Leonard Teplin is a director of Marshall White Projects, a speciality project marketing team with four offices spread across Melbourne. We caught up with Leonard to ask him about his career and some current aspects of project marketing.
What sparked your interest in property marketing?
The ability to have a hands on approach interested me; I wanted to be involved with the design, from the look and feel of the outside right through to that on the inside. With our wish list of must haves, we work with our clients to create the perfect building, which we then get paid to sell!
How did you get your start in the property industry?
13 years ago my father recommended I meet someone for some career advice. That man happened to be a real estate agent. From that day on, I caught the bug and I never looked back.
What drives you – has there been someone or something that has inspired your career?
One of my favourite quotes is, “Think you can, think you can’t, either way you are right” (by Henry Ford). I love sport and I think of the dedication athletes have and their commitment to do what needs to be done to get there; they are quite inspirational. The real estate business is very much a sport – you get the deal, because you are good enough, you miss the deal because you aren’t good enough – the only person you can blame is yourself.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in the Australian property industry?
Banks shifting the goal posts on purchasers. Over the past six months we have seen the banks change their policies overnight, which has a massive impact on the consumer. There is no consistency.
What are some of the key trends you’re seeing in project developments in Victoria currently?
More and more are making an effort to cater to the local market. Culturally we have seen greater acceptance of the apartment model, even amongst those downsizing from a standalone house. For a long time, it was expected that this market would move on to a townhouse or single level villa, however, with the cost of land the way it is at the moment, apartments are the most affordable and practical option.
Why are Australians now embracing apartment living more in your view?
No longer are apartments merely investment vehicles or reserved for the overseas market, now they are better designed and actually cater to the needs of an owner occupier and the buying public is finally recognising this. Apartments also make for a more affordable housing option and for the “grey market” that allows for a 'lock-up and leave' lifestyle.
What is your favourite project that you’ve marketed and why?
Camberwell Junction. The client is a very passionate person. We met after the marketing and plans had already been finalised when most people would be too scared to tell the truth. However, after some “encouraging” the client took on board our advice regarding the sales and marketing. Though this meant we had the gun squarely pointed at our head from the beginning, it made it all the more rewarding when we were able to deliver. …. But you’re only as good as your last sale.
What do you think are the three best residential projects in the world at the moment and why?
• 56 Leonard Street by Herzog & de Meuron
Located in Tribeca, this 60-storey tower has rooms that cantilever from the core creating a jenga block structure.
• Embassy Gardens’ new Battersea development
With a transparent “sky pool” this development will be the first of its kind with the 25-metre swimming pool suspended between two apartment blocks 10 storeys up. It is part of a new development near the former Battersea power station.
• The Interlace
Designed by the Dutch-based Office for Metropolitan Architecture, the development makes the most of being located in the lush green Southern Ridges of Singapore, with its 31 stacked apartment blocks each measuring six stories high and ensuring beautiful views in every direction.
This also creates eight huge, open courtyards with rooftop sky gardens and terraces for both public and private use. The development’s apartment facings were carefully designed to ensure privacy amongst the 1,040 apartments, which vary in size and spread across more than 1.8 million square feet.
Where do you think the development industry will be five years from now?
I see the industry becoming far more sophisticated and much more expensive. I think we will start to see world famous architects, designers and developers bring new accommodation and technology standards to Melbourne and Australia, which is an exciting prospect with widespread potential for each and every one of us in this sector.