As a former salesman for hair cosmetics, Dino Carulli has adapted the principles of sales techniques learnt in his early career to climb the ranks within one of Australia’s leading property developers. A self-confessed ‘people person’, Dino gets plenty of opportunities to focus on team management in his current role as sales and marketing director at Frasers Property Australia. He is currently working on developments including Putney Hill, Discovery Point and Edmonson Park.
I’m a people person, and this, coupled with my early sales experience in selling hair products, has definitely stood me in good stead throughout my career.
Nigel Edgar, general manager of Frasers Property Australia, has also been a major influence in my professional life since starting out in the property industry. He interviewed me back in 1992 for a sales role with AVJennings, where we worked together for seven years before both pursuing separate career opportunities.
I went on to Aussie Home Loans and then Colliers, where our paths crossed again. I joined him at Australand, which became Frasers Property Australia, and we’ve been back working together for the past nine years.
What types of changes have you seen occur in the market during your time in sales?
The one constant is this industry is the cyclical nature of the market. The major changes that impact the housing market can occur at a local, national and international platform – rate of employment, interest rates, the ebbs and flows of real estate values, the GFC, changes in access to finance. And these have all had a significant impact on the market, for better and worse, throughout my career.
Putney HillHave there been any major obstacles or pitfalls you had to face to get to where you are now?
I’m lucky enough to have had reasonably steady progression throughout my career, however it was challenging to make the move from being part of the sales team to becoming a member of management and leading that same team of people.
In the past two years, I’ve also taken on a marketing role, combined with sales, and this has been a real learning curve for me. I’ve had to acknowledge that while I’m not the marketing expert, I have a fantastic team around me who are specialists in this area, and so I rely on my strengths as a people manager to help deliver great marketing outcomes.
What can you see in the future of property (house and land) sales? Are there any trends emerging?
There is a greater acceptance of higher-density living – even in house and land and green field developments. Gen Y buyers are looking for a greater mix of amenities – they don’t want the grand house in the middle of nowhere.
Mixed-use developments with shopping centres, transport links, parks and a range of one, two, three and four-bedroom houses alongside apartments are far more commonplace these days, and that’s very much being driven by market demand.
Buyers are also increasingly willing to buy and raise a family in apartments in inner-city areas. Another emerging trend I’m seeing more of is the rise in one-bedroom apartments with an additional space that offers a flexible living option, to be used as a study, guest room or store room.
Edmonson ParkHow is Frasers Property preparing for this future?
We’re very much responding to these demands with mixed use developments such as Edmonson Park (South West Sydney), Clemton Park Village (Campsie), Discovery Point (Wolli Creek) and Central Park (Chippendale).
Putney Hill is a great example of where apartment living can still represent a great opportunity for families as 50 per cent of this community is parkland and open space, offering a more suburban lifestyle in a higher-density building environment. Putney and Ryde are areas that really appeal to families but many have found themselves priced out of the market so we’re offering an alternative. Our apartments often offer the space and proportions of a two or three bedroom traditional home, but within a block, and surrounded by parkland, so there is no need to sacrifice access to outdoor space.
What’s a leading development that you admire and why?
Frasers Property’s Central Park is a real standout development for me, in terms of its architecture and the new ideas it incorporated, such as the vertical gardens.
An interior view of Discovery PointI’m constantly amazed at the impact it has had – not just for residents, but the local community; delivering restaurants and shopping, hosting VIVID, resulting in having a positive affect on the values of surrounding housing.
Is there a policy issue which is an impediment that’s affecting your industry and how?
The recent changes to lending to foreign buyers is inevitably having an effect on buyers who are contracted on apartments, as it’s impacting on their ability or access finance and settle. To a small degree, this is impacting on and reducing the level of demand, but in reality it’s simply reduced the rate of growth in demand.
On a more positive note, we’re seeing a definite improvement in planning policies in NSW, which is being further bolstered by the money being committed to improving infrastructure. This helps population growth and helps to stem interstate migration as it creates more employment opportunities in construction and infrastructure projects which all stimulates a demand for housing.