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Meet our Expert Tim Farley

ECETim Farley1536 x 1040 Hero Website
Q: How long have you been in the real estate industry and how did you come to join Colliers? 

I have been in the Real Estate industry for 23 years and am approaching my 6th anniversary at Colliers. I recognised a strong connection with Occupier Advisory early in my career, with 21 of my 23 years’ experience specialising in Tenant Advisory services. Whilst a majority of my career has been located in Melbourne, I also grabbed the opportunity to experience working in unfamiliar markets (spending time in Sydney and then London) which proved to be a fantastic learning curve that broadened my experience and approach.     

How I came to join Colliers?  In 2016 whilst I was running my own independent Tenant Advisory business, Liam Ovenden from Colliers HR (based in Sydney) reached out to introduce himself.  Liam was somewhat dogged in his approach, enthusiastically conveying Colliers’ global strategy of growing a strong and successful Tenant Advisory Business.  Liam felt I might be a good fit for both Colliers and their growth ambitions.   

It was important to me that Colliers were supportive of the way I do business and were big on encouraging initiative, promoting a culture that seeks to innovate, exceed expectations, and accelerate success. I would be hired to take on the challenge of growing a Tenant Advisory business in Melbourne whilst leveraging the support and strength of the Colliers business in Australia and globally.  Suffice to say, I identified culturally with Colliers as an organisation and saw a mutual opportunity for growth.  When I then met with Doug Henry (Managing Director, Occupier Services), his positive energy and “can do” attitude were the clinchers, and I am certainly proud of the many achievements we have accomplished in that time. 

Q: How do you think you use your expertise to add value to clients?  

When I take on an opportunity, I tend to feel as though I am part of that Client’s team and not necessarily a service provider.  I share in the excitement of what lies ahead, together with a great amount of pride and sense of responsibility for the outcome of each project.  I am fortunate to have represented several high profile and complex pre-commitment requirements in my time, to which clients who engage my services benefit from this experience and the ability to influence positive outcomes.   

My focus on the best possible outcome for my clients is genuine and my vision is always bigger picture. I believe this is how successful and enduring relationships are built.  I don’t consider myself engaged simply to be a yes-man to my clients, but to be a trusted advisor that challenges ideas, strategically providing a competitive advantage whilst ensuring our value is demonstrated through the expertise we bring and the outcomes we deliver.  Our clients enjoy the advantage of making timely, confident, and informed decisions.   

Q: What is the most fulfilling thing about your role? 

This is a question loaded with cliched responses, but it really is a case of sharing in our client’s successes.   

How success is measured will vary from Client to Client, and from project to project.  If we achieve a great outcome for our clients that delivers meaningful value, the satisfaction I associate with that outcome provides a personal high with a huge amount of fulfilment.   

If a client is happy during the project and particularly at the end of our engagement, this is typically rewarded with repeat and / or referral business as their trusted advisor.  I am fortunate that many client engagements have evolved into friendships.  This is the ultimate compliment and something I do not take lightly.  When you are genuine in your approach and maintain focus on the best possible outcome for your client, the results usually takes care of themselves. 

Q: Can you think of a transaction or project that you’re particularly proud of? What did you do to ensure its success?   

A transaction that I am particularly proud of?  Each project has its own set of circumstances and challenges to overcome, with their own sense of satisfaction and achievement.  Rather than sit on the fence though, I would highlight the following: 

  • Bunnings HQ
  • Medibank HQ; and 
  • Officeworks HQ 

Each of the above were significant requirements involving complex pre-commitment negotiations, completed during the COVID pandemic under extremely challenging circumstances.  Undertaking a thorough briefing process followed by an exhaustive and competitive market search for each respective requirement, I am delighted to have assisted each client with securing compelling outcomes that will provide meaningful value to their organisation.  In a time when several organisations were choked by the fear of uncertainty, my clients were able make confident and timely decisions supported by robust business cases necessary to obtain board level approvals. 

What did I do to ensure success?  I afford each project the respect they deserve, forming a genuine partnership approach with each Client.  It sounds simple (because it is), but for me the key is not to be afraid of introducing alternative thinking around how to best achieve the client’s objectives, and be sure to make recommendations that are informed, reasoned, and likely to provide meaningful value.  If you establish a bespoke strategy for each unique requirement and truly place the client’s best interests first, then you will work collaboratively as a team and elevate yourself to become the client’s trusted advisor.   

I take pride in negotiating compelling commercial terms that (whilst admittedly lengthy), deliver innovative lease flexibility and risk averse initiatives necessary to earn board level approvals without compromising the strong financial terms that can be achieved.   

Q: What do you think the opportunity is for your client’s real estate strategies in the current environment? 

Opportunities will always vary based on each Client’s particular circumstances, however, there is no doubt the current environment provides Clients with more compelling opportunities (choice / quality / commercials) than has been available for several years.   

The key trend to note right now is flight to quality.  The key reason for this is businesses using property-based strategies to support people-based strategies.  It is talent that drives business success, and we are currently seeing competition for talent traverse industries.  Many businesses are taking advantage of the current environment to support strategies that can better align accommodation-based solutions that improve people-based objectives.  Key themes include but are not limited to:

  • Attraction and retention of talent
  • Wellness
  • Culture
  • Sustainability
  • Inclusiveness
  • Collaboration
  • User Experience
  • Productivity

Whilst organisations have understandably experienced elevated levels of anxiety when seeking to make significant and long-term decisions, we have been able to alleviate those anxieties through negotiation of several risk averse and future ready initiatives both in the built form and through highly flexible lease structures.   

I would be pleased to discuss this further with any organisation that might similarly be wondering how best to take advantage of the opportunities available to them, and invite them to get in touch.  


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Tim Farley

National Director, Tenant Advisory | Occupier Services

Melbourne

Tim is a National Director of Colliers International's Occupier Services division  and head of the Victorian Tenant Advisory team .  With a career in corporate real estate spanning over 20 years in Australia and the United Kingdom, Tim is an established,  recognised market leader and subject matter expert, with a strategic and organised approach to business. 

Leadership:

Colliers International’s APAC Occupier Advisory Committee

- Education Sector Focus Group

- Legal Sector Focus Group

- Flexible Workspace Focus Group

Tim’s expertise includes:

• Lease & Agreement For Lease

• Market Rent Review

• Acquisitions (Leasehold & Freehold)

• Property Disposal (Strategy, Planning & Management)

• End of Lease / Lease Legacy (Risk & Liability mitigation)

• Strategic Portfolio Review

• Lease Assessment & Restructure

• Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis

Clients Tim has assisted include: Grant Thornton, URBIS, Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA), CGI Technologies Australia, McKinsey & Company, NEC Australia, Bunnings Limited, Coles, Fly Buys, International Workplace Group (IWG), Victoria University, University of Melbourne, Acknowledge Education, Vic Govt., Commonwealth Govt., Sony Pictures Entertainment, Porter Davis Homes, DB Schenker, Telstra, NAB, EQUINIX, Equity Trustees, Medibank, Orica Limited, Asciano, Philips, ASIC, APRA, WILEY Education Services, URBIS, SwissRe, ActForKids, Animals Australia, CHUBB Insurance, Amazon Webservices, NINE Entertainment.

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