Question: Guillaume talk us through what Residential development sites looks like and what you do?
GV: Residential developments is an exciting area as it could be anything from a small block of two house subdivisions into townhouses, to a multi hectare site to develop apartments or land subdivision. I really enjoy the aspect that no two sites are the same and we can move around different parts of Sydney sourcing development sites whilst undertaking healthy transactions for our clients.
Question: So, Guillaume, you have to learn how to move with the market pretty quickly because sometimes there is an up market and sometimes there’s a down market. How do you make sure every year you are servicing more clients?
GV: I guess it is having a holistic view on the city market and residential as an asset class. The market changes from year to year, obviously, but in a down market for example, you might focus on a smaller boutique sites, which don’t have as much capital requirement or in a good area and where people want to live. So rather than doing larger transactions you can go down to multiple smaller sites that are easier to source and sell with lower capital requirements.
Question: So, a lot of that is about maintaining that positive mindset and thinking that every market makes a market, from your perspective. It’s about saying okay well what’s the land use and is now time to do more boutique sites or is now the time to bigger sites, would that be correct?
GV: Yeah exactly, I mean, when there is a listing, you may not expect it, but you may come out with a different use. Whilst I sell residential, land is land and it could be perfect for a student housing provider or alternatively it could be an aged care provider that comes into the market.
Question: So how do you improve the understanding planning of feasibility of areas?
GV: I started off with a Bachelor of Business at University and coming out of university into property business I needed more of a specific skill set for my job, so I acquired a Masters of Property Development and that helped me a lot to get the basis of planning and the skills I needed to succeed in the job.
Beyond that, day to day understanding town planning is key and where I spend a lot of time networking with the leading planners and exchanging notes on what is happening out there and to find out where the new the changes are coming. That’s a fundamental part of our business, is understanding where change is going to occur which creates opportunities for our clients.
I’ve developed a good relationship with multiple planners leading planners and it has all started with a basic conversation of what they do, what do I do and finding a common ground being where we can add value to each other.
Question: Talk to us about the involvement with other service lines? How do other services lines help you and the client?
GV: In residential we cover the whole market across Sydney. We often collaborate with area specialists from different Colliers International offices. For example, North Sydney is a very big collaboration area where I have done a lot of good work with my colleagues over there.
It is important in creating that value for our clients inside the deal and the transaction, and the more we can involve more knowledge and experience from our colleagues the more value we can provide to our client.
Colliers platform is second to none – the investment they put in the marketing for each division provides the ability for each operator to perform at their best and do the best for their clients. We have the resources internally, whether that is collaborating with different service lines for more knowledge and expertise and interacting with the high-quality teams.
Please feel free to contact Guillaume Volz to discuss any of the above.
National Director, Development Sites
M: 0404 887 717