Setting the benchmark – Lauren Battams
Lauren heads up our Asset Management department in Brisbane, with a reputation as one of the most experienced commercial property managers in Queensland. Lauren’s 16 years in the industry have included responsibility for a portfolio of aviation, government, retail and industrial properties.
What are your predictions for the Queensland commercial property market in 2021?
My prediction is that the Queensland commercial property market will remain strong in 2021. In 2020, we found that the pandemic failed to deter commercial investors and our Asset Management department had a busy year onboarding many new managed properties on the back of our successful regular portfolio auctions. I think 2021 will be even stronger as the nation and world settle into this new normal and the COVID-19 vaccination rolls out.
What do you find most rewarding about the industry?
I find it very rewarding to work with investors to manage their commercial property portfolios, to give them peace of mind knowing their asset is well looked after and performing positively to assist with their desired lifestyle and retirement plans.
Each state in Australia was impacted differently by COVID—19. What challenges did you and the Brisbane team need to overcome during 2020?
COVID-19 kept the commercial property industry facing an ever-changing environment of new legislation and fluctuating tenant restrictions. Our Asset Management department guided clients through the varying restrictions placed on their tenants and kept them abreast of new legislation. The main challenge to overcome during 2020 was to determine tenant eligibility of rent relief for either rent deferment and/or rent waiver, provide our clients with this information and advice and then apply the rent relief deferment and/or rent waiver against the tenant in our system.
The good news is, through some fast actions and negotiations, our Asset Managers facilitated an environment where all tenants have weathered the storm within the properties we manage. Meaning, all required businesses have adapted to being COVID-19 safe, re-opened as restrictions eased and most importantly, kept afloat.