The man behind the signboard: Steve Clapham

Steve Clapham, Director Office Leasing in Knight Frank’s North Sydney office has been an instrumental team player since commencing with the business in 2012.

In his time he has grown from being a great operator to a fantastic leader of the business. Steve’s strengths lie in his ability to partner and understand his client’s needs and formulating strategies and plans to achieve their goals. He has become a market leader across the North Shore working on some key projects and delivering outstanding results for his clients. His ‘go get’ attitude and positive outlook on everything brings tremendous energy to the team and we are indeed lucky to have him at Knight Frank.

Join us as we get to know about our ‘Man behind the signboard’ this edition. 

*Post-publication note: In November, Steve Clapham and Giuseppe Ruberto, Partner, Head of Office Leasing, North Sydney, were awarded the 2018 Centuria Office Leasing Team of the Year for their work on The Zenith, Chatswood. The team has done 16 deals across nearly 5,500 sqm of space in the suburban asset over the last 12 months and the 42,000 sqm twin tower is now 100% leased for the first time in 20 years!

What was your journey into commercial real estate?

I always knew I liked the idea of working in property. Residential seemed too emotional to me so I was drawn to the commercial side. After completing a Bachelor of Business (Property) at Western Sydney University and traveling for a year I reached out to everyone I knew in the industry. After a few introductions I met Andy Collins who was our then National Director of Office Leasing. He took the time to meet me and talk about leasing at Knight Frank and he put me forward for a role in North Sydney. I’ve been working with Giuseppe Ruberto ever since.

What qualities does someone need to be a successful leasing agent?

The best agents are tenacious – being able to take the good with the bad, personable – ability to relate to everyone, and proactive – always looking at the future.

How do you make sure you understand your client’s needs?

Ask questions, but mainly listen! Constantly reporting on the market and surrounding markets often help in defining where my client’s interests lie and what is important for them.

What is the one thing you see as most important when marketing a property?

A clear message to the market. Making sure the client and agent are on the same page and are sharing their goals and drivers will always deliver the best results. Results will come from a clear message from marketing, pricing and presentation.

What do you enjoy about leasing?

Leasing agents have the ability to shape the success of an asset through their own advice and transactions.  It’s always rewarding finishing a campaign and knowing you’ve achieved the best for your client and the tenants. Interacting with people in all facets of business also make the day to day enjoyable.

What are the biggest opportunities you see in your role?

The new developments bringing improved amenity and quality tenants plus the Metro link adding additional connectivity throughout Sydney will see North Sydney become a future extension of the CBD and a serious option for occupiers.

Next year I want to move the Knight Frank North Sydney office to a new pre-commitment building in North Sydney, and then sublease the excess space…. Double fees! On a serious note though, having been involved in the North Sydney leasing team becoming market leaders and watching the NSW business evolve – it is exciting to see what’s next.

What have been some of your career highlights?

  • 100% leasing The Zenith towers (44,000 sqm) in Chatswood
  • Relocating Nokia from both Pyrmont and Rhodes to North Sydney for 5,000 sqm
  • Relocating British Telecom to 76 Berry Street, North Sydney (1,500 sqm)
  • Working with an extremely talented team and seeing our hard work translate into solid market share.

Tell us about your best deal this year?  

After relocating BRS out of 111 Pacific Highway in to 80 Pacific Highway we were able to backfill their space with Nokia on a long term lease, taking the tenant from both Pyrmont and Rhodes to North Sydney for 5,000 sqm. The deal resulted in less than 3 months downtime for our client and significantly reduced risk in their largest North Shore asset.

On a more personal note…

What’s your idea of absolute happiness?

Going on holidays with my fiance, Ella and son, Billy (17 months). We love any destination with hot weather. With a baby, travelling long haul is not to be taken on lightly these days… despite all that we’re heading to the UK winter this December.

If you had a different job, what would it be?

When I was at university I started a rubbish removal company with two mates. We had a Daihatsu Delta tipper truck. If I stuck with that we would have likely franchised it and be retired by now!

Who is your role model?

My dad – he has always been there for steady and sound advice throughout my life.