In the latest of our Global Series interviews we are taking you to the “land down under” where we spoke to Jaime Upton who is one of the top brokers in the city of Sydney. Originally from the U.K, Jaime and Guy have worked together on a few referrals between both London and Sydney and the clear connection between the cities and countries. We even managed to not talk Cricket or Rugby!
1. Which City/ area are you from?
2. What are the best things to do/ see where you live?
Sydney is located on one of the most beautiful harbours in the word – Sydney Harbour surrounded by incredible Pacific Ocean coastline. With summer-like temperatures around 8 months of the year active outdoor activities are some of the best things to do and see in and around the harbour and ocean such as boating and walking, you can even climb the Harbour Bridge! Dine your way through a stay. I love Sydney restaurants, there are plenty of them from casual to fine dining and some of the very best I have experienced in my travels. Long relaxing family, friends and client Friday/Saturday/Sunday lunches are a Sydney institution, often overlooking our magnificent harbour. Sydney is the arts and theatre epicentre of Australia with the Sydney Opera House as a showstopping venue leading the way. When the weather turns a little cooler, just 2 hours’ drive from Sydney is The Hunter Valley, a spectacular wine region and countryside.
3. Tell us a little about your market?
Sydney prestige market has been thriving for many years and decades with the exception of, in my lifetime, the GFC period to which it recovered and went on to experience exponential capital growth. Some might say that Sydney real estate punches well above its weight on a global scale and has often been featured over the years within top 10 most expensive real estate cities in the world-reports. Most expensive apartment sale achieved to date at AUD140,000,000 is a soon-to-be complete 1,600m2 city penthouse which sold in 2019 to an Australian Chinese family. Most expensive house sale achieved to date at AUD100,000,000 is located on 11,200m2 of prime harbourside Eastern Suburb land in the country’s most expensive postcode – 2027, Point Piper which sold in 2018 to an Australian tech-entrepreneur.
4. What is your favourite listing currently on your books and why?
‘Tresco’, a stately sandstone waterfront home which dates to 1868, has stood the test of time on its original Elizabeth Bay site as our Harbour City exploded around it. It’s also on the market for AUD50,000,000 — but the 150 years of high society stories this Victorian manor and its cascading gardens hold are priceless. ‘Tresco’ was owned by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and used as the official residence for senior officers for almost 100 years until it was bought privately in 2004. While it has served as the scene of many glittering gatherings, its most famous visitors were in 1986 when Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth was the guest of honour at the RAN’s 75th birthday celebrations.
This trophy home is set on 3,300m2 of prime Sydney-east waterfront land making it very unique on many fronts. Attraction has been drawn from high net worth Sydney and overseas based ex-pat buyers because of their interest in owning a large compound-style secure trophy home on (call me biased) the best harbour in the world less than 3km from Sydney’s CBD with direct waterfront access and boating facilities. As the property has its own double sided wharf and with extra sea wall pillars, those with involvement in boating have especially sought out to inspect my favourite listing.
5. How has the Covid-19 Pandemic affected your location?
Fortunately real estate services are considered essential in Sydney at the moment. Whilst mostly staying indoors has provided the opportunity to build business, we have been able to show our listed properties by appointment only, one person at a time. This has allowed for moving forward of property sales including those which are scheduled to go to auction. Virtual auctions are now taking place instead of onsite. Certainly, we are more than ever embracing technology with video virtual inspections offered via Facetime and Zoom and interactive 3D virtual inspections conducted for each property listing. Of all sales results achieved, we have not seen any direct evidence of COVID-19 affecting our market in any significant downward fashion as yet. So far, so good!
6. What are your best tips for living/ working from home?
Focus, focus, focus! When I lose focus I use an hour of power trick to make small but truly massive progress. I believe productivity levels are a direct reflection of our energy levels, therefore it is absolutely essential to take care of our health and keep active. I go for daily long walks, minimum 10,000 steps per day and able to get in (morning/evening/lunchtime) livestreaming yoga sessions at home from my regular yoga studio. This alone has been an absolute godsend! Drink lots of water, get a quality night’s rest and eat lightly where possible!
7. Your best real estate story?
Not one story, the whole story. Apart from successfully navigating my way through (and surviving!) some very nice double digit deals and in some cases the opportunity of reselling those properties and servicing those clients to the highest level, I would have to say meeting the most extraordinary people on a daily basis who become clients and sometimes friends for life has become a huge part of who I am. Working within the best luxury real estate brand and network in the world for 8 years where I have experienced the opportunity of referring multiple clients as sellers to our global offices [GPB60,000,000 to London, USD100,000,000 to USA] buyers to many more, has been hugely rewarding not withstanding an incredible value-add to my long standing client-base.
8. Where is on your travel bucket list?
Bahamas, Maldives, Greece, parts of Italy I have not been to, Africa to name a few. And also returning to some of my all-time ultra-favourites – London, South of France, Almalfi, Rome, Paris, Bangkok, Koh Samui and Hong Kong.
9. And finally…….. when are you coming to visit us in London!?
As always, I truly cannot wait to get back to London ASAP. A brilliant city and one in which I feel very at home. Open all borders, fire up the planes and I am there!