Precinct-focused real estate investment trust (Reit) Liberty Two Degrees (L2D) has added to its team of experienced asset managers, with Carmen Collison now managing the Eastgate shopping centre, in east Johannesburg.
Collison previously managed retail assets across a number of listed portfolios, one of which was awarded the best performing property fund over three years by MSCI South Africa.
L2D COO Jonathan Sinden tells Engineering News Online that asset managers are responsible for managing the performance of their respective assets and driving portfolio returns through income optimisation.
In light of this, the Reit has appointed L2D analysis head Sumenthree Moodley, who will oversee the monitoring of the operational performance of the company portfolio, analysis of trading patterns and financial returns against budgets and benchmarks.
Meanwhile, L2D asset managers Nikiwe Mkhabela, Brian Unsted and Bharathi Kawal have taken up additional responsibilities in managing their respective assets. Sinden states that L2D has promoted these employees owing to the company’s strong belief in growing and providing opportunities to its people.
Mkhabela now manages the Sandton City precinct, which includes the Sandton City shopping centre. She was previously nominated for the 2015 South African Women’s Property Network Young Achiever Award.
Kawal, who has 15 years’ experience in the retail property industry, was appointed asset manager from her prior position as senior portfolio analyst. She will now manage Botshabelo Mall and the office portfolio.
Unsted manages Nelson Mandela Square, Liberty Promenade and Liberty Midlands Mall.
Sinden points out that the company prides itself in having black women manage some of South Africa’s most iconic assets, making the Reit’s portfolio one of the most transformed in the industry.
Moreover, to assist the asset managers in optimising asset and tenant efficacy, L2D has an advanced analytics and data set methodology using fintech capabilities.
“The analytics derived from the data collected allows the company to better understand tenants and shoppers’ ever-changing needs and subsequently relevantly provide offerings that meet their requirements,” says Sinden.
Moodley, meanwhile, heads the analyst team, which oversees the monitoring of operational performance of the portfolio, analysing trading patterns and financial returns against budgets and benchmarks.
L2D has systems in place to collect tenant and shopper data including Syenap, which is a camera-based foot count system that provides demographics, age groups and dwell times, and Admyt, which is a licence plate recognition system that streamlines shopping centre entry and exit.
L2D also analyses data from its WiFi to better understand customers. “These technologies allow us to better understand our customer activity and to improve our leasing and marketing strategies to tenants.
“We are also engaging various data and analytics consultants to improve the mining of the various data banks and extract trends to help better predict and support our customer experience,” notes Sinden.
Meanwhile, L2D’s Sandton City food court development will be completed in November, while One on Whiteley is due for completion in the second quarter of 2019, the refurbishment of the food court in Sandton and subdividing of the old Stuttafords space at Eastgate, which will see clothing retailer H&M and pharmaceutical goods company Dis-Chem move in, will be complete before the end of this year.