Managing Property Opportunities in Tauranga | Cameron Forlong of Veros Shares his Auckland to Tauranga Story
Ready to start a family, Auckland couple, Cameron and Louise Forlong, began planning their move down to Tauranga in early 2017.
Like many Aucklanders, Cameron worried that leaving the Big Smoke would be a trade-off, that it would require sacrificing a great career for the beaches and family-friendly lifestyle of the Bay. But with both Cameron’s and Louise’s families close by, the compromise seemed worth it.
Cameron was pleasantly surprised to find quite the opposite: he secured an excellent role at Veros Property Services – a good career move that puts his experience in property management to good use.
The family moved down in February 2018 – and their son, Toby, was born a week later! One year after becoming a new Dad in a new city, Cameron continues to make his mark in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato’s ever-changing and growing property scene.
Cameron, where did you grow up?
I grew up in the suburb of Mount Roskill, Auckland, and did most of my schooling there. It is a hugely multi-cultural part of New Zealand and shaped me into being open-minded to cultures from all over the world.
In 2006, I went away for a year and did my O.E. in San Francisco and then worked in Dublin for six months. Then from 2009 to 2011, I lived and worked in Wellington. I loved it there and get back down as often as I can.
Can you give us a snapshot of your career?
I got interested in property at a young age after reading the book ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ and continued to devour books on investment and property into my mid to late teens.
I have worked in commercial property management for eight of the last 12 years, since finishing Auckland University with a Bachelor of Property. My experience spans facilities management, property administration, property management, and in recent years asset management.
Mid-2012 I pivoted, getting into menswear – something a younger me once dreamed of doing. Though I loved dressing well and helping others get kitted out in awesome gear, I realized that it wasn’t the career for me. This led to an opportunity to try recruitment which was a full-on time in my life. I realized that I enjoy selling but not the hardcore pressure sales role. I am better suited to business development.
In 2014, I returned to the property and have been progressing from strength to strength in my career since then.
When did you start thinking about moving to Tauranga?
We started thinking about moving here in early 2017. After my parents moved to Tauranga in November 2016 the pull to move down here was huge as Louise’s parents live close by in the Thames and her siblings and their families live in Tauranga, too.
Since we were planning on starting a family, we knew it would be awesome to have family around to help support us. And while we had an apartment in Auckland, we knew that on one income we wouldn’t be able to own family home, so we started investigating job options in Tauranga.
We moved here in late February 2018 and our son, Toby, was born on 3 March – just a week later!
What was your experience of finding work with Veros?
The role was advertised on Seek. I applied for it via a recruitment consultant and got an interview. I thought moving to Tauranga would be a career-limiting move however once meeting the team at Veros I realized that I would be able to have a career that was as challenging and filled with opportunity as what I had in Auckland.
Tell us about Veros Property Services.
Veros turns ideas into realities. We can take any form of property and add value to it. We operate in three spaces within the property sector:
Property Development – we take a piece of land or a site with an existing building and turn our client’s idea into a reality through an end-to-end property development process.
Asset Management – we manage our clients’ existing property and improve the financial performance through active management while reducing the client’s risk around compliance and health and safety.
Project Management – We manage projects on behalf of our clients whether it is part of a development or construction project.
Tell us about your role at Veros.
I work in asset management and property investment. We manage clients’ existing buildings and help them identify and purchase new assets.
I manage the properties of our existing clients as well as actively get out and meet prospective owners of the property and those who provide services to commercial property owners to see where there are opportunities for us to add value to what they and their clients do.
What’s your perspective on the current growth in Tauranga?
As Tauranga’s population gets larger and more diverse, it will continue to be able to offer more and more. We will see the retail and hospitality sectors continue to grow. We are already seeing world-class retailers put a flag in the ground here which is really encouraging.
Our council needs to continue to develop its approach to intensification so that we can support the population growth by offering a range of housing options. Investment in public transportation will help move people around in vehicles other than cars. Businesses need to do our bit and lead from the front developing both assets and businesses that are thinking about how we can use alternatives to one car per staff member and one desk per person.
What connection have you had with Priority One?
I have met a few of the team at Priority One and have read some of their publications. I think that they are doing a great thing both promoting and advocating for the Bay of Plenty!
What did you hope your Tauranga move would provide for your lifestyle-wise?
We imagined we would be able to spend time at the beach and near the ocean and that we would be able to afford a home close to work. We wanted to have support to raise a family and the space both financially and time-wise to have quality time together. We have been able to enjoy all of these things and more.
What has surprised you about Tauranga?
Just how many players there are here in the property space that are industry leaders both on a regional and a national level. There are huge opportunities in the Bay of Plenty and the Waikato as our regions continue to grow and develop. I see businesses like ours here at Veros taking our approach to property and projects on a nationwide scale.
What do you do for fun here?
We love to get out for swims and walks with our son. We enjoy the good food and coffee that Tauranga has to offer and we also try to get along to festivals and markets.
We love the proximity to the ocean, the laid-back environment, and people with similar goals to us as a family.
What has been challenging about your move?
Being away from most of our close friends in Auckland has been a challenge as we have had to establish new friendships and build into existing ones in a season when we are time poor with our baby son on the scene. Having a few close friends here as well as our family has helped us through and we look forward to continuing to build lifelong connections here in the Bay.
What has moving to Tauranga meant…
For your career?
It has given me the opportunity to head up an asset management business unit rather than just work in one.
For your work/life balance and wellbeing?
I can be home at a reasonable time and I’m able to spend a few lunches a week with my family. I have the space to build lasting and deep friendships with great people rather than forever ‘catching up with our large number of friends in Auckland.
For your relationships?
Fewer friends but deeper relationships. Close to a family which we are loving and we are working on creating good rhythms together as our own family unit.
Gets You Thinking Doesn’t It?
No one can tell you when you’re ready for a change of lifestyle…but when you are, we’d love to have you in Tauranga! Join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TaurangaWelcomesYou