M3PRORERTY senior valuer Michael Leech is one of the candidates seeking to be elected to the board of the Australian Property Institute (API).
Australian Property Journal spoke to Leech to find out why he is seeking to be elected to the API board.
Leech said as a property professional under 30 years old, he can offer the perspective of younger members and what they want in the API, as well as bring diversity to the board.
He added that the industry is evolving so fast with everything becoming digital and younger members are asking what their future will look like, in five or 10 years time.
Leech believes currently there is a disconnect and believes more should be done to help young property professionals carving out their career in the industry.
Leech said younger members are the future of the Institute and the API needs to remain relevant to younger professionals, to give them reasons why they want to be API members.
- What is your interest to come on board with the Australian Property Institute?
I am currently in my fourth year as the Young Property Professional (YPP) Representative (Observer) to the API National Board of Directors, a role I have held since November 2014. I see the great and necessary role that the Institute plays and I want to continue to contribute and be a driving force for change.
I see the property field as a rapidly changing space with technology and digital disruption providing huge opportunities for growth. The next generation of property professionals need to be at the forefront of this change and growth and I want to contribute, ensuring API remains at the forefront of the property industry.
- What financial experience or expertise do you bring to the API?
Having been the YPP Observer to the API Board for four years, I understand the financial literacy directors require and I have a wide variety of experience and learnings from working with financial reporting documents that I can contribute to the API.
This is coupled with strengthening my financial acumen over time with my role within the Litigation and Acquisition division of m3property, Melbourne. Given this, my experience in observing the Board of Directors and the continuity I could bring, I now believe I am fully prepared to take on the role as an elected director and represent API members.
- What governance experience do you bring to the API?
Having been the YPP Observer to the API Board, I understand the good governance principles required for member organisations such as the API, such as integrity, ethics and culture.
I was actively involved with establishing the YPP Committee Charters introduced to each YPP State Committee and also have governed national YPP meetings as Chair, integrating strategy and cohesion across a national membership base.
I’m constantly looking for ways to learn and stay on top of current trends and research, so I have undertaken a variety of governance courses through my previous association with Australian Institute of Company Directors. These courses have ensured I have an understanding of director’s duties and responsibilities together with corporate governance and risk issues so I think I can bring my key learnings to the National Board of Directors and ensure they we stay relevant and at the forefront of the industry.
- What strategic planning experience do you bring to the API?
I have taken an active role in the formulation and implementation of the API’s Strategy, particularly in the synergies and growth between the API and YPP membership and I’d love to continue to evolve this strategy if I am elected.
- To further pursue API’s strategic direction, it would be of great benefit if prospective Directors could contribute advocacy, policy and/or digital communications experience to the Board. What is your experience in one or more of these areas?
My role as YPP Observer to the API Board has ensured I have had the voice to advocate to the younger membership demographic about the importance of the property industry and the role the future generation must take now to ensure API remains the peak industry body. This is something I’m very passionate about and will continue to advocate for.
Additionally, as a young professional with a wide network, I can assist with transforming the API’s digital communications by contributing to a comprehensive social media strategy that engages various platforms. As well, I think that we could look at things like SEO to increase membership.
- In general, what can you bring to the API and why should members elect you?
Young professionals within the property profession are curious by nature, have the courage to think outside the box and ask the necessary questions to adapt this ever evolving profession.
By choosing me as an elected director, we can ensure the next generation of young property professionals have their voices heard at a director level, provide diversity and fresh ideas, and guarantee that the API remains the first home for property professionals now and into the future.
Online voting is now open until 23:59 AEST on Thursday 17 May 2018. Members are encouraged to register and vote at https://www.api.org.au/news/meet-candidates-2018-api-board-elections
Australian Property Journal