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April 18, 2018: Opteon Property Group: Queensland: Now is the time to review & reduce your landholding costs


With landholding costs being a significant expense for not only developers in Queensland but all property owners, it is surprising that many landowners don't know how or when they can check whether the costs are excessive, or what to do if it turns out they are.

To gain further insight into why this may be, and the opportunities to review and reduce landholding costs, we asked Opteon Senior Property Valuer and Project Manager Jennifer-lee Sinclair for her professional opinion and recommendations for Queensland landowners.

Jennifer-lee Sinclair, Opteon Senior Property Valuer & Project Manager

Why are is it important for landowners to check their annual land valuations?

Your land valuation figure impacts your rates and land tax amounts. By the time you get your rates notice and land tax assessment notice, it's generally too late to challenge the land valuation you've received.

Why do you think many owners fail to check on their annual land valuations?

We believe that part of the reason for this is the simple fact that a physical bill is not attached to annual land valuation notices.

We often find that far more property owners are quick to ask Opteon to review their rates and land tax assessment notices (as these are physical bills which need to be paid quite quickly). By this stage it is generally too late to address one of the core matters upon which rates and land tax are actually based, that being, statutory site valuations.

What are statutory site valuations?

It is the site value for each property as issued by the Department of Natural Resources Mines and Energy (DNRME) that is used to calculate local government rates, state land tax and state land rental (for leasehold land).

Whilst there are varying ways Opteon can assist to potentially reduce rates and land tax (depending on the property and circumstances), the first step is to check whether the site valuation is indeed correct.

When are site valuations issued?

Annual land valuations are issued in March of each year (before the next round of rates and land tax). Which Local Government Areas (LGA's) are revalued each year depends on how much the relevant market has changed and is at the Valuer-General's recommendation.

This year, the Valuer-General issued annual land valuations for 22 local government areas in Queensland.

These are Banana, Barcoo, Boulia, Bulloo, Central Highlands, Charters Towers, Diamantina, Douglas, Fraser Coast, Gladstone, Gold Coast, Goondiwindi, Hinchinbrook, Isaac, Maranoa, Murweh, Noosa, Paroo, Quilpie, Scenic Rim, Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba.

The new land valuations are assessed as at 1 October 2017 and effective from 30 June 2018.

When is the best time to look at our land valuation assessment?

Now is the opportune time to have your statutory land valuations reviewed. If you wish Opteon to assist, please contact our team now rather than waiting until you receive your next round of rates or land tax.

We can assist many landowners across Queensland to review land valuations. Where applicable we can challenge land valuations by lodging objections, reviews and appeals with the Department of Natural Resources Mines (DNRME) and the Land Court of Queensland.

The deadline for lodging an objection is 8 May 2018.

What kind of reason would you need to challenge your land valuation?

There are various possible grounds for lodging an objection, including but not limited to:

Analysing comparable sales evidence Analysing the relativity of site values of surrounding comparable property Reviewing environmental constraints/flooding issues Checking town planning/zoning limitations Requesting amalgamated valuation notices or that property be valued separately Applying for site deduction applications Applying for subdividers discounts Applying for single dwelling concessions and primary production concessions

What if I live outside those 22 local government areas?

If you feel your current valuation has been issued incorrectly or is excessive, Opteon can lodge a 'Request for a Valuation Review' on your behalf at any stage of the objection period, however, there are no appeal rights.








Opteon Property Group Pty Ltd provides property advice and valuation services to commercial, residential, agriculture and rural, plant and equipment, advisory, government services, tax depreciation, and quantity surveying businesses. It serves financial institutions, governments, statutory authorities, corporations, not-for-profit organizations, and small to medium businesses; residential buyers and sellers, property investors, real estate agents, and property developers; and lawyers, accountants, financial planners, financial services professionals, and insurance agents. The company was incorporated in 2010 and is based in Sydney, Australia with additional offices in Australia.




April 19: Opteon appoints Queensland Commercial Director and opens new Brisbane office

International property valuation and advisory services company Opteon has strengthened its commercial offering in Queensland, with the appointment of Robert Tye to the newly created Queensland Director - Specialised Commercial role.

Mr. Tye will be based out of Opteon's new Brisbane CBD office, where he will oversee Commercial Specialty service offerings in Queensland.

Commenting on Mr. Tye's appointment, Opteon State Director - NSW/QLD/ACT, Sally Dale said:

"Robert's appointment to the Queensland Specialised Commercial Director role and our new Brisbane CBD office demonstrate Opteon's ongoing commitment to the Queensland market and our investment in continuing to build our Commercial business across the whole of Queensland."

Mr. Tye comes to Opteon with a wealth of experience having previously held several senior Commercial roles, leading commercial divisions and completing complex asset valuations.

His role at Opteon will include a focus on going concern valuations and business development in the specialised commercial space.

"I look forward to bringing my years of professional property experience to Opteon's commercial client base in Queensland, and providing excellent, independent valuation and consultancy advice across commercial specialties." Mr. Tye said.

Opteon's new Brisbane CBD Opteon office is at Level 16, 100 Edward Street, while the Geebung office remains operating at 406 Bilsen Road.

Robert Tye, Opteon Queensland Director - Specialised Commercial

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Source: Company Website

April 13: Opteon appoints Ana Marinkovic to Chief Operating Officer

International valuation company Opteon has appointed Ana Marinkovic to the newly created role of Chief Operating Officer - Valuations. Reporting to chief executive officer (CEO) Chris Knight, Ms. Marinkovic will be based in the Melbourne Docklands office, and joins Opteon's Executive Management Team.

Ms. Marinkovic brings a wealth of experience within the banking and finance industry to the growing valuations and property advisory firm, where she will lead Valuations Operations across Australia and New Zealand.

For over a decade, she has held various senior management roles across consumer and commercial divisions of ANZ bank, led some of their largest transformation programs and delivered new to market products, platforms and technologies.

Commenting on the addition of Ms. Marinkovic to Opteon's Executive Management Team, CEO Chris Knight said, "I have no doubt that Ms. Marinkovic's strong financial services experience and proven track record in business transformation will have a positive effect on our company's success and growth plans.

"To achieve our vision and execute on our current expansion strategy, we are investing in new structures, data and technology innovations, and the highly skilled personnel we need to bring it to life. I'm sure the impact of Ana's strategic leadership experience on our ongoing evolution will be significant." He said.

Ms. Marinkovic said she was excited to be joining the leadership team at Opteon and working with the broader Valuations teams, external clients and stakeholders on building both an innovative and sustainable business.

"One of my key focus areas will be working with the team to reach new target markets and vertical sectors whilst delivering a world class client experience. I'm looking forward to collaborating across the organisation to develop smart, scalable and future focused products and services that meet and exceed the property needs of all our clients".

March 14: Opteon Property Group: Opteon strengthens Government Services offering with Omega Property Consultants acquisition

International property valuation and advisory services company Opteon today announced the acquisition of boutique Sydney property valuation and real estate consultancy company Omega Property Consultants.

Omega Property Consultants is a small practice of experienced, independent property valuers, providing real estate consultancy services and property valuations in the greater Sydney area.

Former Managing Director of Omega, Angelo Konidaris, joins the Opteon team as Director of Government Services, NSW/ QLD/ACT.

Commenting on the acquisition, Head of Government Services - Australia and New Zealand, Phil Western, said bringing Omega into the organisation will allow Opteon to further strengthen its Government Services offering across the east coast of Australia.

"Omega has an existing NSW Government client base, and strong client relationships in this sector.

"Together, we will leverage Omega's and our existing government services team's public-sector property expertise to provide better solutions to our government clients". Mr. Western said.

Opteon will be working closely with Omega's existing client base over the next few months to ensure a smooth transition.

"I'm excited to be joining such a dynamic, growing international organisation, and keen to bring the benefit of the wider Opteon team's wealth of experience and property knowledge to our existing clients." Mr. Konidaris said.

"I'm also looking forward to extending our reach and working closely with Opteon's government clients across New South Wales, the ACT and Queensland." He said.

Mr. Konidaris and the former Omega team will be based at Opteon's Sydney office.

Source: Company Website

February 14: Events Calendar: Opteon at the 2018 SMSF National Conference

Today, we're heading out to the 2018 SMSF National Conference, run by the Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF) Association, the independent, professional body representing Australia's self-managed super fund sector.

Why are we working with the SMSF Association?

Well, did you know'

Superannuation assets in Australia totalled $2.30 trillion at the end of the March 2017 quarter, according to APRA. There were a total of 590,742 Self-Managed Super Funds (SMSF) as at 31 March 2017, accounting for approximately 30% of the $2.30 trillion market. The difference between an SMSF and other types of super funds is that, generally, the members of an SMSF are also the trustees. This means the members of the SMSF run it for their own benefit, i.e., Self-Manage their super. The average total balance of an SMSF is $1,030,530. 4% of SMSF's have a residential property asset in them and around 11% have a commercial property in the fund. These property assets need regular market value assessments as part of annual financial reporting.

Opteon State Director NSW/ACT/QLD Sally Dale said the team were looking forward to meeting with SMSF managers and advisors over the course of the three-day conference and were also keen to gain insight into current SMSF trends.

"We're here to help the approximately 15 per cent of SMSFs that have property assets within their portfolio with the regular market value assessments they need for reporting purposes and assist with other key property advice and services.", Ms. Dale said.

Opteon is attending the conference as the exclusive sponsor in the property valuations category.

Click here for more information on our Services for Self-Managed Super Funds (SMSF) Managers & Advisors.

Source: Company Website

February 14: Opteon continues New Zealand expansion with Queenstown launch

International property valuation and advisory services company Opteon has continued its New Zealand expansion, today announcing the launch of a Queenstown presence and plans to grow the team, and further invest in the area.

Opteon Country Director - NZ Derek Smith commented on the strategic importance of the Queenstown Lakes District location, both to the national economy and Opteon's growth plans.

"Queenstown is one of the country's hottest property markets. Its strong tourism industry, economic growth and infrastructure development make it an attractive property market, and strategic location for us, one we feel has been underserviced by valuation firms to date." Mr. Smith said.

"We're really looking forward to entering the market here and helping Queenstown property owners and investors across the residential, commercial, lifestyle spaces make informed decisions about their property assets." Mr. Smith said.

Opteon's recent market update on Queenstown and the surrounding areas, developed by Opteon Queenstown Associate Director David Tristram, found despite an eventful election year, once the political dust had settled Queenstown continued to experience significant growth.

"Growth in the Queenstown market largely came off the back of strong tourism, in what was an unsettled year for much of the rest of the New Zealand property market," Mr. Smith said.

"Queenstown's residential market reached a peak median value of almost $1million*, before finishing the year with a 13 per cent increase in median value year-on-year to December 2017. This is a dynamic property market that we're very keen to support with our new office and local valuer." He said.

Profile: Opteon Queenstown Associate Director David Tristram

Opteon's Associate Director David Tristram relocated from Opteon Perth to head up the Queenstown office.

January 31: Opteon Property Group: Opteon appoints a third Non-Executive Director to the board

Leslie Butterfield will be working alongside CEO Chris Knight, Chair and Non-Executive Director Michael Renshaw and the Board of Directors on continuing to bring Opteon's growth plans and innovation strategy to life.

Leslie commented on her newly appointed position "I'm thrilled to be joining the Opteon board at such an exciting time in the company's history. I'm looking forward to working with the board on continuing to bring Opteon's aggressive growth plans and innovation strategy to life."

Leslie has a wealth of international and local experience in corporate advisory, corporate finance, project management, business development and strategic planning.

Leslie is currently also a Non- Executive Director on the boards of ASX listed Vivid Technology Limited, RKF Engineering and the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation.

CEO Chris Knight said "As our newly appointed Non-Executive Director, Leslie is well placed to help guide Opteon on its growth journey, and assist us in meeting our Vision 2021 strategy."

Source: Company Website

January 31: Events Calendar: Opteon is proud to partner with the SMSF Association on their 2018 National Conference

Opteon is pleased to announce our sponsorship of the 2018 SMSF National Conference.

Happening in Sydney on the 14th-16th February, the annual SMSF National Conference is run by the Self Managed Super Fund (SMSF) Association, the independent, professional body representing Australia's self-managed super fund sector.

Over the course of the two-and-a-half-day conference SMSF managers, administrators and advisors will receive technical knowledge from industry expert speakers, and attend the largest SMSF Exhibition, with over 60 exhibitors.

Speaking before the conference kicked off, Opteon State Director NSW/ACT/QLD Sally Dale said Opteon was proud to be partnering with the country's leading SMSF industry body and looking forward to the seeing the insights on key SMSF trends and issues the conference would provide.

"Around 15 per cent of SMSFs have property assets within their portfolio, which require regular market value assessments for reporting purposes.

"As a leading provider of independent property valuation, advisory and specialist property services, Opteon is well placed to assist SMSF managers with the right market valuation, and objective and supportable data that can be used by the auditor of the SMSF to sign off on the financial statements," Ms. Dale said.

Superannuation advisors recommend an external valuation of any property assets in a SMSF every three years.

In most instances, for the two years in between, Opteon can conduct a desktop assessment to determine the property's value and provide a written report.

Source: Company Website


April 20: Opteon's Sally Dale moderates API's banking experts panel

Last night, the Australian Property Institute (API) presented the latest Mortgage Forum Session - "Credit, Risk and Quality Assurance."

Opteon State Director - NSW/QLD/ACT, Sally Dale moderated the expert panel of leading banking professionals from across the various stages of the mortgage valuation review process.

During an interactive Q&A session, they shared their unique insights on the changing property valuation landscape, and what the increased focus on valuation risk management and quality assurance means for property professionals.

Ms. Dale said:

"It's significant that last nights' event sold out so quickly and was so heavily attended.

"Interest in best practice valuation risk management, particularly from the banks perspective, is high.

"The API gave everyone in the property industry the opportunity to hear the banks views on risk, credit management and quality assurance - directly from the leading banks themselves."

Source: Company Website

March 20: Opteon Property Group: The retail property decline and industrial rise occurring across Australia

With online shopping taking over as the solution to more affordable and efficient delivery of goods, the property industry is experiencing some interesting shifts.

We are seeing physical retail stores closing due to loss of sales and not being able to keep up with their online competitors. This is occurring across Australia, even having drastic impacts on once retail giants, such as Myer. Many retailers are also relocating their head offices from Sydney to more affordable property markets such as Melbourne to minimise costs and stay afloat.

However, an interesting observation on this movement is, as retail property is on the decline, it appears industrial property is on the up. Online stores require storage warehouses and with this growing market the demand for industrial property is expanding.

RICS Q4 2017: Australian Commercial Property Monitor survey report showed that forecasting for rental expectations increased for the industrial space in both primary and secondary locations. At the other end however, the prime retail space remained largely unchanged from Q3 2017 and secondary retail decreased.

This is further confirmed by NAB's most recent market report noticing the fall of retail as the only sector where sentiment was negative, falling from +12 to -7 in Q4.

Confidence has plummeted in the retail market with high wages and rent being just the beginning of their given challenges.

Their report also reinforced the rise in industrial sentiment from +18 to +25 as the result of reports of online retail warehousing from superstore giants such as Amazon.

To gain further insight, we asked Opteon Commercial Property Valuer Sam Bush for his analysis of the Sydney retail market.

"Our recent valuations show unprecedented growth in both sales and leasing rates of industrial warehouses across most of metropolitan Sydney.

March 06: Opteon Property Group: SurFebruary: Catching a wave for charity

Throughout February, valuers from the Opteon Sydney office participated in SurFebruary. Successfully catching a wave every day, the team not only raised a large contribution for the Chris O'Brien Lifehouse but also raised awareness for a great cause.

SurFebruary is a fundraising event where participants surf every single day of February to raise money for cancer patients at the Chris O'Brien Lifehouse. The only rule is you need to catch one wave every day in February. Chris O'Brien Lifehouse is a charity close to Sydney Associate Director, Arron Clark's, heart. After Arron's wife became sick the Chris O'Brien Lifehouse helped save her life and their families future.

"When we started the foundation SurFebruary in January we had a vision of getting 20 plus participants together and raising $10,000. To get 21 participants and raise over $20,000 has been a rewarding experience and I can't wait to pass on the cheque to Chris O'Brien Lifehouse.

"On top of this it's been great fun getting healthy and fit surfing each day. I'm looking forward to next year' Surfebruary already, and hopefully enticing some more Opteon colleagues to jump on board." - Arron Clark

Source: Company Website


Chris Knight, CEO & Managing Director

Chris Knight is chief executive officer of professional services company Opteon. Based in Australia, Opteon is a provider of property valuation and advisory services with a strategic vision for diversification as well as organic and international growth.

Committed to delivering strategic business solutions, Chris recently led the business strategy to integrate the Opteon group of companies into a new corporate structure, and the acquisition of two property businesses in New Zealand. He is preparing the business for further expansion into software driven professional services solutions, as well as strategic acquisitions into other non-property sectors.

His executive leadership experience includes positions as Managing Director of Cubic Insights, Managing Director of Opteon (Victoria), Operations Manager & Residential Director of Opteon (Victoria), as well as other previous senior management roles. Chris has extensive property industry experience encompassing both real estate and valuations and holds an MBA, as well as qualifications in Accounting, Real Estate and a Master of Business majoring in Property. Chris is a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and is a Certified Practicing Valuer with the Australian Property Institute (API). He also sits on the API Victorian Divisional Counsel and is Chair the API National Advocacy Committee.

Michael Renshaw, Chairman & Non-Executive Director

With 25 years of senior management experience, Michael Renshaw possesses a strong understanding of international markets, strategic management, M&A and profitable growth at the Board, CEO and Senior Executive level.

Michael is Chair of Opteon, one of Australia's largest property valuation firms and provides executive consulting services to clients in the US, Canada, Australia and Africa. Prior to establishing his own executive consulting firm, Michael was CEO and Managing Director of Cardno, an engineering, environmental and management services company. At the time Michael departed Cardno, it was listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (an ASX200 company) with annual revenue exceeding A$1.3 billion.

As CEO and formerly as Head of International Operations, Michael played a key role in Cardno's expansion from 340 staff operating in 6 countries to more than 8,200 staff delivering projects across more than 100 countries. His global experience spans the industries of oil and gas; mining and resources; transport and urban infrastructure, construction, software and international aid.

Lisa Billington, Director & Company Secretary & General Manager-Corporate Services

Lisa joined Opteon in November 2016 having previously worked at law firms Maddocks and Clayton Utz and in-house for an education and media company. Lisa is a commercial lawyer with over 10 years' experience, specialising in mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance.

Robert Tot, Executive Director

Robert has over 20 years of broad experience in the property industry. He has extensive property and valuation experience and specialises in providing property and valuation solutions for local, state and federal government departments including, but not limited to Victorian local and state governments.

Robert is highly experienced in various forms of mass valuation methodology and technologies including the utilization of Geospatial Information Systems (GIS). Robert also has significant expertise in the valuation of specialist property classes, having undertaken a range of complex rating and taxation valuations.

Jonathan Bloxsom, Executive Director

Jonathan is a certified practising Valuer with accreditations in both the valuation and economy streams of the Australian Property Institute.

Examples of property advisory and valuation assignments overseen by Jonathan include, but are not limited to:

Providing advice to Unity Water re office/workshop requirements

Provide advice to Moreton Bay Regional Council

Provide advice to a number of dispossessed owners over proposal Main Road widening along Pacific Highway Loganholme

Provide feasibility advise to SMEC Australia for the proposal road widening in Deagon

Provide annual rental determination to Department of Housing and Property Portfolio Management.

Stuart Nash, Non-Executive Director

Stuart is an experienced CEO, Non-Executive Director, technology investor and independent corporate advisor. He has over 25 years of international experience in strategy, M&A and corporate finance. Stuart commenced his career qualifying as an accountant before moving into investment banking and transitioning into corporate governance. Stuart is currently Interim CEO of Green's Foods Holdings, Chairman of Australian Affordable Housing Securities and Independent Non-Executive Director of Cubic Insights. Stuart is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a qualified accountant and holds a Masters from Cambridge University. Stuart was appointed Director of OGH on 28 February 2017.

Leslie Butterfield, Non-Executive Director

Leslie was appointed a Non-Executive Director of Opteon in October 2017. Leslie has a wealth of international and local experience in corporate advisory, corporate finance, project management, business development and strategic planning, with a focus on technology and advanced manufacturing based businesses. Leslie is currently a Non-Executive Director of ASX listed Vivid Technology Limited, RKF Engineering and the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation.

Leslie has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York. She is an Associate Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, a member of the University of Technology, Sydney's School of Engineering Industry Advisory Network and the Australian Institute of Arbitrators & Mediators.

David Rose, Chief Information Officer

David recently joined Opteon in the newly created role of Chief Information Officer (CIO). He brings to the role more than 20 years of leadership and management experience in both public and private sectors. His most recent position was as CIO at Watpac Ltd. David has worked across multiple sectors and segments, and has held senior management roles for Macarthur Coal, Optus and Suncorp.

Andrew Aylward, Nominee Director

Andrew has over 30 years' experience beginning his career with the State Bank in 1983. He formed the valuation business Hopcraft Aylward in 1993 in Orange NSW which quickly grew and evolved into the leading firm in the region. Hopcraft Aylward joined Opteon in 2008 and has subsequently been involved in 4 acquisitions enabling growth in revenue and geography. Andrew specialises in business and agribusiness valuations, government property services, family succession planning and landowner negotiations on behalf of large scale development proponents including mining companies and statutory authorities.

Calvin Rogers, General Manager-Property Services

Calvin has been working in the property industry for the past 13 years throughout Sydney, South Coast, Snowy Mountains and the Southern Highlands of NSW, as well as now working in the Northern Territory. His experience includes valuation, consultancy, development and management. Calvin specialises in the management of Ratings and Taxing projects for Land Tax purposes and Land Tax objections and a variety of commercial property including retail, industrial, going concern and development. Calvin has also been involved in numerous financial reporting Asset Revaluation projects for government departments and organisations including the 2015 valuation of the entire Snowy Hydro Ltd Group.

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