VennCap Real Estate has been breaking tradition in the commercial space since 2009 with an all-encompassing list of services available for both local and international investors. We live and breathe the ”customer first” mantra that helped forge the company. By doing so, VennCap has been able to maintain a premium and flexible service that has acquired over $250 million in commercial assets throughout Australia and New Zealand.
With over 50 years combined commercial and real estate experience, the executive team is led by founders Tim McEnallay & Tim Rich. We sat down with Tim & Tim to discuss their own personal journey’s and the foundations of VennCap Real Estate that make it a truly unique company.
How did you get started in real estate?
TM: Like many people, family influence. My father retired from stockbroking & purchased a small suburban real estate agency. I worked on weekends and school holidays. It was wide & varied.
Soon after, I had finished my real estate license course and it was time to follow my passion. Although I was already attracted to real estate, I found it offered a combination of skills. Part negotiator, part accountant, part lawyer, part debt collector, part building inspector & most importantly meeting people from all different walks of life. I am still out of bed @ 6 am!
TR: I had worked in the ‘back office’ for more than 10 years when I got an opportunity to help start an investment fund. After that, I got involved in building a Real Estate Fund and was responsible for acquiring and managing the assets. As it grew, we acquired assets all over the world and so that was the start.
Do you have a ‘sliding doors’ moment that helped shape your career or your vision for VennCap?
TM: Tim actually hired me at Allco Finance Group in 2005. After it went into voluntary administration in 2008, we saw a gap in the market. The feedback from potential clients is that they were looking for quality, valuable advice & didn’t want to have to deal with a myriad of different people. The offer of an Australian based one-stop-shop was appealing to them and we capitalised on this.
TR: I think meeting the other Tim, and then realising we had such complementary skill sets. The other was getting our first client who is still with us. All the majors pitched for the gig, but our idea of the ‘one-stop-shop’ resonated with them and they appointed us.
You’ve worked for some of the biggest Commercial Real Estate companies in Australia. What motivated you to flip the script and start a boutique business?
TM: The GFC ! My now business partner (Tim Rich) had been approached by several Singaporean investors seeking assistance to acquire Australian real estate and were looking for a group to provide a “one-stop-shop’’. We now provide that offering to several clients – with responsibility comes accountability. It is a very fulfilling role.
TR: Working for yourself you have to put up or go poor! Plus It just seemed like a really good offering and we really only needed a couple of decent clients to make a good business.
VennCap have led the charge on some impressive acquisitions over the past few years. Which one has had the biggest impact on VennCap and you personally?
TM: 87 Marsden Street in Parramatta. It didn’t entirely meet the investment criteria with a large component of the leases expiring in the first 12 months. After a significant amount of research, we satisfied ourselves and our client that the tenant had very limited options and would in all likelihood renew. Which they did. The property has continued to grow in value over the 5 years since our acquisition.
TR: That’s hard to say. Was it the very first asset? Probably not. Although getting the second one straight after not only put the business on a sound footing but got the VennCap name out there in agentland which has helped a lot as we grow the business. That and the first asset in NZ. It is kinda cool saying we manage in Australia and New Zealand!
Nobody knows what the industry will look like tomorrow, let alone in 5 years. What is your vision for VennCap in 2025?
TM: Good question….We pride ourselves on personal service to our clients. As such, we don’t have aspirations to become too big. I think if you do, you can easily lose the personalised service and personalised relationships that helped build a successful business. Having said that, we are looking to grow the team to expand the business to meet the needs of clients – current & future. By 2025, ideally have members of the team ready to step into equity roles.
TR: Five years isn’t a long time in real estate. Hopefully by then we have managed to grow in terms of portfolio and types of properties. We have increased the number of clients a little and built the team up so that I can concentrate more on negotiations (and travel).