The Shopping Centre industry is driven by people. It’s the skills and expertise of the people that manage, develop and evolve shopping centres for their communities that creates this great industry. Shopping Centre News profiles a range of interesting people from the industry each week. This week we speak to Mike Crittenden who oversees the Collier’s International leasing team in Victoria. They have a portfolio of exciting projects they are curating the tenancy mix for, including the iconic transformation of Pentridge in Melbourne.
What is your current role and main responsibilities?
I’m the Director, Retail Leasing Victoria at Colliers International. I oversee a great team of specialists who focus on the leasing of CBD, Shopping Centre and Large Format Retail assets across Victoria.
Tell us a little bit about your career
I started in the industry in 2007 with Melbourne agency, Allard Shelton. Here, I was exposed to a diverse range of retail, commercial and industrial properties gaining experience in both leasing and sales transactions. After developing a passion for retail, in 2011, I took a role with the Retail Leasing team at Colliers International.
What do you love most about your job?
No day is ever the same. I love the diversity of the role, the challenges in arguably one of the toughest sectors and the vast array of people I get to deal with on a daily basis. One morning we are leasing a group of shops on Collins Street and in the afternoon, we are masterplanning and delivering a shopping centre in one of Melbourne’s booming growth corridors.
What do you least like about your job?
Meetings for the sake of meetings. If there is nothing or little to gain out of it for anyone present, don’t have them.
What motivates you?
What is your most memorable moment of your career?
In 2010, I won the REIV Commercial & Industrial Novice Auctioneer competition. The challenge to partake in something I had very little experience in, and to showcase my new learnings in front of industry peers was very daunting, however very rewarding.
What do you think makes a successful shopping centre?
A successful shopping centre is one in which all the retailers are continuing to perform in excess of a sustainable level. This means they are trading well, experiencing growth and delivering positive sales results. This success is created through a strategic retailer mix, creating an experience-based centre that encourages customer dwell time and in turn, greater customer spend. Landlords benefit from the retailers’ success. It’s a win for all.
What are some of the trends you are seeing in the industry?
Retail evolves at an extraordinary rate. As long as I’ve been involved in the industry, there has always been some form of ‘doom and gloom’ story. However, savy retailers that stay relevant or ahead of the curve by meeting and exceeding their customers needs and wants, usually ensure their ongoing success. Most notable has been the ‘online threat’. Retailers who find a way to offer a presence in both physical store formats and online, provide their customers with greater choices to spend money with them.
Did you think you would end up in the role you are in now?
I came out of school with zero idea on what I wanted to do from a career perspective. I travelled around Europe for three years in my early twenties and returned still with a limited view on where I was headed. After a few retail sales roles, I somewhat fell into commercial real estate and have never looked back.
What do you do to keep learning and growing in your career?
I surround myself with great people in the industry. Everyone has a different style, view and way they go about their job. I am always ready to learn from the people I respect and strongly consider their advice.
What advice would you give to someone starting in the industry?
It is all about relationships. Start developing relationships and building your network from day one. It’s amazing how often you get a referral, appointment, constructive advice or transact a deal with someone you had dealings with years before the event.
What do you do in your leisure time to de-stress?
Time with my kids. They highlight the most important things in life.
What’s your favourite retailer and why?
Bunnings! Honestly, who doesn’t love Bunnings? I could spend hours there. More specifically, they nail customer service. I think sometimes getting the basics right is half the battle.
Do you like shopping?
I spend a fair bit of time in shopping centres for work, so I don’t go out of my way to go shopping in my down time. That said, don’t mind the occasional shopping session.
What is the single most important quality you need to possess to be in this industry?
Resilience. Don’t take things personally. Most of the time, everyone is working towards the same or a very similar goal. It’s just about how we get there working with each party involved.
What to be profiled? Contact Belinda firstname.lastname@example.org