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August 09 Edition Cover

Business - June 2020

03 Jun 2020

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A familiar face returns to Docklands

By Jack Hayes

Amid all the uncertainty of a global pandemic, the return of one Docklands stalwart has come as a pleasant reprieve.

Heidi Sparks, an award-winning professional with more than 20 years’ experience in resi- dential real estate, is back in Docklands and is calling Nelson Alexander home.

Mrs Sparks left Docklands almost a decade ago after a long-serving tenure at NewQuay giant, MAB Corporation, where she grew and developed a love for inner-city property management.

Now, after spending eight years working on the Mornington Peninsula where she earned the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) Property Manager of the Year for 2018 and 2019, she is back in Docklands and feeling at home.

“I was happy with where I was, but my hus- band and I just felt it was the right time to move back,”MrsSparkssaid.“Myeldestsonisstarting high school in the next couple of years; all our friends and family still live in Melbourne; there was a whole lifetime drawing us back here.”

“Working in the inner city was a priority for me because this is an area I really love working in property. It has been incredible being able to come back to Docklands.”

Mrs Sparks will oversee Nelson Alexander’s rental department while continuing her work as Victoria’s premier property manager and, in the process, educating a new generation of realestate professionals.

Admittedly, a change in career during a glob-al pandemic is far from ideal, but Mrs Sparks has found a reward in these challenging times.

“The major difficulty has been adjusting to changes in rules and regulations to the Residential Tenancy Act (1997),” she said.

“It has been a big adjustment as we can’t issue certain notices as we would normally, all the while staying informed regarding negotiations relating COVID-19 rent reductions and so on.” “It has been challenging, but also interesting to witness the changes to come out of this.”

With the overall decline of Australia’s prop- erty market much smaller than most analysts expected, and defying fears that property prices could lose a third of their value in a worst-case economic scenario, Mrs Sparks has optimism for the future of Docklands.

“It [Docklands] was very different then, to what it is now. When I left there was nowhere near the number of buildings and activity com- pared to Docklands today,” she said.

“Even in the face of COVID-19, I have a feel- ing it will bounce back bigger and better than ever.”

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