Celebrating a milestone in New Zealand
After 35 years operating in New Zealand, JLL NZ, one of the country's first global real estate operations, continues to shape the future of real estate for a better world.
When JLL set up its first New Zealand office in Auckland, microwaves were only just being introduced into homes, construction hadn’t begun on the Sky Tower and the All Blacks were yet to win the inaugural Rugby World Cup.
“As one of the country’s first global real estate organisations, JLL NZ has operated through record levels of societal, market and technological change – and as the country’s evolved, so has JLL,” says Todd Lauchlan, Managing Director of JLL NZ.
A Fortune 500 company with over 100,000 employees globally across over 80 countries, we’re consistently recognised as a world leader in real estate services.
We’re also always striving to build a better tomorrow for our clients, our people and our communities. Globally, JLL has been voted one of Ethisphere’s World’s Most Ethical Companies (for 15 years), Fortune World’s Most Admired Companies (for five years) and for the third consecutive year, we were listed on the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index.
Then and now
“In 35 years, we have achieved fantastic growth
by focusing on our clients and growing with them,”
Established in 1986, JLL NZ—formerly Jones Lang Wootton (JLW)—was a global pioneer in the local property landscape. John Cameron, Chief Executive of JLL NZ, says the company introduced new ideas and attitudes to the industry. “We were able to provide new services such as tenant representation, buy-side roles and insolvency advice.” The latter, an integral service post the October 1987 stock market crash.
The ability to assist both occupiers and investors with independence gave us a significant advantage over any other firm at the time.
Since 1986, New Zealand’s population has increased from around 3.2 million to 5.1 million - growth that’s directly reflected in the property industry, according to Lauchlan.
In early 2021, the Property Council of New Zealand commissioned Urban Economics to investigate the economic impact of the New Zealand property industry. The results were startling: in the decade from 2009 to 2019, the sector’s direct contribution to GDP ballooned from $21.6 billion (12 percent of total GDP) to $41.2 billion (15 percent of GDP). This equates to 90 percent growth in 10 years. To put that into perspective, the closest industry rival was manufacturing at $30.7 billion.
Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington have experienced record levels of expansion and modernisation. You only need to look up to the cranes towering in every direction for proof. From offices to industrial, rapid increases in commercial properties—and in turn transactions—continues to cement the value of comprehensive professional advice. “This development is mirrored in JLL NZ, as we continue to scale-up to meet demand. We’ve grown from 12 staff to 180 since we opened,” says Cameron.
As a country, New Zealanders clearly see the value in real estate. The combined value of KiwiSaver schemes is $74.8 billion, with $3.3 billion invested in property. It also accounts for nine percent of total employment – the country’s fourth largest employer.
It’s a lucrative sector that’s naturally attracted significant overseas interest and investment. “We’ve become a globalised market. This is what attracts clients to JLL NZ – we have the backing of one of the world’s strongest global real estate networks combined with unrivalled, specialised, local market knowledge.”
JLL’s New Zealand history includes multiple sales of a global nature.
There was the sale of 125 Queen St on behalf of the BNZ Officers’ Provident Association, first to Morningside Asia in 1989 and then on to the Sultan of Brunei in 1991. It was the largest office deal in Auckland at the time. Jones Lang LaSalle also helped broker 28 hectares of the Ports of Auckland land to Viaduct Harbour Holdings in 1996, and the $1 billion redevelopment of 153 hectares of commercial land to Macquarie Goodman in 2004, now known as Highbrook Business Park.
More recently, JLL NZ was involved in the leasing, valuation and sale of the $213 million office development One Ten in Newmarket due to open early 2023.
In May 2022, the sale of Six Senses Fiji, a premier five-star luxury resort, was exclusively managed by JLL Hotels and Hospitality brokers Nick Thompson (New Zealand) and Peter Harper (Australia) - an example of JLL leveraging its global network to reach the best result. Six Senses Fiji’s future is now secured under its new owner and will be operated by predominantly local Fijian staff, employing over 130 people.
Looking to the future
Even with more than three decades of history under our belt, Lauchlan assures us we are only just getting started. “Our next step in the journey is to keep growing and diversifying our New Zealand business, while leading in property technology (PropTech).”
An example of this is the launch of JLL Spark, led by experienced Silicon Valley investors and entrepreneurs. “Bringing these new, technology-driven real estate offerings to New Zealand signals an exciting period of more growth opportunities for us and our clients.”
In a sustainability sense, as a global company, we have an inherent duty to drive corporate social responsibility efforts. We have long-term sustainability targets in our sights and are actively collaborating with our clients to bring these to life.
What hasn’t changed is our purpose: we remain steadfast now, more than ever, to shape the future of real estate for a better world.
JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. JLL shapes the future of real estate for a better world by using the most advanced technology to create rewarding opportunities, amazing spaces and sustainable real estate solutions for our clients, our people and our communities. JLL is a Fortune 500 company with annual revenue of $19.4 billion, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of more than 102,000 as of June 30, 2022. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit jll.com.