Progressive and market-leading solutions for the Millennials

Lisa Gledhill, Commercial & Development Director, Lendlease

Lisa always had an inclination towards the male-dominated industries. Her background is in civil engineering and she is a Chartered Civil Engineer but her journey eventually brought her to the property development world. Passionate about equality and diversity Lisa is always happy to help people get a step up a rung on the ladder, especially if it helps to right the balances.

Lisa joined Lendlease in 2010, working in various commercial roles before her current role as Commercial and Development Director for Lendlease’s latest S$3.2billion urban regeneration project in Singapore, Paya Lebar Quarter. The project offers progressive work spaces, retail and entertainment facilities as well as exclusive residences set within generous lush green spaces. “Moving my family to Singapore was a bold decision I made as bringing my 7year old, at the time, into a new environment also meant taking a big risk as a parent” says Lisa.

Having started out as an engineer, she ventured into the property development world to take on the challenges of managing the different facets; revenue, costs, placemaking, architecture, design, construction, sustainability, marketing, community relationships etc.

“The strategy work behind bidding for a plot of land involving the whole process of conceptualizing and then delivering a development, seeing the urban regeneration potential for the future and the place that we will be creating, a living and breathing environment for people to live, work and play. This is tremendously satisfying” says Lisa.

Lisa shares some more insights from her exciting journey with Team ABT here.

How is Lendlease addressing the growing challenges in the industry today?
Lendlease is always on the lookout for progressive and market-leading solutions that will positively impact our stakeholders. Our focus is always on people and a vision that puts people at the core of our business by creating the best of active, green and engaged environments for them to live, work and play. A great example of this would be Paya Lebar Quarter which will regenerate the area, and catalyse the creation of a bustling, pedestrian-friendly, new city precinct and a dynamic regional business hub.

Paya Lebar Quarter has benchmarked several industry-first initiatives. We were the first in Singapore to be registered for the WELL Core and Shell Certification, the world’s first building standard focused exclusively on the well-being and productivity of occupants, for nearly one million square feet of Grade A workspaces across our three office towers. We are also the first developer to use a 3D virtual reality modelling platform for the entire development in Singapore. The technology enables us to create a 3D model of what the completed project will look like so people can “walk through” it even before it is built, providing stakeholders with an experiential overview of the project.

In your view, are Millennials impacting the Real Estate sector – demand & supply?
Definitely – millennials represent more than 45 percent of Asia’s population and 60 percent of the world’s millennials are expected to live in Asia by 2020. Millennials are projected to have more spending power than any other previous generation and their values around technology, social responsibility and instant gratification have changed the way companies do business. The millennial generation alone has engineered the revolution of some industries and the descent of others that have not updated their practices to remain relevant. Millennials are poised to reshape the economy, changing the dynamics of buying and selling in business.

In real estate, technology plays a big role in prompting the emergence of new trends. Millennials are digitally savvy and are more likely to look online for their real estate demands and organisations that do not have an online presence offering an interactive and immersive experience for consumers will be less likely to be successful with the millennial generation. It has also created a generation that favors a ‘rental culture’. This has prompted concepts such as co-working and living spaces as the ‘sharing economy’ gains popularity as well as businesses looking to integrate holistic health and wellness lifestyle offerings to appeal to millennials.

What are your expectations from the sector, given the changing dynamics & social media influence?
Millennials are driving changes in real estate and companies must innovate in order to remain relevant. The channels where consumers are getting their information are changing along with values of a generation that has grown up in a digital age. Traditional views are shifting beyond form and function, taking into account technological transformations towards creating holistic environments with the people at its core. Big data in real estate and its impact on decision-making will be extremely valuable to identify forward-looking data analytics and trends to help businesses make informed decisions.

According to you, what are the key industry trends to watch out for?
Integrated environments that allow people to ‘live, work, and play’ will continue to grow in demand along with the millennial mindset. Schedules are getting heavier and flexibility and convenience will be a buzzword for future generations. People want to live in a place where they can grab a bite, get their exercise, commute to work and grab a drink all in a day’s work. The real estate industry will need to focus on strengthening our ‘heartware’ with developments that provide a complete ecosystem that connects people at various social and recreational touch points outside of their daily activities. Since only a small proportion of millennials will be able to afford the high cost of city living, the industry will also see more mixed-use developments in emerging new-city precincts in fringe locations but with good connectivity.

Through our Paya Lebar Quarter project, we brought some of these concepts alive. The development enjoys excellent connectivity being just 10 minutes from the CBD and 15 minutes to the airport anddirectly integrated with Paya Lebar MRT Interchange. It will feature inclusive urban spaces with a complete ecosystem that will integrate commerce with other human activities, while addressing urban mobility and accessibility concerns. Its human-centric design with world class amenities will provide communities with the opportunity for social connection and the ability to walk to the things they need and the places they like amidst generous, lush green public spaces to bond and relax.

If you were to do any one thing differently, what would that be?
I had the opportunity to move to Singapore in 1995 with Arup but I decided against it. Had I gone for it then who knows how things might have panned out? Having said that, I met my husband in 1996 in the UK so maybe it all worked out for the best.

What would you like to achieve in the coming years?
Developing future leaders is key for every business and as I progress in my career, I find more and more satisfaction from coaching and mentoring people through their challenges. You can make a significant impact by helping people to learn and grow, giving them the benefit of your experience. This is what I would like for my legacy. Having said that, I have also still got my eye on that CEO spot.