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Timo proves to be hot property
By · 11 Nov 2013
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11 Nov 2013
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Timo proves to be hot property

Property types swapped project management charts and hard hats for the banging beats and wubwubwub of Timomatic on Saturday night at the Dexus property awards in Sydney.

Now in its 20th year, the event, held at Luna Park's Crystal Ballroom, recognises "outstanding achievements of the real estate community".

The achievements honoured were outstanding and the bow-tied and cocktail-frocked guests were upstanding when Timomatic took the stage.

It may have been cold and windy outside, but property types were soon working up a sweat as Timo showed the stuff that saw him come, er, seventh on TV talent quest So You Can Think You Can Dance in 2009.

Your host was Dexus CEO Darren Steinberg, who chose a Steve Jobs-style of presentation, roaming the stage with a microphone. But Dexus office and industrial boss Kevin "George Clooney" George did the bulk of the honours. The 2013 office agency of the year award went to Colliers International Sydney, while CBRE Parramatta claimed industrial agency of the year.

Office agent of the year was James Pappas, of Knight Frank, for securing two new tenants at 360 Collins Street, Melbourne. Industrial agent of the year was Greg Pike of CBRE Parramatta.

To the nth degree

At the moment, listening to John Howard can earn you only a diploma, but if Mat Jacobson has his way the former PM's words of wisdom will be a stepping stone towards a postgraduate degree.

Howard is just one of the multitude of world leaders whose leadership lessons form part of the curriculum of Jacobson's web-based management school, Ducere. Its profits fund the charity Ducere Foundation, which runs education programs for African children.

Both halves of the enterprise are run out of the Melbourne offices of the Liberman family (Jacobson is brother-in-law to clan scion Josh Liberman).

At the moment Holmesglen TAFE accredits Ducere's diploma of business and diploma of management qualifications, but a hook-up with a uni is in the works.

"We'll work with university partners in Australia," Jacobson told CBD.

Cashed up

Jacobson wasn't willing to say how much the for-profit school brings in, but he did say it was cash-flow positive in the first six months.

And he was sceptical of the give-away-your-content model so beloved of internet startups - including the massive open online courses (MOOCs) run by Ducere competitors including unis. "You have people coming up with innovative ideas - they have these sites, get lots of content, then get hundreds of thousands of users looking at it," he said.

"And there's this leap of faith, almost, that if you have hundreds of thousands of users looking at it then that translates to some sort of dollar value," Jacobson said. "And that to me is a connection that I just don't really understand.

"So I don't really understand that MOOCS model."

Sorely missed

Millionaire's Row, on the straight at Flemington Racecourse, may be the most prestigious strip of real estate in the Australian turf game but the absence of former tenants Swisse and Crown was keenly felt during this year's spring racing carnival. While still a seething stew of humanity (and Geoffrey Edelsten), the Birdcage corporate enclave was somewhat quieter this year.

Swisse's profit halved in 2012 and the company recently took out a high-interest $70 million loan from vampire squid Goldman Sachs while Crown, which last year boasted a small but perfectly formed erection, has retreated to its long-standing high-roller enclosure at the other end of the course.

While landlords the Victoria Racing Club replaced the missing corporate clients with a ticketed area, "The Perch", and a bar for members, imaginatively named "The Birdcage Bar", replacing the lost rent will have to wait until next year.
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