In Conversation with Hayden Church,JLL’s Rookie of the Year 2021

We talk to our Rookie of the Year for 2021 about his journey in real estate, career highlights so far, and predictions for the future of the commercial property industry.

September 06, 2022

“Infectious positive energy”, “personable” and “team player” are just a few of the words that come to mind for colleagues when asked to describe Hayden Church. A testament to his efforts, after only two years at JLL, the promising Industrial Sales and Leasing Broker was awarded JLL NZ Rookie Agent of the Year and Company Rising Star in 2021. 

Hayden had an inspiring start to his career at JLL. “His professionalism and high level of integrity was noticed not only by our clients but by his colleagues alike,” says Jolyon Thomson, Head of Logistics and Industrial NZ at JLL. “Hayden’s hunger to learn was truly reflected in his performance. All of this amidst a Covid-19 environment made it even more impressive.” 

Ahead, we chat with the JLL up-and-comer about his journey in real estate, career highlights and predictions for the future of commercial real estate. 


Rising Star
A company-wide award. It recognises a person in the business who not only strives for their own personal success but the success of others. 

Rookie of the Year
Awarded to an individual who, in their first two years at the company, shows outstanding potential with a drive to learn and succeed in the agency business.


Tell us about a typical day in your life at JLL
I advise clients on industrial property sales and leasing across Auckland’s North Shore. This involves helping vendors achieve a premium result for the sale of their property and landlords securing tenants for their property with favourable lease terms. I also assist tenants in finding the right space to meet their business needs.

What do you enjoy most about your role?
Helping people with arguably their biggest financial decisions and delivering the best solutions for all parties involved. I love being part of a collaborative industrial team and the culture of the wider JLL company. Every day is different and exciting. 

What inspired you to get into commercial real estate?
Experience as a commercial property valuer and a property degree at Auckland University paved a pathway into the industry. After speaking with several people in the industry and learning more about the nature of the job, I knew I wanted to be involved with key stakeholders in property.

Why JLL – what drew you to working here?
JLL NZ is in a growth phase that appealed to me as I’m eager to grow alongside them. We are also backed by JLL globally, which is one of the biggest real estate firms in the world. Renowned for an inclusive culture, it was the perfect place for me to develop my career.

In your first year of real estate, what did you find the biggest challenge?
Securing controlled stock. The industrial market is tightly held and vacancy rates are very low, so winning listings against other agents who have existing relationships and track records can be a challenge. This tested my determination, so every success I have is very rewarding.

Tell us about some of your career highlights since joining JLL
Selling five from six properties at auction in my first few months of brokerage was a highlight, particularly with having to adapt to a new ‘online auction’ method due to the Covid-19 environment. A big win was brokering a deal which had a sale value over $10 million. 

What are some of the biggest obstacles for commercial real estate brokers currently?
The changing market environment with rising interest rates and economic uncertainty. It is important to have your finger on the pulse so that you can keep your clients informed with the property market conditions.

What strategies do you think have contributed to your successes?
Establishing and maintaining strong relationships based on a high level of trust and integrity. Providing my clients with regular updates about the market, including recent sales and leasing activity. Being proactive and always active across the market has also been key.

How would you describe the industrial sales and leasing market in Auckland today?
Due to the low vacancy rates across Auckland, buildings are leasing very quickly when they do come available. The strong demand and increasing competition is resulting in multi-offer situations and rising rental rates. In terms of sales, we’re expecting a moderate softening in 2022 due to rising interest rates. Quality stock will remain stable. 

How do you think the industry will evolve over the coming years?
I believe the logistics and industrial market will be heavily influenced by the surging e-commerce sector. I also think that more energy will be placed on sustainability within the real estate sector. JLL feels strongly about this and so do many of our clients.

What are your goals for the next 12 months?
Continue to develop my skill set and knowledge of the real estate sector as a whole. Build new relationships and strengthen existing ones through best-in-class service.

If you could give a graduate aspiring to get into commercial real estate some advice, what would it be?
Don’t be scared to pick up the phone. Create relationships both internally within the company and externally with clients. Have a comprehensive database and patch strategy prepared before you start, so you can hit the ground running!


Have a question for Hayden?

Get in touch:

Hayden Church,Senior Broker, Logistics & Industrial
Hayden Church
Senior Broker, Logistics & Industrial