Not many people can confidently say that they have truly travelled the world – while on a job! Greg Condon, Associate Director of Hotels & Leisure for Colliers in Asia, must be one of them. A real estate consultant with more than 15 years of industry experience, specialising in the area of hotels and leisure, Greg tells us why he loves his job and why Colliers is the place to be in the new chapter of his career.
On certain assignments, living the high life is, incidentally, a perk of the job for Greg in his role as an advisor for hospitality real estate assets across the globe.
“On occasion I have had the chance to stay in some very luxurious hotels on my assignments over the years,” says Greg, who unabashedly professes that wanderlust is one of the key reasons why he became a hotels and leisure valuation specialist, “which is in part a reward for the hours of report writing and all those other projects that involve much more ‘modest’ accommodation, to put it kindly.”
More than just the excitement of travel
It was, however, not a straight ticket to this role for Greg who hails from Melbourne, Australia. He began his career training with valuers from a global real estate consultancy before moving to London in 2004 to assume a valuations role with BNP Paribas Real Estate on major nationwide property portfolios for institutional investors.
After eight years in the U.K., he relocated to Bangkok, Thailand and started a new chapter in his career with a global real estate consultancy’s hotels division, where he led a team of hotel valuation and advisory professionals to serve regional clients, mostly based in Thailand. After six years, the opportunity arose to expand the scope of his responsibilities as Head of Hotel Valuations for Southeast Asia for another property consultancy, before realising his long-held ambition of relocating to Singapore in late-2020 and joining Colliers in September.
“I have always had a desire for travel and exploration, and so linking hospitality with my fundamental knowledge of real estate and finance in a career combines my interests. While I battle with the more complicated calculations at times, I truly enjoy learning about a property or a market and conveying that knowledge to my clients,” opines Greg, who holds a Bachelor of Business (Property) awarded by the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.
He goes further to describe himself as a storyteller in his role as a consultant of hospitality real estate assets. “It is not just about the numbers. More importantly, it is about seeing things from a more holistic perspective that considers the risks as well as the positives of hospitality operations and investment. That usually culminates in a detailed 40-odd page report, covering all the facets of the property, but I enjoy having my research, opinions and findings brought together for our clients,” he notes, brimming with pride.
"I have always had a desire for travel and exploration, and so linking hospitality with my fundamental knowledge of real estate and finance in a career combines my interests.”
Although COVID-19 has made it difficult for him to travel to conduct valuations in the last two years or so, this has not posed a significant challenge to Greg in delivering his best assessments to his clients, owing to his familiarity with the various markets and properties after almost a decade of business and leisure travel throughout the region.
“I look forward to being able to physically travel overseas for projects again, so hopefully we are not too far away from the day when most border restrictions will be lifted,” he comments.
“I have always admired the Colliers offices and representatives in the markets in which I have worked with around the world, but I must admit that I was very impressed to learn of the rapid growth in scale of the company and its lofty ambitions for the future. That convinced me that the time was right to join Colliers is what I intend to be a significant next phase of my career,” Greg remarks.
He adds: “I also felt that there was a lot that I could learn from the experience and expertise of the Hotels & Leisure and Valuation & Advisory Services leaders here at Colliers in Singapore, while contributing to the growth of the team with my own skillsets.” He maintains that he is also an approachable mentor with a listening ear who takes pride in training young valuers and loves seeing “that spark in the curious and ambitious”.
An unwavering motivation to drive exceptional results
It is hard to notice a trace of lethargy in Greg in the office, even after a day of report writing or property inspections in Singapore’s typical heat.
He says: “I remain very motivated by my role, despite the long hours and difficult discussions at times. The opportunity to work with high-profile clients and be a key contributor to a professional team that is so well-respected in the market for sound advice excites me every day. And when it comes down to it; my role usually involves a key hotel destination or inspecting a nice hospitality-based asset, so hotels and leisure advisory is the perfect slice of the industry for me.”
He also attributes his tirelessness to the enterprising, energising and collaborative work environment at Colliers.
Leisure travel will return quickly, and the hospitality sector will evolve further
Greg believes that leisure travel will return very quickly when travel and testing restrictions are lessened in the foreseeable future – specifically in the luxury sector.
In a post-COVID-19 era to come, he also sees that hospitality properties will focus on developing employees with the ability to multi-task, as well as adopt technology and robotics to carry out certain mundane tasks, such as check-ins and check-outs, delivery of luggage, general cleaning, and meal delivery, among others – some of which are already evident in some hotels and resorts.
However, he asserts: “The industry will not shift totally towards non-contact and robots running the show. Particularly after the challenges of the last two years, good quality hotels and their management companies will definitely strive for that personal touch and personalised service that only experts in hospitality can provide.”
You may also like:
- Hospitality Bites: Through the Looking Glass - What's in Store for RevPAR across Asia in 2022?
- Hospitality Bites: Pricing and Valuation Gap to Narrow for Asia Hotels
- Hospitality Bites: Rise of the Branded Residences
Contact our Colliers Editorial team here.