This month we spent some time with the Residential Director in Melbourne to gain great insight into the current luxury property market in Melbourne and the Colliers’ team surprisingly discovered that Sam can be found feeding ducks in the park over the weekend.
1. What sparked your interest in the property industry?
My father has been involved in Real Estate through various stages of his life. As seems to be usual when that is the case, property was always a topic of conversation and interest.
However, property wasn’t my first direction immediately after school. I actually gained a double degree in International Trade and Politics. The issue was relocating back to the country, where I eventually fell back into what was familiar – property! I soon graduated with a property degree and then acted as a project valuer and development/market advisor to large scale and premium residential developments.
2. What do you think sets Colliers Residential apart within the industry?
Colliers Residential has had an instrumental role in the evolution of Melbourne’s Inner city and city fringe residential market across all forms of development. This depth of experience has built an unparalleled understanding of not only the market but also the city as a whole.
It is the ability to bring together this experience to see through the issues/noise of the day and focus on the medium and longer-term requirements of the client that are critical.
3. What advice would you give a person interested to enter the property industry for employment?
Be patient and play the long game. Focus your energy in the first few years across a balance of relationship building and market knowledge, but the underlying aspect is to be yourself.
I continue to find that if you can secure a deep understanding of your market and product, are natural in your engagement and comfortable within yourself, people will be more open and transparent with you in return.
4. What are some neighbourhoods and precincts in Melbourne you'd recommend investors to keep an eye on?
I have believed for a long time that the health of the market reflects the health of the host city.
The biggest shift underway is the market becoming hyper-local, whereby certain precincts, or even areas within those precincts, are becoming more or less desirable due to physical, social or infrastructure changes that are occurring.
This is a sign of a maturing city, but also makes it more difficult for the uninitiated or unaware to make well-informed decisions that reflect their circumstances or objectives, which of course can be very different between different people.
I think that despite many people’s perception that it is already a high value precinct, the East End of the city and surrounding parkland precinct is still fundamentally unappreciated and therefore inherently undervalued. Perhaps not now, not in three years, but as we emerge into a truly, world city the scarcity of these residences will become apparent.
5. What are the current real estate and architecture trends, which are currently influencing buyers?
I work within the higher value apartment market, a segment that despite increased activity is still maturing.
At the highest echelons we are still behind where the ultra-exclusive market is globally with respect to the ability for a buyer to create a bespoke residence of exceptional standard. That said, there are still a finite number of locations eligible for that level of quality.
The strongest themes remain security and the ability for a floor plan to work for each of the respective purchase profiles. However it is the intangible element of what will the ambience of a new development be, the experience of living there, that remains at the heart of higher value off-the-plan purchasers.
In the established market, I see the largest growth market in terms of activity will be for the purchase of a 1-20 year old space for comprehensive, bespoke refurbishment emerging over the next 5-7 years.
6. What are your interests outside of work? Where can we find you on a day off?
That has certainly changed over the years. It used to be training for long distance sporting events, which ultimately became playing golf. After spinal surgery (probably too much sport) and with two and four year old boys at home, now it is usually feeding ducks, riding miniature railways or chasing balls.
7. Is there a mantra or quote that you like and why?
Nothing specific, however coming from an advisory background one of the key tenements I have lived by and sought to achieve was to be a specialist in your area. With specialisation comes market and product knowledge, and with that comes the ability to have more meaningful conversations that build trust and give deeper insight to clients than they may usually have experienced in the residential market.
Ultimately I see myself as an advisor - not an agent.