A Clearer Pathway Could Attract More Women to Commercial Property

Tara Imlach_LJ Hooker Commercial Southern Gold Coast

Property specialist Tara Imlach, from LJ Hooker Commercial Southern Gold Coast, has seen her sales figures increase by around 30 per cent annually since moving into the sector, with 2021-2022 her best ever year.

But none of it would be possible if she hadn’t been asked to fill in for a commercial property team which was down a team member. She is now keen to encourage other women to consider the other side of the property business.

“At the time, I thought that it would be a great opportunity for me to further my education in the real estate industry, but as soon as I started to learn and understand the commercial side, I never looked back,” Ms Imlach said.

“I like the business side and development opportunities, rather than just the same ongoing cycle of prospect, list, and sell. I like talking about the financial aspects like percentage yields, dollars per square metre, outgoings, return on investment.”

Ms Imlach started her real estate career straight out of school as a receptionist for LJ Hooker Coolangatta. After gaining qualifications as a sales agent, she then went on to work in property management and marketing. She later joined another well-known brand to assist in developing several offices on the Gold Coast and Northern NSW. It was here she moved into the commercial side of the business.

Tara was identified and recruited to spearhead LJ Hooker Commercial Southern Gold Coast in 2020. Since joining their team, her career has taken another leap with recent sales including a beachfront retail investment at Currumbin which achieved over $25,000 per sqm. She was involved in the $6.2m sale of the ‘Man on the Bike’ shopping centre with colleague Greg Watson, along with some other high-profile local sites including ‘The Collective’ development site at Palm Beach.

LJ Hooker Commercial Southern Gold Coast would like to see younger people consider the commercial side of the real estate industry, especially in the sales and leasing business. They have set up a comprehensive in-house training process for new staff and are always looking to expand their team.

Ms Imlach said most women working in the commercial property sector are often employed in property management. She would love to encourage more to make the switch to commercial sales and leasing.

“Delving into areas such as financial analyses, market demographics and sourcing information needed for a deal can be hugely satisfying – but it is not just all numbers,” she said.

“You still need to have interpersonal skills, particularly when dealing with ‘mum and dad investors or business owners’ where it can be a little more of an emotional purchase.”

Principal Daniel Alexander said Ms Imlach’s appointment has been instrumental in establishing the commercial department for LJ Hooker Southern Gold Coast. Their management portfolio has now tripled in size, and their database of commercial clients is now as important as the major property portals in terms of enquiry levels.

“Tara was very ambitious in wanting to grow something with us and she was the perfect person to help us grow the commercial side of the business,” Mr Alexander said.

“She has exceptionally high standards, is very systematic and pays incredible attention to detail. She won’t take on a job unless we have all the information required to deliver a successful result for our clients. She is so well connected in the area and knows her numbers back-to-front which adds to her professionalism in what has been traditionally a very male-dominated industry.”

Ms Imlach also credits her flourishing sales figures with mentoring from senior sales executive, Greg Watson. Their team aims to personalise their services for every client.

“We don’t believe high-end automated technology is the answer to everything. Although helpful, at the end of the day our business is about people,” Ms Imlach said.

“We concentrate on communication and to ensure that we provide an excellent level of service, followed-up by plenty of information and feedback to all our clients every step of the way.”

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