What was it that led you to a career in private residential property development?
I think like most people I fell into the property world by mistake. After studying a Bachelor of Music Majoring in Music Theatre at the QLD Conservatorium of music I moved back to Sydney, but had fallen out of love with theatre. After doing some soul searching and career planning, I found myself at a local Sydney Creative Agency and thrown into the deep end in the property world, not knowing the difference between and Floor Plate or a Floor Plan or what a CGI was, I quickly learned and as a result, a love for an industry I never considered, was born.
Looking back over your career, what were the key personal attributes you feel most enabled your career progression?
I really thrive being thrown in the deep end and just having to work it out. I don’t like failing at anything I do and while I’m not perfect I will always put in the hard work required to get the job done. Even in my first job out of Uni as an office manager I took it seriously and I would come in early and leave late and make the effort to prove to the senior management team that I had what it takes. I remember when I stumbled into the world of off the plan property and I knew I was in over my head I took my self for a walk to the Domain and said “Marcus you have stumbled upon something special here, yes it’s scary but scary is good so work it out and work hard! And if you don’t know something Google it.” I also decided a few years ago that I had to start saying Yes to things that I would normally say no to or that made me nervous and uncomfortable. That was the best decision I ever made, so many doors started opening.
Your role in guiding and leading others seems to play a significant part in your career and you mention those who have guided and inspired you. Tell us a little bit more about the responsibility of being a role model?
As an out gay man in property, I feel it’s my responsibility to create visibility for other queer people who work in the property industry. The saying “Be the person you always needed or wanted” rings true to me, so leading with authenticity is so important. Creating visibility is the easiest way to create space for other queer people and I make sure it’s at the forefront of what I do every day at work, events and in my daily life.
If you could do anything differently – if you were starting out again in your career… what would it be?.
I’m certainly not perfect and I make mistakes regularly, but I wouldn’t change anything. I think we spend too much time worrying about what could have been, instead of living in the moment. And celebrating that all the good, bad and ugly moments in our life make up who we are! So I relish in them and have enjoyed my journey so far.
With regard to mentoring… what is the best piece of advice you have either been given… or have given to one of your mentees?
I don’t think there is just one piece of single advice I have been given that I follow. But I have and have had some incredibly special humans in my life that I have looked up to and admired that gave me the determination to keep going.
What would you say that would encourage others to follow in your footsteps and become a Young Leader of the future?
Go to everything and apply for everything! What’s the worst that can happen? Building a strong network is the key to your success, so getting your name out there is important. But also find something you are passionate about that could promote some real change or help people. You can’t just do things that serve you, that isn’t what being a leader is about.
If we were sitting here in 12 -24 months’ time – what would you like to be celebrating in terms of your career.
I’m working on a few international opportunities at the moment with DisplaySweet. I want to take our amazing tech and show the world just how great it is! But also just how great the work we do in Australia is! There’s a big wide world out there and I want to meet more people, learn more and bring it back to Australia and advance how we sell and market property.
This interview forms part of a UDIA D&I Committee initiative series to encourage and highlight more diversity in UDIA and the property industry. It is intended to highlight diversity by profiling our members through industry publications on a regular basis throughout the year. Thank you to Marcus Skeggs, Account Director – ANZ, DisplaySweet.
Since 2018, the Diversity & Inclusion Committee has been one of the key Business Advisory Committees for the UDIA NSW, focussed on improving and promoting diversity and inclusion in the UDIA and our industry. This year, we launched the ‘One Thing’ campaign – celebrating and sharing the ‘one thing’ that we’re doing to empower people by respecting, supporting and appreciating what makes them different, in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, beliefs, disability, sexual orientation, and education. What’s your One Thing?