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What can we do here that's different, that's going to engage with our audience - that's then going to create an opportunity to tell a story, to build engagement and then hopefully sell a piece of property? And I think that's what we've become pretty good at. And I lead by example with that.

Episode 25

How to see a glass half full, tell engaging stories and innovate, brilliantly

Luke Berry | Co-founder & Director - Sales & Marketing | Third.i Group

This episode features Luke Berry of the Third.i Group. Luke is the Co-Founder & Director of Sales & Marketing and therefore is subsequently responsible for the implementation of all sales and marketing activities across the various divisions and projects owned by the Third.i Group.

Luke has over 20 years’ experience in the creation of ‘brand identities’ and is an industry leader in project marketing & sales, which has helped the business set envious sales records & secure multiple international awards. In this episode Luke shares his thoughts on how to see a glass half full, tell engaging stories and innovate, brilliantly. Enjoy.

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Transcript

Anthony Denman:
Racer, welcome to the Property Marketing Podcast.

Luke Berry:
Mate, it’s good to be here.

Anthony Denman:
Where did the name racer come from?

Luke Berry:
Well, like any good story, you know how long you’ve got and he most probably should be sitting there with a stubby and talking you through it. But it’s a funny one. I went contract farming. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do after school for a season. So I went to Goondiwindi on the border of New South Wales and went contract farming. And the boss was my brother-in-law’s brother, actually Tommy Brennan. And he said, “What do they call you back at Gunnedah?” And I said, Oh, well I get called Beza. And there was a Pesa that had already worked for him and I said, “Well, that won’t work”. And he said, “What’s another one?” I said, “Well, my uncles call me Racer because one day I went to the Greyhounds, I got given $10 and my brother Chuck got given $10 and I put mine five bucks each way on my pop’s Greyhound. And Chuck spent his on food and drinks. So he got called Bull cause he just sat around and ate and I got called Racer and then it stuck”.
I went to farming, got paid my cheque, what was made out to Racer Berry. I remember going into the pub at Gundi and I had to cheque it. So yeah, it’s a funny story. And now quite literally, I’m known in industry even by my bankers and very senior influential people call me Racer. So it’s a weird and wonderful name.

Anthony Denman:
Do you remember the name of the Greyhound?

Luke Berry:
Yeah, it was Walt Terrific.

Anthony Denman:
Walt Terrific. I love it. Oh, mate, I did my dough. I was 16 years old and had $320 in the bank. My dad, he was a book maker and I must sort of stupidly, I sort of fell into this gambling thing. One of my mate’s dad, he was an SP book maker and so the mate was being the SP book maker to all the kids. Guess we had his phone number. We ring up and place bets with him. Anyway, long story short, I’m down 160 of my 320 bucks. There’s my life savings, right? Last race that I think it was Wentworth Park, it was Du Musky, even money favorite Du Musky. Yeah. And so I put 160 on it…

Luke Berry:
Yeah. Okay.

Anthony Denman:
… to get 160 back.

Luke Berry:
Get out of jail.

Anthony Denman:
Get out of jail and mate, it got beat by a dog called Fag Ash.

Luke Berry:
Ah, love it.

Anthony Denman:
Short half head got beat by… It led all the way.

Luke Berry:
Yeah, you got beat on the Bob. Well listen, it’s funny, it could be divine intervention. I’ve got a horse running tomorrow called Di Maggio. Sounds very similar to what you are and it’s going to mate get on it…

Anthony Denman:
It’s Di Maggio. Okay. All right.

Luke Berry:
It’s at Hawksbury right?

Anthony Denman:
You going down there?

Luke Berry:
I don’t think so. I’m that bloody busy, I might just have to watch it on TV.

Anthony Denman:
Is that in with your business partners that one or is this yours?

Luke Berry:
No, this is me and a few others. And yeah, it’s all, again refers back to that racing. I loving a beer and a bet. I’m very typical Aussie sort of style of entertainment. So I’m very lucky to be in a couple of horses with a couple of property tycoons and we really enjoy it.

Anthony Denman:
That was fantastic. Yeah. One thing I learned from that Fag Ash incident is you never chase your money, never throw good money after bad, right?

Luke Berry:
Yeah.

Anthony Denman:
That was the number one lesson. The old man come home and got stuck into me and said, “Anthony, that’s my number one lesson right there, mate. Don’t chase bad money”. Going to say contract farming. What is contract farming?

Luke Berry:
Well. It’s basically you got the gear and a farmer instead of him owing all the gear himself, he’ll get guys like me back then to sign a contract to come and do all the farming for them. So they have the land and you can then charge them a fee for that, do a profit share or share farming. So yeah, it’s good. And I’ve got still a lot of friends and family in contract farming, so it’s a great way, great lifestyle.

Anthony Denman:
So how do you go from contract farming to a refurb in Whyalla?

Luke Berry:
I know, well, God, there’s a few steps in between but… Like anyone growing up, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do and the contract farming was a chance for me to save enough money to move to Sydney to study, to be honest, so I remember I finished school, I did an intern at the local co-op in Gunnedah that lasted all but six months. It sort of didn’t push the buttons. And I thought, no, I’m going to go to business college because there’s a heap of good looking girls. I remember that I was thinking a cousin was at the college and I thought, God, this is crazy moving to Sydney.
So I thought I’ll go and do a season contract farming, save enough money. And then I went to the business college and then on that journey it started a marketing business. And then I met my two business partners, Bob and Ron. I’ve known Ron my whole life, since I was five years old. Met Bob during the uni days and we got to about 24 years old and we’re all pretty good at what we did individually and we said let’s throw our hats in the ring together with a bit of money. And we had a crack and bought that site at Whyalla and that’s how the Thirdi story start.

Anthony Denman:
And what was that site? What did that site look like?

Luke Berry:
So it was pretty horrific when you think about it. It was 48 besser brick apartments, 24 ones. 24 twos in a little block of land built by BHP in 1960 I think, from memory. And a lady from Adelaide was running it as servicesd accommodation and long term rentals to some pretty desperate people that couldn’t afford to live anywhere. I think even before she owned it, The Bikees own it. It Used to be a clubhouse that used to get raided by the police every now and then. So it was pretty run down and we saw an opportunity to buy and strata it and three guys like 24 years old, no real money behind us. We had to borrow money off of friends and family to start and we just saw a way we couldn’t compete with the big boys in Sydney. So we went regional and that one we picked up for a song, we picked it up for 4.6 odd million bucks, so about $95,000 a box.
And we just saw a stratering opportunity back in those days everyone was talking about investing in regional centers off the back of mining investments. So Thirdi stands for investing in infrastructure and I came up with a concept called the next hotspot and I’ll never forget it, we saw Terry Ryder doing Hotspotting and a few others and I thought let’s come up with a strategy to identify Australia’s property hotspots and we’ll create 10 key drives of investment. So focus on real things like vacancy, infrastructure investment, supply, employment, the list goes on, lifestyle, tourism, amenity. And we created arrange of meters. Well, obviously when we bought Whyalla, Whyalla became the hottest part of Australia to invest in very quickly. And I remember we were doing some stuff with real estate.com, they didn’t know who we were, we pretended that we were much bigger than we actually were and I convinced them to give me six months of text link marketing.
It was called back then in 2007, 2008. And we had I think 20 characters on their website and it was “Invest in Australia’s next hotspot”. That’s all I could have. And we went to getting 50 leads a day of people and we then sold out Whyalla and we then thought, okay, well, we’re onto something here. So then we started buying in other strong regional centers like Orange, Bathurst, Tamworth, Gunnedah, even back at home. And we did some really good regional developments, Toowoomba, Townsville. And we used that data, that science about where to invest, where’s the next hotspot. We went and put house and land packages together. We did little townhouse refurbs. And that’s what really amplified our business to survive the GFC and thrive to where we are today.

Anthony Denman:
This is a quote from you, “I did believe that if I worked hard I would create my own luck along the way and everything would work out”, end of quote. And then you’ve got this, interestingly enough, when we did the [pre-podcast you were walking around with your mobile phone through your office, I got a little squizz at your office and on the wall as you come in, there’s a sign and it says, “Welcome to Optimism”.

Luke Berry:
Optimism. 100%. It’s almost like you want that to hit someone in the face when they walk up the stairs because let’s face it, everyone’s got shit going on at home and even at work. But if we, Bob, Ron, and myself and our leadership team can create an environment where people are optimistic and inspired by innovation. That’s what we want. And people walking in to do business with us, our office is a space of optimism. It’s not a half glass empty sort of a joint. So you work hard, I do believe you work hard, you can be in control of your own destiny and that most things will work out if you’re not an idiot.

Anthony Denman:
Yes. Note to self. Tell me about the time you were investigated by the federal police for importing a weapon used for terrorism?

Luke Berry:
I know it sounds a lot worse than it is, but before the property, we had a business called Innovative Solutions Oceania, and there may be some people that remember that business and it was fun. So we would come up with halftime activations for marketing sponsors. So this one was at PenrithPanthers and I had pitched to CUA, Credit Union Australia about a halftime promotion where we would shoot little mini footballs into the crowd out of an airgun and there would be one of those balls would have a code on it that you would register and win $5,000 s something like that. They loved it. So I pitched it, didn’t know anything about the law with legislation with these prize cannons. So I just assumed it was fine. I ordered one online from Canada. Four weeks later, it rocks up and I remember the penny dropped.
I went out to a paintball place to get the air tin and I pulled it out and the guy went white. He says, “mate, what are you doing with this scene?” I said, “What do you mean, it’s a prize cannon” I’m going to start, I’m shooting stress balls into the crowd at Penrith Panthers in a couple of weeks. How awesome. He says, “Mate, you better be careful. These things are highly illegal”. And then, mate, I did the right thing. I rang licensing and I registered with the police and they said thank you, we’ll pass this on to some department within the police. And then the feds rocked up to my accountant wanting to… Not so much arrest me, but it’s like, mate, where is it? I’m sure it’s most probably in some room those coppers would’ve been having a blast with it. It was the best fun. But yeah, anyone listening don’t bring in prize cannons from Canada.

Anthony Denman:
That’s a great. I love that story. That’s absolutely amazing. Would you remember, what were you going to call the thing? Do you remember, did you have a name for it?

Luke Berry:
Yeah. What was it? It was like the Halftime Blast or… It would be my files because what we had to do, the cannon was going to go up in a big foam football, so you didn’t know it was a canon and all of a sudden it was going to shoot out mini footballs. So the concept was sound, but CUA very understanding when we couldn’t do it because we actually took it out and tested it and Shannon Donado, who used to be the sponsorship manager, tested it and it actually had so much power it shot the stress balls from the middle of the oval over the roof of Credit Union Australia into the car park. It would’ve killed someone if one of the promo staff bloody decided to really light it up. So yeah, it’s pretty dangerous stuff, funny stuff.

Anthony Denman:
I love that business. Researching that business was really interesting to me. I think it sort of sums you up in a big part of who you are. I think bringing in these obscure things and products and then crafting a story around them. So giving them a name and a story and a reason for being right. If you can make your halftime blaster give that a reason for being, surely you can… And a refurb in Whyalla, there’s no stopping you. Right.

Luke Berry:
That’s exactly right.

Anthony Denman:
So really interesting though, for me, you are the typical kind of ideas man, for the research that I’ve done on you, you’re just one of those guys and you’ve got this huge amount of innate kind of marketing nous that goes with that. Do you know where that…

Luke Berry:
I appreciate that.

Anthony Denman:
Do you know where that… And we’ll get into how that translated into property and how that translates into property shortly, but do you have any idea where that comes from? That ability?

Luke Berry:
Yeah. Well, look, there’s different influences in my life, but I think that one of the things that frustrates me the most in life is when you want to do something different and innovative and someone says, No, no, you can’t do that cause that’s not how it’s done. We don’t do it that way in property or whatever it was. Whatever that thing was. And I would sit there and go, well, hang on, how do you evolve and grow and develop? And so I’ve always wanted to challenge myself and my team to think in innovatilly to think outside the square we live in and that even like to get jobs done, when I was contract farming or helping on the family farm to try and think of ways to do something more efficiently and better than the way that you did it before to save time, save money, get better yield or whatever it is.
So I’ve bought that into marketing and no idea’s a bad idea. I actually have a saying that, “everyone can have a good idea but it’s not until you actually do something with it that they have a potential to become a great one”. And that’s something I would love my staff is that to sit down and challenge themselves and say, you know what? What can we do here that’s different, that’s going to engage with our audience and with our target market that’s then going to create a opportunity to tell a story, to build engagement and then hopefully sell a piece of property. And I think that’s what we’ve become pretty good at. And what I lead I by example with that.

Anthony Denman:
You could apply that innate skills pretty much to any product or service as you we’ve spoken about previously in any industry at all. Why is it do you think that you ended up in property?
Yeah. Look, to have a good think about that, I love property. I think I work in one of the best industries and create the best product that you can imagine. And I do miss creating toys. That’s a whole nother chapter in my life. Toot and tinkle – the toilet traning business that we started before the property and
Oh, hang on, hang on. Just let me… Toot and tingle?

Luke Berry:
Yeah, remember. But we came up with an idea to apply heat sensitive ink to toilet training stickers. So you’d stick the sticker in the bottom of a potty and it’s black and then when the wee hits it, toot or tinkle up here and then you give the little kid a star on a scoreboard. We even invented toilet training toilet paper that teaches kids how much to use and got them printed. So you know, you count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, tear a bit of paper off and away you go. I really enjoyed that because that didn’t exist yet. And there was a challenge there, problem to solve. But we could talk for a long time about that part of my life. That was fun. Creating toys and marketing material like the innovative solutions. But property for me, not that money makes a big part of it.
Money makes the world go around and I thought if I’m going to sell something, if I’m going to learn how to market something, I’m going to get really good at property. And because you make good money out of that. When I read the BRW magazine on the Rich List, I noticed the connection between the people and their business predominantly was property. Either they were in property, they were big property developers or whatnot, or they had big businesses that owned property or their business was housed in property across Australia, across the world. So that’s where I made that decision when I was old enough and ready to get my teeth into property marketing and here we are.

Anthony Denman:
That’s really interesting, that driving ambition that your father must have recognized in you to want to send you towards the city to capitalize on that I guess.

Luke Berry:
Yeah. Look, I think he made… It was hard decision, I won’t lie. I was very happy to stay in Gunnedah. It’s a beautiful town and lots of friends did stay there and raise families but I’m very grateful that he did and he gave that support. If it didn’t work out I could always go home. I knew that and that’s maybe why I went forward with such confidence.

Anthony Denman:
Yeah, it’s an interesting answer to an interesting question because I did ask Bill Malouf, I don’t know if you know Bill Number One agent for LJ Hooker

Luke Berry:
I know Bill and David. Yeah, very well.

Anthony Denman:
Yeah. I asked him that question actually way back when is… Because I think he started out in Maru or Pagewood or something and said why the Eastern suburbs? And the answer to that was, well, because that’s where the most expensive real estate is. And I guess this is a similar thing, isn’t it? Why apply your God given talent to property? And that’s because that’s where the most amount of money is. Why not? No, that’s good.

Luke Berry:
And look, I love design Anthony. I love space and how light can hit a room and change it. I think the way that you can combine materials and colours to create emotion and energy. So everything about property excites me and I’m grateful I get to create it. Every new project that we launch, I get to create a new brand and an identity and a character of that property. So as a marketer I’m constantly getting challenged to create identities and stories and beautiful pictures and products. So yeah, maybe I could do that selling widgets in something else. But I’m very happy to be selling beautiful apartments around the world now.

Anthony Denman:
What does your process of ideation look like? I mean, you talked earlier about no idea’s a bad idea and all the ideas on the table and so on and so forth. Is that kind of pretty much how you run it?

Luke Berry:
Pretty much, yeah. I think that you need to start with an open mind. And I know that can frustrate some people that just want to get into lanes and get a job, but sometimes you got to go down those rabbit holes cause you just never know where you’re going to pop up. And I enjoy that. Obviously you watch and learn what’s working for other people and if someone else has come up with an innovation or something they’re doing really well, you look at that and see if it’s can be improved or adapted to what I’m trying to do. So we don’t have all the answers, I’m not implying that, but I think we are pretty good at stitching together what is working across the market into something that’s really sound and strategic. And then one thing I’ve learned is that there’s some really smart people out there.
You’ve got to trust your consultants, you’ve got to trust your team. And I really like getting people into what I call a PCG or a WIP meeting and you bring in the agent, you bring in your creative, you bring in your media company, you bring in the video guy, you bring in everyone. You’ve got 15, 20 people in a room and you go, right, got this new project, it’s in CoffsHarbour, we’re launching. What everyone thinks the angles is and then you whiteboard it like a Rain Man moment and you capture all that data and all the ideas and it’s like sifting through them and then really collectively you’ll feel, and again it’s what I’m good at. And you go, yeah, well that seems to be bubbling to the surface. That’s a good thing to pursue. Let’s tuck that away. That’s a idea. Let’s put that into the basket for another one. And that’s our process.
And I don’t think it’s going to change. Even in the UK when we did that and sold out our first couple of stages of Graphite Square, we did that and that’s what made the establishment over there go, holy shit, who are these Thirdi guys, no one sells like these boys, no one does VIP launches like they do. So we’re very proud of that, very protective of that process. And I don’t see it changing anytime soon.

Anthony Denman:
Do you run those workshops yourself, personally?

Luke Berry:
Some of them, but no, again, I have, until I could afford to pay someone, I did. And now I’m lucky enough that the business is in a position to engage. Predominantly one of our creatives will run the workshops and do a deep dive and we’ll come up with personas. And if you walk into a bar, what sort of cocktail is the development and why, there’s those sorts of old school advertising processes you go through that we now implement on everything we do. And that’s why I think our branding and our storytelling is so on point so often is that we’ve got that rigour at the very start of a new project. Bang, we’re in the room half day, full day depending on how big it is. And we are crunching out the strategy on the brand to get really clear. They go away, refine, present five options that have come out that session with all the key stakeholders, da, da, da, and then we get down to the one, the name, the domain, the colours, the palette, then we’re away.

Anthony Denman:
So of all the cocktail lounges that you’ve walked into, and of all of the cocktails that you have had, which one has been the most delightful?

Luke Berry:
Well, it’s like how do you pick your favourite child? I’ve just had a newborn and I would never be able to Banjo before Maya or Mya before Banjo, right? But no, look, I think there’s moments in time where you think, holy shit, we are doing it. And I reckon more recently is the Warada on Walker. That process we have absolutely nailed, our branding, our storytelling, our leasing strategy. I’d love to share that with you, particularly your background that in fact, I think the materials already won an award. The market…

Anthony Denman:
That was my good friend James Cooper and his team. Was it?

Luke Berry:
It was, yeah, Coops and his team. And we just channeled the most emotive and real. We had Covid and the bushfires when we started the process. We used those moments of adversity, the resilient nature of Australian bush jumping back after a bushfire to come up with a name. And I’d love anyone to check out waradaonwalker.com.au check out our highlights real, I call it my Spielberg moment where we did a one minute teaser, we did some amazing stuff. We bought a Waratah flower, which is the building’s named after. And then we time-lapsed it dying and then we played it backwards to show the resurgent back to a vibrant red Waratah flower. It’s really powerful stuff. And we are not doing this for a sexy sports or perfume or apparel. This is for a bloody commercial building in North Sydney.
So again, challenging the storytelling and our marketing went that well, that we had taxi drivers driving over the Harbour bridge talking to one of our investors about this red sky scraper that’s coming to North Sydney because we lit it up. We actually geo targeted a number of tenants that we want in the building in North Sydney. So anyone that had a mobile phone that allowed me to serve content or media was getting delivered our ads for about three months. So that taxi driver must have been getting pinned to buggery because he couldn’t stop talking about our building. Maybe my media’s a bit skewed, I better talk to coops about that. And I don’t think the taxi driver’s signing a lease anytime soon. But you know what? When the taxi drivers are talking about it, you’re doing a good thing. Hey?

Anthony Denman:
Remember Kevin Driscoll, I don’t even know if Kevin’s around. He was an old Multiplex guy. And what does he say? As soon as you can get in a taxi and say, take me to a destination, and the taxi driver knows where that destination is, you’ve succeeded.

Luke Berry:
There you go. Well, anyone gets in that fellow’s cab and you say the red building in North Sydney, you come into mine. That one, back on pointsvery special. Then there’s other moments. The video that we did for Kurraba Residences was a six minute video. And I remember old Bobby St. Julian at TPA, who’s one of the best in my opinion, and his colleague Michael and Rach, they said, six minutes, what are you talking about? But we had this strategy where we knew we were selling to an older wealthier downsizer and we built a display suite with an immersion room and we needed to slow them down and let them absorb what they were about to participate in and buy. And we set all sorts of records for Kurraba Point and that video, it’s up on the website, it’s got a voiceover. We found old footage of Kurraba Point when it was a shipyard. We did a really good job at the story and they’re two standouts for my mind.

Anthony Denman:
Do you remember what either of them was in respect to being a cocktail? If it was a cocktail, do you remember which?

Luke Berry:
A dark and stormy would be Kurraba right? Walker Street would be like a mad dog. And the mad dog is where you, instead of… You’d take a shot of tequila and then you…

Anthony Denman:
I’ve never…

Luke Berry:
… put the salt on your hand. A mad dog is you take a shot of tequila, you squeeze the lemon in your eye and then you sniff the salt. That’s the sort of reaction. So they’re my two cocktails, dark and stormy was smooth and really well and the other one was like, bang, what was that?

Anthony Denman:
Can’t say I’ve ever had a mad dog. But as soon as this podcast’s over, this is one of the few podcasts I’m doing in the afternoon. So as soon as we’re finished – I’ll grab some Tequila in the liquor cabinet…

Luke Berry:
Maybe when me and you were 18, we would be doing one. We wouldn’t be doing one now, that’s for sure.

Anthony Denman:
No, not with a newborn, that’s for sure. Or if in my case, a two year old running around the joint. I guess that five minute, six minute video there stopped a buyer’s leg from tapping, right?

Luke Berry:
That’s right. Yeah. And to witness it, when you do things right, we activated the display within the Sydney Yacht Squadron, one of the most exclusive clubs in Sydney. And we blacked out the room. You’d think you’d want to see the beautiful harbour. Yeah. You know could tell people we lit this thing up a month before, we had like 2000 leads and it was in between the first and second wave of Covid and we had a whole of challenges with space and whatever, and we designed this room for people to sit down. The lights were dark, completely changed your sensory, you are all about visual and noise. And then it just delivered six minutes and by the third minute you can see people just breathing deeper and the leg stopped tapping and then there was a black door, a hidden door. Once the video finished, you walked out into this bright, beautiful ballroom with the harbour in front of you and our site across the water and we just nailed it. And that’s why I think we sold 21 out of 24 apartments in a week, average 50,000 a metre

Anthony Denman:
Wow. That’s a great result. You must be very proud of that. Well done to the guys at TPA too on such a great effort. Yeah, no, that site had a lot of history. It really helps, doesn’t it? When you got a site with a bit of history like that?

Luke Berry:
You bet. Well, you’re buying more than the property then, right? You actually own a piece of that when you buy that piece of real estate. So it’s important people know what that history is.

Anthony Denman:
Now, you’ve got to rather unique… There’s always a bit of a fine line between sales and marketing or marketing and sales. Always like a blurring of the line. Where does the marketing agent stop and when does a real estate agent take over? And there’s a bit of dovetailing in between or fisty cuffs or heads being slammed against desks depending on who’s on the job.

Luke Berry:
Hundred percent.

Anthony Denman:
You’ve got a unique model where you had some in-house people but you also use some external consultants as well. What does that structure look like and how does it work for you?

Luke Berry:
Well, with the marketing side, originally we did all the creative, even the design renders ourselves. And again, maybe that was because we were evolving and growing, we couldn’t afford an agency, we didn’t have a lot of money, still. Not to say we’ve got heap now, but you know what I mean, When you’re a startup, everything counts.

Anthony Denman:
Sure, absolutely.

Luke Berry:
And so that was interesting. But then I learned there’s actually a benefit by outsourcing the creative to agencies. Because you guys are the best, you sit across more what’s happening, how it’s happening, the innovations, the way it’s done. So I employ a marketing team. I’ve got a amazing marketing manager, Tammy, who runs our marketing here in Sydney for all Australia and Singapore. But she’s ex- Knight Frank – corporate back ground corporate background and then she works with creatives and then we’ve got Jacinta who’s been with me for a number of years, she’s just moved to London to help run that office over there and a couple interns.
And then we work with about four or five creative agencies across the portfolio of projects. Similar with sales and marketing. I’ve got two amazing sales and sales experience managers. I’ve got Callum who runs the sales here in Australia and Katie Fisher who looks after our CRM, our client relationship management. So they’re responsible for building relationships with agents and then providing our clients the best experience possible during the delivery of their property. And then we engage with either one, like CBRE is predominantly our lead agent on projects. And then we have a consultant called Urban Activation run up by Matt George and Ben Small, who are outstanding sales organization that helps sell our property outside of Sydney. So they take care of Newcastle and of the regional areas that we are working in. And I find that allows us to work with the best but maintain and manage the marketing and manage the sales in the best way for us in the projects.

Anthony Denman:
And you don’t find there’s any conflict between the in-house guys and the external team?

Luke Berry:
Not really. There’s a lot of respect with the people that we work with, everyone’s got their own ideas. There’s always… Davey Milton, if you’ve ever met Big Dave, Big Red Dave Milton from CBRE, one of the best in Australia, him and Ben Stewart and their team, they’ve got some pretty strong opinions, some very clear ideas and we bump heads every now and then that. So you just got to manage that process. But mate, like I said, get it all out on the table and quite often we are aligned, everyone’s incentivized and rewarded financially. So let’s just work it out so everyone can have a drink, get paid and then we can celebrate the wins together.

Anthony Denman:
Yes, I’m sure Dave and Ben would love the celebrating part of that.

Luke Berry:
Yeah, no they’re very good at that. But the reason they’re very good at that is they’re so bloody good at selling. So they’ve got… They’re a well-oiled machine, seasoned.

Anthony Denman:
David Milton, aka killer.

Luke Berry:
Big Red. But look mate, I’m lucky. They’re just an example, tip of the iceberg. They’re been around a long time and to get the best results, you’ve got to work with the best and I feel that’s why we are successful.

Anthony Denman:
Tell me, I want to talk about innovative brilliance actually as an idea, right?

Luke Berry:
Yes.

Anthony Denman:
And you mentioned before that some of what that looks like from an ideation perspective, but I think maybe some examples of that one, I think the examples that I really thought was a good physical manifestation of that thinking is the GoGet partnership.

Luke Berry:
Yes.

Anthony Denman:
Tell me about the GoGet partnership and how that idea came to being?

Luke Berry:
You bet. Well, look, innovative brilliance obviously very quickly, innovation is key to us being brilliant. So we’ve got to be innovative in what we do, how we buy our sites, build them, sell them. That’s a non negotiable in a way. Brilliance is the impact and the feeling that it creates. So we want people to have a physical, almost emotional reaction to our marketing, to the sales experience in our display suites to the actual product when they walk in and experience it. So that hashtag is not just a hashtag, it’s fundamental to what we’re trying to offer.
And with GoGet, like any market, you have peaks and troughs when it’s easy to sell, when it’s hard to sell. And we identified in Newcastle that we were living building on the new infrastructure in Wickham interchange, their main trained track there now. They’re central train station, sorry. And we had these parks and I saw an opportunity to dedicate shared parking with GoGet and we did some research that when downsizers, who we sell a lot to buy an apartment, usually they got two cars and they will move in, downsize into an apartment and then they’ll flick one of their cars and upgrade and get a new one and then the secondary car that can use something like GoGet.
So we identified GoGet, were moving the New Castle. I reached out to them, sat down and said, “Hey, let’s do this together. I will do something pretty special, I’ll dedicate some standard GoGet’s in our apartments and someone that buys one can get GoGet credits so they can use themselves or give them to the tenant. So we had one beds with no parks that made that one bed with no park very sellable because you could sell it with a GoGet credit, right? Because you’re on a train station to zip up to the beach or the shops and whatnot. The other thing. So that worked really well and we sold a number of properties off the back of the GoGet. The other thing with GoGet is we wrapped a wheelchair accessible GoGet and not many people realize our commitment to the NDIS and SDA, we got one of the larger portfolios getting created along the East coast for properties for young men and women with a disability.
And we are very proud of it, very committed to it. So we’re proud to say that until we bought our own wheelchair van, we had a fully accessible GoGet wheelchair van so that our participants in those apartments that we’ve built can just become a GoGet member and they don’t need to tie up their money in a van they might not use every day. They can just use their GoGet credits and mum or dad or their mates can come down, pick them up if they’re in a wheelchair and take them shopping, take them to the beach and away you go. And mate, isn’t that amazing when we’re doing something innovative with marketing and selling and whatever, but we’re actually changing someone’s life by making it easier for someone in a wheelchair to get around or someone that doesn’t own a car to get around and it’s all because of that property. So we are very proud of that.

Anthony Denman:
When you talk about Thirdi, why do you sometimes touch the…

Luke Berry:
Touch my forehead

Anthony Denman:
Touch your forehead Yeah.

Luke Berry:
Yeah. Well, it’s funny, you wouldn’t think a kid from Gunnedah to be very spiritual or I know I didn’t grow up in that sense, but I do believe when you think about the Thirdi and what that represents, we always want to be thinking ahead and I don’t know if the video is in your talk, but when with Thirdi investing in infrastructure is trying to predict what’s going to be happening and to be ahead of the bell curve or to be looking around the corner. And that’s why the housing, you’ll see we’ve made some pretty big moves of moving into retirement or downsizers before the rest of the market by doing land.
We’ve got big announcements, we’ve just secured major land holding between Sydney and Newcastle that will yield or deliver up to 5,000 dwellings in the next sort of 5 to 10 years. And people are like, what are you getting for that land? Houses at the moment are under all sorts of pressure. We’ve done our research and we believe using the Thirdi that predictive in intelligence of thinking ahead, we see that part of New South Wales, the chronic undersupply of affordable housing is going to be a big issue and that’s why we’re jumping in aggressively with land subdivisions the next stage of our 5, 10 years.

Anthony Denman:
Yeah, that’s really interesting.

Luke Berry:
So I think it may sound like it’s a bit of a marketing fluffy convenient name, but we take it seriously that predictive analyst work that we are doing on data, on trends, on migration, it’s all part of the Thirdi, you’ve got to think ahead or you’ll be left behind.

Anthony Denman:
That’s always been your thing. That’s a name that you came up with for the business, is that right?

Luke Berry:
It is. Yeah. Yep. I remember when we did start it and there people like Thirdi and I’m like, mate, we’re investing in infrastructure, we’re not sea change, tree change and all the other thing, we are going to have strong data and strong reasons on going to Whyalla on building commercial when everyone else is saying that commercial is dead. It’s almost that Warren Buffet saying that when people are fearful, be brave. So I don’t think you… But don’t be foolish, obviously. So yeah, I think that’s that we apply that wholeheartedly to our strategy of looking at the data and thinking ahead.

Anthony Denman:
Yeah. I think what he said, “the best time to buy is when everyone is selling”.

Luke Berry:
Yes.

Anthony Denman:
And vice versa, right?

Luke Berry:
That’s correct. Yeah. You bet.

Anthony Denman:
Okay. So is the missing middle still a thing for you?

Luke Berry:
What do you mean?

Anthony Denman:
Targeting of aspirational downsizesr. There was a time in your life cycle of your business where you identified that large spacious off the plan apartments were…

Luke Berry:
Oh, without a doubt Massive. And you think about it Anthony, a DA can take three years, then it takes two to three years to build. So you’re six years before the product’s actually getting used. So if you’re not thinking ahead on that, then you’re in trouble because you’re going to go and get a DA that’s full of one betters and studios when you should be doing twos and threes. And that’s even happening today. If you look at a lot of developments out there are looking at ways to combine units and make them bigger. So going and doing a what’s called a 455 with council to change the zoning and to use Linfield, a recent development of ours in Sydney, we inherited a scheme of 71 apartments and we shrunk them down to 59. And I remember people going, you guys are… That’s mad. Usually a developer’s trying to jam more boxes into a scheme to make more money.
And I had a complete opposite view. We did four bedroom apartments in there and sold them for $5 million in Linfield. And that’s because the market’s shifting with that downsize of and that premium, the missing middle is that there is the number of baby boomers are going to double in the next 5 to 10 years that are going to look at downsizing. So there is a wave coming of baby boomers that want to downsize. They’re going to sell this their monstrous home that they’re rattling around in because their kids have left and they’re going to want to get out of it. They’re going to want to stay in local premium areas. So that’s why you got to create product that’s going to match that and that’s why we set up the retirement business third age that’s doing large architecturally designed retirement product. And that’s why I’m doing larger sort of 150, 160 square meters, three bedders, used to be 120, even 90.
Imagine that, three bedrooms, 90 square meters. I used to hate them. Who wants to live in a 90 square meter, three bedder. You might be allowed to develop it based on Basik and the rules. But when it was an investor driven market, say back in 2010-13, you had investors that maybe weren’t even Australia foreigners that just looked at three bed, two bath, that’s going to be the better growth. There’s a shitload of compromise, three bedroom and two bedroom apartments out there that are way too small for the next generation or for the next buyer.

Anthony Denman:
Especially coming from a big house, right?

Luke Berry:
A hundred percent. So yeah I’m pretty passionate about bigger boxes. I think that I’ve just moved into a house but I lived in apartments for 20 years and I know what you need to do. Space is a premium and anything but particularly apartment living so you got to get it right.

Anthony Denman:
How hard was it to be agile enough to redesign the last portion? You’re talking about having the Thirdi or the rest of it planning ahead but also being agile enough. I’m talking about your paragon development here where you actually redesigned the end back part of it, six three bedroom apartments into four five bedroom terraces.

Luke Berry:
Again, it’s a prime example that DA took so long we launched, but the market just caught up and we sold all the five bedders before the three bedders but it cost us a lot of money. Luckily we could do it to change that six down to five. Luckily the walls aligned and there was some opportunities to do that. But if I had my time again, I would’ve done less of the smaller ones and more of the bigger ones. Because the way the world went, people just wanted that space and they paid a premium for it.

Anthony Denman:
We talked about selecting creative agencies before. I meant to also ask you what about… And your love for architecture and design, How do you go about selecting the right architecture in the job?

Luke Berry:
Yeah. Look, it can be a challenge. Obviously like a high profile football star, you’re only as good as your last game. And architect’s the same. If an architect’s on point and they’re doing a good job, you can see it. It’s very clear who’s good and who isn’t, right. And architects and they’re an interesting bunch that sometimes they can create the most amazing spaces but you just can’t build them. So you got to balance it because the cost of construction, particularly now with escalation.
But we do our own design comps. If we’ve got a beautiful site that we’ve put together, we’ll go out to three architects, we’ll pay them for it quite often and we’ll say, righto, you’ve got three months and this is the rules. We’ll cover your costs up to a certain amount and we want you to submit your vision for the site and the reasons why and show us the research, show us what you’re going to do. And then they present that to us and Bob, Ron and myself and our leadership team will sit in the boardroom and we’ll pour over and we’ll have a robust discussion on who the best architect is and then award the work that way.

Anthony Denman:
A robust discussion. I love it. What do you put down to the success of your partnership with Ron and Bob?

Luke Berry:
Well, look, they might have varying opinions of myself, but I think that I’m in business with two of the sharpest minds there is, and there’s a lot of respect for them and I’m sure that they feel the same way about me is that we do a lot of work on ourselves and the business to stay aligned. Three young guys, we went through buying homes, our first homes together, having kids. A lot of pressure in those early years and we’ve had our moments, don’t get me wrong, but those two are the best at what they do and I feel very lucky to be in business with them. And my commitment to them is to be the best at my bit, my lane. So I think that over the years we have been tested and challenged repeatedly on all different fronts and what I’ve seen with them when we are being down in the trenches and under enemy fire, I wouldn’t want anyone else next to me.And I think that’s what makes us strong is we are good at what we do individually and then to together we’re brilliant and then we’ve got a really great partnership that gives our team confidence in the leadership that then filters down and then it all becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy that water fire attracts water. So we’re attracting a really good staff and executive team that are all committed to the same values that we are, that want to create beautiful stuff. Not to say that we don’t get it wrong, but when we do, we make sure we fix it and we learn from it. So that hopefully answers your question, but that’s why I think we are a successful partnership is that there’s a lot of trust and respect in each other.

Anthony Denman:
Yeah, you mentioned that. You also mentioned staying in your lane. So do you each swim in separate lanes? Completely different lanes?

Luke Berry:
Yeah. Ron gets excited about spreadsheets, I know my way around one, but I look at the finance side, I’m like, look mate, you just do your job really well. I’ll do mine and we’ll make some money or build some legacy. Same with Bobby. Bob’s one of the best at putting deals together. Am I going to go out and do a better job at acquiring a project, a site than Bob? No, most probably not. Is he going to be able to… Bobby couldn’t close a barn door. I’m joking. He’s actually not bad at sales. But yeah, look, that ability is by staying in our lanes, we are strong. There’re three strong pillars. Core pillars of a business and you can’t have too many chefs for a broth, same as leadership. You can’t have that in a business.Another thing is we are all committed to our business coach and our mentoring. John Smallwood is a business coach that’s been with us for a number of years that’s grown our business from 1 billion to 3 billion in projects. And he asked the hard questions, three alpha males, all got opinions. He’s that three letter word, why? And I’m sure he asked me, he goes Racer, why do you want to employ that person? Or why do you want to do that? And you need someone to have a check and balance. And that’s one thing that Bob Ron and I have been embracing is that we are not above anyone else. And we flew John, our business coach to the UK to run our alignment session in the UK with our UK team. That’s how much effort we put into that side of our business.

Anthony Denman:
How often do you catch up with him? As a group?

Luke Berry:
As a group, every quarter Bob, Ron and I have an alignment session and then every year John comes to conference to help us get our team aligned with the company goals.

Anthony Denman:
How did you hunt down the graffiti artist and what did you do when you caught him?

Luke Berry:
Yeah, what a funny story. This little bugger, it’d be 40 kilos ringing wet at the time and we own this site in St. Peter’s and it was an adaptive reuse. So what that means is you’ve got to keep majority of the structure for the development and so you don’t want to damage it or have to deal with anything. And we started hollowing out the site and then all this amazing graffiti started popping up around the bloody site and it’s quite dangerous. Like lift wells were empty, these kids could have killed themselves and the bloody idiot tagged it, which I find hilarious. So he’s broken into a development site, he’s done some pretty lairy art and then tagged it. And I thought, gee, that’s a skill and a talent. I love what he’s done but I wish he didn’t do it, ’cause it’s going to cost me money to fucking fix.
Excuse me. And so I got my marketing manager at the time to track him down and we pretended to be interested in his work and when she said, Oh, we’re just seeing your work and we think you’ve got a talent, we’d love to invite you into our office to talk about at a little bit more detail. So this kids just turned up and these little nap sack of pens because I think he was an art student at the time and he walked in and I said, “oh my god, you got a really good talent”. And he goes, “Yeah, where do you see my art?” And I said, “Well, actually it’s a bit of a problem. It was actually inside one of my sites you broke into and graffitied”. And he just went wide. You could tell he was looking, he goes, “Oh man, am I in some trouble?”
And I said, “Well look, I’m not going to ring the police yet”, ’cause I had a new office and I wanted him to paint the wall. And I said, “You’re not in trouble yet, but let’s just see you can resolve this. See that wall needs to paint it. And I go, “have a think about how much that’s going to cost and I’m going to pay you for it. Have a think about how much it’s going to cost me, cause I’m going to help you legitimize your art”.
Anyway, he then went real serious and he went away and he thought about it and he goes, “It’s going to cost $4,000”. I just said, “No, it’s not. It’s gnot oing to cost that much money”. And he goes, “Oh, my mum said not to undervalue my work”. And I said, “Well, do you break into your mum’s house and graffiti her walls?”. Anyway, I ended up paying him a couple of grand and he did a great job. But the beauty of this story, Anthony, is that we then shared it and a heap of people read about it and now he gets paid to paint the side of buildings and he’s got some major pieces of art around Sydney and I think he’s on his way to be a legitimate artist. So hopefully I can claim a bit of a role for him to be his career launhing

Anthony Denman:
Nice stuff. I really like that story. It’s a beautiful thing to do. Encouraging creativity no matter how.

Luke Berry:
Yeah. Not the graffiti.

Anthony Denman:
How distorted of you at that creativity may take. How did a Maserati parked in a living room…

Luke Berry:
Yeah.

Anthony Denman:
And where did that idea come from and how did that win you a UDIA marketing award?

Luke Berry:
Yeah, what a great story. I remember it was at the time when, you remember when CGIs and animations started getting really good. There’s some really talented individuals and organizations out there, Binyan, we’re behind this one. Andrei and his team are one of the best in the world at this sort of stuff. We use a lot of great companies now from all over the world do our renderings. But we had, again, coming up with an angle and I did a partnership with Maserati as the car partner of Paragon. And I said to my delivery team, “which townhouse can I do a car lift in?” And they were like, “You’re dreaming, racer. It’s going to cost 500 grand to do it”. And I said, “don’t let a dirty word like detail get in a way of a good story, right?” That’s one of my sayings. And anyway, so they told me this corner one, I said, “fine, that’s where I’m going to do this animation”.
And technically we could do it, you could drive a car in and the car would go onto a thing and it would go up into a men’s cave room. Like it had a really cool vibe and everything. And anyway, so I won the battle. I’d spent $5,000 on this animation and I did admit that we very unlikely to ever do it. And we did the video and it got picked up by Channel Seven and all a global media, Robb report, like all these people went nuts over this concept of having a Maserati man cave. And we had over a million eyeballs learn about Paragon because of that $5,000 investment. And again, we use that storytelling momentum lead generation and I’m convinced that it helped us sell one or two of the properties in the end. And it obviously led to a UDIA award.

Anthony Denman:
This is really good by the way. I mean, you’re just such a natural… Like I said, the most charming man that I’ve hadn’t ever met. Great storyteller. Was your father a storyteller?

Luke Berry:
Yeah. He’s got some good jokes. Old stinger, I would say. So everyone in our house loves a good belly laugh.

Anthony Denman:
Yeah. You say stinger because stinger can spin a yarn, so to speak.

Luke Berry:
Yeah, he can spin a yarn. Yeah. He’s got his old stories that he wheels out every now and then.

Anthony Denman:
I really do feel that ability, that storytelling ability, it’s something that can’t be taught, that it is innate, that it is passed down through the generations, I’ve noticed.

Luke Berry:
Yeah. Now, my daughter, she’s got a little bit of me in her, which is dangerous. So watch this space, a bit earlier to tell with banjo. But she’s got a set of lungs on him that’s a sure for 3:00 AM in the morning.

Anthony Denman:
Yep. I know all about that. So I want to talk about how did you become involved in special disability accommodation? You talked about it before, SDA is the acronym for it, and what does it mean to you in your business? Sorry, you did talk about what it meant to you previously and the importance of it. But I guess how did you become involved in it?

Luke Berry:
Yeah, well mate, it’s one of those stories. In 2012, so we’ve been going 10 years. In fact, we are one of the longest, we were the first developer, there was us in another one in Melbourne that were part of a trial for the NDIA, which is the NDIS on proving that SDA apartments can be part of a mixed use scheme, like a medium or high density scheme. So we were doing a development in Lake Macquarie called the Bell Apartments at Belmont. And we came in late to it. The builder asked us to join as the developer and there was 10 apartments that were already sold to the Summer foundation, which is a very successful long, great business that provides services to people with a disability. And we didn’t know anything about it. We just saw that there was already those 10 that had been sold.
So we had to learn about that type of housing and what was required of it. All the special fixes and fittings, the space requirements, the automation, the care automation and how it was set up. So we had a big steep learning curve. And anyway, we launched the project and these 10 were bubbling along. We learn a lot and it was really fascinating. One of the first to do voice activated fixtures and fittings, bench tops that rose and fell with a touch of a button, back in those days it was a Bose system, the home automation with the tech, it’s evolved greatly in 10 years. But anyway, we loved it to be honest. We were like wow, this is really special. We are getting to build something almost hospital grade for people with high physical support needs in one of our developments.
And it wasn’t until the end that we as a company had a really profound experience with a young man that took tenancy in one of the properties that had a broken back. And I think from memory he broke his back in a motorbike accident when he was 19 and he was in his early twenties when he actually moved in with us and he got really emotional at the handover. And then that made all of us really emotional cause we thought we missed the mark and we were like, Mate, what’s wrong? We’ll fix it. And he said, No, no, you don’t… It’s not what’s wrong, it’s about what you’ve done for me actually given me my independence back. And he said until this date he was living in a almost palliative care, like at a nursing home cause that was the only facility in near his hometown that could handle his injuries, his disability.
And he said that all my friends that I was making were dying because of old age. And he said I either was going to stay there and that was going to continue to happen forever or all I was going to have to move back in with mum and dad and become a burden on them. And what you’ve given me is my freedom. And mate, I can tell you it’s still, it is an amazing… I get a bit emotional about thinking how great it was to be part of that. So we learned from that experience how important SDA was in the NDIS. And we, from that moment on, we’ve decided that in Newcastle particularly, part of our schemes now includes about usually 10 properties in the carers unit. So we’ve got 10 apartments and one carers unit and 10 participants can live in our properties and share, it’s called a concierge service.
And through that concierge partnering with a roomer which used to be housed with no steps, we can provide housing for young people with a disability in a brand new modern apartment in the middle of town near transport into structure. Because historically people with a disability got pushed out into group homes on the city fringe, which makes no bloody sense to anyone ’cause you’re not near the action and the activity. So that’s what started our journey and since then in 10 years we’ve created in-situ and we’ve set ourselves a target to create 150 rooms or look after 150 participants in Australia along the East coast. And very proud to say that we’re up to about 75 already and we’ve got some major news coming soon where we’re going to add more supply to that. And yeah, we want to be one of the largest networks of providers of SDA for the NDIS along the east coast of Australia at least.

Anthony Denman:
What I found really interesting about your business and what’s the successful nature of it and the resilience of it, I guess you’d say, the longevity of it is that you’ve been able to diversify your asset classes so effectively. So I’m interested in your diversification strategy and I thinking behind that and I’m also interested in which of the… And I think I’m know the answer to the question or maybe I don’t, but which of those asset classes you get the most satisfaction out of?

Luke Berry:
Yeah. Well mate, tackling diversity first, the writing was on the wall in about 2015 where we were pretty heavy in just boutique residential developments. And I remember there was a moment where it was a lot of investor product too. Investors were predominantly buying and we saw that shift coming with downsizers. So that’s why we set up third age to target retirees because that number that I talked about the baby boomers doubling in the next 5 to 10 years. So that then went from building a type of product to a different type of residential product in a different set, different zoning and then commercial’s the same. We saw an opportunity that Covid changed a lot of things but one thing’s for certain is the office will remain. It’s just that people are going to expect more out of their office. It’s going to not just be a desk with a nice view, you’re going to have to have a office environment that is better than home to get people excited about going back to work.
So that’s why we moved in the office and our diversification strategy. We now operate across resi, commercial, land subdivisions, SDA, we’re obviously diversified further in over to the UK and that’s made us a stronger business because when one area of the business is performing, the other area may not. And we were too exposed by only having one funnel or one lane to swim in. So now that we are across the whole food groups of property, if you’d like it to explain it that way, we’re a strong business, we’re countercyclical in some and we’ve got a really good diverse product offering.
We’ve got $50 million penthouses in one, $10 million properties down to $500,000, one bedders, $600,000 blocks of land. You can build a house, maybe get a house and land package for 750 or million bucks. So we are really excited about that mate. And the SDA again is part of our legacy that we want to leave. We believe our job is to make the world a better place to live, work and play in them when we lived. And that’s for everyone. And that’s why we’re going to be building all those types of property types.

Anthony Denman:
Is SDA the one which you get the most satisfaction from? Cause we talked about, let me just put some context around that. There was a moment when you were launching, I think it was the Belmont project and you were there with Bob and Ron and you had your parents I think were in the room. And at that moment you looked across the room and you saw, you noticed that there was an obvious amount of pride.

Luke Berry:
Yeah. There’s a thing that I’ve often said, there’s no higher form of currency than making your parents proud or making whoever it is in your life that is important to you, proud and very grateful. My mum and dad have been on the sidelines from mini ball, soccer now to delivering multimillion dollar properties and I’m very lucky to have them there as a constant. And that was a moment for me where like shit, you do this to make money but that the value of making those people proud that are important to you is far better than the dollars in the bank, I can tell you. And yeah, I think that if you were to ask again, I do believe that when I look back over the shoulder in the years to come on what we’ve created, I do think that that network of SDA will be one of the more prouder, that pride, you got to be proud of what you do.
I’m really excited about the vision for that business because not only are we creating homes for people with disability, I don’t know if I’ve shared with you, but we’ve got a vision of using what’s called MTA, medium term accommodation. People with a disability find it very difficult to go on holidays with their families. So we are building properties in Tweed, Coffs Port, Newcastle, Central Coast and we’ve set ourselves a target to have a range of MTA, medium term accommodation apartments that are reserved within our development so that families can go for a holiday to Cost Harbor and be able to tap into the concierge services and get support for their family member that has a disability whilst they’re getting to experience a new place to visit and have a good time.
So I think that if we’ve got the opportunity to do that and the banks continue to fund us, the government doesn’t go and play around too much with the NDIS because what they’re creating is needed and it will work hopefully, we are going to definitely find investment money to combine with ours to build that portfolio and network of properties and it’s going to make a massive change for the people that we’ll use in the future.

Anthony Denman:
That’s fantastic mate. I think I remember we were actually way back when working on a project called Breakfast Point, when it was just going to undergo in the remediation process from the old AGL. It was an old gas AGL site and yeah, Bob, Margaret Rose and Brian and Stewart, the Rose family, they secured the site, well ahead of some really some large institutional players in the marketplace. I think Mirvac were looking at as was Meriton and a few others. And they managed to secure it and they secured it by, I remember Margaret saying to me or Mrs. Rose saying to me that at the time and it was so genuine that they really did want to leave that place in a much better way than they found it. Not that that was all that difficult because it was a highly remediated site, but they did created a community, lots of open space and to this day one of the more sort of sought after projects or places to live in Sydney is Breakfast Point.
So they’ve delivered on that promise. And I think the idea, and me personally and you obviously are feeling that we do have, as all of us who work in the project marketing category have a responsibility to make the world a better place. Not just for us but also our children and our children’s children. And it’s really just fantastic mate to see that responsibility or a portion of that responsibility is in your hands. And personally I’m very grateful for that and I’m very grateful for you, very grateful for you taking the time to come on this podcast and to tell us all about what you’ve been doing and hopefully someone out there who’s listening to this might just take a little bit of what you said and apply it to their own thinking and we’ll all be better off for it

Luke Berry:
Kind of you to say.

Anthony Denman:
Before we go, what’s the best way, if somebody wants to get in touch with you, what’s the best way that they can do that?

Luke Berry:
Oh, mate. Look, the best way would be to reach out via email, if anyone wants to catch up and understand more about us as a business and what we do, send me an email. It’s luke@thirdigroup.com.au, maybe you can put that in the show notes. But I’m happy to share the innovative brilliance as they say because if more of us get out there and do what I think we are doing and do it well, we are collectively going to make the world a better place to live, work, and play. So I’m grateful for your time and for you letting me share our story.

Anthony Denman:
Well said. Thanks Luke. Or Should I say, well said, thanks, Racer.

Luke Berry:
That’s right, mate. You bet. My pleasure.

Anthony Denman:
Awesome, thanks Racer.

About Us

The Property Marketing Podcast is an original podcast hosted by Anthony Denman, co-founder of Our Agency. In each episode Anthony talks to Australia’s most experienced property professionals, exploring their personal & professional stories whilst unearthing insights on how to create the most successful property brands possible.

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