REIA announces new president

December 6, 2023 |
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The Real Estate Institute of Australia has unveiled an all-female leadership team – a first for the national body.

Leanne Pilkington will now helm the organisation, with Hannah Gill taking on the role of deputy president, which Ms Pilkington vacates to step into the top job.

Hailing from NSW, Ms Pilkington is the CEO of the Laing+Simmons network and the immediate past president of the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW). Ms Pilkington has served as deputy president of REIA since 2021 and is a member-elected director of REI Super.

Having spent 40 years of her career in real estate, Ms Pilkington comes to the role with hands-on experience in sales, property management, retail, and commercial leasing and management as well as property development.

Ms Gill is the current director of property management at the Property Collective and the President of the Real Estate Institute of the ACT. She brings over thirteen years of experience in property management as well as build-to-rent, affordable housing and people and culture to her new position.

The board leaders will continue to be supported by Anna Neelagama, who has been the REIA’s CEO since 2020.

In addition to announcing Ms Pilkington and Ms Gill’s new appointments, the board of the REIA welcomed Pete Matthews, who steps into the New South Wales directorship and Joe White, who succeeds departing member Damian Collins from Western Australia. Richard Simpson has also been appointed as the chair of the Finance, Risk and Audit Committee.

As she embarked on the new role, Ms Pilkington said that she was “honoured to take on board this leadership position to work for all Real Estate Institutes and practitioners”.

Ms Pilkington also remarked on the significance of her appointment, as she oversees an all-female leadership team for the first time in REIA history.

“It is truly exciting to lead a historic all-female leadership team as we approach REIA’s centennial year in 2024”.

The body, she said, would use the momentous year to chart a long-term course for the continued success of the organisation and the sector.

“Our focus remains on unity, innovation, and setting the industry on a trajectory for success for the next 100 years and in the near term delivering on the REIA 2025 strategy.

“Our goal is to provide vital information that will positively influence the industry and, indeed, all Australians whether they are tenants, homeowners, first time buyers and property investors,” she said.

Ms Pilkington also paid tribute to outgoing president Hayden Groves, who served at the head of the organisation for two years.

As he wrapped up his tenure this week, Mr Groves took the opportunity to survey some of the successes and economic challenges that defined his presidency.

Over the past 24 months, Mr Groves remarked that Australian real estate agents had “adeptly navigated a plethora of changes, with property markets responding to fluctuations in inflation, interest rates, legislative changes, rising property taxes and shifting preferences among property consumers”.

“Amidst these challenges, the resilience of the Australian real estate sector has been outstanding. REIA, along with the entire $10.2 trillion industry, has helped house Australians during a supply crisis, reinforcing our position as a significant influencer across our property markets,” he said.

He pointed to the releases of the REIA’s second policy agenda, housing affordability report, short stay accommodation report, and two commercial real estate reports as important milestones for the organisation in 2023.

Looking ahead, Mr Groves said he was “confident in the continued excellence and dedication of our team to serve Real Estate Institutes, businesses, practitioners, and the communities they represent”.

Ms Pilkington affirmed the continued commitment of REIA to address housing affordability by focusing on boosting supply. She assured that REIA will persist in providing critical insights and advocacy that impact all Australians.


As seen on REB.

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