Samantha Stark is based in Christchurch and is a Director of Valuations specialising in the valuation of retirement villages and aged care facilities throughout New Zealand. Since joining Colliers in 2009 she has developed a high level of expertise in this sector and is actively involved on a daily basis in valuations of these specialist business and property entities for mortgage security, sale and acquisition, and general valuation purposes.
What is your academic and professional background?
After a few years travelling overseas, I went back to study at the University of South Australia, and I chose a Bachelor of Business specialising in property as I had grown up with my mum owning a property management firm. She was the first female president of the Property Council, South Australia. I saw her success as an industry leader in South Australian retail property and wanted to follow in her footsteps. In my second year of university, I got a job with Colliers Adelaide as the State Research Analyst, then moved into a graduate valuer role on completion of my degree. I have stayed with Colliers my entire career, including a stint in the Colliers Darwin office before moving to Christchurch. I specialise in aged care and retirement living valuations around New Zealand.
What’s the most fulfilling aspect of your role and what do you love about your job?
I really enjoy specialising in the retirement living and aged care sector, as I have a wide variety of work and cover all parts of New Zealand, so I get to see some cool places. I am always learning, and it is great to be part of a growing industry. I get a lot of satisfaction out of analysing the business component and passing on our knowledge and expertise to our clients.
What is the most challenging part of your role?
Time management. A large part of our work is focused on year-end financial reporting, so it is challenging scheduling them all in and balancing my time with a young family. We make it work with good planning and regular communication with our clients.
How has Covid-19 impacted your sector?
We have not slowed down over the past couple of years. Fortunately, valuations are still required even during lockdowns, and we just had to adjust the way we work, with limitations on inspections and client interaction. For the aged care and retirement village sector there have been many challenges over the past couple of years with additional safety measures to protect residents, together with staffing issues, including a lack of overseas workers, which has all put pressure on the bottom line.
What’s one piece of professional development advice that you would recommend to other people?
Embrace all opportunities that come your way, attend as many events and seminars as possible to build your network and knowledge base. Also, learn as much from your team as you can and ask lots of questions.