt.com.au • Project management information
• Sales and leasing technology
www.joneslanglasalle.com.au • Development • Property and facilities
www.knightfrank.com • Marketing management
• Valuation
www.lendlease.com.au
Stockland • Retail • Residential
www.mirvac.com.au • Office and industrial – Residential communities
• Capital partners – Apartments
www.savills.com.au – Retirement living
www.stockland.com.au. Some major property companies and their areas of expertise

22
The big picture

Some of these companies have a global portfolio while others focus


on the Australian property market. You can see from the scope of
their businesses that opportunities abound for anyone who wants to
contribute to our built environment.

Often referred to as institutional property companies, most are


involved in property management – either for their own developments
or those of their clients. They also deal with the acquisition and
development of properties. While some companies are beginning
fyi
to specialise in particular niche markets, others are widening their There are many small- to
business practices employing an array of property professionals who, medium-sized specialist
architectural, engineering,
collectively, can offer the complete range of property services for all valuation and auctioneering
types of clients. firms employing professionals
who contract their work to
Many property companies are specialists in certain areas. For property companies.
example, Multiplex is an Australian company which is a property
developer and builder while other companies such as Westfield focus
on retail property development and management.

Working for a larger company can give employees more opportunity


to experience different property roles, gain promotion to higher
positions or transfer overseas.

Corporate Real Estate


Some companies own property even though their core business
is in another field, such as telecommunications, banking
or government.

The management of properties owned by these companies is


called corporate real estate, or CRE.

No matter how good they are at their core business, many


firms realise they need help to manage their real estate.
Some major companies are selling all their property or
outsourcing management to property specialists. This is a
relatively recent trend in Australia.

The main focus of the CRE professional is to lift the productivity


of people working in buildings. This differs from the traditional
tasks of tenant management and improving building efficiency.

CRE is one of the fastest growing careers in the property industry.

23
Property

detour Government
For everything you need If you’re interested in town planning, developing public spaces or
to know about jobs in
assessing potential developments, a position working for a state or
government, check out Career
FAQs careers @gov.au Commonwealth government department or local council might be
www.careerfaqs.com.au an option. Those with a background or interest in the environment,
property, or property economics can all find positions within
government.

A career in government can be very rewarding and comes with the


benefit of job security and strong opportunities for internal promotion
within the different state and federal departments. These include:
find out
more ■ Australian Government Department of Environment and Water
www.environment.gov.au
■ New South Wales Department of Lands
www.lands.nsw.gov.au
www.nt.gov.au/dpi ■ Northern Territory Department of Planning and Infrastructure
www.nrw.qld.gov.au ■ Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Water
www.dse.vic.gov.au
■ Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment
www.dhw.wa.gov.au
■ Western Australian Department of Housing and Works.

24
The big picture

What are employers looking for?


With such high stakes, employers are looking for the best and
brightest when it comes to property roles. In entry-level and lower
professional positions, it isn’t always so much about education
or experience but more about dedication, self-motivation,
communication skills and confidence.

Employers are always on the lookout for talented and motivated staff,
but they’re not going to hire just anyone. They know exactly the type
of person and attitude that succeeds in property, and will hold out for
the cream of the crop. In an industry based on specialist divisions and
teams, employers need to see that candidates can work well in a team
and liaise well with the public, clients, contractors and other parties.

What employers are looking for, the positions they offer and the
methods of recruitment they use are very varied across the different
sectors in property. We spoke to the following employers about
the sort of people they want to take on in their companies, and the
opportunities they have available.

■ Peitra Moffat – Head of HR, Lend Lease Retail and Communities

■ Alice Harle – HR Consultant, AMP Capital Investors

■ K
 aren Schmidt – Director of Commercial Property, Western
Australian Government Department of Housing and Works

25
Property

Peitra Moffat – Head of HR, Lend Lease


Retail and Communities
Peitra is the head of human resources
for Lend Lease Retail and Communities
Asia Pacific and looks after half a dozen
businesses operating in the property
development and retail shopping centre
side of the company.

After coming from a legal background


and specialising in employee relations,
Peitra began working for Lend Lease as a
legal counsel in the construction side of
the business and then moved into human resources.

Lend Lease Corporation, which celebrates its 50th anniversary


of incorpoartion in 2008, is now well established as a leading
international property group focused on three core sectors: retail
and residential property, property investment management, and
construction. Lend Lease primarily operates in Australia, Asia, the
United Kingdom, the Middle East and the Americas. The group has
nearly 11 000 employees and an operating profit for the 2006–07
financial year of $445.9 million.

q&a
What employment opportunities do you have at Lend Lease?
As an integrated property group we employ people from a variety
of backgrounds to work in property construction, development
and management. The company is divided into three main lines of
business – retail and communities, investment management and
project management/construction.
In terms of graduate recruitment, the construction side of the business
is currently focusing specifically on engineers and project managers.
In retail and communities, and property development, they are looking
for people with marketing, development and asset management skill
sets. Across Lend Lease more broadly there is a real need for finance
people at the moment. In investment management we look for people
with financial skills and funds management experience. In terms of
functional roles, there is a large demand for IT specialists.

26
The big picture

What are the graduate opportunities like?


Our graduate intakes are larger in the construction side of the
business and in disciplines such as finance, engineering and, to an
extent, marketing.
We also employ graduates in architecture, design and planning. In
other parts of the business, such as funds management, experience is
key and people work their way up to positions in that area.

What qualifications do you look for?


We employ people who have commerce, economic, engineering, law,
planning, construction and marketing degrees. We certainly employ
people who don’t have degrees, but it is largely a professional work
force and having academic qualifications is certainly an advantage.

Are individual teams made of people with different skills?


It depends what part of the company it is. We have a lot of project-
based work, and the teams are made up of project managers,
development managers, engineers, sales staff, covenant
administrators, marketers and design teams – they operate like little
companies of their own.
Alternatively, if you came into the head office you would be
surrounded by people from every discipline – finance, risk, audit,
human resources, IT, engineers, communication specialists,
development managers and PAs.

What personal characteristics are you looking for in potential


employees?
Apart from employing people who have excellent technical skills,
we also want the people who are the right fit, who will behave
in accordance with our values of respect, integrity, innovation,
collaboration and excellence. Because the work requires employees to
be highly collaborative, we need to ensure that people will be able to
work together effectively.

What are the opportunities for working your way up in the


company?
Many members of our senior management team have built their
careers through Lend Lease and come up through the ranks. There
are also large numbers of people working in the top positions in
publicly listed companies that began their careers at Lend Lease.
There is an obligation for individuals to manage their own career,
but, additionally, Lend Lease does assist employees to develop and
nurture that. For example, if you come in as a graduate engineer, you
can move into a position as a project engineer, then project manager,
and continue to move up through the ranks into senior management.

27
Property

Is it easy to move between the different areas of Lend Lease?


People do this all of the time (both within Australia and overseas).
We encourage movement as it really deepens people’s skills sets. The
more experienced people there are in different parts of property, the
more valuable they are to us.

How much individual input do members of staff have?


It’s not just about your level of seniority – it is part of our culture that
you are encouraged and expected to speak up and challenge the
status quo. You are expected to be part of the debate.

What are the opportunities in metropolitan and rural work?


We have a great deal of work in capital cities all around Australia, not
just in the CBD areas, but also in the outer urban rings. We also have
work in some of the regional centres.

What are the international opportunities?


We operate in over 38 different countries with an enormous presence
in the United Kingdom and the United States through all our streams
of business. We also have operations in most European countries
and some areas of South America and, of course, Asia. A significant
number of people are sent around the globe each year. We place both
senior and junior people on international assignments – we see it as
part of the attraction of working for Lend Lease. Most of our senior
management have spent time in various locations around the world.

What advice do you have for people thinking about a career in


property?
It’s a fabulous area because it is so exciting and rewarding seeing
the end product and being able to say you were involved in building
that community, or that shopping centre, or that iconic building. It’s
a very tangible result so it’s a very attractive industry to be in. In
particular, I would encourage more women to get into the industry. It
has traditionally been a male-dominated area, but more women are
coming in and finding it a very rewarding career.

28
Property

Karen Schmidt – Director of Commercial


Property, Western Australian Government
Department of Housing and Works
As the director of commercial property
in the Western Australian Government,
Karen manages 30 staff and all the
government offices in Western Australia.

Her position involves finding, fitting out


and managing office properties for the
74 state government agencies.

Karen often has the opportunity to


travel to regional and remote areas and
says that the variety of work, and the
opportunity to make a difference by working in the public sector,
makes working for the government very attractive.

q&a
What does your position involve?
glossary I manage all the government office accommodation in Western
Australia. That’s some 600 square metres of owned and leased office
Rent roll is: accommodation with a rent roll of around $124 million.
– a spreadsheet describing What sort of employment does the department offer?
the leases and occupancy
of a building. We have roles for people who come from lots of different
backgrounds. The people who manage our office fit-outs come from
built environment disciplines like architecture.
Some of the people working in leasing areas have business degrees
and backgrounds in valuation, and I even have a psychologist
working in our policy area. We also have people working as lease
administrators and client managers for the 74 agencies we manage
property for.

What qualities are you looking for?


As we provide client-based property services our staff need to
be comfortable working with people. In one morning, our lease
administrators might spend time talking with a tenant in a remote part
of Western Australia to solve an air-conditioning problem and then be
on the phone with the chief executive officer of a large government
department to discuss the best location for a new branch office.

32
The big picture

Are qualifications necessary for employment in the find out


department? more
They’re not necessarily a prerequisite. Experience in the property www.dhw.wa.gov.au
sector can be just as valuable as having a formal qualification.

What opportunities are there for promotion?


One of the wonderful things about working in the public sector is that
it’s such a large and varied employer. There are many opportunities to
work in some really interesting jobs. A lot of the bigger government
agencies have a property service function within their corporate
services areas and might, for example, employ people to manage
their department’s assets. Other agencies offer interesting roles in
land development.
Of course, our department offers the most variety. You could be
responsible for relocating an entire government department,
overseeing the design and installation of the fit-out for another
department’s branch offices across the state, improving the
sustainability of all government office buildings, or developing the
strategy for managing the entire portfolio over the next five years.

What makes the commercial property directorate more


interesting?
The exciting thing, for me, is that I get the opportunity to improve the
working conditions of many people. By providing good quality office
space, we can help government to attract and retain the people who
provide very important community services across the state, including
in regional and remote areas.

How do property roles in the public sector compare to the


private sector?
The roles in the public sector are probably more varied. We manage
a large and diversified portfolio and we can influence significant
government policy issues. For example, government is well placed to
lead the way in improving the sustainability of the commercial office
environment. Since 2002, Western Australian government agencies
have saved 40 000 tonnes of greenhouse gases by doing simple
things like improving controls over air-conditioning systems in our
offices. Imagine what we could achieve if we incorporated sustainable
design into our offices from the start! Developing and promoting
green offices is a large and very exciting part of our job.

What benefits does a career in the public sector offer?


Enormous variety, the potential to make a difference, and excellent
skill development. The public sector also gives you very valuable
and transferable skills. My staff have skills in project management,
negotiation, strategic planning, stakeholder engagement, financial
analysis and leadership – skills that are in demand across a range
of sectors.

33
Property

What is the salary like for property roles in the public sector?
Salary levels reflect different levels of responsibility. When you
compare similar positions with the private sector, there is a wider
range of salaries on offer from private sector companies (obviously at
the moment the resources sector in Western Australia is a very strong
competitor), but the public sector offers strong non-salary benefits
like flexible working hours and access to training and structured
career advancement.

Do you have any advice for someone looking to move into a


property career?
My main advice is to develop a good understanding of the position
and organisation you’re applying for. Make sure you understand what
the position involves and what skills are needed. Look at the values
of the organisation and ask if they fit with your own world view.
Consider how long you want to stay in the role and ask what
opportunities the organisation offers to develop your skills and
take on more responsibility.
Be aware of the variety of jobs that are available in the property sector
and which ones suit you best. Are you good at sales? Are you good at
solving complex problems? Do you want to make lots of money? Do
you want to change the world? If you’re not sure, find an organisation
that will offer you a range of roles so you can test out your strengths
and interests.

34
The big picture

What support organisations exist?


Continually developing your professional skills, knowledge and
contacts is an important aspect of many industries, and property
is no different. In some states, regulations specify that property
professionals must belong to a member organisation – such as the
Property Institute – and complete industry training each year.

Involvement in organisations really helps you piece together who


is in the business community you’re dealing in. You need to know
the agents that are working in your area and continually receive
updates on what is happening in the marketplace. You need that
knowledge of who’s who and what they are doing to understand
the market.
Lauren Cassar – Property Asset Manager, Stockland, North Sydney

In a sector that is heavily regulated and influenced by the law, it can


also be beneficial to have an organisation representing the interests
of you, your colleagues and the industry as a whole.

Australian Property Institute


More than 7500 professionals throughout Australia are represented
by the Australian Property Institute (API). Members include valuers,
advisers, analysts, funds managers, lawyers, researchers and
academics.

Many Australian financial institutions require property professionals


who are carrying out mortgage valuation work to be members of
the API so, from a work perspective, the Institute provides some
tangible benefits.

The value for members also includes access to publications, such


as the Australian Property Journal, networking opportunities and
conferences that promote the industry and its standards of practice.

The API also provides research funding and runs awards for excellence
in the industry.

35
Property

Facilities Management Association


If you’re working in facilities management, then the Facility
Management Association of Australia (FMA Australia) is the body that
represents your interests to government and regulatory bodies. FMA
Australia has branches in most states. It encourages the development
of facility management university courses. If you want to get involved,
they run networking events, development seminars, conferences,
special interest groups, and publish newsletters and a magazine.

The organisation is also a founding member of Global FM – an


international association that seeks to raise the profile of facility
management and promote high standards of practice within
the industry.

National Association of Women in


Construction
If you’re a woman working in any construction-related sector, there’s
a strong network of peers supporting you in the industry. The
National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) is a not-for-
profit organisation that promotes the industry in general and the
advancement of women within it. Members include everyone from
engineers and builders to interior designers and architects.

So that everyone is kept in the know, the NAWIC has a forum for
members to network and speak about the industry and maintain an
awareness of developments and trends. They also hold regular events,
seminars and awards.

If you’re looking for support in further study, the NAWIC, in


conjunction with Bovis Lend Lease in Victoria, provide a postgraduate
scholarship to expand the opportunities of women completing a
Master’s or PhD in the design, property and construction sectors.

For Inspection
The 2007 Fabulous Women in Property
Luncheon was held on 7 September in
Adelaide. The annual event raises money
for charity – in 2007 the beneficiary was
ovarian cancer research.

36
The big picture

National Real Estate Franchise Association


of Australia
If you have plans to become a franchisee, the National Real Estate
Franchise Association of Australia (NREFA) is an important place to
start looking for information. While they aim to develop the specialist
needs of real estate franchising in particular, their activities benefit all
real estate agents and the industry as a whole.

The NREFA prepares and distributes resources and research to help


all those in the industry. It runs meetings, conferences and networking
events. One of its primary aims is to achieve a simplified, uniform
approach to industry licensing requirements that relate to franchises.

Property Council of Australia


The Property Council of Australia’s (PCA) mission is to develop
integrated business relations with their members and to champion the
interests of the property sector. In the political arena, they focus on
issues relating to tax, development and building controls, economic
growth, environment, lease legislation and trading hours.

The PCA offers networking opportunities in areas of specific interest


to its members, so that like-minded people can communicate with
each other. With around 2000 member companies ranging from the
largest institutions to private property investors, the opportunities to
make connections and meet industry colleagues are endless.

In addition, the PCA also has information, news, publications,


guidelines and world-class professional development courses for their
members. Courses are taught by leading practitioners in the industry
and the emphasis is on practical learning.

37
Property

Real Estate Institute of Australia


If you are working in real estate, the Real Estate Institute of Australia
(REIA) is where you go for advice and information on commercial and
residential property in Australia.

The REIA provides research and advice to the government, politicians,


the media and the public on a range of issues affecting the property
market. They have institutes in each state and territory, and represent
about 80 per cent of real estate firms, and licensed agents.

As well as working with other organisations within Australian, the


REIA also represents Australian real estate in various international
associations.

Royal Australian Institute of Architects


Are you interested in architecture as a profession? If so, you should
be aware of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects (RAIA). With
9000 members across Australia and overseas, the Institute is there
to advance the practice of architecture, maintain integrity of the
profession and encourage the study of architecture.

The organisation runs programs, seminars and online training for its
members and the public, and lobbies to maintain the quality of the
built environment. If you are an architect within the RAIA, you will be
encouraged to undertake continued professional development and
will have access to all the latest information on trends and new ideas,
as well the Institute’s guide to environmental design.

The RAIA is also affiliated with the International Union of Architects,


the international body representing over one million architects in 116
countries.
find out
more Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors
www.propertyinstitute.com.au
www.fma.com.au The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) provides advice
www.nawic.com.au
on land, property, construction and related environmental issues.
Their role is to help to set, maintain and regulate standards to
www.nrefa.com
protect clients and consumers, as well as provide impartial advice to
www.propertyoz.com.au
governments and policymakers around the world. RICS has 140 000
www.reiaustralia.com.au
members operating out of 146 countries and membership is
www.architecture.com.au
awarded to people who maintain high standards in a way that is to the
www.rics.org
public advantage.

38
Sales and
leasing
It’s an exciting time when properties go under the hammer – pulses
race, prices soar and emotions go slightly crazy. And as demand
exceeds supply, the leasing market is also heating up in Australia.

Property agents and managers who look after sales and leasing
for residential, commercial, industrial and other real estate space are
the agents of change – changing one property ownership or tenancy
to another.

Every day around Australia, hundreds of deals are sealed. Property


agents show people where to sign and hand over sets of keys as
people take possession of their new digs: whether they are renting or
buying houses, offices and industrial and commercial premises.

But there’s a whole lot more to sales and leasing than handing over
the keys at the completion of the transaction. They need to have
an understanding of the market that they are working in and great
interpersonal relationships so that they can put the right people into
the right premises. It’s a skill that the people we interviewed in this
chapter have honed to a fine art.

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Property

cv factory manager >> Elliott Placks – Sales Executive, Ray White


waiter >> sales assistant Double Bay, Sydney
>> sales executive
At just 26, it appears that Elliott made
the right choice when he left his
commerce degree to give real estate a
go. He now makes about 30 transactions
per year with an average sale price of
$2 million – a target most sellers
wouldn’t reach until after 15 or 20 years
in the industry. In 2007, A Current Affair
crowned him one of Australia’s top three
young agents.

He works for Ray White Double Bay in Sydney’s eastern suburbs,


which has a diverse clientele. Their sales and leasing portfolio ranges
from one-room studios to $20 million waterfront properties.

q&a
How did you first become involved in property?
I was studying commerce at university and thought I was going to
go into banking, but it didn’t really appeal to me. My mother was in
real estate, and so I thought I’d give it a whirl. I began in the eastern
suburbs of Sydney because I live here. It’s always good to sell around
where you live because you’re more passionate about the area and
know it more intimately. I started in the industry five years ago and
haven’t looked back since.

What do you do in your position?


I focus on higher-end residential sales, particularly harbour-side
eastern suburb properties.
My day-to-day duties include everything from calling potential clients
and developing new business, to sourcing and finding properties for
sale and following up on buyers.
I also devise marketing strategies for properties and the business,
as well as for myself – self-promotion is a big part of my job. This can
include getting my details on advertising databases, making sure I am
listed on realestate.com.au and getting mentioned in the media.

What projects are you working on at the moment?


I’m selling two side-by-side semis that are currently under
construction, a waterfront apartment and a house in Rose Bay.

40
Sales and
leasing

How is property changing in Sydney?


The market itself is very patchy, much like the stock market. Some
properties are selling at 10 or 20 per cent above market price, while
others are lying a little flatter. It can be a very emotional industry – it
only takes two or three people to lock horns on a property to create
some excitement and push the price up.

What qualities do you need to succeed in property?


You need to be extremely energetic, positive, goal orientated, focused
and dedicated. You also need to have a thick skin to be able to handle
rejection. At the same time, you have to be empathetic because you
really are counselling people and dealing with their biggest assets.
You have to treat every person with the utmost respect. You also have
to be quick with numbers, because if you’re not, when it comes to
negotiating and discussing fees and charges, you’ll be left for dust.

What do you enjoy about your position?


I think the highlight is dealing with people and their emotions. I enjoy
seeing people get really excited when they buy their next property,
because it is positively affecting their lives. Obviously the money is a
by-product of my hard work.

Is there anything you dislike?


If anything, it would be paperwork. It can be a bit tedious, but in order
to make sure the agency runs effectively, the admin side is essential.

How flexible is your workplace?


I am really my own boss and I can choose my own hours. I have to be
working just about all the time, in a sense. It’s all about networking
– even when you’re out socialising.
If you want to be successful then overtime is necessary. Put it this
way: 80 per cent of the work is done by 20 per cent of the people, so
the successful 20 per cent are probably putting in a lot of overtime.
in
Do you think qualifications are necessary?
I think the most important thing is people skills. A psychology degree
brief
Sales Executive
might help in that sense – purely because you need to be able to read
people’s personalities, emotions and body language. $$$  00K+
1
quals Real Estate Licence
A degree can definitely teach you discipline and focus, but a lot of
hrs/wk 50–60
it is more to do with the practical side when you’re on the job. I think
work–life very good
you learn the most when you’re actually dealing with the matter flexibility good
at the time.

41
Property

cv office administrator Liza McKilliam – Real Estate Agent,


>> real estate assistant >> RE/MAX, Brisbane
air hostess >> real estate
Liza first became interested in real
agent
estate sales when she spoke to agents
regarding the sale of her own home.
When it was time to re-enter the work
force, after helping out with school
fundraisers for 12 years, she chose
residential real estate sales and felt
immediately at home. Her father had
been a real estate agent and a developer
during the 1960s and she felt that the
detour job was ‘in her bones’.
Interested in running your own Liza is an independent agent working under the banner of RE/MAX,
business? Check out Career
FAQs Be Your Own Boss. the largest real estate company worldwide. It was the first real
www.careerfaqs.com.au estate company to offer sales people the opportunity to operate as
independent contractors.

q&a
What does it take to be a good real estate agent?
Energy, confidence, excellent communication skills and a likeable
nature – people need to trust you. Since the market is always
changing and you are dealing with different clients and properties, it
is important to never stop training and honing your skills.
To become a real estate sales person, you need to pass a sales
person’s course and obtain a licence from the Office of Fair Trading.
To become an independent contractor, you need to be a licensed real
estate agent, which means completing a more comprehensive training
course and obtaining the appropriate licence.

How did you start working in real estate?


Before becoming a mother, I had worked as an air hostess, in office
administration for a large computer company, and in my father’s real
estate office and development company. When I decided to return to
the work force, real estate sales seemed like a job that would suit me.
I completed a sales course with the Real Estate Institute of
Queensland, became Queensland Rookie of the Year in my first year
with The Professionals and was headhunted by Ray White. I then
started as an independent agent with RE/MAX.

42
Sales and
leasing

What is happening in the real estate market at the moment?


Brisbane is very much a sellers’ market, which means that there are
more buyers than sellers and the price of houses is being pushed up.
It is very important to keep up with the upward surge in prices and
make sure that we do not undersell a client’s property.
It also means that I have to be very ‘on my game’ to secure listings
in the first place. As an agent, it is easier to sell in a sellers’ market.
Properties sell quickly, sometimes for more than the asking price, so it
is the securing of properties to sell that is the difficult task.
In a buyers’ market, there are more properties for sale and they often
take a lot longer to sell. Sometimes they don’t sell with the initial
listing agent.

ons
• List presentations, negotiati
Monday and inspections
• Follow up buyers and selle
rs • Do prospecting calls
from open homes • Attend open homes
• Check emai ls and prop erty Thursday
Internet hits • Check emails and property
• Write reports ns Internet hits
• List presentations, negotiatio group
• Attend monthly training
rs
and inspections • Follow up sellers and buye g
Tuesday • Do prospecting calls, listin ons
base presentations and nego tiati
• Meet with PA about data drops
management and letterbox • Attend open homes
• Check emai ls and prop erty Friday
Internet hits • Wash car
buyer hits
• Do prospecting calls and • Check emails and property
rs
enquiry • Follow up sellers and buye g
subm it class ified ing calls and listin
• Write and rials • Do prospect
advertising and proof picto presentations
• Attend seller meetings offic e drink s
• Friday night
Wednesday Saturday
• Attend office meeting and • Open homes and buyer
property preview inspections
letter, s
• Write weekly email news • Negotiate and sell propertie
monthly letters, bi-monthly Sunday
letters • Try to have a day off
• Proof classified ads

What does your role involve?


I help people buy and sell their homes and investment properties
– this can include houses, town houses, units and vacant land.
Occasionally a developer will buy a large parcel of land to be re-zoned
into smaller lots.
I work as an independent contractor for RE/MAX, which means that
I operate my own business under their name. When a sale is settled,
I am paid 100 per cent of the sales commission, but I pay them an
8 per cent franchise fee and monthly desk and administration
costs. The benefit of this arrangement is the freedom to conduct
my business the way I want while working under the banner of a
large organisation.

43
Property

Does the job allow you a good work–life balance?


Yes – especially now that my children are older and more independent.
I have two boys who are in their early 20s and a girl who is almost 17.
Although I work six days a week, and occasionally on a Sunday, I take
a minimum of six weeks holiday a year spaced throughout the year.
I also try to attend at least one or two conferences each year to keep
up to date with property trends.
As an independent contractor, I do have the flexibility to manage my
time and set goals that suit my lifestyle.

Victoria
oliday at Falls Creek,
r daughte r Nikki on h
Liza and he

What are the positives and negatives of your job?


It’s great that when I put in extra work, my income reflects it. As far
as the actual job goes, getting the listing and making the sale are
always the most enjoyable. There is enormous satisfaction in helping
someone find their new home and subsequently selling the property
that we have listed.
The worst bit would probably be having missed out on spending
time with my children when they were younger – especially Saturday
sporting events. Now that they are older and more independent it’s a
lot easier for me.

44
Sales and
leasing

What are the different job opportunities in real estate?


There are opportunities as receptionists, personal assistants,
buyer’s agents, selling agents, property managers, auctioneers,
office managers, training and seminar managers, copywriters,
photographers, floor plan specialists and website managers.

What is the process of selling a house?


There are five different stages of selling: prospecting, listing,
marketing, negotiating and taking the sale to completion.
Prospecting involves searching for properties that will be sold either
immediately or sometime in the future. I use a property database,
past clients, contacts, referrals, open home inspections, letterbox
drops, door knocking, telemarketing and advertising to do this.
After someone decides they want to sell their property, I list it then
advise the client about the best method of sale, the expected price
range, and whether to consider renovations prior to sale.
Once it is on the market, we need to attract the right buyers. The
Internet really drives the real estate market today, so properties in
are always marketed online as well as through the more traditional
marketing methods. We also do local area letterbox drops and hold
brief
Real Estate Agent
open house days so that prospective buyers can view the property.
$$$ 400K
The negotiating stage is critical as it often means the difference quals Real Estate Sales
between a brilliant result and an ordinary one. Finally, taking the sale Course; Real
Estate Licence
to completion means attending building and pest inspections, bank
hrs/wk 60
valuations and pre-settlement inspections prior to settlement.

45
Sales and
leasing

Grant Jennings – Associate Director, cv customer service


Commercial Leasing, Savills, Sydney CBD >> territory manager
>> database manager
Grant is an associate director of Savills
>> leasing negotiator
Commercial Office Leasing Division.
He enjoys the active lifestyle of leasing >> leasing manager

office space in the Sydney CBD and gets >> associate director,

a thrill from closing deals. commercial leasing

Savills is a leading global real


estate provider listed on the London
Stock Exchange. Savills Australia
is predominantly involved with
commercial, industrial and retail
property. Opportunities exist in sales, leasing, valuations and
management throughout Australia and overseas.

q&a
How does commercial leasing differ from residential leasing?
Residential leasing is conducted on a more personal level – you are
in there on a weeknight looking to lease or sell property to mums and
dads. In the commercial market it is more of a business decision, so
the way you interact with your clients and the types of property you
are leasing are very different.

What do you do in your position?


I lease commercial office space in the Sydney CBD and also in some
fringe markets like Pyrmont and Surry Hills. Savills work on behalf
of private owners and large institutions such as AMP, DB RREEF,
Colonial and Investa. We formulate leasing strategies, arrange
marketing campaigns, approach prospective tenants and negotiate
the commercial terms of the lease.

Who do you work with?


Savills New South Wales Commercial Leasing division comprises our
New South Wales managing director, a divisional director, myself as
associate director, a few leasing executives, a leasing coordinator,
administration staff and a database manager. The Savills Sydney Head
Office comprises some 150 staff across various divisions.

What type of person makes it in a job like this?


You definitely need to have good people skills, enthusiasm, a strong
work ethic and a burning desire to succeed. It is a highly competitive
industry and there are quite a few agents within the CBD so you need
to stand yourself out from the rest.

51
Property

What is the process that you go through to secure a deal?


We are appointed to lease office space by property owners. We then
formulate a leasing strategy, part of which will identify key tenants
who we think will suit a particular building. We approach potential
tenants either directly or via their tenant representatives – some of the
larger tenants have representatives who work on their behalf.
Once a degree of interest is established, we will conduct an inspection
of the subject property and provide the features, benefits and
financial parameters. From there, the tenant will generally short-list
the property and we will move into a leasing proposal stage where we
will negotiate the commercial terms of the lease. Solicitors are then
instructed to prepare lease documentation and, all things being equal,
the lease is executed and the deal is done!

Thursday
ss and
Monday
on, Savills • Meet with client to discu lease
• First thing – Fitness sessi on issue the first offer on their
Director of IT runs the sessi s proposal
pres
• Review weekend property ings • Arrange Internet marketing
for
• Arrang e week ly clien t meet
potential a property
• Property inspections with • F ortni ghtly clien t meet ing
tenant
to discuss • Follow up on Wednesday
• Fortnightly client meeting rs canvassing
recent inspections and offe • More inspections
Tuesday Friday
an offer
• Client meeting to discuss • Fitness session – if up for
it!
ng
from a tenant
inspections • 8 am weekly internal leasi
• 2nd round of short-listed Monday meeting
with potential tenant from • Update all clients on the
past
her erties
• More inspections with anot week’s activity on their prop s
potential tenant ague
ing subm ission • Industry lunch with colle osal
ratio n of build nt on lease prop
• Prepa work • Follow up tena
where Savills is pitching for from earlier in the week
Wednesday • Savills staff drink s!
• Fitness session – again hures to Weekend
• Distribute marketing broc • Play golf Izzy
target list ming • Catch up with new baby girl,
• Cold call canvassing of up-co • Scan property sections in
the
lease expiries papers
s need to be
• More inspections – alway • Beach/Relax with wife and
bub
inspecting properties! • Sunday morning brekky

Have you got a good work–life balance?


Yes definitely, and that is part of the culture at Savills. Also it isn’t a
job where you are stuck at your desk eight hours a day – if you are
doing your job properly you are out on the street, talking to people,
looking for opportunities and having your ear to the ground.

How did you get into property?


After the sale of our family business, I was looking for a career change
and commercial property was always something that had interested
me. At school I played rugby with the now NSW Managing Director of
Savills, Michael Andrews. When a three-day a week job looking after
the Savills databases came up, I jumped at the opportunity. It wasn’t
the most enthralling position but it gave me a great understanding of

52
Sales and
leasing

the inner workings of the market. After a few months, a full-time job
came up in the leasing division and I worked my way up from there as
I gained skills and experience. With a leasing role, you need to gain
an understanding of the particular buildings and the building owners.
It isn’t something that you can come in and be at the top of the field
within a few months.

What changes have you seen in the market?


The major change in the market has been the reduction in vacancy
(space available to lease) which has halved in the past two years.
This makes it more difficult for agents because the amount of stock
is just not there to lease. On the flip side, this lack of stock provides
opportunities for agents who can think laterally.

Is this the sort of job you need qualifications for?


No it’s not, however a degree is a definite advantage. You do need
a certificate of registration but that is really the only prerequisite
to work as an agent. In more specialised property roles it can be
necessary to have a property or finance related degree.

What do you like best about your job?


I like the deal-doing aspect – it’s a great thrill finalising a deal. I also
enjoy the day-to-day work – you are out on the streets and meeting
different business people. Savills has a great culture where we are
expected to work hard but we also have a lot of fun in the process.

Anything you dislike?


I think the positives of the job far outweigh any of the negatives.
Probably on a lighter side, when it’s the middle of summer and it’s 35
degrees and you are pounding the pavement in your suit, it can be a
bit hot and sweaty!

Where are you looking to go from here in your career?


I have been doing this now for over five and a half years and I am very
in
happy at Savills. I would like to progress to a divisional director within
the team. That would obviously mean more responsibility managing
brief
Associate Director,
staff, having a say in the direction of the business and working on Commercial Leasing
larger project leasing roles.
$$$ 50–100K +
Do you have any tips about working in leasing? commissions
hrs/wk approx 50
Go for it. It’s a great job. Put in the hours, work hard, make contacts
work–life great mix
and do as many deals as possible. Listen and learn so that you can
flexibility 10/10
apply what the people above you are telling you.

53
Funds
management
Property funds management is all about prudently investing clients’
money in real estate across various asset classes including residential,
commercial, retail and industrial.

Property funds managers, portfolio managers and trust managers can


work for diversified property companies, banks or in specialised firms.
They invest capital in real estate assets with different levels of risk.
Property funds management is a constant and dynamic process as
funds managers endeavour to get the best returns for their funds by
investing in multimillion-dollar properties and projects.

To work in property funds management, you need an extensive


understanding of the property market, the ability to assess the
financial viability of developments and acquisitions, and the
entrepreneurial skills that will see you generate the best returns on
your clients’ funds. And with predictions by futurists and demographic
experts that in the next 20 years Australia will need up to 79 000
new residential units to accommodate the over 65s alone, funds
management has a big future for those who can master the art. It’s not
for the faint hearted, but if you can cut it in funds management, you’ll
have a very profitable career.

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from Career FAQs for FREE? Click here 55
Property

cv labourer >> Adam Learmonth – Executive General


research assistant >> Manager, FKP Funds Management, Sydney
research analyst >>
Adam works in funds management for the
research manager >>
FKP Property Group. He began working
listed analyst >> wholesale
in real estate research, writing reports on
analyst >> asset manager market performance. He progressed
>> portfolio manager >> through the ranks also working in asset
fund manager >> executive and portfolio management before getting
general manager into funds management.

FKP Property Group is one of Australia’s


leading diversified property and
investment groups. The company has
more than 30 years experience in property
in Australia, and has offices in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.
The Group has funds under management in excess of $1.5 billion.

q&a
What exactly is funds management?
It’s all about investing other people’s money. The funds management
business falls across all types of asset classes, such as share portfolios
or fixed interest and bonds, but our company specialises in real estate.
It’s about finding the right opportunities for investment, implementing
the right strategies, and managing the money on an ongoing basis to
make sure that you are producing the returns that investors expect.

What is the difference between funds management and


managing a portfolio?
The difference is really that we manage specific funds for investors.
Often, portfolio or asset managers manage assets on behalf of a
company or a fund manager. Generally, a fund manager oversees the
fund and makes sure that it’s performing as it should and underneath
them sits the portfolio manager who oversees the individual real
estate assets. In really big funds there are sometimes individual asset
managers who look after between one and five real estate assets.
The fund manager has overall responsibility for the performance of the
vehicle and is generally also concerned with non-real estate issues like
cashflow, debt, equity structures and tax.

How transferable are the skills between jobs?


They are very transferable, but it’s more a case of working your way up
through those other positions to become a fund manager. Working as
an asset manager and portfolio manager gives you the foundations you
need to be a fund manager.

56
Funds management

What does your job entail?


As the general manager, I have to oversee the work of 17 staff and
have overall responsibility for the performance of the investment
funds under management. Another big part of the role is looking to
the future of property and funds management, finding where the
gaps in the market are and the opportunities for new funds with new
investment strategies. The majority of funds managers buy existing
property, but we have a different strategy – we also create new
properties, either through refurbishment of older properties or the
creation of entirely new developments.
On a typical day, I could sit on a project control group that’s about
to submit a development application to council to add four stories
to one of our existing buildings. I might sit down with the asset and
funds managers to make sure our leasing or repositioning strategies
are correct – that we are going to produce the right sort of asset and
target the right tenant market. I might also have another meeting with
the finance team to look at how the funds are performing financially,
how our equity and cash positions are looking and if we are going to
meet budget.
I might also listen to a business case put forward by the acquisition
team and fund manager to purchase a new property. I could also
inspect the property and talk to tenants and local real estate agents.
I might also present to our clients and investors, updating them on
the performance of their investment.

Who are your clients?


Our business currently manages four separate funds and within each
of those funds are a small number of investors – somewhere between
eight and 20. Each fund has a unique investment strategy, and they all
target different aspects of the real estate industry because different MYTH
investors have different appetites for risk and return. Some funds are funds management
quite stable, while others tend to be more aggressive and risky but is a small section
they also offer higher returns. of property with
limited opportunities
What sort of person works well in funds management?
for expansion
You probably need to combine two sets of skills – financial skills and
creativity. It’s about being numerical – understanding the financial Funds management
risks, accounting, forecasting and pre-empting the market. As the is the fastest-growing
world is becoming more complicated, you also need the creativity to property sector. From
2006 to 2007, the sector
think outside the square and create new financial and fund designs. grew by 29 per cent.
In property funds management, financial skills need to be linked into In 2007, 1.2 million
fact

real estate – the most successful property fund managers really love Australians had $356.6
billion invested with
the industry and the creative built form of real estate. They have to funds managers.
have a passion for seeing property developed and repositioned and
dealing with tenants and other service providers. They also tend
to be quite transaction-focused and love to be involved in deals,
whether they be new leases, purchases, sales or refinancing debt.
The real estate industry is also a very people orientated business so
interpersonal and relationship building skills are really important.

57
Property

What do you like about your work?


One of the things I love about it is the actual physical product of real
estate. In any funds management position you work really hard on
a big project and at the end of that there is a return – in real estate
we not only get that financial return but a tangible asset. Not every
funds management company does this style of investing but at FKP,
we produce amazing buildings, and to walk into them after completion
is a real kick. I also like that we are part of the action – every industry
needs real estate, so whatever sector of the economy is firing at the
time the real estate industry is a part of it.

What are the lows of the job?


Both the real estate and funds management industries are based on
transactions, which means working on deals that don’t always come
off. There are inevitable disappointments and, sometimes, you miss
out even after periods of really solid work.

g skipper
Adam playin

How is your work–life balance?


It is probably geared more towards work. There are a lot of hours
involved in the job so it is very important to love what you are doing.

58
Funds management

What qualifications do you have?


A Bachelor of Economics from the University of Sydney and a range
of industry related and postgrad courses in finance, asset allocation,
valuation and management.

What type of qualifications help people advance in funds


management?
Within real estate funds management, people either come from a
property background with a Bachelor degree in Property or Land
Economics and potentially a Master’s in Property Development, or
they come from a finance background. From this stream people may
have a Bachelor degree in Economics or Finance. Some people might
also have a Master’s in Applied Finance or an MBA.
An economics qualification can be useful as it can provide you with a
broader perspective and give you an understanding of how real estate
fits into the big picture.

How much can people expect to earn in funds management?


in
A senior person in funds management could expect to make anywhere
between $300 000 and $700 000, depending on the size or how many
brief
Executive General Manager
funds the executive is responsible for, as well as how that fund is
$$$  00–700K
3
performing. The bonuses with the funds management industry are
quals BEc
quite significant, although not as large as in investment banking. In
hrs/wk 50–70
investment banking a successful executive might expect a bonus of up work–life more work
to 200 per cent of the base salary. In funds management it’s more like flexibility 4/10
20 to 100 per cent, depending on the role.

59
Funds management

Victor Georos – Industrial Business Park cv marketing and


Portfolio Manager, GPT Group, Sydney leasing >> valuation and
consultancy >> regional
Victor is responsible for the performance
leasing manager >>
of GPT Group’s portfolio of industrial
industrial business park
and business park assets, which is worth
portfolio manager
around $800 million and has the capacity
to develop a further $700 million in
new assets.

GPT is involved with ownership,


management and development of real
estate across a broad range of markets
and sectors. Listed on the Australian
Stock Exchange (ASX) since 1971, it is one of Australia’s largest
diversified listed property groups, with total assets of $12 billion.
The company has staff in Australia, Europe, the United Kingdom and
the United States.

q&a
What do you do at GPT Group?
I develop and execute the investment and development strategies for
the portfolio and take responsibility for the investment performance
of the portfolio to ensure that it will deliver acceptable returns to the
investors in GPT.
I conduct research to identify suitable investment markets that
meet our investment criteria. To do this I establish and maintain
relationships with market participants, including joint venture
partners, to secure suitable opportunities. I also look after the
asset management of existing portfolios, and am responsible for
acquisitions and developments that can be added to the portfolio to
drive earnings growth.
I also manage a small team of asset and development mangers who
work with me to deliver the investment strategies.

How did you get started in property?


I started working for a large property trust after university and then
worked on marketing and leasing for a major commercial agency
in the Sydney CBD before moving into valuation and consultancy.
In 1992, I joined Lend Lease where I had a number of roles in the
commercial division. I then moved to GPT Group and worked on asset
acquisitions. In 2000 I established the Industrial and Business Parks
division in GPT and have been busy growing that portfolio since then.

65
Property

What employment changes are you seeing in the property


market?
The past three years has seen a strong demand for investment
analysts – people are being recruited from valuation practices and
research houses as companies set up funds management or advisory
businesses.
The demand for development managers has also grown quite
significantly. As good quality investment assets become scarcer,
property groups are being required to develop their own assets to
grow their portfolios and deliver profits to the business.

Thursday
Monday • Attend risk management
• Meet with team meeting
• Read financial press • Review feasibilities for bids
et
• Review latest industrial mark closing this week
rts
forecasts and broker repo • Go to business lunch
• Attend asset plan review • Attend investor
meeting presentation by CEO
• Work on quarterly portfolio Friday
report • Meet with senior
Tuesday management
w for
• Organise feasibility revie • Attend acquisition pipeline
new acquisition meeting
ing
• Attend joint venture meet • Meet to review new fund
• Complete portfolio report opportunities
ourn e deve lopm ent
• Review Melb Saturday
opportunity • Watch kids play sport
Wednesday • Do some shopping
on
• Attend breakfast seminar • Play tennis
new markets • Have barbecue dinner with
• Inspect property friends
s of
• Review master plan statu Sunday
Sydney sites • Go for bike ride with kids
• Conduct resource planning • Watch football after lunch
session with HR

What type of person suits a career in property?


In portfolio and funds management roles we ideally look for people
with valuation and commerce skills – we are looking for candidates
who can sit across the financial side, understand how investments and
developments are analysed, and how fund performance works.
In development management, we preferably want to employ people
who have had exposure to the construction or development industry
and have good commercial acumen.

66
Funds management

Who is in your team?


I have four key members – three development managers and one
asset manager. We work closely to manage portfolios and identify new
acquisition and development opportunities. Once the opportunity is
secured these managers take control of the project in terms of master
planning, DA approval, tenant pre-commitments and delivery, while
working in conjunction with our design and construction partners.

What developments are you working on at the moment? glossary


GPT Group has a 100-hectare intermodal and logistics development Intermodal describes:
in Melbourne in joint venture with a private developer. We have been – a location serviced by
involved in that for four years and it is about 70 per cent developed – it several modes of transport
has been a tremendous success for us. We have built in excess of (road, rail, sea, air).
150 000 square metres of new warehouses leased to major Master planning is:
companies. – the preparation of overall
In Sydney, we control a number of strategic sites in Sydney Olympic planning concepts for
large development sites.
Park where we have the capacity to develop over 100 000 square
metres of new commercial and mixed-use buildings. We are in the DA approved means:
process of working with the authorities on master planning the sites – authorities have given
and expect to start construction of the first new building in 2008. their consent to permit
development.
In Erskine Park in Sydney’s west we control a 38 hectare industrial
site for warehousing and distribution and we are in the process of
servicing and preparing the site for construction in 2008.
At Macquarie Park in Sydney we have a DA approved site to build a
campus-style business park and we are in the market at the moment
for pre-lease opportunities.

What do you like most about your job?


I enjoy working with talented people across both the industrial and
commercial markets. In my position I am able to work with investors
and analysts on the investment side, and tenants, agents and
developers on the development side.
I am heavily involved with growing the portfolio and knowing that my
efforts will make a significant contribution to the objectives of the
company is satisfying.
I also enjoy managing a team – it is very rewarding to be able to
mentor people and watch them succeed on various projects and grow
into their role.

Is there anything you dislike?


On the development side I get frustrated by the inordinate amount
of time it takes to deal with the authorities on planning issues and
getting applications approved. Delays are annoying and can be very
costly to our feasibilities.

67
Property

How’s your work–life balance?


I generally have to work at it because there are a number of demands
that impinge on my time, but GPT Group certainly try to achieve a
good work–life balance for employees. They recently launched a new
program which gives employees the opportunity to negotiate more
flexible working arrangements with their managers – this could be to
have more time with their kids, spend less time commuting, work from
home or reduce working hours.
Outside of work, I like to keep fit and active. I play tennis, touch
football, ride mountain bikes, and spend a lot of time outdoors with
my wife and two children.

nnis
s playing te
in Victor enjoy
brief
Industrial Business Park Do you have any advice for people thinking of a career
Portfolio Manager
in property?
$$$ 200K +
quals B Bus (Land I think speaking to people who are already in the industry is important
Economy); Grad and researching the industry. It is certainly an industry that allows
Dip Finance and
you to work in a number of different areas and we are seeing more
Investment
opportunities abroad, particularly for Australian executives. There will
hrs/wk 40–50
work–life 7/10
be plenty of opportunities as investment becomes more global –
flexibility 8/10 whether you are a fund manager, asset manager, project manager, or
development manager.

68
Development
It is amazing what can be created from bricks, mortar, concrete, wood,
metal, a lot of determination, elbow grease and a well-structured
and creative vision. The great architectural wonders of the world
were no doubt built by a team of dedicated developers bursting with
innovation, passion and ideas.

The good ones become a part of a city’s identity – just think of the
Sydney Opera House for example.

But it isn’t just the famous developments that have an impact on


our lives. In fact, it is the developments that we take for granted
but use on an everyday basis that influence us most. From multi-level
apartments blocks housing whole communities, to hospitals, schools,
humble homes, shopping centres, gyms, universities, town halls and
theme parks, development is all about creating the very foundations
of our nation’s infrastructure.

From every vacant block which evolves into a skeletal structure of a


building then into a fully functioning building, there is a hardworking
and very satisfied developer with a team of property professionals
who have managed to pull it off.

Want more quality career resources


69
from Career FAQs for FREE? Click here
Development

Ellie Schwab – Development Manager, cv hotel waitress >>


Lend Lease, Melbourne waitress, sporting events
>> clerkship >> solicitor >>
Ellie realised at the beginning of a career
development manager
in property law that she was more
interested in her clients’ work than her
own. So she jumped the fence from a
law office into the property industry and
has worked her way up to become a
development manager for Lend Lease.

Lend Lease is a leading international


retail and residential property group,
integrated with strong investment
management and construction management business.

Ellie is currently managing an urban renewal project at Victoria


Harbour within the Melbourne Docklands precinct.

q&a
What do you do in your position?
As a development manager, I generally manage the early development
stages of a project. I select the site, develop a project brief, find
investors, secure leasing pre-commitments, obtain the authority
approvals, engage the project manager and the architect, and then
effectively oversee the project through the delivery stages. I am
ultimately responsible for the financial feasibility of the project, but I
also manage the people, client relationships and processes to ensure
we achieve our development objectives.
Developments usually take two or three years from the initial planning
stages through to completion. I mainly work in the office but I get to
go out to the project site a few times a week.

How did you end up in property?


I initially did a law degree and practised as a property lawyer for
three and a half years. I hated it and worked out very early on that
I enjoyed what the clients were doing a lot more than what I was
doing. Fourteen years ago I was interviewed by a Lend Lease property
executive who had the vision to build a development business with
young people who enjoyed a challenge from a variety of backgrounds
– engineering, architecture, finance, economics and law. Previous
development experience was not necessary. He sent me to work on a
construction site for 18 months so I could learn from the bottom up.

71
Property

What appealed to you about development?


I like seeing projects come to fruition. As a lawyer, I looked at people’s
problems and gave them advice, but I never saw the final product.
Working in development I am now very much involved in putting a
concept together and working through it until it is delivered, which is
exciting and rewarding.

Healey
lly in her 1956 Austin
a vintage car ra
Ellie off to

What characteristics do you need to succeed?


You need to be a very outgoing person because you are essentially
selling a vision – you need to be able to make contacts very quickly
and develop the trust to lead a team through all the steps in the
development process. You also need to have the diligence to get
through the workload and meet project deadlines.

What type of projects do you work on?


The development process and stages are all very similar – what makes
them different are the clients. If you have a client who is very cost
conscious then it doesn’t make for a fun project. But if you have a
client who is open to pushing the development boundaries and lets
you deliver innovative projects such as super-green buildings, then it
can be incredibly rewarding.

What do you like least about your job?


The big workload. It’s never easy to take time off and none of us are
very good at getting away from work. My job is transaction based, so
when I have very tight delivery deadlines I just have to be available – it
can be pretty full-on.

72
Development

What changes have you seen in property?


glossary
Recently, we’ve moved towards urban infill developments and urban
renewal projects rather than greenfield developments. Greenfield Urban infill means:
sites are harder to get these days so we have to be a bit more creative – vacant land in existing
about our projects and they tend to be far more complex. urban areas.
The other big trend is sustainability. A few years ago we dabbled Urban renewal is:
in social sustainability by developing projects that had a good – land redevelopment in
community interface. We are now very much into environmental high- to medium- density
sustainability, that is building green buildings and projects which aim urban areas.
to reduce our carbon footprint. Greenfield means:

What advice do you have for someone thinking about a career – a piece of usually semi-
rural property that is
in development management? undeveloped except for
Be willing to start in a junior role and grow into the industry. It’s a role agricultural use, especially
you learn on the job, rather than at university or from a textbook. one considered as a site
doe expanding urban
development.

lopment
• Pitch to prospective deve
Monday client
• Legal meeting with investor • Meet with surveyors
• Coffee with colleagues • Dinner with friends
pective
• Site inspection with pros
tenant Friday
ing
• Design meeting with proje ct manager • Project control group meet
and services consultants • Site walk with client
• Lunch with clien t
• Photography class ing
• Site team coordination meet
Tuesday • Team drinks
• Meet with finance director ive
pect
• Site inspection with pros Saturday
chores
tenant • Shopping at the market and
ger to review • Breakfast with friends
• Meet with project mana
variations • Haircut
• Staff briefing followed by
drinks • Golf driving range for a little
practice
Wednesday home
p papers • Barbecue with friends at
• Draft project control grou
• Coffee with colleagues Sunday
• Prepare leasing proposal • Sleep in
• Site safety walk • Breakfast at home reading
sign off newspapers
• Meet with authorities to the
planning conditions • Drive along beach road in
Austin Healey and lunch
dinner
Thursday • Quiet afternoon and early
• Leasing team meeting
in
brief
Development Manager

$$$ 150–220K
What are your career aspirations?
quals BA/LLB
In terms of career progression, my objective is to become a
hrs/wk 50–60
development executive and work on bigger, more high profile projects
work–life moderate
and eventually work as a business manager managing a development
flexibility 6/10
business unit.

73
Property

cv commercial and Caroline Choy – Property Development


retail designer >> designer, Manager, AMP Capital Investors, Sydney
museum exhibitions >>
With a background in design, Caroline has extensive knowledge of
retail design manager >>
the different sectors of property. Combining an interest in shopping
property development
with her expertise in design and how consumers interact with space,
manager
Caroline has her sector covered. In the past she has designed museum
and art gallery exhibitions and is currently on the board of Gallery 4A,
part of the Asia Australia Arts Centre in Sydney. Two years ago, she
was appointed as a property development manager with AMP Capital
Investors where she looks after shopping centre development.

AMP Capital Investors is a specialist investment subsidiary of AMP,


dealing with over $100 billion in funds. They have approximately 200
investment professionals working on their team in Australia and New
Zealand as well as a network of investment partners around the world.

q&a
What do you do in your position?
I look after shopping centre assets that are developed by AMP Capital
Shopping Centres. They are prime assets for redevelopment, and it
is my role to ascertain what opportunities there are to develop them.
I work out the development cost and potential financial returns, and
carry it through the construction stages to completion.
The projects vary, depending on the area and the expectation of the
residents. Some developments are community or neighbourhood
centres, while others might be more regional, larger centres.

What project are you working on at the moment?


I’m working on Dapto Mall, about 20 minutes South of Wollongong.
We’re currently at the construction-delivery end of the process and I
have to ensure that we will meet the demands of Dapto residents,
as well as have a positive commercial outcome for AMP Capital
Shopping Centres.

How did you get into property?


glossary
I have a design background and qualifications in interior design, as
MBA is: well as an MBA. Over the years I have worked in commercial and retail
– Master of Business design, and have been involved in designing museum exhibitions.
Administration. About six years ago, I started working in shopping centres as a retail
design manager before moving to AMP as a property development
manager. I’ve managed to use my previous experience and expertise
as building blocks to get to where I am today.

74
Development

What do you enjoy about your work?


I really enjoy the opportunity to have a macro-view of a project in
terms of the centre’s and consumers’ needs and looking at how the
development can meet these requirements. In this industry, shopping
centres need to keep changing to meet the needs of the consumer,
and I enjoy the challenge of adapting to new trends. Also, going out
to shopping centres or researching retail trends is never much of a
problem for me!

g site …
y stages of a buildin
From the earl

What is the process that occurs for a new development?


At the beginning of a project, you start with an overall review of
the asset and master planning. You then prepare a preliminary
development proposal, then look at developing the design concepts a
bit further and work towards a final development proposal. Once you
get sign-off, you engage external builders and architects to develop
the concepts. Then you go into construction and, once the project is
complete, the stabilisation period for the development.
As the project progresses, I simultaneously liaise with external
contractors and my internal team made up of leasing, retail design
management, centre management and marketing colleagues.

75
Property

How is sustainability considered in the developments?


Sustainability is a big part of shopping centre development and
something we are always looking to include in our projects. We do
this mainly through evaluating and utilising our services in the most
efficient way. That can include air conditioning, water harvesting
in and the amount of power that the centre or each tenancy might
brief draw. We install things like specific taps that use less running water
and also introduce effective waste management systems. At the
Property Development Manager
construction stage we are conscious of using materials which are
$$$ 100K+
environmentally sustainable.
quals BA Interior
Design; MBA How important is a work–life balance?
hrs/wk 40–60 Being fit and healthy outside of work is really important in property.
work–life  ood, but a little
g Depending on which sector you’re in, you can work quite long hours
skewed to work
at the moment! and it can be very stressful. Maintaining a regular program of going
flexibility very flexible to the gym really helps with stress management and your general
wellbeing.

pto Mall
ght lights of Da
… to the bri

76
Asset & facilities
management
Once the final brick is laid, the landscaping has been done and all of
the tenants have signed, the work is far from finished. A whole team of
professionals are needed behind the scenes to look after the day-to-
day operations of a building, to make sure the tenants are happy and
that everything (including the power) runs as smoothly as possible.

Whether it’s a shopping centre, commercial office block or residential


property, these are the people who line up tenants, listen to their
complaints and make sure maintenance staff fix any problems.

But it’s not just tenants who they have to please – the people who
hold the purse strings also want to know that they’re getting the most
out of their buildings. Asset managers are in charge of making sure
the money all adds up. As well as maintaining the money on a day-to-
day basis, they need to look to the future and forecast expenditure to
ensure that buildings meet their financial targets.

To make sure you stay on top you’ll not only need to be good with
figures, you’ll also need good communication skills to ensure that
both clients and tenants are happy and buildings remain full and
profitable.

81
Property

cv removalist >> David Wellman – Senior Strata Manager,


bottle shop attendant >> Strata Title Management, Sydney
contracts administrator,
David, 29, started out in construction
construction company >>
before moving into real estate and
labourer >> senior strata
settling down in strata management.
manager
He enjoys the diversity that comes
with this area of property and believes
it’s the way of the future with diverse
opportunities for employment.

His job is to ensure that everything is


in order for commercial, residential and
retail properties that are collectively
owned by private owners and business corporations. He runs a small
team in the Sydney CBD under the banner of Strata Title Management.

q&a
What do you do in your position?
Strata management is an arm of property management. I look after a
whole corporation of owners rather than a single client and represent
them across the whole spectrum of property – residential, commercial
and retail. This can include corporations, community associations and
building management committees. I assist them with the day-to-day
and longer-term management of their buildings and trust accounts.
The bulk of my work is administrative – I ensure the required
funds are available to maintain the buildings, that the property is
adequately insured, the trust accounts are managed and all of the
correspondence, files and records are kept intact.
The larger buildings have full-time caretakers to ensure that all the
day-to-day maintenance is carried out, but on the smaller buildings I
tend to get more involved in the technical aspects.

What is the nature of your working environment?


I work in a busy and vibrant office environment and I head up a team
of two, who manage a portfolio of approximately 3000 lots. The
larger company provides our team assistance with accounting, levy
management and other general administrative tasks. I am mainly
office based, but I occasionally visit buildings to talk with developers,
builders, caretakers and clients.

82
Asset & facilities
management

What do you enjoy about your position?


The thing I enjoy most is that the job is so diverse. I am required to
attain a wide range of knowledge in many different areas, such as
legal issues, financial matters and general property dealings including
technical building matters involving repairs and maintenance.

Is there anything you dislike?


There are pros and cons with every job. Of course, from time to time, I
will have a bad day, and there is quite a lot of stress placed on strata
managers. I guess my main dislike would be after-hours meetings and
time spent away from my family.

How did you first become involved in property?


I left school in 1997 and worked for a medium-sized construction
company as a contracts administrator. The company was involved with
projects ranging from $10 million to $50 million. I was simultaneously
studying for a qualification in construction management, but in the
end I decided that I needed a change and enrolled in a real estate and
business course. A couple of friends in the course suggested I look
into strata management and things just went from there.

How has strata management changed since you began?


Property is becoming much more complex in concept and in structure
and, with this, so too are the management issues.
With the property market the way it is at the moment, it is becoming
harder to own a home in urban areas, so apartment living seems to
be the way of the future. Developers are aware of this trend towards
medium density living and are building much more complex buildings
for the benefit of its residents. The new developments comprise of
many facilities that once were never considered, such as gyms, lap
pools, spas, saunas and extensive gardens. There is a greater need for
onsite managers and concierge services.

What qualifications do you need for strata management?


I have a Certificate IV in Construction Management, a Diploma in
Business (Real Estate Management) and an Advanced Diploma in
Property Valuation. The basic principles of property law are covered in
the real estate course, but for the really technical stuff we need to get
the specialists on board.
Until recently, there were no specific courses for strata management;
you had to rely on a few modules within the Real Estate Diploma to
obtain qualifications. Now there is a two-year course in the form of a
Certificate IV through TAFE. In order to seek licensing and certification
it is suggested that you attempt either of these courses.

83
Property

How is your work–life balance?


At present, the work outbalances the life. It is very easy to become
swamped in strata management issues and have an excessive
workload. My workplace is relatively flexible but I have to be able to
switch off when the time comes.

s
• Review financial statement
t’s
Monday • Prepare budget for clien
• Arrive at office at 8 am AGM
with
• Sort through emails, deal • Meet with client in evening
any urgent issues Thursday
for
• Prepare meeting agendas • Visit new business site
et
the week
such as • Prepare preliminary budg
• Attend to ongoing issues for new development
building enquiries • Office meeting with team
• Meet with client in even ing
Friday
Tuesday • Breakfast meeting with all
• Sort through emails staff
• Prepare minutes of previous • Sort through emails,
night’s meeting delegate items requiring
• Attend site meeting with action
building caretaker • Plan following week
• Meet with client in evening • Work through building
Wednesday defect claims
er and
• Attend to Consumer, Trad • Liaise with solicitors and
Tenancy Tribunal experts and report back
ing direc tions to
• Report hear to client
client
• Prepare minutes of previous
night’s meeting

in
brief What sort of person suits a career in strata management?
Someone who performs well under pressure, is capable of
Senior Strata Manager
understanding complex issues, is efficient and can communicate well
$$$ 80–100K
with others and, above all, is flexible.
quals Cert IV Const Mgmt;
Dip Bus/Real Estate; What advice do you have for someone looking to start a
Adv Dip Prop Val
career in property?
hrs/wk 50+
Have patience and be willing to learn and remember strata
work–life 7/10
management is primarily customer service. The client comes first
flexibility 8/10
– there is no room for attitude.

84
Asset & facilities
management

Michael Caramanis – Asset Manager, cv car wash attendant


Delmege, Sydney >> property manager >>
asset manager
Michael started out in asset
management while working at a
residential real estate agency.

He manages a portfolio of commercial


office buildings to ensure that they meet
their long-term financial targets. He also
works with building managers to ensure
the buildings are run efficiently.

q&a
What do you do in your position?
I manage a commercial portfolio of office buildings located in New
South Wales and Queensland, ranging in size from 500 square metres
to 8500 square metres. As an asset manager, my role is to enhance
revenue streams, provide monthly building reports to clients, forecast
outgoings and building expenditure, and ensure that the overall
performance of the building meets its financial targets.
In the short term, I ensure that the building income and operations
are maintained. I have a number of building supervisors who are
responsible for the general maintenance of the buildings and
essential services.

What are your long-term strategic objectives?


The long-term objective is to value-add to the building by deciding
on an appropriate tenant retention strategy and reducing operating
expenses.

What changes have you seen in asset management?


When I first started working in the commercial property industry,
a property manager’s role was basically to manage a portfolio of
buildings. These days, asset managers overview the portfolio and
specialised staff manage the day-to-day running of the building. glossary
The property industry is varied and there are multiple roles for asset Freehold means:
managers – such as managing freehold and leasehold property – owning the house outright.
portfolios for retail companies, private owners, commercial agencies
Leasehold means:
or private institutions. There is varied and interesting work for asset
– having leasing rights.
managers – I see it as a growth area.

85
Property

How did you end up as an asset manager?


I started out many years ago working in a residential agency. I had
completed my certificate of agency and began working full time for
a family friend’s residential real estate agency. The agency also had
dealings in commercial leasing and management and I decided to
pursue a career in asset management because the work was much
more varied and interesting compared to the residential work.

Friday
Monday ing
with • Weekly overview with build
• Walk through the buildings
rviso rs supervisors
the build ing supe
e
ng team • Review daily correspondenc
• Meet with sales and leasi
• Inspect prospective new
• Review arrears
e managements
• Review daily correspondenc
Saturday
Tuesday
e • Read paper
• Review daily correspondenc
• Breakfast at local café
• Update CEO ntly
• Work on the house I’m curre
• Meet with tenants
building
Wednesday
of Sunday
• Meet weekly with heads
• Read the Sunday papers
departments
• Relax
• Review arrears
e • Visit family and friends
• Review daily correspondenc
Thursday
e
• Review daily correspondenc
• Do building inspections
leasi ng
• Meetings with sales and
team
• Review arrears

What qualifications do you need?


Many skills are developed through hands-on experience. When I
started, it wasn’t a requirement to have tertiary qualifications in
property, but these days it’s preferable to have a degree in property in
order to get a foothold in the industry.

What characteristics do you think are needed to be


successful in property?
You need to be proactive and to be able to think outside of the square.
You can’t just learn these skills out of a textbook – you need to have a
passion for property. It can be a demanding career with long hours, so
you have to you enjoy what you are doing.

86
Asset & facilities
management

What do you like most about your job?


I like the diversity – there is always something different that needs to
be attended to. It’s a very exciting and dynamic industry to be in.

What do you dislike?


I like everything about my job, as well as the challenges associated
with the role.

How is your work–life balance?


Work can be demanding. It’s an 8 am start and I usually finish at
7 pm. I also need to be on call after hours. I need to make an effort to
balance work and life and allow for time to spend with my family.

What are your personal career aspirations from here?


Probably at the age I am now, I will stay within the asset management
field as I enjoy the work. As an asset manager the role is always
growing especially working with Delmege Commercial – we constantly
in
brief
have new and varied work.

What is your advice for someone looking for a career in asset


Asset Manager
management?
$$$  0–200K
7
These days, it is beneficial to have a degree in property such as Land quals Adv Cert Agency
Economics or Valuation. My recommendation would probably be to hrs/wk 55
start off in a smaller agency in order to receive exposure to different work–life 7/10
areas within the property industry – asset management, leasing and flexibility 6/10
sales – and gain a broad understanding of how the industry works.

87
Asset & facilities
management

Peter Lau – Account Manager, Knight Frank cv business systems


Newmark, Sydney manager (work experience)
>> residential and
Peter knows all about starting at the
commercial property
bottom and climbing up the ladder, and
manager >> sales and
recommends it as the best way into the
leasing negotiator >> tenant
property industry. He has worked in
representative >> account
property management, and sales and
leasing roles, and now has his sights set manager

on an asset management role.

As account manager at Knight Frank


Newmark, Peter is effectively a tenant
representative – assisting clients with
all aspects of leasing. Working out of the Sydney CBD office, his work
also takes him all over Australia when he is searching for the right
property for his clients.

Knight Frank Newmark provides a full range of real estate services


across residential and property markets worldwide. Covering
every aspect of real estate, they have a mix of property, financial,
management and consulting services for owners and purchasers
of property.

q&a
What do you do as an account manager?
I manage property issues on behalf of clients who need rental space.
This can include selecting and evaluating sites, negotiating the lease,
and reviewing rent prices and conditions.
My role is to provide an in-house property service to the client where glossary
I almost ‘sit in’ on their company – I assist their property needs to the
Roll-out is:
point that I’m nearly one of their employees.
– a structured process of
What projects have you been involved in? finding and securing new
Lately I have been working on a national roll-out for a pharmacy lease properties for a
client as part of their
operator. For that sort of client I look for greenfield sites or
expansion strategy.
opportunities where new shopping centres will be built. I also
Greenfield is:
investigate opportunities in existing shopping centres that are being
redeveloped or extended. Once I find a site where they would like to – a piece of usually semi-
rural property that is
open a pharmacy, I negotiate lease terms with the owner or developer.
undeveloped except for
When terms are agreed on, a lease documentation formalises the agricultural use, especially
lease terms between my client and the owner or developer. one considered as a
For another account, a national commercial user of space, I have rolled site for expanding
urban development.
out 12 offices nationwide over the last six months.

89
Property

How did you first become involved in property?


A family friend, who was doing quite well in a property sales and
leasing role, suggested that I give it a shot. I liked meeting new
people and wanted a flexible working environment, so it seemed
an obvious choice. I did a four-year land economics degree at the
University of Technology, Sydney, which was a great launching pad
into the industry. After working in the industry for two years, the
degree led to an automatic granting of a Real Estate Licence.
I first worked in property management, then moved into a sales and
leasing role, and ended up in my current tenant representation role.
With my degree, I could also register as a valuer, become involved in
strata management, or become an agent or auctioneer.

8.30 am Check emails and return


calls
10 am Prepare for the day’s
meetings and activities
11.30 am Discuss projects with agents
and owners by phone
1 pm Have lunch and stroll around
Circular Quay
2.30 pm Meet with team
4 pm Meet with clients to discuss
project strategy and
outcomes
5.30 pm Finish for the day

Do you work in a team?


I mostly work one on one with clients, but sometimes other team
members, such as the department directors, get involved when we’re
pitching for new business.

How is property changing?


fyi There is probably a stronger presence of tenant representatives in
the marketplace at the moment. At last count, the number of tenant
A leasing agent has the listing representatives in the Sydney CBD market was equal to that of leasing
on a property and represents agent operatives.
the interests of a building
owner. A tenant representative Why has there been a growth in tenant representatives?
represents the interests of a
In the past, leasing agents dominated the market and acted for
tenant in a lease transaction.
building owners. However, as the leasing terms to tenants or users of
space became less attractive over time, there was a need for someone
to act in the interest of tenants in leasing transactions – hence, tenant
representatives were born!
More recently, tenant representatives have grown in numbers
as a direct result of companies or corporations becoming more
accountable to their shareholders. They now employ tenant
representatives to maximise lease terms in their favour, to achieve
both financial and business goals and objectives.

90
Asset & facilities
management

What do you enjoy about your position?


I really like having the opportunity to meet with clients from all walks
of life and the fact that every transaction is very different.
Also, probably about 50 per cent of my job is in the field. It balances
things up a bit – I’m not desk-bound all the time.

Is there anything you dislike?


Obviously if I spend some time away from the office I often come back
to a lot of phone calls and emails that need attention!

How flexible is your workplace?


It’s very flexible. You can have time off when needed. Sometimes I can
also work from home, as long as I don’t fall too far behind. Obviously
the workplace has to evolve with demands from society, and flexibility
seems to be becoming a more commonplace occurrence, in this
industry at least.
in
What roles do you hope to move into in the future?
I’m hoping to move into an asset management role with an
brief
Account Manager
institutional owner of property. I’ve had insights into how an owner
looks into a transaction, but because of my current job I also have $$$ 80–100K
quals B Land Eco; Real
a good understanding of the other side – how a tenant looks into
Estate Agent Licence
the same transaction. I think having both perspectives is a good hrs/wk 40
background for an asset management role. It’s a top-level position work–life 8/10
– you make decisions and are held accountable for those decisions. flexibility very good
I see that as a challenge, which would be very rewarding.

91
Asset & facilities
management

Lauren Cassar – Property Asset Manager, cv food attendant >>


Stockland, North Sydney residential property officer
>> residential sales support
At 19, Lauren decided that she wasn’t >> administration assistant
enjoying her architecture degree and it >> assistant general
was time to try a new career. She was
manager >> property
the last candidate interviewed for a
manager >> acting general
position as a property officer at a real
manager >> property asset
estate agency in Terrigal on the central
manager
coast of New South Wales. Despite not
really knowing what a property officer
did, she was lucky enough to get the gig.

Now, 10 years on, Lauren has climbed


the property ladder and is a property asset manager at Stockland. In
this role she manages five large commercial properties in St Leonards
and North Sydney.

Stockland was founded in 1952 and initially specialised in residential


development. They are now a property firm and property owner
with several businesses, including retail, development, office and
industrial, and residential. They specialise in the design, development
and management of large-scale projects across Australia.

q&a
How did you first get into this industry?
I started off doing an architecture degree, but found it wasn’t exactly
what I was after. I always liked structure, so I got a job as a property
officer in a local residential agency. I really had no idea what they
did, but I jumped into it and then started a TAFE diploma while I was
working. I managed over 300 holiday rentals and helped with the
permanent rentals that numbered over 500.
I worked my way up through the residential side and eventually
moved to the city and saw that there was a huge industry there I didn’t
know about before. I then got an administration role in a building that
Stockland owned half of, and I worked my way up from there.

What do you do in your job?


I am in the office and industrial business and manage five properties.
I manage assets ranging from 5000 up to 20 000 square metres in
area. This involves negotiating leases, dealing with the day-to-day
management of tenants’ needs, and managing the movement of
tenants if they need to expand, contract or leave their leased area.

93
Property

On the facility side, this involves organising services such as cleaning,


air conditioning and security. My buildings are all about five minutes
away – I’m in the office about 60 or 70 per cent of the time, but onsite
the rest of the time.

Who are your clients?


We get a wide range of clients from all different industries. My main
tenants are Clemenger, an advertising firm; IBM, who lease an entire
building; and AGL, who also take up a whole building. Other tenants
include architects and designers, finance groups and software
companies.

7.30 a
m Rea
9 am d ema
Attend ils and plan d
10 am divisio a
Work n meeti y
on ng
recomm leasing prop
11 am endati osals a
Meet w ons nd
12 noo
n Proje ith tenants
ct mee
facilitie ting, u
1 pm s pdate
Have lu managers from
2 pm nch
Review
leases
propos with le
e g
lease te responses, n al team,
r m eg
3 pm
propos
als
s o n new de otiate
als and
Inspec issue
t
tenants buildings, m
4.30 p a n d facilitie e e t w ith
m Tidy
up, go s mana
home gers

What skills and qualities do you need in your role?


To find tenants and keep the building fully let as often as possible,
I have to have a really good understanding of the market and
market movement. I need to understand rents and what rates can
be expected in different areas, and I also need to have a fairly close
working relationship with my tenants to understand the needs and
requirements of their businesses.

What do you enjoy about working in property?


I enjoy meeting new clients. I am exposed to a lot of different
companies in different industries so I get a wide picture of what
goes on in the business world, and I like being able to assist those
companies to grow and make their working environment better. We
work by the mandate ‘engaging environments’ – we like to create an
environment in our buildings where the tenants really enjoy working.

What opportunities are there for promotion?


Stockland are very big on bringing people up through the ranks,
exposing them to different parts of the business and providing
opportunities to move into other parts of the business. Having the
four businesses allows you to move into office management, retail or
industrial asset management, or residential development.

94
Asset & facilities
management

The next step up from my role is a senior asset manager position,


overseeing a portfolio and the asset managers working on that
portfolio. It entails providing guidance and overall knowledge of the
markets that we’re involved in. From there I could become a portfolio
manager, which is another level up and a more financial-based role.
It involves acquiring new buildings or redeveloping existing ones.

Does Stockland have environmental initiatives?


We’re focused on providing environmental initiatives, making our
buildings greener and helping our tenants to work towards the same
goals as well.
We monitor the output of our buildings: the water and power usage,
and the waste and recycling. We identify areas within the running of
the building where we can reduce outputs and reduce the impact that in
we have on the environment. We use recycling programs, reduce the brief
hours that we run electricity, and we talk to our tenants to find out Property Asset Manager
what they’re doing, and how they can reduce their impact. quals Dip Bus (Real Estate
Manage); Adv Dip
Are Stockland’s buildings Green Star rated? (Shopping Centre
Absolutely. Within our portfolio there are many Green Star Management
and Marketing)
rated buildings, and the push is to go for the highest rating each
hrs/wk 40–45
can achieve. Our head office was purpose-built to achieve a high
work–life can be difficult
Green Star rating. We are currently working with The Green Building flexibility quite good
Council to determine our rating

For Inspection
According to the Australian Shopping
Centre Council of Australia, Australia
has 1102 shopping centres – 63 regional
centres, 268 discount department store
based centres, 759 supermarket centres
and 12 CBD based shopping centres.

95
Asset & facilities
management

Rachael McKay – Facilities Manager, cv ice-cream customer


Jones Lang LaSalle, Melbourne service >> waitress >> bar
manager >> receptionist
Rachael never expected to end up
>> facilities coordinator
in property, but found her feet after
>> facilities manager
starting out as a receptionist in a
>> project manager >>
facilities management company. Her
flair for organisation and communication facilities administrator >>

meant she quickly moved up the ranks facilities manager

and she is now responsible for five


buildings.

Jones Lang LaSalle operates in more


than 450 cities in over 50 countries, and
is an industry leader in property and
corporate facilities management services with a portfolio of over one
billion square feet worldwide.

q&a
What do you do in your position?
Jones Lang LaSalle is the outsourced representative to manage
buildings on behalf of the Victorian Government. I look after
five government-owned commercial buildings as well as various
government-leased properties.
I work with many people: contractors, such as electricians, plumbers
and builders who conduct the work; account managers who oversee
the contractors; and tenant representatives who represent each
government department. Liaising with clients is a little bit more high-
level and strategic as I discuss long-term objectives like capital works.

How did you get into property?


I kind of fell into it like a lot of people in the industry. I come from
a non-technical background and started out as a receptionist for a
facilities company. The coordination, management and communication
aspects appealed to me greatly and, after a few months of being a
receptionist, the company put me in the role of facilities coordinator.
From there, I slowly progressed up to the role of facilities manager.

Do you need any specific qualifications to do this job?


No, but coming from a non-technical background can be more of
a hindrance than an advantage. I completed a graduate certificate
in project management with a major facilities component, which
has helped considerably. I am now studying for a Master’s of
Facilities Management.

99
Property

What do you like most about your job?


The coordination – I’m a bit of a neat freak and I like a little bit of
control. It’s rewarding to see the building running effectively. I also
like the regular communication with tenants and contractors – the
opportunity to make solid relationships.

What do you like least about the job?


The paperwork! One of the things that we are trying to drive at Jones
Lang LaSalle is working smarter, not harder. Facilities management
seems to be about the paperwork, dotting the i’s and crossing the
t’s, but we are attempting to avoid burying ourselves in paperwork,
focusing instead on the big picture.

How important is financial knowledge?


I have a basic knowledge of financial management, but we also have a
dedicated financial team on our accounts that assists with managing
the budgets and paying invoices. As time goes on, it is becoming more
and more necessary for facilities managers to know how to manage a
budget effectively.

Thursday and
Monday • Review next week’s schedule
criptions
• Catch up on emails and subs ts start preparing
ultan ts
• Schedule meetings with clienWIP • Review queries from cons client
to
• Facilities team meet ing and • Prepare recommendation
(work-in-progress) meeting for project approvals
• Review next week’s schedule • Reconcile client invoices
• Dinner with parents • Attend to tenants’ issues
• Wedding preparations • Homework and study
Tuesday Friday
week
• Team meeting • Finalise meetings for the cts
• Meet with client • Review progress of all projeraised
s
• Speak to consultant rega
rding • Review requests for work re
project in regional Victoria agency from Property Service Cent list
• Send repo rt to gove rnme nt • Review after-hours contact
regarding major works • Rest
• Homework and stud y
Saturday
Wednesday • Study for assignment
ss
• Meet with colleague to discu w • Housework
é and
action plan for property reviesee • Spend time with my fianc
to
• Speak to all site contacts to
friends
if there are any issues I need Sunday
with
manage
t for proje ct • Sleep in and have brunch
• Send RFP to cons ultan friends
works • Study
• Homework and study • Housework
• Rest!

What characteristics do you need in facilities management?


The ability to stay calm is crucial. When you have a lot of people
getting upset over various issues, you need to be able to stay calm,
stay focused and just get the job done.

100
Asset & facilities
management

How is the work–life balance?


Jones Lang LaSalle has a really good work–life balance situation.
We are really discouraged from doing overtime and, if it starts to
become a regular thing, the company has a look at how effectively the
portfolio is being run. There are lulls and peaks in my role. During the
quiet times I can catch up on the non-priority items and gear up for
the next rush.

glossary
JDRF stands for:
Walk
t the JDRF
iancé Rolf a
– Junior Diabetes Research
h he rf
Rachael wit
Foundation.

Where else could you go from here?


Within Jones Lang LaSalle, I could move onto another facilities
management account with one of the major corporations that employs
Jones Lang LaSalle to look after their buildings. I could also move into
sustainability, which is a big thing happening at the moment, property
in
management or even the research side of things. There are a lot of
opportunities.
brief
Facilities Manager
What advice do you have for someone looking to go into $$$ 65–80K
facilities management? quals Dip Arts; Grad Cert
Project Manage
I’m a firm believer in training and university. I think that having a
hrs/wk 45+
degree and going through the graduate program will give you the
work–life 9/10
background, experience, training and knowledge that you will need to
flexibility 8/10
further your career.

101
Across the board
There are many specialist occupations in property with professionals
who often work independently from actual property companies. These
professionals, however, are integral to the property industry. Think
engineers, surveyors, architects, valuers, auctioneers and property
lawyers – each plays a very particular role ensuring the success of any
project. While many work independently as sole practitioners or in
small- to medium-sized specialist businesses, others work in-house.

Take property lawyers, for example, who can work in a law firm as
the specialist property lawyer or in-house with a property company.
Architects, engineers and surveyors are other professionals who offer
their expertise on a contract basis.

Then there are people such as property researchers who also work
across the board, along with administrators, human resources
professionals and a host of ancillary staff who make sure the whole
operation stays on track.

You won’t get bored in any one of these jobs. The hard part might be
deciding which one will suit you best.

103
Property

cv valuer >> property David Viarella – Property Valuer and Land


valuer and land economist Economist, Stanwell Tops, New South Wales
David’s career provides an insight into
the varied opportunities available in the
property sector. After starting out in
property valuation 19 years ago, he
specialised in analysing and determining
the value of proposed development sites.

At the moment, he is busy working


in valuation, development, property
acquisition and providing land advice to
Aboriginal communities. He is also the
chairperson of The Australian Valuers Institute.

By working out of the square, David has been successful both


financially and in terms of career fulfilment.

q&a
What responsibilities do you have in your position?
I’m kept very busy by my own valuation practice, a property
consultancy as well as a partnership in a property buyers service.
I work for a range of corporate and personal clients. I prepare reports
for statutory authorities and the courts. I represent property owners
in dispute matters, represent purchaser interests in acquiring real
estate, undertake due diligence and negotiation for buyers, and
provide land economic advice.
I have a passion for helping Indigenous communities and use
my property knowledge to create opportunities for Aboriginal
communities to become financially independent – this is an ongoing
long-term process and commitment.

What is the typical career progression for a valuer?


Property valuation qualifications provide a sound start in the property
industry and also allow scope to eventually move into a particular
specialisation. Most valuers start in the industry undertaking
residential valuations for mortgage purposes. Whilst an adequate
living can be gained from doing residential valuations, most valuers
wish to increase their experience and capability to undertake
commercial and industrial assessments using other valuation
methods and rationale which are more complex.

104
Across the board

In time, valuers tend to specialise in a particular type of valuation.


Every single type of property use may require a specialist in that
field. Some valuers become so knowledgeable and experienced in
a particular specialisation that they choose to become financially
involved in that type of property use.

What area do you specialise in?


In 2001, I was honoured to win the Real Estate Institute’s Award for
Excellence in Valuation as a result of the effort I put into the revised
valuation theory that focuses on the hypothetical method of valuation.
This is primarily the valuation of development sites based on a future
use. The theory of this development assessment process became my
specialisation. I have prepared development valuations for all sorts
of projects over the last 10 years and enjoy the process of identifying
the highest and best use of land within the development constraints.
I also realised that I was providing guarantees to developers that they
would be making certain profits and decided to cash in on some of the
action myself that provided successful financial outcomes.

Thursday
for
Monday • Drive to Port Macquarie
• Inspect property property investigations, due
diligence and nego tiati ons
• Have discussions with
Integral Energy • Stay overnight
• Do pilates Friday
• Attend leadership meeting • Attend meetings and
Tuesday investigations at Port
and Macquarie
• Do property inspections
investigations • Drive back to Sydney
• Attend Industry Skills Task Saturday
Force meeting • Go for a scuba dive at
• Compulsory Acquisition Malabar
Property inspection • Drop daughter at party in
• Attend institute board the afternoon
meeting • Mow the lawns
Wednesday Sunday
• Work in office all day • Go to church
finishing reports • Go for bike ride
• Prepare client instructions
• Order property searches
• Fire training drill at fire
station

What development projects have you worked on?


I have worked on numerous residential medium-density development,
commercial development, residential land subdivision, industrial
strata development and more recently lifestyle type development.

105
Property

What is your work environment like?


I used to work in a relatively large property consultancy and was
responsible for a multitude of valuers and support staff working
within the business. I made the decision to walk away from that
business during the course of a stressful period. I took a number of
projects and property investments that I was working on which were
separate to that business and I have not looked back. I was able to
set up a large office at home with a wonderful view from my desk. The
travelling time saved is certainly more productively utilised and I have
more flexibility to spend more time with my family and do some of
the other important things in life. I enjoy travelling all over New South
Wales and the variety that such a profession can provide. Looking
at different properties, project concepts and developments never
gets boring.

Why did you want to become a valuer?


Property is generally the most valuable asset that people aspire to
owning in their lifetime. To me there is something about a connection
with land that has always been of interest to me. If you can master an
understanding in land economics you should be able to make wise
decisions regarding property for all sorts of reasons. The valuation
industry has allowed me to be successful and make many wise
property related decisions and I get satisfaction from helping others
to make wise decisions.

What do you like about your job?


I enjoy helping people to buy the right type of real estate or providing
advice regarding property related investments or projects. I like 99
per cent of the people in this industry and have played a fundamental
role in shaping the valuation industry for the benefit of other valuers
to follow. I have seen some great projects and I can generally smell
a property scam a mile off – I enjoy going to property sales seminars
and asking the sales agents questions they cannot answer in an effort
to warn would-be buyers.

What do you dislike about your job?


Valuation has become very litigious – you really need to dot the i’s and
cross the t’s. Client instructions must be very clear and detailed. Like
any profession, if you make a mistake there is the possibility that you
could be sued.
Also, you get to a point where it isn’t a challenge anymore. Your
learning curve plateaus out. I have been able to pursue other property
related opportunities that have flowed from my valuation experience.
Chairing the Australian Valuer’s Institute, being involved in shaping
the industry with various governments and regulatory bodies, and
providing schemes and standards to protect property valuers has
provided the extra challenges and industry satisfaction.

106
Across the board

What skills do people need to be successful in property?


I think you need an analytical skill and the ability to rationalise your
thought process. You need to be a decision maker and have good
people and organisational skills. Ethics and trust are very important.
Fair, honest assessments require the ability to remain impartial in
times when the pressure is on.

in
land brief
ap ehu New Zea
g at Mt Ru
David skiin
Property Valuer and
Land Economist

$$$ 100–200K+
quals  Bus (Land
B
Economics); Cert
What’s your advice for someone going into property?
Practicing Valuer;
Pick up the core skills in valuation, find a good mentor, constantly Fellow Australian
Valuers Institute
challenge yourself by doing more complex property assessments and
hrs/wk 30–50
get as much diversity and experience in the industry as you can. There
work–life mixed and varied
is quite a demand for property valuers at the moment in certain fields.
flexibility 7/10
You could end up anywhere when you discover that you like valuing.

107
Property

cv house painter Jonathan Rivera – Residential Research


>> renovator >> project Manager, PRDnationwide, Brisbane
marketing manager >>
Jonathan was in property long before he
residential research
even realised it. Starting as a house
manager
painter with his father, he later moved
into house renovations before entering
the business side of property.

With practical experience in renovations,


Jonathan is now an expert in researching
the value of individual homes as well as
trends and activity across suburbs and
cities. As residential research manager,
he also looks after a national team of researchers, and consults with
clients and developers.

PRDnationwide is an international property services company with


find out
more over 140 offices throughout Australia, the Middle East and Asia. The
‘R’ in PRD stands for research, and the motto of the research division
www.prd.com.au
is to be ‘in the centre of PRD’, says Jonathan.

q&a
How did you become involved in property?
I worked with my father as a house painter during my school holidays,
and after high school I started my own trade renovating post-war
homes in Brisbane. It provided a solid platform that developed into a
true appreciation of property which I didn’t quite realise at the time.
I also commenced a marketing degree but wasn’t too sure which
industry sector I wanted to pursue a career in. I was lucky enough to
secure work experience through a local property developer who was
focused on smaller-scale residential project marketing. This was a
perfect marriage of my studies and passion for property. Put simply, I
fell in love with it and I’ve never looked back.

What does the PRD research division do?


Research has been the cornerstone of PRDnationwide for over 30
years. The research division has the responsibility of understanding
and reporting on all historical, up-to-the-minute activity and trends in
the various residential markets nationally. Key areas of data analysis
include macro- and micro-economic statistics, demographics, product
demand and price performance in geographic locations.

108
Across the board

This knowledge ensures that we provide our clients, the market


and key stakeholders with the most relevant information to help
them make informed decisions at all levels of property transactions
­– from large-scale developers to private investors. By having a good
understanding of where we have been, we are best positioned to
provide advice on where we are likely to go.

What do you do in your role?


My role is to manage the performance and output of our national team
of 12 research analysts to ensure we are providing our staff and clients
with the data required to retain and grow their businesses. I also
undertake consultancy work for property developers, which generally
involves pinpointing key site opportunities in new or emerging
markets, and delivering product and pricing recommendations for
proposed residential projects.

For Inspection
In recent years, the residential property
market in most capital cities has
experienced strong growth in housing
prices. Between 1999–2000 and
2003–04, the national annual average
of established house prices increased by
13 per cent, a figure largely driven by
price rises in Sydney and Melbourne.

What sort of research do you do?


Usually quite specialised research – looking at demographics and
social studies – or the fundamentals of property such as greater
economic outlooks like inflation and interest rates. In the housing
market, we look at the property transactions within a particular
suburb or region, calculating median transaction prices and growth for
a certain period.
In the last nine months alone we released over 100 reports on various glossary
geographic markets throughout Australia. For example, a recent sales CBD stands for:
report tracked where the majority of $1 million-plus transactions
– central business district.
occurred within a 10-kilometre radius of the Brisbane CBD.

Where does the information come from?


Mostly it comes from the property information company, RP Data.
They provide data on things such as settled transactions for houses,
find out
units and land in most states. The information can date right back
to the 1980s, and from that we produce time series graphs, price more
point charts and trend tables. We also access relevant data from the www.rpdata.net.au
Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Reserve Bank of Australia and www.abs.gov.au
other authoritative sources, and we utilise real-time transactional data
www.rba.gov.au
from our national sales teams.

109
Property

Why is it important to work in a team?


Our local analysts need to be well informed of the state of the greater
nation by regularly tapping into each other’s knowledge banks. While
most reports are produced in a geographically exclusive fashion, in
the instances of larger-scale reports, we pool resources to generate
the most accurate and holistic output possible.

What is the state of the property industry at the moment?


It’s a massive beast! Due to the fact that the property industry has
been booming over the past 10 years with the huge demand for
property, there are lots of job opportunities. It’s definitely a market
that covers a lot of diversities in terms of skill levels. There are
opportunities available in analytical roles, property economics,
marketing, sales, and engineering and architecture. It covers a very
broad spectrum.

What are the opportunities like in property research?


It is an evolving industry and, in tight market conditions, developers
need to have the right information to make the right decisions.
Demand for strategic research consultancy is also on the rise for
this reason.

Are qualifications important in this sector?


We’ve hired applicants with degrees in business, marketing,
economics and property economics. However, enthusiasm is probably
the most important thing. We are not always searching for staff with
an encyclopedia of property knowledge – but it is obviously a plus.
For those lacking tertiary qualifications, it can be just as good to have
been involved in the property industry for a while, particularly from a
development perspective.

What are the opportunities for promotion?


MYTH If you work for a big company, there’s a broad spectrum of roles
if you work for a big available through internal promotions. You can typically move into
company, you’re just project areas looking at new and larger development opportunities.
a cog in the wheel Research is the gateway to the property industry. You get the
fundamentals of how the property market works and develops, and
Working for a big you can then apply those skills into any area.
company can offer you
fact

the opportunity to branch What do you enjoy about your position?


out and move from one
sector to another. The dynamic nature of property. I value the ability to truly observe and
understand the industry as a whole, feel the pulse of the market, and
know the fundamentals that make this exciting business sector tick.
I enjoy being able to provide information that positively assists
and influences people and companies in their development or
purchase decisions. From an Australian point of view, the travel
doesn’t hurt either.

110
Across the board

Is there anything you dislike?


At times the hours can be long. However, I am passionate about
property, what I do, and developing professionally, so to say that
there is an absolute dislike would be hard. I like to look at the bigger in
picture, and rewards are abundant for committed employees, as with brief
any position in any company. Residential Research Manager

How much overtime is required? $$$  0K


6
quals B Bus (Marketing)
In a researcher’s case, actual overtime can vary. Given the dependence
hrs/wk 40+
on, and necessity of, providing solid, accurate output at all times, we
work–life good
simply work the time needed to ensure that we maintain expected flexibility 8/10
standards.

111
Property

cv professional tennis Phil Harris – Sales Partner and Corporate


player >> real estate sales Auctioneer, Toop & Toop, Adelaide
trainee >> auctioneer >>
Phil started out in residential real estate
sales partner and corporate
before being drawn to the excitement
auctioneer
and adrenalin of auctioneering at the
culmination of the sales process. He
balances his auctioneering exploits by
working as a sales person so that he can
work through the whole process.

He auctions over 20 properties a month


and, in 2007, he won the Golden Gavel in
fyi 2007 for his auctioneering skills.

The Golden Gavel awards are Before beginning his career in real estate Phil intended to pursue a
run by the South Australian professional tennis career. He is still a fitness fanatic and runs and
branch of the Society of
goes to the gym regularly. His other passion is travel and he tries to
Auctioneers and Appraisers.
get to Santa Cruz, California at least once a year to visit friends.

q&a
Can you tell me a bit about what you do in your position?
I’m a sales partner and corporate auctioneer at Toop & Toop. I do up to
30 residential auctions each month, both for my own clients and other
sales partners’ properties.

At what stage of the process do you become involved with a


property?
Because I auction a lot of my own properties as well as those of
others, I am often involved from the point of listing the property and
doing the open inspections, right through to auction day where I
conduct the auction. As far as getting involved with other people’s
auctions, I research the properties leading up to the day and then
meet with the clients about half an hour before the auction starts
to talk them through the strategy and the process of what’s going
to happen.

How do you pull off a successful auction?


On auction day, I’m really looking at what the strategy is going to be
for that particular property. The strategy is based on feedback given
to me from the salesperson and we have a conversation regarding
how many people have registered to be on the property, what the
price guide has been in the papers in the previous weeks and, most
importantly, what offers and price feedback there has been.

116
Across the board

This information gives me a good indication of how I should start


glossary
the auction and, if there are no bids, how I am going to position the
vendor bid to show the public where they need to be bidding if they A vendor bid is:
want to buy this property. – a bid made by the
auctioneer on behalf of
How did you end up in auctioneering? the owner when there
I started off in real estate five years ago on a sales traineeship with is no bidding from the
public, it’s a transparent
Ray White. In my second year in real estate, I decided to progress
way of showing where the
into auctioneering because it’s the pointy end of the sale when all the owner’s expectation lies.
marketing and negotiation finally comes to a head. It’s a very exciting
part of the selling process.

tion
n at an auc
Phil in actio

Do you need any specific qualifications to become an


auctioneer?
Here in Adelaide all you need to is to be a licensed real estate
salesperson. With the new legislation being introduced in 2008 you
now need to be a registered auctioneer. We also have a governing
body for auctioneers called the Society of Auctioneers and to be
a member of that you need to have five references and be a well-
regarded auctioneer. It’s very hard to get into auctioneering if you
haven’t already been working in real estate as a sales person. The first
step is to get your licence, then get a year or two of selling under your
belt, then it’s a matter of going away and doing a course so that you
can learn your auctioneering skills and then take it from there.

117
Property

What sort of person suits a career in auctioneering?


You need to be someone who is calm in a crisis – there is a lot of
pressure between buyer and seller since the stakes are so high.
Auctioneering is really about breaking down barriers and diffusing
the stressful situation of the auction. You also need strong public
speaking skills since the role requires a high level of confidence. Most
importantly you need a very good understanding of the industry.

What different career opportunities are there in


auctioneering?
If you want to make auctioneering your sole source of income, there
is no need to stick to residential real estate only. I know a lot of
glossary prominent auctioneers who have their fingers in a lot of pies – not
only residential and commercial real estate, but also car auctions,
Chattels are: clearance sales for government bodies and goods and chattels.
– movable items of property.
What do you enjoy most about your position?
I am very passionate about auctioneering because it is the exciting
part of the sale. The auction is a very intense and exciting 15-minute
process, so it’s a bit of an adrenalin rush and I love it.

What do you like least?


There is a fair bit of pressure involved and it is also disappointing
when people don’t get the result they were hoping for.

Thursday
Monday • 8.30 am Team meeting
• 8 am Team meeting • Ring potential clients and
• Ring potential buyers buyers
from weekend open house • Attend buyer inspection
s
inspections and property appraisals
weekend
• Write contracts from
Friday
sales
• 8.30 am Team meeting
Tuesday • Ring potential clients and
• 8.30 am Team meeting buyers
• Ring potential clients and • Have afternoon off
buyers
s and Saturday
• Attend buyer inspection
• 10 am – 3 pm Conduct
property appraisals
auctions
Wednesday • Attend afternoon open
• 8.30 am Team meeting house inspections
• Ring potential clients and
Sunday
buyers
• 11 am Conduct auction
• Attend auctions
• Attend open house
• Attend buyer inspections and
inspections
property appraisals

How much demand is there for auctioneers?


Auctioneers are in very high demand because many auctioneers are
coming up to retirement age at the moment and there will be a lot of
opportunity for the next generation to come into it.

118
Across the board

How is the work­–life balance?


I’m probably not great at that, but that’s because I choose to put in
extra hours and I love what I do. People who are sole auctioneers
can have a great work–life balance because they are only working
on Wednesdays and then go to auctions on Saturdays and Sundays.
in
Because I sell as well, I am pretty much committed six or seven days
a week. brief
Sales Partner and
What advice do you have for someone wanting to get into Corporate Auctioneer
auctioneering? $$$ 250–300K
First and foremost get your real estate licence and learn the industry. quals real estate
Don’t try to reinvent the wheel – just source out the best auctioneers sales license;
licensed agent
in your city or state and actually go and spend some quality time
hrs/wk 70
with them and watch them do a lot of auctions. Most importantly, be work–life 7/10
passionate and dynamic in delivering an auction as people love to flexibility 7/10
be entertained.

119
Property

cv retail sales >> Victor Di Felice – Special Counsel, Property


season clerk >> articled Law, Harwood Andrews, Melbourne
clerk >> lawyer >> senior
Victor became interested in a career in
lawyer >> special counsel
property law while completing his articled
clerkship in his first year out of law school.
It was the first department in his rotation
and he has stuck at it ever since.

Since those days, Victor has obtained


experience across all areas of property
law. He was named as the Law Council
of Australia’s Victorian Young Property
Lawyer of the Year in 2005 and is an integral part of Harwood Andrews
as a special counsel.

Harwood Andrews is one of Victoria’s oldest law firms with their


origins in the 1840s. They have three offices in Victoria and employ
over 150 staff. The firm has 25 specialisations across 10 areas of law
and is accredited by the Law Institute of Victoria.

q&a
What does it mean to be a special counsel?
There’s a scale of different titles within our firm, according to
experience and level of responsibility. We have principal, special
counsel, senior associate, senior lawyers and lawyers. Special counsel
means that I am responsibile for the supervision of other members of
staff in my area. I am the practice group leader of the property group
in our Melbourne office and work with a team of four.

What do you do in your position?


I have a variety of roles. Apart from supervising the work of people
in my department, I also supervise the ongoing property law and
GST education within the firm, as internal education is a very strong
emphasis of Harwood Andrews. I’m also a contact for a number of
our clients – they come to me with work and I will direct them to the
appropriate lawyer. Of course, there is always the legal work that I do.

What sort of legal projects do you take on?


In general, we are involved in projects dealing with large-scale
subdivisions of around 300 lots, and the development of serviced and
residential apartment developments. Some less common projects
include things like inland ports.
We give legal advice and prepare the documentation to allow our

120
Across the board

clients to complete those developments. That involves looking


at what is legally required to undertake development, entering
into agreements with authorities, advising on their financing, and
assessing and preparing contracts with contractors. We sometimes
also act on the final end of the development, selling or leasing
property.
There’s also the day-to-day property work – writing up the legal
documents for individuals buying, selling and leasing land.

How did you get into this area of law?


During my 12-month articled clerkship, I got the opportunity to try
glossary
a spread of different areas of law. I don’t know if it was because it Articled clerkship is:
was the first that I tried, or because I liked it the most, but property – an apprenticeship in a
law was the one that stuck with me. My family has always had an professional law firm.
involvement in property, so it seemed a good choice. Jurisdiction means:
What are the opportunities in property law right now? – the territory over which
The whole time that I’ve been practising, property has been in a boom. authority is exercised.
That means there’s a lot of good quality property law work around. If
you’re dealing in property, like it or not, you can’t avoid lawyers! So,
while property is in a boom and there’s a demand for property, we’re
kept very busy.
From what I gather from industry newsletters, there is a severe
shortage of property lawyers because there is more work to be done
than people going into the field. It used to be that property law
was very jurisdiction-specific, meaning that you might be limited to
work only in the state where you were qualified due to varying laws.
Because the business of property development has gone national,
there are more opportunities for a property lawyer to move interstate.

What are the overseas opportunities?


There’s a massive demand for Australian property lawyers in the
Middle East, as they’re going through a huge property boom at the
moment. There is also a surprisingly stronger demand for property
lawyers in the United Kingdom than there was even two or three
years ago.
Australian lawyers are generally very well-regarded internationally,
especially in areas such as finance and banking, and mergers and
acquisitions. We also have a very similar legal system to the United
Kingdom, and that system has some similarities to areas like Dubai,
so Australian property lawyers can effectively apply their skills
there. There aren’t really any opportunities in the United States, just
because our property systems are so different. detour
At Harwood Andrews we do quite a bit of international tax and For more on careers in law,
commercial work and, in the past, have been involved with some check out Career FAQs
property law work overseas. Legal Careers.
www.careerfaqs.com.au
Would you recommend property as a specialisation?

121
Property

I think that it is an area that has massive potential for growth and
there’s a lot of good quality work in it. There’s also some work that
isn’t as exciting – straight conveyancing work, for example – but
on the whole I find it very interesting and exciting. I enjoy that I
am able to see the tangible results of my work in the form of
finished developments.

Is there anything you dislike?


Maybe it’s because of the clients, or the projects that we’ve been
doing, but there’s really nothing that I dislike. Sometimes you might
wish for things to go a particular way or that you had more time to do
in
brief a project, but it’s a really enjoyable job overall.
I think that’s probably reflective of the firm that I work at as well. We
Special Counsel
have about 60 people in our Melbourne office and closer to 100 in
$$$ 120–180K
our Geelong office. We’re sizable, but in no way a massive firm. This
quals BA; LLB (Hons)
means that we mostly work in small teams, which is a very effective
hrs/wk 60+
way of working for these sorts of projects. It’s a combination of all
work–life quite good
those things that makes it a really good job.
flexibility usually very flexible

122
Government
If you have a background in architecture, urban design or town
planning you might just find your niche working for a government
department. If you want a career in property, working for government
might not be the first place you think of – the names of major property
companies that are plastered across development sites around town
are more likely to pop into your head. But governments have a major
role in determining how property proposals are transformed from
plans on paper to bricks and mortar. They are also responsible for how
cities evolve and urban spaces are designed.

Building doesn’t just happen without authorisation. Every


development or redevelopment – from home renovations to major
office blocks and capital works – must be given the go-ahead
by government. Development proposals must be submitted to
government to make sure the plans fit government regulation.

If assessment and urban design isn’t your thing, there are other
property jobs available. If your penchant is for making a difference,
you could work in community housing or Aboriginal housing.

Everyone needs a place to live and work, and you could make a real
difference by working for a government department charged with the
responsibility of making sure it all goes to plan.

123
Property

cv volunteer athletics Joshua Brogan – Indigenous Community


coach >> Indigenous Liaison Officer, Department of Housing and
students tutor >> labourer Sport, Darwin
>> barman >> sales
assistant >> tenancy Outside of helping his local Indigenous
support officer >>
community, Joshua’s second love is sport.
He plays some type of sport every day,
Indigenous community
and has represented Australia and the
liaison officer
Northern Territory in competitive
athletics. He originally hoped to combine
his two passions and work with the
Indigenous community in a sport
development role. Working in a housing
role, Joshua still gets the opportunity to
work with the local Indigenous community.

As an Indigenous community liaison officer, Joshua helps Indigenous


tenants with any issues they have and regularly meets with tenants in
their homes. Coming from an Indigenous background himself, he is in a
great position to build relationships with the tenants, and help with all
aspects of their leases.

The Indigenous housing division of the local government Department


of Housing and Sport manages sites all over Darwin. They offer
Indigenous locals tenancies in the city and manage their leases and
tenancy issues.

q&a
What do you do in your position?
I assist Indigenous locals with maintaining their tenancies. I help with
paperwork and applications, maintenance issues, and advise them
on the housing policy so that they have a better understanding of the
agreement and their responsibilities. My main objective is to help
the Indigenous community and to maintain successful tenancies in
Northern Territory Housing buildings.

Does being Indigenous help you in this role?


Yes, definitely. When I go out there I don’t just talk about work – telling
them to pay their rent or do this and that. I sit down with them on a
personal level and have a chat about community life, sport or hunting.
Building up that respect and understanding makes the relations
smoother and works much better than having a standover sort of role.

128
Government

Do you have a background in property?


No, not at all. I moved into this position after working in an entry-level
position with the Northern Territory Government. Coming from an
Indigenous background, I just jumped at this position when I heard
about it. I never really thought I’d be interested in anything to do with
property – I just sort of fell into it.

What did you originally want to do in your career?


I always wanted to work with sport and Indigenous development
– talent scouting and things like that. That’s why I like working with
the local government – I can move between housing and sport within
the department. I have a pretty strong passion for helping the local
community and, in an Indigenous support role, I’m not far off what I
originally wanted to do.

and
kings
or boo
c k d iary f
• Ch e f to
gs y staf
meetin ith tenanc ency issues
e w r g
• Liais ss any eme te between
addre to a dispu residents
nd al
• Atte ts and illeg lex ate
tenan g at a comp rental reb
in t
ca m p
a n t fi ou
ll
te n ted
• Help ation estric g
n of r in
applic e submissio n to Licens nt
ar tio ena
• Prep es applica troubled t s to an
premis sion for a t in regard e a
is n
Comm see a tena and organis
nd ice
• Go a t debt not
urgen t plan with
ation
n munic
payme ent all com base
m ta nts
• Docu s on the da n day’s eve
client upervisor o
f s
• Brie
work iends
After training and fr
y family
• Foot l time with
• Socia !
x
• Rela

What sports do you play?


I play just about everything – Aussie rules, rugby league and touch
football. When I was younger I also used to do a lot of athletics and
represented Australia at the Oceania Championships in New Zealand.
Between 1997 and 2001 I also ran at a national level representing the
Northern Territory in the Australian champs and Australian All School
champs. It was a great experience – a bit nerve-racking – but I met a
lot of interesting people.

129
Property

I play sport every day of the week – it’s pretty much all I do after work.
That’s why I’ve always had an interest in helping Indigenous people
make it in sport.

What do you enjoy about the position?


I enjoy just getting out there and meeting different people – helping
people out with their tenancies and helping them find housing. The
personal contact is a big part of it, and getting out of the office and
into the field is always great as well.

r Dumoo
housing of ficer, Pete
Joshua lia ising with a

Can it be rewarding?
It is rewarding when you see successful tenancies – especially when
some of the people have been struggling or have had some antisocial
behaviour in the past, and you can help them move past that. I often
feel like I’m making a bit of a difference in that way.
When I first began the position, there was a fellow who had been
struggling to get things done through the house. Liaising with other
agencies and service departments, we fixed a lot of things there
and he’s been cleaning up the property a lot. He’s been much more
proactive, and the house is really picking up. That sort of thing is
always great to see.

How many tenancies do you look after?


I’m not quite sure of the numbers – but it’s a fair few. They’re mostly
complexes, rather than houses. That can provide a few problems,
though, as people can be living on each other’s laps.

130
Government

How do you find working for government?


It’s very rewarding. There are heaps of opportunities to move up and
try different roles in other departments that you might find more
interesting. I started off working in an entry-level role in housing and
I’m now working in a much higher role. I was picked up pretty much
straight away and have shown dedication to stay with the department.
Other opportunities have arisen, but I really enjoy working with
housing, so I’m going to stay here and work my way up.

What position would you like to move into from here?


At the moment, we are involved with the remote housing reform in
Indigenous communities. I’m looking to get involved with that in the in
management and development of programs. I hope to go to for some brief
positions working in those communities as a housing manager or a Indigenous Community
senior tenancy manager. Liaison Officer

How flexible is your position? $$$ 47K


quals currently studying
I find it very flexible. I’ve enrolled to do a course next year in B Applied Science
community management and development. Because it’s furthering my (Human Studies)

skills in the position, I’m allowed to fit my work around the course and hrs/wk 36

study time. work–life it isn’t really a


‘take home job’
The hours are fixed too, so it gives me a lot of time after work to play flexibility quite flexible
sport and I don’t have to take work home.

131
International
Want to work beyond Australian shores? Get yourself a passport and
a working visa and you could well find yourself jetting off to a foreign
country and testing your fortunes there.

Property isn’t only a booming industry in Australia. Ever considered a


stint in the United Arab Emirates? Development in Dubai has opened
up more than a few options in property employment.

If that area of the world doesn’t appeal, don’t worry. If you work for
a multinational company, you could find doors opening for you the
world over. But don’t start packing your bags quite yet, you’ll probably
have to put in some hard work here before you go anywhere near an
international airport. You’ll need the understanding and confidence
that only experience brings when you find yourself in a foreign market
with unfamiliar practices.

Once you have proved your worth, you can apply your skills anywhere
in the world. Bon voyage!

133
Property

cv finance manager >> James O’Brien – Chief Financial Officer,


commercial manager >> South-East Asia, CB Richard Ellis, Singapore
chief financial officer
James, 37, started working for CB
Richard Ellis in February 2007. He is
based in Singapore but travels
throughout Asia as part of his role as
chief financial officer for South-East Asia.
He is married with two daughters.

CB Richard Ellis is the world’s largest


commercial real estate services firm and
has more than 300 offices worldwide.
The company offers strategic advice
and execution for property sales and leasing; corporate services;
property, facilities and project management; appraisal and valuation;
investment management; and research and consulting.

q&a
What do you do in your current position?
As chief financial officer for CBRE I look after our businesses across
South-East Asia, which includes India, Singapore and Korea. We also
have partner offices in countries including Indonesia, the Philippines,
Thailand, and Vietnam where we partner with a local provider who
has access to our brand, system and resources. There is a fairly large
reach in my position. Not including the partner officers, we are turning
over about 120 million US dollars a year and we have aspirations to
take that to the 200 million dollar mark within the next few years.
Each of the countries basically has their own financial services
team and are responsible for their own financial reporting in terms
of compliance, budgets and management. I sit above that as a
controller influence, acting as an agent between our regional office,
our head office and the individual businesses. I also work with the
managing directors for their future business development and new
opportunities. My role at the moment primarily concerns mergers and
acquisitions, and looking to improve and grow the business.

How did you end up in this position?


Before I took this position, I was working in Melbourne as a
commercial manager for a dairy products company, but I have
a background in property from working at Lend Lease in retail
development and asset management. I have a Bachelor of Commerce,
a CPA and I have almost completed an executive MBA.

134
International

I originally applied for a job that CBRE had in Hong Kong but it wasn’t
exactly what I was looking for. It was basically a role reporting to
someone in my current position in Greater China. I continued to liaise
with the business and was given the opportunity to join as a chief
financial officer.

Do you get to do much travelling as part of your job?


Yes, every second week – the only way you can understand the
businesses and their issues is to work closely with them. It’s very
difficult to do business via email and the telephone – you’ve got to
be involved face to face. The way of business is certainly different
to how we do things in Australia, so it is a learning curve from that
perspective. You have to run with the way they do business and
partner closely with the resources that we have in those countries.

kok
ork colleag ues in Bang
James (cen tre) with w

What are the opportunities for positions in property in Asia?


Australia has a very mature property market, whereas Asia is a very
fast-growing market, which means there is a greater diversity of
opportunity. There are a lot more opportunities in the Asian market
than Europe or America because they have a higher demand for
experienced people. That doesn’t look like it’s going to change
anytime soon.

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Property

How transferable are the skills and qualifications that you


learnt in Australia?
I don’t think there are any problems in that respect. We are very well
qualified in Australia in terms of skills and experience so we are
sought after in the less-sophisticated Asian market.

What nationality are the people you’re working with?


There’s probably a little bit of a mix. There are certainly some expats
but the majority are locals from the individual countries.

What do you like most about your job?


I am able to get involved in a huge range of things. No day is ever the
same. It’s very fast paced and I enjoy the operational business and
strategic development.

Were there any problems with relocating your family


overseas?
It had its challenges, but I see it as a good opportunity for them
as well. They get to see Asia and, when we eventually go back to
Australia, they will have good experience of other cultures and people.
I don’t think you can underestimate that from a learning point of view
for children.

How many hours do you work per week?


Around 50 to 60 hours a week, but I try not to work on the weekends.

Do you have a good work–life balance?


That’s a constant challenge, but I always try to balance everything.
Since this is our first year over here and there has been a lot to do
in terms of the business, it has been a settling in period. Next year
we will probably be more focused on getting involved in recreational
activities and the community.
in
brief How did the company help out when you moved across?
Chief Financial Officer
They paid for relocation. They found us a place to live and continue
to support every aspect of living in Singapore. My situation was a
$$$ 300–400K (US)
bit different to a normal transfer because I wasn’t working for the
hrs/wk 50–60
company beforehand. I actually got this job on the basis that I was
work–life 8/10
moving from Australia to Singapore, so I was virtually employed as a
flexibility 8/10
local to Singapore.

136
Sustainable
building
This millennium the world has realised the importance of reducing the
human footprint on the earth. Climate change has become more than
passing conversation with people in every industry sector changing
their practices on pollution prevention, and putting sustainable
practices in place.

It’s not only the obvious carbon emitters like cars and power plants
that need to change – the built environment is also undergoing
significant changes.

Whether this means working specifically in the sustainable building


sector for a property company or government, chances are that green
practices will be incorporated in your projects.

These days, architects, designers and developers are imagining,


planning and creating green buildings from the word go. And in
redevelopment projects, buildings are being retrofitted to embrace
green practices.

And it’s not happening at a snail’s pace either. Things are moving
quickly and gaining momentum. So, join the green revolution and you
won’t be left behind.

137
Property

cv project engineer Joe Karten – Technical Coordinator, Green


intern >> construction Building Council Australia, Sydney
labourer >> sustainable
Originally from Dayton, Oregon in the
buildings researcher >>
United States, Joe is used to being a long
technical coordinator
way from home. Before moving to
Sydney to work at the Green Building
Council of Australia (GBCA), Joe was
awarded a fellowship to travel across
Mexico and Europe to investigate his
greatest passion after live music –
sustainable buildings. While he saved
some time to see the more famous
find out
more buildings and monuments, Joe visited
dozens of green building sites to meet with their architects, builders
www.gbcaus.org
and facilities managers.

Joe had never thought of coming to Australia, but was offered his
dream job in Sydney and so took a chance. He loves Australian culture
and living in the vibrant suburb of Newtown.
glossary GBCA is a not-for-profit NGO which was set up to rate buildings for
NGO stands for: their environmental impact and sustainability. They have offices in
– non-government Sydney and Melbourne and employ over 30 people in a range of roles.
organisation.

q&a
What does GBCA do?
We create tools for rating the environmental sustainability of
buildings. We also promote sustainability across the property industry
in general through courses, conferences on sustainable building and
government advocacy.

How are buildings rated?


Buildings are rated across nine different categories and receive points
glossary for their performance in each. The categories are: management,
internal environment quality, energy, water, transport, materials, land
VOC means:
use and ecology, emissions, and innovation. There are many things we
– volatile organic look at within these nine categories.
compounds, which are the
toxic ingredients in paints, To create a healthy and comfortable interior environment, buildings
sealants and adhesives. can incorporate non-toxic paints, sealants, carpets and wood products
Gyprock is: that are low emitters of VOCs, for example. There really are a lot
– the brand name of a of small considerations that can make quite a difference. Using
type of plasterboard. demountable partitions rather than building walls from Gyprock cuts
down on landfill waste by offering a re-usable solution.

138
Sustainable
building

Then there’s the building site to consider. The idea is to minimise the
impact the building has on the environment. One way to do this is
through improving a site’s ecological value. That can include native
plants and grasses, rooftop gardens and restoring wetlands.

e Geneva
th e hills abov
Joe hiking in

What do you do in your position?


I’m in contracts administration. When property owners want to have
their building rated, I register it in our system and set it all up from
our end. The projects are then evaluated by third-party assessors that
have been certified by our organisation. I sit in on that process, which
is great because you get to see a building achieve its Green Star rating
credit by credit.
My other duties include rating tool development – currently we are
developing a Green Star for Industrial Buildings tool, for example. I’m
also coordinating the submission of our office fit-out to be rated under
a Green Star system specific to office tenancies. This is great because
it lets me see the other side – what each building has to do to receive
one of our ratings.

How did you get into this industry?


I completed a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management
at California Polytechnic State University and found a real interest
in the sustainability movement. I’ve always had a concern for the
environment, I guess. Working in the green sector of property seemed
a good way to couple my education and interest in the environment.

139
Property

find out What did your fellowship involve?


more I was awarded the Victor Regnier Traveling Fellowship from the
American Council for Construction Education to travel around
www.
regniertravelingfellowship.org Mexico and Europe investigating the latest and greatest sustainable
buildings. I started off spending three months at the Mexico Green
www.
Building Council in Monterrey. I gained contacts in the green building
greenbuildingworldwide.com
industry through that gig, and from there I travelled for six months
around Europe visiting projects in Sweden, Denmark, Germany,
Holland, Spain, Italy, England, Scotland and Ireland.
Basically, I spoke to architects, facilities managers and contractors
who worked at the buildings or had been involved in the construction.
I wrote case studies on them that I posted on my website, Green
Building Worldwide.
This experience gave me a deeper understanding of some of the
possibilities and realities of sustainable buildings. One of those
possibilities is that with good design and forethought, buildings can
be constructed for the same cost, or less, than conventional buildings
and be far more efficient and comfortable. They can also offer long-
term payback over their lifetime. On the other hand, the reality is
that, unfortunately, some great ideas for environmental products fall
through before they make it to market. It’s important to remember
we’re still in a learning phase.

How important is sustainable building?


In an economic sense, we’re entering an age where energy is only
going to increase in price – we’re seeing it already. Green buildings
offer a chance for us to ‘future proof’ buildings – as we say at GBCA.
It’s purely an economic outlook showing that through minimised
demand for energy and water, utility bills are lower for the lifespan of
the building.
The environmental benefits of this are obvious, and so is the necessity
of reducing our emissions and waste in all sectors – not just building.
From an occupant health perspective, green buildings offer a higher
quantity of fresh air, more daylight, and higher levels of individual
comfort control, such as heating and cooling vents at each desk.
This translates to happier, healthier employees and results in higher
productivity. It is also a huge economic gain for employers.

What sort of background do employees have at the GBCA?


There are people here who have studied or worked in everything from
environmental management to marketing, and everything in between,
including architecture, construction, business administration,
education and information management.

140
Sustainable
building

What other opportunities are available in the green sector?


glossary
It’s an exploding sector – everybody wants to go green and there
are endless opportunities. You can really get into it from any side ESD is:
– builders and developers are looking for project managers with – environmentally
sustainable design.
knowledge of green building rating systems, architecture firms are
looking for people who know about sustainable design and lots of
in
projects require ESD consultants.
brief
What do you enjoy about your position? Technical Coordinator
I like working with people who have a very similar value set to my $$$ 50K
own. By combining my career interests with my environmental quals BS Construction
Management
passion, the work is 10 times as rewarding as any other job.
hrs/wk 45–50
work–life pretty good
flexibility quite flexible

141
Ready, set,
The biggopicture
for it!
What qualifications do I need?
If you look at the people working across the board in the property
sector, you will find someone from virtually every discipline
contributing to some part of the great property cycle – from conceiving
the idea; to developing and building it; and finally to leasing, selling or
managing it. That means you can work in bricks, mortar or mortgages
as anything from a finance specialist to a fit-out designer, a sales
negotiator or a CEO of a multinational organisation. The qualifications
and skills needed for each of these career paths can be like chalk and
cheese – so it’s a good idea to think about what sector best suits your
skills and character before plunging into a three- or four-year course.

Not all careers in property require you to have university qualifications


– for some it’s just a matter of learning from the ground up. Others
require specialised knowledge and postgraduate qualifications.

Many of the interviewees in this book suggest that qualifications can


considerably improve your career prospects. Whether at university or
TAFE, or a combination of both, there are plenty of courses that will
help you get started.

Want more quality career resources


from Career FAQs for FREE? Click here 145
Property

The following table shows the diversity of qualifications held by the


people interviewed in this book.

Job title Qualifications


Sales Executive Real Estate Agent’s Licence
Real Estate Agent Real Estate Sales Course; Real Estate Agent’s
Licence
Commercial Sales Executive Real Estate Agent’s Licence; Advanced Diploma
in Valuation; Diploma in Business (Real Estate)
Associate Director, Commercial Real Estate Agent’s Licence
Leasing
Trust Manager Bachelor of Commerce (Land Economy)
Business Park Portfolio Manager Bachelor of Business (Land Economy); Graduate
Diploma of Finance and Investment, Securities
Institute of Australia
Property Development Manager Bachelor of Arts (Interior Design), Sydney College
of the Arts; Master of Business Administration,
University of Technology, Sydney
Development Manager Bachelor of Arts; Bachelor of Law
Team Director, Sydney Projects Bachelor of Science (Honours); Diploma in
Building Surveying, Royal Institute of Chartered
Surveyors
Senior Strata Manager Certificate IV in Construction Management;
Diploma in Business (Real Estate Management);
Advanced Diploma in Property Valuation
Asset Manager Advanced Certificate in Agency
Account Manager Bachelor of Land and Economics, University of
Technology, Sydney
Shopping Centre Manager Associate Diploma (Management), Blacktown
TAFE
Property Asset Manager Diploma in Business (Real Estate Management),
TAFE; Advanced Diploma (Shopping Centre
Management and Marketing), TAFE; various
industry courses
Facilities Manager Diploma of Arts; Graduate Certificate in Project
Management
Senior Urban Designer Master of Arts (Urban Design); Diploma in Historic
Conservation; Bachelor of Arts (Urban Studies)
Indigenous Community Liaison Bachelor of Applied Science (Human Studies)
Officer
Valuer Bachelor of Business (Land Economics);
Certificate Practising Valuer; Fellow, Australian
Valuers Institute
Residential Research Manager Bachelor of Business (Marketing), Queensland
University of Technology
Architect Bachelor of Architecture (Honours), University of
South Australia
Sales Partner and Corporate Real Estate Agent’s Licence
Auctioneer

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Ready, set,
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Special Counsel, Property Law Bachelor of Arts; Bachelor of Law


Technical Coordinator Bachelor of Science (Construction Management),
California Polytechnic State University
Architect and Director Bachelor of Science (Environmental Design);
Bachelor of Architecture
Chief Financial Officer Bachelor of Commerce; Certified Public
Accountant; Executive Master of Business
Administration
Career FAQs qualifications snapshot, 2007

You can see that some courses combine topics such as land and
economics while others have specialty streams such as construction
management. Then there are real estate courses that equip the
graduate with a licence to practice.

University courses
find out
If you peek inside the offices of a large multinational property more
organisation, you will find people with a very diverse range of degrees www.australian-universities.com
hanging on their wall.

There are a number of property-specific degrees which provide


specialised training in one of the major components of the property
industry – whether it be development, management or business
analysis. These vary from university to university, but they all aim to
give graduates an overall theoretical and practical knowledge of the
industry. If you have your sights set on a profession like architecture,
town planning or urban design, then a university qualification is a
must and the relevant courses are all fairly uniform across the country.

Alternatively, there are a whole range of other degrees, such as


business economics, management, business, law, marketing and
PR, which are general in scope but can be applied to many positions
within property sectors.

As technology revolutionises the way we do things, property has


become increasingly complex and practitioners have had to specialise.
Because of this, there are a growing number of postgraduate courses
available for people who already have qualifications or experience in
the industry, but would like to hone their knowledge and expertise.

University courses aim to equip graduates with an in-depth


understanding of the practical and theoretical elements which
underpin the function of the industry. Courses generally take three
to four years to complete and may include industry-based work
experience so that students can enter the industry with a very solid
foundation of experience and a good idea of what to expect.

147
Property

Bachelor of Property
A generalist property degree may be the place to start. This type of
degree gives graduates a solid overview of the different components
of the industry.

Bachelor of Property
First year Using accounting for decision making
Construction 1
Foundations of business computing
Principles of economics
Construction 2
Organisational behaviour
Commercial law
Essential statistics
Second year Business finance
Property law
Marketing
Property valuation
Built environment 1
Property investment and finance
Statutory valuation
Advanced property valuation
Third year Applied data mining
Property economics
Planning and environmental law
Strategic management
Building life cycle maintenance
Business integration topics 1
Business integration topics 2
Property and asset management
Example of subjects studied in a Bachelor of Property

As you can see, this type of undergraduate property degree also


incorporates economics, law, management and business subjects, all
of which are part and parcel of a career in property whatever you end
up specialising in.

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Ready, set,
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Bachelor of Business Management/Bachelor


of Economics
Combined degree programs provide good grounding in business
principles and include a major that focuses on something such as
real estate development. Graduates of this degree program are
ideally suited to work in property investment, development,
management or valuation.

Bachelor of Management/Bachelor of Economics


Compulsory courses Electives for Real Estate
Development
Decision making accounting Real estate law
Introductory microeconomics Valuation principles
Microeconomic theory and policy Urban and rural valuation
Introductory macroeconomics Statutory valuation
Macroeconomic theory and policy Real estate development planning
Qualitative economics and business Property and asset management
analysis
Financial management For full professional accreditation
Business law Location and land use
Introduction to management Introduction to planning
Organisational behaviour Building construction management
Managerial skills and communication Real estate investment
Business policy and strategy Advanced valuation
Introduction to marketing Development appraisal project
Business research methods

Example of subjects studied in a double degree with a real estate major

A double degree takes at least five years of full-time study, however,


such degrees cover a lot of academic territory that can pave the way
for more diverse career options and give you the edge.

Degrees such as a Bachelor of Property and Construction focus more


on the building cycle than on the management and economics of
property. Often this type of degree will offer electives in property
investment, costing and planning building construction. There is also
the opportunity to study architecture as a combined degree.

Postgraduate courses also exist as research projects in the specific


areas of property to further extend the professional knowledge
obtained both in an undergraduate course and out in the field.

149
Property

Sustainability
With sustainability and environmental awareness an increasingly
important consideration in the 21st century, it is also becoming
deeply integrated into university courses so that the next
generation of developers can be aware of the impacts their
projects will have on later generations. Bond University, in
association with Mirvac, have started a school of sustainable
development. Formally recognising long-term sustainability
as an integral part of urban planning, design, development
and strategic asset management, this degree program looks
at property with technology, financial viability and social
expectations in mind.

The Green Building Council of Australia is dedicated to lessening


the carbon footprint left by property organisations. It runs weekly
Green Star Accredited Professional Courses, which are attended
by people working in different jobs across property who want to
learn new methods and techniques to build cleaner and smarter.

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TAFE courses
TAFE is a viable option for people looking to get into real estate
without undertaking a longer and more in-depth university degree.
Courses tend to focus on the basic requirements and practicalities so
that you can get into the work force sooner. Career options exist more
in the sales and leasing side of the business with relevant courses
for aspiring real estate agents, agency officers, property managers
and valuers. TAFE offers a variety of qualification levels for careers in
property such as the Diploma of Property (Real Estate). Depending on
the certification level, courses vary in length and difficulty.

Diploma of Property (Real Estate Agent’s Licence)


This TAFE course provides you with the necessary licence to manage a
real estate or property agency with selling, leasing and management
divisions. You also learn the fundamentals of property and business
law, urban and regional planning, risk management, property
appraisal and financial management. The course will allow you to
work as a licensed real estate agent, property manager, property
developer or land agent.

Diploma of Property (Real Estate Agent’s Licence)

Work in the real estate sector Listing properties


Prepare for work in property industry Property marketing
Communicate with property clients Lease and maintenance of rented
properties
Workplace learning environment
Property law
Trust accounting
Business law principles
Monitoring sales
Building concepts and techniques
Auction practice – land and buildings
Building styles and defects
Manage agency/client relationships
Urban and regional planning
Property agency risk management
Property financial systems
Property appraisal
Property management services
Example of a TAFE qualification to practise as a licensed real estate agent

You can see that this course covers the different aspects of selling,
marketing, leasing and managing property, and also looks at urban
planning and how to maintain financial systems. The knowledge and
skills acquired will be applicable across the residential, commercial
and industrial property sectors.

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Property

Other course providers


To work in real estate you must hold a licence through the Office of
Fair Trading. To be eligible to register for a licence you must be over
16. Courses are available that ensure that professional standards
are upheld and aspiring practitioners are well briefed in their legal
and moral obligations. There are a number of registered training
organisations and industry-based courses which provide short
licensing courses, as well as ongoing professional development
courses to keep people in the sector up to speed on new
developments, laws and technology.

For Inspection
A registered training organisation and HR
management services company with its
headquarters in Melbourne was listed for sale
in 2007 at $650 000.

Registered training organisations


Registered training organisations (RTOs), often in association with
TAFE colleges, run courses to give aspiring auctioneers, real estate
agents, buyers’ agents, strata and community managers, and onsite
residential managers the suitable skills for licence registration. The
MYTH courses run for four to five days only, and cover the basics of the
property companies industry and the necessary industry values.
only hire people
Licence registration courses generally train students to:
with degrees
■ d
 evelop the knowledge and skills necessary to be confident,
A formal degree is not
necessarily a prerequisite capable and successful in listing, selling, renting and
– some companies managing property
recognise that experience
fact

in the property sector can


■ understand
 the statutory requirements and professional
be just as valuable as a
university education. obligations under which they work

■ u
 nderstand the legislative consumer protection requirements
covering the property industry

■ b
 e able to complete the statutory documentation in agency
practice.

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Ready, set,
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In some states, the Office of Fair Trading also requires real estate
practitioners to undertake continuing professional development (CPD)
courses each year and RTOs usually offer a range of these as well.

State-based Real Estate Institutes are all registered training


organisations, and a good place to look for registration and continuing
development courses. They set the benchmark for training and offer
a huge selection of courses to either get you started or diversify
your skills set.

Property Training Solutions and Kaplan are examples of nationally


accredited RTOs that provide relevant training for the real estate
licence. LinkLearn in Queensland offers several courses including a
real estate sales registration course and the full real estate course
without going anywhere near a classroom. Utilising the Internet, their
online courses are designed to provide flexibility for those who are
already working in the industry.

Depending on the state that you live in and the different find out
corresponding laws governing real estate and property, the course more
names and content may change. All RTOs must conform to strict www.ntis.gov.au
educational standards, so make sure that you book into a course that www.pts.edu.au
is fully accredited. The National Training Information Service, run by www.kaplan.edu.au
the Federal Government, has a complete list of training packages and www.linklearn.com.au
all the registered training organisations in Australia.

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Property

Australian Property Council courses


The Australian Property Council has a comprehensive list of
professional development courses, ranging from essential skills for
those just starting out in their area, to advanced skills for industry
professionals wanting to finetune their expertise, and diplomas for
those who are after intensive and specialised learning.

The courses are carried out in conjunction with industry leaders so the
best in the business can impart their knowledge and wisdom to those
coming up through the ranks. Courses are available in:

■ property fundamentals

■ hotel property investment

■ sustainability and property assets

■ property investment and finance

■ shopping centre management

■ operations and facilities management.

Courses are held throughout the year in Sydney, Brisbane and


Melbourne.
find out
more First National Real Estate course
www.propertyoz.com.au
www.firstnational.com.au
First National Real Estate is also offering a course in Property Practice
(Real Estate). In association with Agency Training Australia (ATA), the
www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au
course is specific to the New South Wales real estate practising code
and provides the qualification to apply for a Certificate of Registration
with the New South Wales Office of Fair Trading. The coursework
involves studying three units of competency:

■ work in the real estate sector

■ prepare for work in the property industry

■ communicate with property clients.

The course is offered as a three day face-to-face workshop or by


correspondence.

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Ready, set,
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How do I get the job?


So you think you’ve got what it takes to make it in the property game
– the enthusiasm, people skills, confidence, and innate knowledge of
markets and trends?

If you can quote the details of every property for sale in your area off
the top of your head and know the floor plan of the local shopping
centre inside out, then you could be a hit in the property sector. Now
you just need to get your foot in the door, get a great job and put your
property prowess to the test.

The job opportunities are there, but companies aren’t going to entrust
their multimillion-dollar projects to someone who can’t deliver the
goods. The necessary foundation for sealing the deal on a top job is
research, research, research – with so many areas in property catering
for different skills and personality traits, it’s up to you to choose what
job and company will best suit you. You want to be able to go into the
interview confident in the knowledge that the job fits you like a glove
and to convince your employer that you are exactly the person they
are looking for.

How are people recruited?


There are a number of different ways to crack the property circle,
depending on what area you work in, how long you have been in the
career and what type of organisation you want to work for.

The main avenues for getting a job include:

■ job advertisements

■ work experience

■ networking and headhunting

■ working your way up

■ recruitment agencies

■ graduate programs

■ approaching companies directly.

155
Property

Job advertisements
Jobs advertisements are the traditional, quickest and easiest
way to find out what jobs are on offer. Positions are advertised in
metropolitan and local newspapers; on websites like Seek, MyCareer
and Career One; and on company websites.

Because everyone has access to these advertisements, there can be


a very large response to them and a lot of competition. This means
that it isn’t as easy as circling a job in the paper that has a good
salary and a company car, and then expecting to walk in and start
first thing Monday morning. You will usually have to go through a
rigorous application process to prove to the employer that you will be
a valuable asset to the company.

A lot of jobs in the private sector don’t ever see the light of the job
advertisement pages since they are snapped up by word of mouth or
internal advertising in less time than it takes to put up a demountable
classroom. The government, however, must advertise all available
positions, so make sure you always keep an eye out for opportunities
in that sector.

Work experience
Doing some work experience while you are still at school or university
can pay off in a number of ways down the track. It can give you a taste
for a job before you lock yourself into years of study, and it allows you
to shop around for a career path that suits you. The most common
place for work experience is in a real estate agency, but if there’s
another role in property you are interested in, give it a try. You could
test the waters working with an architect, auctioneer, or a shopping
centre manager and easily try something else if things aren’t quite as
you imagined.

Work experience also has strong practical benefits in terms of


getting that elusive job later on. It will give you an edge in interviews
and may even lead to employment within the same company if they
are impressed with your commitment, enthusiasm and natural talent.

Work experience can usually be organised directly with a company or


through your school, TAFE or university.

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Networking and headhunting


In many ways, property is as much about people and relationships as
it is about the buildings themselves. With so many different people
and professions involved in the creation, management and acquisition
of everything from houses to high-rises, it makes sense that solid
networks exist and reputations are valued. If you are known to
possess the passion and ability of a gold-star employee, you probably
won’t need to look far if you want to change jobs since companies will
keep you in mind and let you know if they are looking for someone.

In property you get to know most people within the industry,


and it’s quite a small industry. People tend to be poached from
company to company and a lot of the time it’s who you know, not find out
necessarily what you know. If you prove yourself to be a strong more
asset to a company and develop a lot of contacts within the http://mycareer.com.au
industry, you can definitely expand your horizons.
www.careerone.com.au
Lauren Cassar – Property Asset Manager, Stockland, North Sydney
www.careers.vic.gov.au
One step further than using your contacts to navigate your own www.jobs.act.gov.au
career path is having other companies directly approach you with http://jobs.nsw.gov.au
offers to head up their development or funds management team, for www.jobs.qld.gov.au
example. Some companies make it their business to know who their www.jobs.wa.gov.au
competitors are and who the key performers are in each company.
www.nt.gov.au/jobs
Your high performance could well be the key to your next career move,
www.seek.com.au
so don’t underestimate the importance of having your achievements
www.vacancies.sa.gov.au
widely recognised.

157
Property

Working your way up


In many cases, once you have bagged a job within a property
company, a strong career path within the same company may be the
way to go. With so many integrated property companies there is a
broad scope for moving up and around companies to develop your
skills and keep you stimulated with new projects and challenges.
A lot of skills are transferable across the different areas of property,
so you could move into a company as a facilities coordinator, move up
the ranks into management and even transfer into development if you
have the passion and skills to make the switch.

A lot of our senior management have built their careers


through Lend Lease and come up through the ranks. There is
an obligation for individuals to manage their own career, but in
addition to that Lend Lease takes on the obligation to develop
and nurture your career.
Peitra Moffat – Head of HR, Lend Lease, Retail and Communities

It is also not uncommon for people to enter a company in an


entry-level position as a receptionist or assistant where they are
exposed to the exciting ways of the property sector and move
into a more specialised role themselves.

Recruitment agencies
Recruitment agencies are another way to get a great job in property.
Some agencies exist solely to source quality staff for property
companies. They look through applications, often conduct the first
round of interviews and negotiate salaries with the prospective
employer. They are in the business of forging relationships with key
employers in the sector, know exactly what’s on offer and can give
you some good tips on what the employer is looking for. Sometimes,
positions are filled directly through recruitment agencies rather than
advertising avenues, so it is a good idea to get on the books of one or
more of these agencies, so that they keep you in mind when a suitable
position comes up.

Recruitment agencies vary greatly in terms of the positions and


companies they specialise in recruiting for. Keep in mind your ideal
job and where in Australia you want to live, and then decide on the
best agency for you. Smaller agencies might be more personal and
tailored to your needs, whereas a larger recruitment agency may
offer more jobs and be affiliated with more of the bigger companies.

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Graduate programs
Many of the larger property organisations have structured graduate
recruitment programs that are designed to turn university graduates
into property professionals within their company by developing their
skills, knowledge and networks. If you have a degree in hand, but are
find out
just getting into the work force, a graduate program can be an ideal
way to establish yourself and work out exactly which area you want
more
www.acpeople.com.au
to specialise in. Most programs run for 12 months, at the end of which
www.edgepropertypeople.
successful recruits are typically offered a permanent contract with the com.au
organisation. Many companies come to universities to speak with final
www.juddfarris.com/au
year students about their graduate opportunities, hoping to attract
www.propertylook.com.au
the right people for their company.

For Inspection
Many of the major property companies
offer graduate recruitment programs.
Graduates are headhunted, chosen via
application or through networks that
universities often keep with the companies.

Graduate programs offer a lot of added advantages for your future


career including:

■ buddy and mentoring programs

■ rotational placements

■ residential training programs

■ study leave and financial support

■ a project in the final year with a senior stakeholder

■ a
 variety of learning and development opportunities to complement
your career.

AMP Capital, Lend Lease, Savills and Jones Lang LaSalle all offer find out
employment opportunities for graduates. At Savills, for example, more
successful applicants are rotated through valuations, retail leasing, www.ampcapital.com.au
commercial leasing, sales and investments, retail management, www.lendlease.com.au
commercial management, capital transactions, industrial property,
www.savills.com.au
research, client financial services, finance and payroll, information
www.joneslanglasalle.com.au
technology and marketing.

159
Property

Graduate places can be highly competitive, and academic results,


culture fit and life experience are extremely important in your
application.

Look on the website of companies you are interested in working for to


find out how to apply for a position and the specifics of their program.

Approaching companies directly


If you have your heart set on working for a particular organisation
because their projects and vision get you itching to throw your
energies into the mix, then you’re probably the sort of enthusiastic
person they would like to have on board. However, if there are no
positions available, all is not lost – you need to let them know that you
are waiting in the wings. It can sometimes be hard for organisations to
find quality staff so if you leave your résumé and a good impression
with them, they may just give you a call when a gig comes up. This
also has the added bonus of skipping the queue of talented hopefuls
that will come begging if the ad is placed in the paper.

If you’re set on working for a particular employer, it could also be


useful to call them back occasionally to see if any positions have
come up and keep your name fresh in their minds. It’s probably also
worthwhile to offer to do some work experience so that they can get a
glimpse of your talent and enthusiasm first hand.

For Inspection
According to the Australian Shopping Centre Council
of Australia, an estimated nine million Australians
have invested in retail property through their
superannuation savings and investments in
listed property trusts and property-backed life
insurance policies.

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What are recruiters looking for?


Confidence, a quick-thinking nature, good organisation, and
communication skills are what will get you the job in property.
Sometimes qualifications are a prerequisite but, with many
university qualifications a dime a dozen these days, the successful
applicant will need to pull something else out of the bag in order to
secure the job.

We spoke to some of the people who make the big recruitment


decisions. They let us in on some tried-and-true tips for making an
impression, standing out from the crowd, and landing yourself the job
you have been dreaming about and working towards for years.

■ Geraldine Sheehan – Director, Collins Realty

■ Michael Smith – General Manager, Delmege Commercial

■ John Bunting – Group General Manager Human Resources, Mirvac

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Property

Geraldine Sheehan – Director, Collins Realty


Originally from a nursing background,
Geraldine started in the property
industry nearly 30 years ago. She has
worked as a franchisor, agent, developer
and industry trainer. After helping out at
a real estate agency for six weeks at the
request of her husband, she ended up
purchasing the company. She’s still there
25 years later.

Her company has been a market leader


in the north-west coast of Tasmania since they set up shop over 70
years ago. As director, Geraldine oversees the day-to-day operations
of the company and the hiring of staff. She is a Fellow of the Real
Estate Institute of Australia, and currently heads the Tasmanian Real
Estate Institute’s Advertising Committee on the north-west coast.

q&a
What are job opportunities in real estate like at the moment?
The industry is very healthy. However, there are a few people washing
through the system – just going from office to office in the same
position. That often happens when you have such a busy market,
both in sales and property management. It can be because they’re not
being paid properly, or they’re not getting enough listings or sales and
are finding the quota system daunting. Going to another office your
quota starts afresh – however, that can be just as daunting!

What sort of salary can people expect?


In sales there are very different salary ranges. I have two employees in
my office who earn up to $300 000, but the average employee in sales
would be earning around $60 000. If the high-performing sales people
are going to stay in this sector of property, they don’t want promotion,
they just want to do what they do – list and sell – and get to the stage
where they can have personal assistants.

How are new employees recruited?


If we’re looking for younger people we go to the local TAFE college,
otherwise we get personal recommendations or spot someone
working well in another area and recruit them into the business.
Probably about 75 per cent of our recruitment is through word of
mouth. We don’t often use recruitment agencies as we haven’t needed
to – especially when we have people ringing us looking for vacancies.

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What qualities do you look for in employees?


We look for people who are team players, intelligent and hard
working. When you’re working in real estate it’s very important that
you have good body language skills and are very canny about people
– especially when choosing tenants. In leasing, deciding on tenants
is the decision that will make or break the agreement – if you have
the wrong person, you’re going to have problems; if you choose well,
everything will run smoothly.
Also, people who are not self-motivated really don’t fit into the
property industry – particularly sales and leasing. If someone needs to
be told what to do each step of the way, they will never be successful.
The industry is so busy that people have to be able to manage
themselves. It’s crucial to have good time management.

What should applicants include in their résumé?


I like to see a constant work record without gaps. For people who
don’t have industry experience, it is good to see that they have taken
part in community or extracurricular activities as that can help me
decide whether the person is a team player and self-motivated.

Do you expect applicants to have qualifications?


Not necessarily to the extent of a university degree. If they do have a
degree, then it’s good as a background, but it’s really not necessary
in this sector of the property industry. Their personal skills are much
more important.
We also like to train new recruits in our own methods of working and
they often have to self-educate. The licensing board requires about
eight hours a year of training, but we do a lot more than that. You
certainly need to have management skills and some education in
glossary
that area can be an advantage. My PA and office manager has just PA means:
completed her Diploma of Real Estate through the Tasmanian Real – personal assistant.
Estate Institute.

What do you expect from a candidate in the interview?


I think personal interviews are extremely important, and good positive
questions are necessary. People who just sit there and don’t ask
questions are a bit of a worry! Good presentation and positive body
language is very important and a limited use of words like ‘yeah’,
because you have to get rid of those at a later date.

What is your advice for someone looking to enter real estate?


Make sure this is the right career for you and it’s a sector you’re
interested in. I think about 75 per cent of those in this industry really
shouldn’t be here. If it is for you, choose a good stable business, start
at the bottom, and learn as much as you possibly can – but make
sure you’re working for a reputable firm so that you learn good work
practices. Get as much experience as you can when you have the
opportunity – at the end of the day it’s experience that really counts.

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Michael Smith – General Manager, Delmege


Commercial
Michael Smith is the general manager at
Delmege Commercial, a client-focused
property group involved in selling,
leasing, site acquisition, property, strata
and project management.

Michael manages the day-to-day


operations of the business and is
responsible for recruitment at Delmege.

q&a
What’s happening at Delmege at the moment?
In the Delmege group we cover the full spectrum of the real estate
industry – investment sales, asset management, consultancy,
commercial leasing, strata management, development, syndication,
residential sales and project management. The Delmege brand now
has a real presence in the commercial market which has enabled us
to expand the operations of our business. We are experiencing strong
growth, particularly in the commercial area, and this is reflected in our
first quarter results. We see this trend continuing in the second part of
this financial year.
From the development side, we are about to undertake two exciting
projects. One on our current head office site in North Sydney and the
other on our Springwood site in Queensland. Both of these projects
will be the largest commercial developments that Delmege has
ever undertaken and, while significantly increasing the company’s
investment portfolio, it will also enable the company to further expand
its commercial operations.

Does this mean you will be employing new people?


Yes, definitely. We are certainly in a real growth cycle at the moment.
We have traditionally been a small- to medium-sized enterprise,
but these two developments will really take us to the next level. In
preparation for this we are currently expanding our commercial team
particularly in the area of commercial leasing. Because of the size of
our company, and the fact that we cover all sectors of the market, the
opportunities to develop within our organisation are excellent. All
members of our senior management take a very hands-on role in the
development of their staff so employees at Delmege really get the
opportunity to develop their skills.

165
Property

How do you advertise available positions?


We advertise in the media throughout the year and give presentations
at various institutions, such as TAFE colleges, to let trainees know
about our business and its opportunities. We are also heavily
involved in industry bodies, which are a good platform to promote our
business. Finally, we find word of mouth is one of the best references
we have in sourcing candidates.

How hard is it to find the good candidates?


It is a tough industry. It’s very competitive to get the really good
candidates since we are often competing against national and
international organisations. We therefore pride ourselves on offering
our employees a robust professional development program.

What are you looking for in candidates?


The most important attribute is the person’s ability to engage, make a
connection and build a sustainable business relationship. This is what
provides us with repeat business and allows us to build a network of
business partners.

Any tips for impressing the interviewers?


Be confident in your approach, demonstrate your ability to engage the
interviewer and present yourself in a professional manner.

Are qualifications a prerequisite?


Certainly professional qualifications are important and we encourage
all our staff to constantly develop their skills. However, we see
work experience as a vital factor in a potential candidate. In more
junior candidates we’re looking for the drive to get in and gain
that experience.

What are the advancement opportunities like at Delmege?


We have regular performance reviews for all our staff and a large part
of that process is working with the employee on their professional
development. This enables our management team to identify the
employees who would be best able to transfer their skills into
different sectors. We encourage diversification and the multiskilling
of our employees as we believe this gives us a competitive advantage
over our opposition.

What advice do you have for someone looking at entering the


property industry?
You have to be persistent – you really have to get out there and knock
down the doors. You have to constantly work on your skills, whether
that is presentation, professional qualifications or personable skills.
Property is not for everybody, but if you are willing to work hard and
constantly invest in yourself, the rewards are there.

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John Bunting – Group General Manager


Human Resources, Mirvac
John is the head of human resources at
Mirvac and says that if you’re serious
about quality and sustainability, and
wanting to work cooperatively with all
sorts of people, Mirvac is a great
company to be with. He says that the
company is light on formality and strong
on an enjoyable work culture.

Mirvac is an integrated property and


funds management group operating
throughout Australia and overseas. They have over 5400 employees
in all types of roles, including development, funds, construction,
management and hospitality.

Along with numerous development programs, Mirvac runs an


undergraduate recruitment program for 30 students each year.
Participants work full time for the company while completing their
university studies part time.

q&a
What qualities do you look for in employees?
We look for integrity – it’s important to us and is one of our core
values. We also look for enthusiasm and an appropriate skills set,
evidenced by relevant job history. We use multiple interviews and
references to make selection decisions.

What sorts of skills are needed?


We need people with leadership skills, along with professional and
technical skills. The ability to work with others is critical. Employees
are always part of a process, and they need to contribute to the team
– there’s no such thing as a stand-alone role.
On the professional-technical side, we’re interested in the appropriate
skills and interest levels. We look for people who have taken it on
themselves to improve those skills – either personally or through
another employer.

167
Property

If they don’t have experience, how can entry-level applicants


show their qualities?
They need to demonstrate what they did before tertiary studies. That
can include roles that they held at school, what some of their key
hobby areas are, whether they have done any community-leadership
activities or evidence of where they have worked with others – such as
holiday jobs.

What type of roles do you offer?


A surprisingly wide range. More than half of our staff work in hotels
in roles such as food and beverage attendants, front lobby staff,
chefs, function managers or in sales and marketing, human resources,
accounts, and management.
In the development sector we need architects, designers, planners,
surveyors, valuers, construction staff, development managers, project
managers, sales and marketing staff, and administrators.
In funds management we look for analysts, asset managers, property
managers, fund managers, parking staff, facilities managers, portfolio
managers, company secretaries, health and safety managers; and
other professionals in finance and accounting, leasing and sales,
investor relations and marketing areas.

Where do you advertise vacancies?


We tend to go directly to university contacts, especially for
mainstream funds management and development entry-level roles.
Because we work quite closely with the universities, we often come
across students personally through our senior managers that we
think would suit our undergraduate program. They will come back to
someone like myself and say that they have identified an ideal person,
and we then approach that person directly.
If we are looking for graduate-level employees or above, particularly
in professional finance, human resources, administrative and IT roles,
we use a relevant agency that will advertise selectively in the press
and on the Internet.

What is the purpose of the undergraduate program?


The idea is to find capable and skilled full-time students who wish to
study part time and begin working on an almost full-time basis. Mirvac
also pays their education fees while they continue studying. This
means they can start applying their education and knowledge in the
relevant area of work immediately and be paid a competitive salary.
Over the last few years, we’ve had a number of successes with the
program, particularly in retaining people. We’ve seen a much better
retention rate from the program than when we take on graduates who
have just completed their degree and are looking for a wage. Those
who go through the undergraduate program are people who have
already progressed up through the company by the time they have
completed their degree.

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Does the program include any industry development?


We are currently in the process of reformatting the program. The main
focus is to develop on-the-job experience that complements the area
of study, so that the student gains ongoing industry experience.

What are the current opportunities in property?


At the moment there are strong opportunities in most sectors. At
Mirvac we’re in growth mode and always have opportunities in most
areas, including construction, development, projects, design, facilities
management, analysis, asset management, property management,
hospitality and finance.

What do you like to see in a résumé?


Even though we use recruitment agencies, we always like to see
original résumés. Applicants seem to put a lot of information in their
résumés about their skills. However, I like to see a stronger balance
towards what they’ve actually done – particularly a full job history. We
want to see what the positions were and their achievements in those
positions. Having that information is a pretty useful way of starting a
conversation in the interview. As we go through that conversation we
can understand where their real interests are, where their skills are
and what some of their development needs might be if they join us.
We like something that shows the applicant as they are, not as they’d
like to be – that’s all part of integrity.

How do you conduct the interview process?


We like to go through the résumé and learn more about the candidate.
Examples of work are always welcome. Considerable time is spent
helping the candidate understand the role, our expectations and
where there may be a need for immediate development so as to get
the best fit for Mirvac.

For Inspection
In 2007, Mirvac’s Funds Management division
managed approximately $13.3 billion – $4.2 billion
through Mirvac Property Trust, and $9.1 billion on
behalf of more than 40 000 institutional and
retail investors.

169
Property

Stand out from the crowd


In an industry where the stakes are high, if you want to land a job
on the biggest and best projects, then you need to stand out from
the crowd and demand the attention of the employer. That doesn’t
mean large coloured text on your résumé or a tongue in cheek
approach! You want to show the employer in a simple and elegant
style that you have the passion, experience and attitude to add value
to their organisation.

Create an outstanding application


In some cases, your application will be one of hundreds competing
for the same position, so it needs to demonstrate to your employer
the extent of your suitability. If you can’t sell yourself, then how can
a potential employer expect you to sell townhouses, mansions and
skyscrapers? If you can’t piece together a résumé in a structured
and functional way, then how can you be trusted in charge of a
multimillion-dollar development? You may not be able to judge a book
by its cover, but if you don’t make a good impression at this stage,
then you won’t get a second chance to wow the company with your
ability to develop, sell, value, manage or design.

170
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The résumé
The first step to building a résumé that will have employers falling
over their blueprints to get you on board begins long before you sit
down with this book and your laptop. That’s why it’s essential to build
a file about your work experience, qualifications and life achievements
so that you actually have some substantial material to select from
when you write your résumé.

The following résumé shows how to set out information in a clear and
readable format.

Arthur Spark Your name


71 Sparrow Lane
and contact
Newtown NSW 2042
Tel: (02) 9895 1111
details
Mobile: 0405 117 117 including
Email: Art.Spark@gmail.com email
E M PLOYM EN T HIST ORY

Senior Property Services Manager – Bobiska Property Group


February 2003 – present is still in use
nce work that were given
Achievements: and maintena
ment repair Responsibilities: all responses
a system to docu enquiries so that
• Developed ing with tena nt and owner
systems for deal • Servicing maintenance requests of six commercial clients for buildings across Australia
• Developed
le time • Assisting with the management of a team of six
in a reasonab
• tant s with landlords and tenants to ensure services are delivered as per contract
Liaising
n Accoun
ator – Hutchiso
Office Coordin • Obtaining and comparing quotes for maintenance work
mbe r 1998 – January 2000 • Managing the database and reports
Nove
es: • Measuring outgoing expenditure
Responsibiliti junior staff mem
bers
inducting new
• Training and y Achievements:
iers and stationar and fax machine
s
• Ordering cour • Consistently
ocopiers topping the team in monthly KPI statistics
ratin g and maintaining phot • t
Listedthenine
es
officnew clients by personal approach between January and December 2007
• Ope faxes throu ghou
stationery and
• Distributing
Property Manager − Lafayette Realty

Qu ali fic ati


on s
February 2001 – February 2003
ma in Valuation
, Lafayette TAFE Your
Advanced Diplo Responsibilities:
2004–present • istra
Working withl Esta
tion (Rea
te Agen
a team
t)
of 10 to manage 1200 residential and 200 commercial properties employment
Certificate of Reg
Your educational 2001
• Leasing properties,
ness (Real Esta
including preparing lease documents
te), Ultimo TAFE history from
Diploma in Busi• Handling repairs and maintenance issues
qualifications 1999–2000 • Coordinating
Cert
ickvi
Higher School • Managing property databases
lle
ificate, Marrinspections
High School
most recent
1998
• Creating new business s through thorough valuation of potential properties
Ent
acH iEv Em
and otH Er Achievements:
int ErE sts e
scitation Certificat
ng Society Resu • Increased the number of properties managed by 70 per cent between February 2001 and
• Royal Life Savi
Include your ng Society Bron
ze MedFebruary
allion 2003
• Royal Life Savi
interests • Red belt in
Tae Kwon Do
Property Officer − Morrison’s, Brighton
January 2000 – February 2001

Responsibilities:
Es
rEf ErE nc • Property management
Your referees Available on requ
est. • Handling repairs and maintenance
• Preparing lease documents
• Writing letters to owners and tenants
• Handling and resolving telephone enquiries
• Providing general assistance to the senior property manager

You can see a full-sized version of this résumé in Appendix 2 and


another example in Appendix 3.

This résumé gives examples of achievements and responsibilities.


It is well laid out and uses bullet points for easy reading.

Click Here for more FREE industry-specific


sample resumes and cover letters from Career FAQs 171
Property

When you sit down to put the résumé together, keep it simple and
relevant. It is important to adapt your résumé for each particular job
fyi you apply for. Don’t be tempted to hand in something from a previous
application. A generic, all purpose résumé will not show you in the
Toastmasters is a best light.
not-for-profit educational
organisation encompassing While you should ensure that each résumé is specific to the job
an international network of
clubs. Members learn and description, in an industry where character and confidence matter,
practise communication and it can be good to include some details about any extracurricular
leadership skills in a friendly,
activities such as membership to associations and clubs. This
social environment.
shows that you are well-rounded and can engage with people in
www.toastmasters.org.au
different situations.

Tips: The résumé


■ S
 pend time working on the layout, sentence structure
and content of your résumé.

■ Be honest.

■ Keep your résumé to two or three pages (standard).

■ Rework your résumé to fit each job that you apply for.

■ K
 eep copies of each résumé for when you apply for
similar jobs.

■ Check job-search websites for résumé samples.

■ Consider
 using a professional résumé-writing service
to get things started.

■ Don’t plagiarise anyone’s work.

■ W
 hen giving an email address as a contact, make
sure it looks professional – im_yours@yahoo.com just
won’t do.

■ Check your spelling and grammar – again and again.

■ Email
 your résumé as an attachment so that the
formatting isn’t lost.

172
Ready, set,
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The cover letter


The cover letter is your chance to expand on your résumé, give the
employer an idea of your personality and tell them exactly why the
position was made for you. As with the résumé, if it doesn’t hit the
mark, then your chances of securing the position will come down
faster than a building ready for demolition.

The following is an example of a well-written and well-structured


cover letter.

Arthur Spark
71 Sparrow Lane
Your name and Newtown NSW 2042
Tel: (02) 9895 1111
contact details Mobile: 0405 117 117
Email: Art.Spark@gmail.com

Amy Upton
Employer’s name Haven Property Ltd
PO Box 117
and address Sydney NSW 2000

Date 19 December 2007

Dear Amy
Position name and Re: Commercial Sales Executive position
reference number executive as advertised on MyCareer in
I would like to apply for the position of commercial sales
work history and relevant qualifications
December 2007. I have attached my résumé outlining my
for your consideration.
Manager at Bobiska Property Group (BPG).
Currently I am employed as a Senior Property Services
property management.
In previous roles I have also been responsible for residential
and have demonstrated a strong
Over the past seven years I have been working in real estate
Relevant qualifications, passion and enthusiasm for the industry. At BPG, the focus
has been on providing quality
commercial and retail real estate
customer service across a range of areas including residential,
experience and from inspections to trust accounting to maintenance issues.
I have strong customer service skills

achievements that and thrive on building relationships with clients.

address the to the manager of the property


In my current role I lead a team of six and report directly
in management and has strengthened
services division. This has given me a solid foundation
selection criteria my communication and interpersonal skills.
and being registered as a Real Estate
Further to completing a Diploma in Business (Real Estate)
at Lafayette TAFE.
Agent, I am now undertaking an Advanced Diploma in Valuation
l abilities and a passion for property.
Your interest in My strengths are a strong attention to detail, organisationa
will make me a valuable asset to your
I believe that these qualities, along with my experience,
the job team in the role of commercial sales executive.
and to pursuing the opportunity to work
I look forward to discussing the position in greater detail
Closing statement with Haven Property Ltd.

Yours sincerely

Your signature

Arthur Spark

You can see a full-sized version of this cover letter in Appendix 4 and
another example in Appendix 5 at the back of the book.

Click Here for more FREE industry-specific


sample resumes and cover letters from Career FAQs 173
Property

Particularly in an industry such as property, the employer will look


at the cover letter to gauge how well you can communicate – it must
be succinct and easy to read and not just repeat what is written in
your résumé. If you list your skills and strengths in the résumé, the
cover letter is the chance to show how you have used those skills in
previous work and how they will be relevant to the new position.

Only include information in your cover letter that is relevant to the


position, and keep it concise and direct. The cover letter gives the
employer an idea of how well you can identify the key issues; which
is something you will use in many aspects of any job. Also make sure
that you have addressed the selection criteria that was outlined in the
advertisement. It’s up to you to highlight your suitability in the cover
letter, not up to the employer to work it out from reading your résumé.

Tips: The cover letter


■ Present
 it in business letter format (including the name
and address of the employer).

■ Make sure you address each of the selection criteria.

■ Pay
 attention to the formatting and how the letter
looks on the page.

■ Don’t start every sentence with an ‘I’.

■ Be succinct – one well-spaced A4 page is plenty.

■ Check your spelling and grammar carefully.

■ Ask a couple of friends to proofread your letter.

■ Include a closing statement.

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Selection criteria fyi


Some job advertisements, particularly for government jobs and Make sure that the name you
agencies, contain a set of selection criteria that help the employer give your selection criteria
document is the same name
easily identify whether you have the necessary qualifications and
you use when referring to it in
experience for the position. your cover letter or résumé.

For government positions, you will need to address each of the


criterion specifically as a separate document in your application – in
addition to submitting a cover letter and a résumé. You will find the
particular requirements of government jobs in the advertisement or
the application package which is usually available from the contact
person or the department’s website.

Each criterion should have a number and the exact wording which you
should recreate as the heading.

Many well-written responses follow what is known as the STAR


detour
method of response – Situation, Task, Action and Result. For each
selection criterion, make a general statement about your ability to For more tips on answering
selection criteria and
meet the criterion then focus on an example that has STAR elements. everything else about working
for government, check out
If you follow this formula when responding to each selection criterion
Career FAQs careers @gov.
and you show in your responses that you have the ability to do the au.
job, you should get to the next step – the interview. www.careerfaqs.com.au

Tips: Selection criteria


■ Be honest – do not make unsupported claims.

■ Make
 sure you understand the key phrases such as
‘experience in’ and ‘knowledge of’.

■ Give tangible examples of your claim (think STAR).

■ U
 se direct, active verbs and address all parts of the
selection criterion.

■ Check to find out the maximum length of each.

■ U
 se language that is relevant to the position but avoid
excessive use of jargon.

■ Proofread carefully.

175
Property

How to stand out at the interview


A huge part of property is sales – not just selling houses, but selling
ideas, your company’s services and yourself. It’s also about effective
communication and professional interaction, so these are exactly the
things the employer will be looking for in the interview.

If you have secured an interview, it means that the organisation has


already been impressed with your skills and qualifications, and they
want to see if you are the right fit for the company; character-wise.

To help you give your best at the interview, consider the following
three Ps – preparation, presentation and performance.

Preparation Presentation
Research the company Be personable and dynamic
Focus on your strengths
Read or skim the annual report – you’ll be less nervous
and any other information
Develop a rapport with
the interviewer/s
Find out about the structure
of the organisation Dress appropriately and be
well groomed
Get to know the key Interview Speak clearly
positions and the names
of people in them 3 Ps Make eye contact
Smile, relax,
breathe!

Performance
Find out about interview techniques
Make sure you answer the question – don’t get sidetracked!
Be honest in your responses
Talking about mistakes isn’t a bad thing if you
show that you have learnt from them

Preparation
Turning up to an interview without having done your research is just
plain asking for the interview to head in the same direction as the
Leaning Tower of Pisa – awry. Property is an industry notorious for
dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s, so make sure you know the ins and
outs of the organisation and the role that you are applying for.

176
Ready, set,
go for it!

Read the job description carefully and take a good look at their
website so that you aren’t left stuck in the interview without knowing
exactly what they do and what you are doing there.

It would also be a good idea to brush up on the state of the current


property market so that you can impress with your broader knowledge.

The interview is a time for the potential employer to get to know more
about you and how you would fit in as part of the team, so think about
your personal and professional life experience, and how this will add
value to their company.

Presentation
If you are in doubt about what to wear to an interview, remember
that it is better to be overdressed than to rock up in thongs, singlet
and hole-ravaged jeans. It is important that you feel comfortable
but it is more important that the employer sees you are taking the
job seriously.

Most property roles involve interacting with clients, often high-profile


ones, and your presentation is part of your professional service. Make
sure you look polished and business-like with smart office attire, well-
groomed hair and clean, polished shoes.

177
Property

Performance
Be yourself! Let your personality shine. Organisations aren’t looking
for someone who sits in the corner making sure the paperwork is
up to date; they want people who can contribute to the team effort.
Personality is key in property, so don’t be afraid to let them see yours.

Your answers to their questions should be relevant and concise. It is


also important to be sincere since they will be able to tell if you don’t
have the knowledge to back up your claims.

Top ten DOs


1 Maintain a positive and confident attitude.
2 Make sure you are well dressed.
3 Listen carefully to questions and instructions.
4 Highlight what benefits you can bring to the company.
5 Use your own real experiences to answer questions.
6 Show passion and enthusiasm for the position.
7 Make sure you promote your strengths and sell yourself.
8 Let the employer know you have a clear career plan.
9 Understand the job and what will be expected of you.
10 Have a list of prepared questions to ask about the
company and the position.

Top ten DON’Ts


1 Don’t arrive late to the interview.
2 Make sure you don’t mutter or use too many ‘umms’
and ‘ahhs’.
3 Never leave your mobile phone on.
4 Don’t exaggerate your previous experiences or skills.
5 Never arrive unprepared with no knowledge of the
company.
6 Avoid talking about negative experiences you have had.
7 Make sure you don’t act bored or uninterested.
8 Avoid answers that are vague or confusing.
9 Don’t be unprofessional or impolite.
10 Try not to fidget or appear nervous.

178
Ready, set,
go for it!

How do I leave gracefully?


Have you been given an exciting new career opportunity, or perhaps
you have been at your job a bit too long and need a change? Do you
have itchy feet and the promise of overseas adventures can’t be
ignored any longer?

Whatever the reason, it might be time to say goodbye to your current


employer. Most importantly, remember not to burn your bridges in the
process because you never know when an ex-employer or colleague
will show up again. In the interests of career prosperity, leave with a
good impression. People don’t remember how you started, but they
sure remember how you left.

Before you break the news, there are a few things to do.

■ R
 esist the urge to tell your workmates – it won’t look good if your
boss hears your news through the office grapevine.

■ Find
 out how much notice you have to give. This is usually tied to
your employment contract.

■ C
 onsider giving your employer more notice if you have
commitments with particular projects.

Once you know where you stand and what you need to do, you need
to write a resignation letter. Make two copies: one for your boss and
one for human resources (HR) to keep on file.

If you have a new email address, you may wish to leave this in case
your boss or co-workers have any problems or queries. Your boss and
successor will be happy for your thoughtfulness and will remember
that you exceeded your obligations.

Be succinct, appreciative and provide the date you intend to leave.


If new challenges and career progression are the reasons for your
resignation, feel free to explain this to your boss. However, if you are
leaving to join the competition, it might be best not to mention it.

Tell your boss you are happy to help recruit and train someone new.
Discuss current and upcoming projects with your boss, get your work
up to date and leave clear instructions and procedures for
your replacement.

179
Property

Here is an example of a good resignation letter.

Jasmine Stevens
Your name and 15 Castle Road
Perth WA 6000
contact details m: 0400 789 479
e: jstevens@webmail.com.au

Simon Green
Employer’s name Senior Asset Manager
and address HGL Property Ltd
Fremantle WA 6158

Date 21 November 2007

Dear Simon

I have been offered the position of Trust Manager at the National Property Group
in Adelaide. This is a great opportunity and I have accepted their offer.

My new position starts on 2 January 2008, so my last day will be 21 December 2007.
As my contract specifies I am required to give four weeks’ notice, this letter covers my
Body of the letter legal obligations. I am more than happy to help recruit my replacement and help that
person become familiar with the requirements of the job. I can also be contacted in the
future with any issues and will be contactable on my personal email address.

Thank you for the opportunities and support you have given me over the last three years.
It has been a pleasure working with you.

Kind regards

Your signature

Jasmine Stevens

You can see a full-sized version of this resignation letter in Appendix 6.

When you say farewell to the rest of the crew, keep to the golden
rule of resignation and remain positive about your colleagues and
workplace. Property can be a tight industry and you may one day work
with your colleagues again. You might need them as a contact in the
future, so keep everyone in good favour!

You may feel like this is party time and you no longer have to worry
about putting in the hours, but don’t crack open the champagne
yet. Continue to work hard and your boss will be grateful for your
effort and give you a good reference. Also, make sure you have
cleared up all your entitlements and that you aren’t owed any money,
compensation, benefits, bonus checks or unused vacation time.

180
Ready, set,
go for it!

Starting your own business detour


For all you need to know on
Got an idea that sets you apart from the rest? Are you inspired to starting your own business,
strike out on your own? Starting your own business in property can check out Career FAQs Work
From Home and Career FAQs
mean anything from contracting your services to other companies,
Be Your Own Boss.
purchasing a franchise, or beginning your own independent business.
www.careerfaqs.com.au
Many real estate agencies in Australia and worldwide offer franchise
opportunities. Effectively, you purchase a brand name, set up your
business and let the franchise take care of your advertising. For using
the name of the business, you pay service fees and a proportion
of your profits. It’s a popular option as you receive support and
advertising from the franchise, as well as the opportunity to operate
under a well-known name.

RE/MAX have a different system whereby agents work independently find out
under the brand name. While most real estate agencies and franchises more
take a portion of sales commissions, in the RE/MAX model, agents www.remax.com.au
receive all the commission from a transaction and pay service fees to
the company.

If you want to strike out completely independently, you can begin a


company with your own brand name. Many smaller, boutique agencies
and businesses gain good reputations as trustworthy, family-owned
businesses. Often, clients prefer them over larger companies or
franchises. Your own company can also allow you to specialise in a
certain sector – such as auctioneering, rural property or valuation.

If you are an auctioneer or valuer you may contract your services on


a per job basis. If you build up your contacts and a solid reputation
in the industry, this can be an excellent option that allows you the
freedom to work for many different companies.

There are some things you have to do before you open the doors to
your new office. The first thing is to obtain an Australian Business glossary
Number (ABN), and it’s as easy as going to the website of the GST means:
Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Their website also has a lot of great – goods and services tax.
information about setting up a business and answers to all your BAS means:
ATO compliance requirements. Should you register for GST? Will you – business activity
statements.
have to complete a BAS every three months? How do you pay tax?
How much tax do you have to pay and when? What can you claim as
business expenses? find out
There are plenty of other websites that can help you to set up a
more
www.ato.gov.au
business, so what are you waiting for – start googling!

181
Property

What can I do right now?


It’s never too early to start planning your brilliant career in property.
If you do the legwork early, you can have a clear idea of where you
want to go and the steps you will need to take to get there.

Whether you are still at school and planning a new sports centre
in your head during maths class, or looking for an exciting career
change, then there are some things you can start doing now to get a
solid idea of where you want to be in property and how to get there.

■ R
 esearch the different areas of property and the companies you
would like to work for.

■ Look for support organisations that offer networking opportunities.

■ Consider doing a course in property to build up your skills.

■ Attend conferences and seminars to develop contacts.

■ R
 ead industry websites, newsletters and magazines to keep up on
property trends and advancements.

■ Offer to do work experience with a property company.

■ T alk to people about your plans to work in property. You never


know what contacts your friends and family might have.

The property industry is dynamic and the rewards can be great. It’s up
to you to find your dream job!

182
Buzz words

Buzz words
articled clerkship an apprenticeship in a professional law firm
baby boomer the name given to the generation born between
World War II and 1965 when there was a huge
spike in birth rates
BAS business activity statement
CAD computer-aided design, which is software and
hardware used by engineers and architects
capital works physical facilities and infrastructure such as
schools, roads, bridges and water systems, that
last longer than the term of a particular council
CBD central business district
chattels movable items of property
DA approved authorities have given their consent to permit
development
due diligence assessing the risks and opportunities of a
proposed transaction
ESD environmentally sustainable design
freehold owning the house outright
gavel the hammer used by an auctioneer
GLA gross leasable area, which is the amount of floor
space available to be rented
Green Star the rating tool used by the Green Building Council
of Australia to assess the sustainability and
efficiency of a building
greenfield a piece of usually semi-rural property that is
undeveloped except for agricultural use, especially
one considered as a site for expanding urban
development
GST goods and services tax
gyprock the brand name of a type of plasterboard.
IAG Insurance Australia Group, an international general
insurance group with operations in Australia, New
Zealand, Asia and the United Kingdom
infrastructure the roads, railways, schools and other capital
equipment which comprise the basic framework of
a country or region
intermodal a location serviced by several modes of transport
jurisdiction the territory over which authority is exercised
leasehold having leasing rights
make good to fulfil the requirements of the lease

183
Property

master planning the preparation of overall planning concepts for


large development sites
MBA Master of Business Administration
net worth the total assets minus the total liabilities of an
individual or organisation
NGO non-government organisation
PA personal assistant
real estate equity the difference between what a property is worth
and what the owner owes against that property
real estate debt debt funds
rent roll a spreadsheet describing the leases and
occupancy of a building
retrofitting the process of fitting something onto another, as
part of repair or maintenance
roll-out a structured process of finding and securing
new lease properties for a client, as part of their
expansion strategy
sustainability the conservation of an ecological balance by
avoiding depletion of national resources
urban infill vacant land in existing urban areas
urban renewal land redevelopment in high- to medium-density
urban areas
vendor bid a bid made by the auctioneer on behalf of the
owner when there is no bidding from the public,
it’s a transparent way of showing where the
owner’s expectation lies
VOC volatile organic compounds, which are the toxic
ingredients in paints, sealants and adhesives
wholesale funds investment portfolios that be accessed only by
institutional investors as opposed to members of
the public

184
Appendixes

Appendix 1
Comparative starting salaries of various
professions

Seeking full-time
Seeking full-time
In full-time employment, Median starting
Bachelor degree employment, not
employment (%) working part-time salary ($000)
working (%)
or casual (%)
Agriculture 78.5 8.0 13.6 40.0
Architecture 94.3 2.5 3.1 36.2
Building 91.2 3.0 5.8 40.0
Urb & reg planning 93.6 2.3 4.1 47.4
Humanities 75.1 8.3 16.6 37.1
Languages 75.9 8.6 15.5 42.2
Vis/perf arts 66.3 10.6 23.1 35.0
Social sciences 73.9 8.2 17.9 40.0
Psychology 78.9 5.7 15.4 42.0
Social work 88.2 4.7 7.1 44.0
Business studies 85.1 4.9 9.9 40.0
Accounting 86.4 5.4 8.2 40.0
Economics 87.5 6.1 6.3 45.0
Education, initial 80.2 3.3 16.5 46.0
Education post/other 89.3 3.6 7.1 43.0
Aeronautical eng 92.1 3.9 3.9 49.9
Chemical eng 86.2 6.2 7.6 55.0
Civil engineering 97.8 1.0 1.2 50.0
Electrical eng 89.9 7.2 2.8 50.0
Elect/Comp eng 86.9 7.2 5.9 48.0
Mechanical eng 91.7 5.3 3.0 50.0
Mining engineering 98.7 0.0 1.3 60.0
Engineering, other 91.8 4.0 4.2 50.0
Surveying 94.2 0.7 5.0 48.0
Dentistry 95.3 0.0 4.7 70.0
Health, other 85.0 4.1 10.8 43.0
Nursing, initial 97.4 0.8 1.8 42.0
Nursing, post-initial 98.0 0.0 2.0 42.0
Pharmacy 99.4 0.6 0.0 34.0
Medicine 98.2 0.7 1.1 50.0
Rehabilitation 93.9 1.9 4.3 45.0
Law 91.8 4.3 3.9 45.0
Law, other 87.1 3.9 8.9 41.0
Computer science 83.0 7.9 9.1 43.2
Life sciences 72.7 8.5 18.8 41.0
Mathematics 80.8 7.5 11.7 46.0
Chemistry 83.0 6.0 11.0 42.0
Physical sciences 78.1 11.0 11.0 43.0
Geology 86.0 4.8 9.1 55.0
Veterinary science 94.0 2.0 4.0 40.0
Bachelor degree graduates: employment and starting salaries (%), 2007
Reproduced with the kind permission of Graduate Careers Australia,
www.graduatecareers.com.au

185
Property

Appendix 2
Sample résumé 1

Arthur Spark
71 Sparrow Lane
Newtown NSW 2042
Tel: (02) 9895 1111
Mobile: 0405 117 117
Email: Art.Spark@gmail.com

E M P LOYM E NT HISTORY

Senior Property Services Manager – Bobiska Property Group


February 2003 – present

Responsibilities:
• Servicing maintenance requests of six commercial clients for buildings across Australia
• Assisting with the management of a team of six
• Liaising with landlords and tenants to ensure services are delivered as per contract
• Obtaining and comparing quotes for maintenance work
• Managing the database and reports
• Measuring outgoing expenditure

Achievements:
• Consistently topping the team in monthly KPI statistics
• Listed nine new clients by personal approach between January and December 2007

Property Manager − Lafayette Realty


February 2001 – February 2003

Responsibilities:
• Working with a team of 10 to manage 1200 residential and 200 commercial properties
• Leasing properties, including preparing lease documents
• Handling repairs and maintenance issues
• Coordinating inspections
• Managing property databases
• Creating new business through thorough valuation of potential properties

Achievements:
• Increased the number of properties managed by 70 per cent between February 2001 and
February 2003

Property Officer − Morrison’s, Brighton


January 2000 – February 2001

Responsibilities:
• Property management
• Handling repairs and maintenance
• Preparing lease documents
• Writing letters to owners and tenants
• Handling and resolving telephone enquiries
• Providing general assistance to the senior property manager

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186 sample resumes and cover letters from Career FAQs
Appendixes

Achievements:
• Developed a system to document repair and maintenance work that is still in use
• Developed systems for dealing with tenant and owner enquiries so that all responses were given
in a reasonable time

Office Coordinator – Hutchison Accountants


November 1998 – January 2000

Responsibilities:
• Training and inducting new junior staff members
• Ordering couriers and stationary
• Operating and maintaining photocopiers and fax machines
• Distributing stationery and faxes throughout the offices

Q ualifications
2004–present Advanced Diploma in Valuation, Lafayette TAFE

2001 Certificate of Registration (Real Estate Agent)

1999–2000 Diploma in Business (Real Estate), Ultimo TAFE

1998 Higher School Certificate, Marrickville High School

i n tE rE sts and ot HEr acHi E vE m E n t s


• Royal Life Saving Society Resuscitation Certificate

• Royal Life Saving Society Bronze Medallion

• Red belt in Tae Kwon Do

r E fE rE nc E s
Available on request.

187
Property

Appendix 3
Sample résumé 2

Heidi Showan
117 Darley St
South York VIC 3006
Tel: (03) 8575 1111
Mobile: 0417 117 000
Email: heidi_showan@yahoo.com.au

E m p l o y mE nt history

Manager, Commercial Projects – Stryder Property Group


July 2002 – present

Responsibilities:
• Project manage new buildings, major renovations and relocations for clients
• Organise building inspections
• Liaise with, and advise, landlords and tenants
• Monitor maintenance needs and address any building defects
• Work with consultants to identify future sites for acquisition
• Coordinate contractors to refurbish offices
• Monitor construction process
• Prepare feasibility studies for reconstruction and renovation projects
• Hande simultaneous fit-outs of premises for corporate clients

Building Consultant – Hawkins Building Consultants


1998–2002

Responsibilities:
• Building analysis
• Handle maintenance and repairs
• Management of clients and projects
• Advise landlords and tenants
• Prepare feasibility studies for new developments
• Monitor progress on development projects

Q u a l i f i cations
2003 Member of Property Environmental Standards Working Party
2002 Green Star Accreditation, Green Building Council of Australia
1994–1998 Bachelor of Science (Building Surveying), University of Queensland
1994 Queensland Certificate of Education, Grove High School

aWa r Ds
2000 Building Consultants Young Achiever of the Year Award

i n tE rE s ts
• Guitar, piano and singing
• Rock climbing
• Touch football

rE f E rE nc E s
Available on request.

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188 sample resumes and cover letters from Career FAQs
Appendixes

Appendix 4
Sample cover letter 1

Arthur Spark
71 Sparrow Lane
Newtown NSW 2042
Tel: (02) 9895 1111
Mobile: 0405 117 117
Email: Art.Spark@gmail.com

Amy Upton
Haven Property Ltd
PO Box 117
Sydney NSW 2000

19 December 2007

Dear Amy

Re: Commercial Sales Executive position

I would like to apply for the position of commercial sales executive as advertised on MyCareer in
December 2007. I have attached my résumé outlining my work history and relevant qualifications
for your consideration.

Currently I am employed as a Senior Property Services Manager at Bobiska Property Group (BPG).
In previous roles I have also been responsible for residential property management.

Over the past seven years I have been working in real estate and have demonstrated a strong
passion and enthusiasm for the industry. At BPG, the focus has been on providing quality
customer service across a range of areas including residential, commercial and retail real estate
from inspections to trust accounting to maintenance issues. I have strong customer service skills
and thrive on building relationships with clients.

In my current role I lead a team of six and report directly to the manager of the property
services division. This has given me a solid foundation in management and has strengthened
my communication and interpersonal skills.

Further to completing a Diploma in Business (Real Estate) and being registered as a Real Estate
Agent, I am now undertaking an Advanced Diploma in Valuation at Lafayette TAFE.

My strengths are a strong attention to detail, organisational abilities and a passion for property.
I believe that these qualities, along with my experience, will make me a valuable asset to your
team in the role of commercial sales executive.

I look forward to discussing the position in greater detail and to pursuing the opportunity to work
with Haven Property Ltd.

Yours sincerely

Arthur Spark

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sample resumes and cover letters from Career FAQs 189
Property

Appendix 5
Sample cover letter 2

Heidi Showan
117 Darley St
South York VIC 3006
Tel: (03) 8575 1111
Mob: 0417 117 000
Email: Heidi.Showan@ask.com.au

Matthew Hucknall
589 Property Group
47 Sparrow Lane
Darleytown VIC 3017

17 November 2007

Dear Matthew,

Re: Development Manager

I am writing to apply for the position of development manager with the 589 Property Group
advertised in The Age on 16 November 2007.

Currently, I am employed as manager of the commercial projects division at the Stryder


Property Group. I have the responsibility of managing all new construction and renovation
of our sites, as well as organising the relocation of our clients.

Recently, I have been involved with the redevelopment of a medium-sized commercial site in
South York. I have successfully contributed to the project which has included a full extension
of the property, refurbishment and letting to a new business tenant.

Overall, the position has given me strong project management and communication skills. I also
have a confident grasp of construction, acquisition and development processes. It has allowed
me to further my skills in this area, and I believe they would be well applied to the development
manager position.

I have a confident and outgoing nature, am very communicable with clients and colleagues, and
I am a strong team player. I believe I would be an asset to the 589 Property Group.

I have attached my résumé and can provide references upon request.

I look forward to meeting with you and the opportunity to discuss the position further.

Yours sincerely

Heidi Showan

190 Click Here for more FREE industry-specific


sample resumes and cover letters from Career FAQs
Appendixes

Appendix 6
Sample resignation letter

Jasmine Stevens
15 Castle Road
Perth WA 6000
m: 0400 789 479
e: jstevens@webmail.com.au

Simon Green
Senior Asset Manager
HGL Property Ltd
Fremantle WA 6158

21 November 2007

Dear Simon

I have been offered the position of Trust Manager at the National Property Group
in Adelaide. This is a great opportunity and I have accepted their offer.

My new position starts on 2 January 2008, so my last day will be 21 December 2007.
As my contract specifies I am required to give four weeks’ notice, this letter covers my
legal obligations. I am more than happy to help recruit my replacement and help that
person become familiar with the requirements of the job. I can also be contacted in the
future with any issues and will be contactable on my personal email address.

Thank you for the opportunities and support you have given me over the last three years.
It has been a pleasure working with you.

Kind regards

Jasmine Stevens

191
Property

Photo credits
A big thank you to everyone who generously supplied photos for this book,
listed in order of appearance.
Front cover Background image – Photographer: Jens Mayer  Agency:
Dreamstime; Handshake – Photographer: Mike Johnson  Agency: stock.xchng
Foreword Nic Lyons
The big picture Chapter image – Photographer: Neale Cousland | Agency:
Dreamstime; Peitra Moffat; Alice Harle; Karen Schmidt
Sales and leasing Chapter image – Photographer: Randy Mckown | Agency:
Dreamstime; Elliott Placks; Liza McKilliam (2); Ian Triganza (2); Grant Jennings
Funds management Chapter image – Photographer: Jong Kiam Soon | Agency:
Dreamstime; Adam Learmonth (2); Ben James (2); Victor Georos (2)
Development Chapter image – Photographer: Jeffrey Clattenburg | Agency:
Dreamstime; Ellie Schwab (2); Caroline Choy (2); Joanna Russell (2)
Asset and facilities management Chapter image – Photographer: Jeff Whyte |
Agency: Dreamstime; David Wellman; Michael Caramanis; Peter Lau;
Lauren Cassar; John Shaw (2); Rachael McKay (2)
Across the board Chapter image – Photographer: Tom Poletek | Agency:
Dreamstime; David Viarella (2); Jonathan Rivera; Priya Parasuramar (2);
Phil Harris (2); Victor Di Felice
Government Chapter image – Sue Stevens; Leon Yates (2); Joshua Brogan (2)
International Chapter image – Photographer: Lynette Lan | Agency: stock.xchng;
James O’Brien (2)
Sustainable Building Chapter image – Photographer: Oliver Hoffmann |
Agency: Dreamstime; Joe Karten (2); Kevin Miller (2)
Ready, set, go for it! Chapter image – Photographer: Isabel Poulin | Agency:
Dreamstime; Geraldine Sheehan; Michael Smith; John Bunting
Buzz words Header image – Photographer: Serban EnacheAgency:
Dreamstime
Appendixes Header image – Photographer: Tom SchmuckerAgency:
Dreamstime
Graphic elements Diary graphics – stock.xchang photographers: Kotz p. 94;
Tibor Fazakas p. 90; Davide Gugielmo pp. 49, 86, 105; Ali Taylor pp. 43, 66,
84, 127; Aaron Baell p. 129; Sophie pp. 52, 62, 73, 78, 100, 118; Tijem Van
Dobbenburgh p. 114.

192
Appendixes

Index
A D
Aboriginal communities. see Indigenous DA approved, 67
communities Delmege Commercial, 22, 85–7, 165–6
account managers, 89–91 Department of Housing and Sport, Darwin,
Agency Training Australia (ATA), 154 128–31
AMP Capital Investors, 22, 29–31, 74–6, 159 Department of Housing and Works, WA, 32–4
applications, 170 development, 13, 69
architecture jobs, 6, 112–15, 142–4 jobs, 6
articled clerkship, 121 development managers, 71–3, 74–6
asset and facilities management, 13, 20, 81 directors, 19, 162
asset managers, 85–7 commercial leasing, 51–3
auctioneers, 6, 116–19 commercial property, 32, 33
Australian Building Greenhouse Rating (ABGR), team of project managers, 77–80
15 due diligence, 77
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), 7, 8
E
Australian Property Council (APC), 154
environmental initiatives, 95
Australian Property Institute (API), 35
executive general managers, 56–8
B
F
baby boomer, 9
facilities managers, 99–101
Bovis Lend Lease, 36
Facility Management Association of Australia
Building a Better Future initiative, 17
(FMA Australia), 36
business, starting your own, 181
financial officer (chief ), 134–6
C First National Real Estate, 154
capital works, 15 FKP, 56–8
career planning, 182 freehold, 85
CB Richard Ellis, 22, 134–6 funds management, 12–13, 20, 55
CBRE, 77–80 jobs, 6, 7
chief financial officer (CFO), 134–6
G
City of Melbourne Council, 124–7
gavel, 4
Collard Clarke Jackson (CCJ), 142
general managers, 165
Collins Realty, 19, 162–3
executive, 56–8
commercial leasing, 51–3
Global FM, 36
commercial property, 32, 33, 48–53
Golden Gavel awards, 116
sales executive, 1, 46–9
government sector, 15, 24, 32–4, 123, 131
commission, 49
GPT Group, 4, 22, 65–8
companies, specialist, 23
graduate recruitment, 26–7, 29–30, 159–60
computer-aided design (CAD), 113
graduate, architecture, 112–15
construction industry jobs, 6, 17
Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), 9,
consultant, human resources, 29–31
15, 138–41, 150
corporate real estate, 23
Green Building Partnership, 9
courses
Green Lease, 9
Australian Property Council, 154
Green Star certification, 9, 95, 115
First National Real Estate, 154
greenfield, 73, 89
registered training organisations (RTOs),
gross leasable area (GLA), 96
151–4
gyprock, 138
TAFE, 151
university, 27, 30, 36, 147 H
cover letter, 173–4, 189, 190 Harwood Andrews, 120–2

193
Property

Hassell, 112–15 valuation, 17


human resources consultant, 29–31 master planning, 67
human resources managers, 26–8, 167 Mirvac, 22, 167–9
Funds Management, 13
I
Property Trust, 2
Indigenous communities, 15
Indigenous community liaison officer, 128–31 N
infrastructure, 13 National Association of Women in Construction
intermodal, 67 (NAWIC), 17, 36, 112
interviews, 163, 166, 169, 176–8 National Real Estate Franchise Association of
Australia (NREFA), 37
J
net worth, 46
job advertisements, 156, 166, 168
networking, 157
job opportunities, 1–2, 10–11, 26, 31, 32, 45, 110,
113, 118, 121, 125, 162, 168, 169 O
overseas, 16, 28, 62, 121, 126, 133–6, 144 Office of Fair Trading, 152, 154
regional, 28 overseas opportunities, 16, 28, 121, 126, 133–6
job searching overtime, 111
advertisements, 156, 166, 168
P
direct approach, 160
personal characteristics, 4–5, 25, 27, 30, 32, 41,
networking, 157
42, 47, 51, 58, 66, 72, 79, 84, 86, 94, 98,
recruitment agencies, 158
100, 117, 127, 167
work experience, 30, 156
planners, 6
Jones Lang LaSalle, 1, 17, 22, 46–9, 99–101, 159
portfolio manager, industrial business park, 4,
jurisdiction, 121
65–8
K PRDnationwide, 108–11
Knight Frank Newmark, 22, 89–90 promotion, 27, 33, 94–5, 110, 166
property and business services, 8
L
property asset managers, 11, 14, 35, 93–5, 157
land economists, 7, 104–7
property companies, 22–3
lawyers, 14, 120–2
Property Council of Australia (PCA), 6, 37
leasehold, 85
property development managers, 74–6
leasing. see commercial leasing; sales and
property industry
leasing
employees, statistics, 7, 8, 9
leasing agent, 90
employers, 21, 22
Lend Lease, 22, 26–8, 71–3, 159
nature of work, 41, 44, 48, 53, 58, 62–3, 67,
M 75, 79, 83, 87, 91, 94, 97–8, 100, 106,
make-good, meaning, 77 110–11, 114, 118, 122, 126, 130, 136, 141,
managers 163
account, 89–91 range of occupations, 3, 14, 103
asset, 85–7 size, 7–9
development, 71–3, 74–6 state of, 6–7
facilities, 99–101 sustainability, 9
general, 56–8, 165 property law, 120–2
human resources, 26–8, 167 property managers, 7, 47, 85, 97, 151, 168
property, 7, 47, 85, 97, 151, 168 property valuer land economist, 104–7
property asset, 11, 14, 35, 93–5, 157 property, definition, 2
property development, 74–6 public sector. see government sector
residential research, 108–11
Q
shopping centre, 96–8
qualifications, 27, 33, 41, 47, 53, 83, 86, 99, 110,
strata, 82–4
115, 116, 125, 140, 145–7, 163, 166
trust, 61–3
qualities, personal. see personal characteristics

194
Appendixes

R trust managers, 2, 61–3


Ray White Double Bay, 40–1
U
RE/MAX, 4, 19, 42–5
undergraduate program, 168
real estate agencies, 8, 21
university courses, 27, 30, 36, 147
real estate agents, 4, 7, 19, 42, 43
urban designer, 124–7
real estate debt, 13
urban fill, 73
real estate equity, 13
urban renewal, 73
Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA), 38
real estate market, 41, 43 V
recruitment agencies, 158 valuation managers, 17
recruitment process, 29–30, 155, 161, 162 valuers, 7, 104–7
regional opportunities, 28 vendor bid, 117
registered training organisations (RTOs), 151–4 volatile organic compounds (VOC), 138
rent roll, 32 W
residential property market, 109 wholesale funds, 62
residential research managers, 108–11 women, 17, 36
resignation, 179 work experience, 30, 156
resignation letter, 180, 191 work–life balance, 31, 44, 49, 58, 63, 68, 76, 80,
résumé, 163, 169, 170–2, 186–7, 188 83, 87, 101, 119, 127, 136
retail property investment, 160 workplace flexibility, 41, 91, 131
retrofitting, 9
roll-out, 89
Royal Australian Institute of Architects (RAIA), 38
Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), 38
S
salaries, 18–20, 162, 185
sales and leasing, 12, 39–53. see also
commercial leasing
sales executives, 39, 40–1
sales partner, 116–19
Savills, 17, 22, 159
scholarships, 36
selection criteria, 175
shopping centre managers, 96–8
shopping centres, 95, 96–8
skills, 27, 30–1, 56, 62, 79, 94, 107, 126, 136, 167
special counsel, property law, 120–2
starting your own business, 181
Stockland, 11, 22, 35, 93–5, 96–8, 157
strata managers, 82–4
strata title management, 82–4
superannuation funds, 7–8
support organisations, 35–8
sustainability, 9, 76, 79, 115, 125
sustainable building, 15, 137–44
T
TAFE courses, 151
team director, project managers, 77–80
technical coordinator, 138–41
tenant representatives, 90
Toastmasters, 172

195