Unrivalled agribusiness know-how

March 3 2022 - 7:00am
Warm welcome: In May of 2021, Leah Freney was welcomed into the Colliers Agribusiness team as associate director of transactions.

Leah Freney is a critical contributor and figurehead, whose experience in the agribusiness sector both personally and professionally is unrivalled. A finalist in the Property Council of Australia "100 Women in Property", her experience and achievements are widely regarded.

Growing up with family connections in agriculture, Leah knew early on in her career that she wanted to specialise in agribusiness. Knowing the industry encompassed a broad spectrum of operations and management processes that required a high level of understanding of community and property data, her interest in agribusiness valuations and advisory developed.

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While obtaining her Bachelor of Property Economics at CQU, Leah worked as an operator in the mines and contract mustered between central and western Queensland. She then spent seven years in large international firms in Qld, the NT, WA and northern NSW providing expert valuation, consultancy and advisory services for intensive agricultural assets for mortgage and non-mortgage related clients.

In May of 2021, the Colliers Agribusiness team welcomed her to the position of associate director of transactions, citing her extensive experience across the agribusiness sector as a major drawcard. Leah believes the years she spent working in valuations, ownership of property and livestock as well as her hands-on experience in the industry has given her an in-depth understanding of agribusiness production and what is important when communicating with vendors and selling properties.

"It's vital to consider all aspects of the property, from nearby sales data, to production, yield, business financials, machinery, the locality and having an in depth understanding of the vendors' management and vision for the property," she said.

With $80million in current listings, it's clear Leah has the tools at her disposal to sell with confidence. Each property she has sold with Colliers Agribusiness has exceeded the reserve price and she's breaking records as she goes. The sale of Jondell, a macadamia property on the Sunshine Coast, broke the dryland record price ($8.550m) that had stood for more than 10 years.

"We knew public opinion was that Jondell was a unique property that would attract a specific buyer pool, however I saw the potential in the exceptional capital expenditure works and management style of the vendors. After accumulating and analysing all data at our disposal, we broke it down and identified the key points surrounding actual yield, production, capital expenditure works, on-site structures, attributes of the property and locality. In this case, my valuations experience was key to selling Jondell at that price point."

Leah's also an avid volunteer who has worked extensively with indigenous students and people with disabilities through her involvement with TAFE Queensland's Horticulture course that has run at her family property in Bli Bli over seven years and continues her engagement through planned future projects.

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