The Influencers: Leonard Teplin

Market Insights
9 years ago
6 minutes

Leonard Teplin is the Director of Marshall White's Project Marketing, and with an intimate approach to apartment sales, few know potential-buyers better. With their latest release of The Mews Brighton, Leonard Teplin talks apartment values, Marshall White's future and the prevalence of foreign investment.

Within Marshall White, the brand itself, is a supplementary service. There is Marshall White One, which specialises in first home buyers, specifically targeting homes valued around or up to $750,000. Then there is the Marshall White principal brand which deals with home market in the private school belt, and following that is a new homes and new developments sector, which I am the Director of, which is Marshall White Projects. From there we have an in-house mortgage broker with an alignment to NAB, connection services, additionally, we have a property management sector that can aid investors who have bought with us. Marshall White is a full service company, whether it be that you want to buy something now, rent something now, sell something now, or buy something in the future - it’s all in the same door. If you want to get pre-approval or you want to connect all your services, we have effectively become a one stop shop.

Most real estate agents are either one or the other, in regard to multiple servics. However, very few ofthose agents do finance - some have finance brokers through the franchisee, but they dont have anyone in-house that can deal directly with a bank. In that capacity, Marshall White can position a (potential) bueyr to get pre-approval for their first home, or even redraw equity out of your current home, and it can all be done in-house. With Oscar Brighton, which sold out completely in six weeks, for the first four sales, there were no renders, only floorplans. Why, or how? Well, our sales guys are, one, really good and talented, and two, they know how to convey the story to potential buyers. Oscar Brighton, in this context, was a safe investment within a great location - having a story that could connect to the local community helped, as did the overriding factor that people wanted to live there - the aspiration was there, and the marketing reflected that.

The age-old question, do you go 'location, location, location', or ammenities? To sum it up, the right location has the ammenities. For instance, Brighton has the beach, Church St, Dendy St and Bay St all within walking distance from eachother. There are some areas that have good retail strips, but beyond those retail strips, you’re isolated, which makes it difficult for outside buyers wanting to buy in.

However, not every suburb relies on 'outsiders' buying, but some do. What we tend to see within the Eastern suburbs is that most people migrate from the outer suburbs in. To purchase a home in Brighton, for almost anyone, would be classifed as aspirational - it is an idealic suburb, that has some of the best location-based ammenites around. However, for those who currently live in Bayside, they tend to move around in the same sort of location circles, and usually do not leave the proximity of Bayside. Interestingly, in regards to houses, the opposite is often deemed true - if you are buying an investment apartment, people tend to buy closer in, however if you are buying a house, the outer locations are seemingly more popular - this is why apartments are so appealing as an investment, to both local and international buyers. 

Despite the consistent revisions in legislation and law, foreign investment shouldn't be effected - and nor do I want it to be. And if it did deter foreign-investors, it would be detrimental, to the market of Australia. We are incredibly fortunate that we’ve got interest from investors in Asia who want to live or invest here. For instance, there are countries and cities in Asia and Europe where nobody wants to invest in, nobody has any interest to invest in, or migrate to those cities, and there is no aspiration to live there - and as a repercussion of that, they have gone through some really tough times post-GFC (global-financial crisis). Foreign investors can find a lot to like about Australia, and Melbourne specifically is of particular interest.

Foreign investors are usually either looking to invest, or they are looking to house their children or family members. Primarily, their choice of location is based around the apartments proximities to educational facilities, primarily universities. Melbourne has done an extremely good job at selling education to teh world. And since they are all somewhat clustered together, they have been able to create an ‘educational hub of Melbourne’. For instance, Sydney doesn’t have that same hub, and they have not done as well as the areas that have Melbourne University, RMIT and Victoria University. Add into that, Melbourne’s private school belt, which is the largest concentration of private schools in one area - this has underpinned property prices in those areas, and we have been very fortunate to sell apartments in those areas.

Most buyers enquire about an apartment, firstly, based on location. They have chosen a location, and are enquiring about the apartments in their list of locations - they judge the book by its cover, and that triggers the interest. The second most common question is, ‘who is the builder, who is the developer, who is the architect, and what else have they done before?’ We would then provide every enquiry with a fact sheet and the salient points of difference that this building or development offers over the competition. We want the buyer to know what is unique about the development, the price points of the apartments in comparison to the area, and things like that. If they then want more information, they can then meet with a sales agent to discuss further and visit the display suite.

Apartments are a pivotal driver of Melbourne's property industry, and despite the concerns surrounding foreign investment, their influence on the strength of our economy can be unquestioned.

By Leonard Teplin, Director of Marshall White Project Marketing