Investa strongly believes in supporting the career growth and ongoing development of all our people. On offer, once again this year, was the Investa Young Leaders Scholarship and we are excited to announce that Anya Leusink has been awarded the honour after receiving a number of high quality submissions. Anya will now represent Investa at the Urban Land Institute (ULI) 2018 Asia Pacific Summit and associated week-long tour located in Hong Kong in June. Not only that, Anya will receive a 12 month Young Leaders Group Membership with the ULI, connecting her to a diverse network of property professionals and the opportunity to grow her expertise via mentoring programs and increased exposure to industry best practices.
Originally from the UK, prior to joining Investa, Anya worked for a European Real Estate Agency based in London where she managed the prestigious Berkeley Square Estate in Mayfair amongst other properties on Oxford Street and in Knightsbridge. These were mostly heritage listed office blocks, dating back to around 1800, which presented some management challenges for Anya and the team. Joining Investa in 2016, Anya’s role as Property Manager is focused on optimising the value of the buildings in her portfolio and providing market-leading service to her tenants, through financial, operational and tenant service responsibilities. Office assets in Anya's North Sydney portfolio include 40 Mount Street, 99 Walker Street, 105 Miller Street and 111 Pacific Highway.
With a strong field of contenders, Anya’s submission stood out with her vision on how Investa could develop new revenue streams, which touched on the themes of monetising data, pursuing new mandates and leveraging flexible spaces. Anya was able to demonstrate how her global experience and network informed her ideas.
Below is an interview conducted with Anya which provides more detail about her time in the property industry, experiences at Investa and her aspirations for the future, in her own words.
What initially attracted you to the commercial property industry?
A: I loved Geography and Economics at school and enjoyed thinking about people’s interaction with cities. For me, the property industry encapsulates these concepts. I was lucky enough to gain work experience at JLL in London when I was 17, which was when I decided a career in the commercial property industry was for me and I have never looked back!
How would you describe your time at Investa and what are some of the key highlights since being part of the team?
A: Excellent! I really like the culture at Investa and find everyone to be very friendly, knowledgeable and supportive of each other. I have lots of highlights, but they include numerous successful leasing deals, upgrading the 111 Pacific Highway entrance lobby and associated launch event, introducing Assistant Property Manager training sessions and securing my Australian permanent residency visa!
What do you hope to achieve by being awarded the Investa Young Leaders Scholarship?
A: I hope attending the ULI Tour and Summit in Hong Kong will enable me to broaden my knowledge on a range of property topics by being exposed to a wide variety of global speakers who will be covering fascinating concepts such as co-working, the age of disruption, experiential retail, smart cities and big data. Real Estate is a sociable industry and having a good network makes a difference, so I hope that being awarded this scholarship can be my springboard to network with professionals from Asia and across the word at the Tour and Summit in Hong Kong. Upon my return to Australia I look forward to discussing ideas learnt with Investa’s Executive team and colleagues to generate thoughtful conversation, to see if any ideas from the ULI Tour and Summit can be applied to the business.
How was Investa helped you to progress your career goals?
A: Partnering me with Kim Gregory, Fund Manager (Mandates) as my sponsor for the Women in Property program run by the PCA. Providing me with great opportunities to learn and gain experience in a wide variety of real estate topics (for example leasing, projects and financial analysis) and having access to great people at Investa to ask questions. Particularly, providing me with this great opportunity to be awarded the ULI membership and to attend the Tour and Summit.
What are your long-term career aspirations?
A: To be a senior Asset Manager, managing a portfolio of A-Grade and premium office/retail properties in Sydney’s CBD and thereafter, to potentially be on an Executive team. Importantly, to have also built up a good reputation in the property industry in Australia and to have strong knowledge and experience in my area of expertise as well as good understanding of the global commercial property market.