API Member Profile - Kit Wong
API members work in a wide range of property disciplines. For some, the role they undertake today is vastly different to the one they held when they first entered the property industry.
In this series we will meet a range of API members from recently qualified to some of the most experienced members of the API, each with their own unique story, career and pathway.
Today we meet Kit Wong, National Property Manager at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
API: Why did you decide to enter the property profession?
Kit: It was by chance. I wanted a job that involved travelling and was not a 100% deskbound. I was looking for a course to do at University and stumbled upon the Bachelor of Applied Science (Land Economics) degree which was offered for the first time at UTS in 1987. The course had subjects such as valuations, real estate sales, building and architecture which triggered my curiosity and interest.
API: What is your current role?
Kit: I am currently the National Property Manager for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, responsible for all property transactional activities within the ABC’s leasehold and freehold portfolio.
API: How did your career in property begin?
Kit: My real estate profession started with valuations training at Colliers International which was a great base for my career. The training for properties ranging from residential, industrial, retail, hotels and development sites provided a wonderful range of knowledge for the career ahead of me.
API: How did you get from where you started to where you are now? Have you changed sectors/roles/focus?
Kit: I changed roles and sectors several times over the course of my career. However, it can be summarised in three decades: From 1991 – 1999, I was involved in property management of retail banks working for major institutions such as Advance Bank and NSW Colonial State Bank. From 1999 – 2008, I completed a Master of Finance and moved into asset management in the funds management industry with Colonial First State, Challenger Financial Services and Mirvac. 2008 proved to be a pinnacle adjustment in my career with the GFC. I entered the government sector with the Australian Valuation Office, working as a valuer. The government experience led me to experience a range of community specialised properties with the NSW Education Department and now with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
API: Who has been the most influential person in your professional life and why?
Kit: There have been several influential persons in my professional life. Each have contributed great advice, support and respect at various stages of my career.
API: What is the best career advice you ever received?
Kit: “Never burn your bridges” – the real estate profession in Australia is such a small world and you never know when you will come across the same person at different stages of your career and under different circumstances.
API: What excites you about the future of the property industry?
Kit: The property industry is ever changing, evolving with the market trends. The internet technology for example creates a totally new way of how buildings and properties are developed, recycled and utilised. It creates the environment that we live in, and this career enables us to be part of the evolution – either as a creator or inhibitor.
API: What is your top tip for people entering the property industry today?
Kit: Be open minded and flexible – be brave to explore and learn various facets of the property industry till you find the niche market that you enjoy most.
API: How long have you been an API member?
Kit: I became a student member in May 1989.
API: What is the greatest benefit you receive from your membership of the API?
Kit: The API has provided me with some great networking opportunities to connect with various members in Australia as well as affiliated offices overseas. The API has also been a great supporter of the profession, providing advice and technical support when needed.