Introducing Michael Holloway

We recently sat down with Michael Holloway, Frequency National lead for our Strategic Property Advisory line, on his career journey to date and to get his perspective on the exciting opportunities at Frequency.


What is your role with Frequency?

As the National Lead for Strategic Property Advisory, I oversee our team’s efforts to provide advice on urban development and property opportunities related to major infrastructure projects. Our Advisory team at Frequency consists of five skilled professionals and I am impressed by their calibre. Their expertise, dedication, and innovative thinking is truly inspiring. Our current project portfolio includes clients from local government, healthcare, transport, the retirement sector, leisure, and major retail sectors.


What inspired you to pursue a career in Strategic Property Advisory?

My mum. She was a local government politician back in the UK and Chair of the Planning Committee. We would often talk about land use, tenure and the impact of development on communities. Coupled with that, I am a bit of a research nerd and I like to analyse market trends which enable me to offer insights that can assist clients to outperform market level performance. Then blending in that I am an advocate for broader outcomes, my hope is that together we can have a positive impact on our communities by highlighting the non-market benefits that can be achieved through smart development. 


What unique experiences have shaped your perspective in the field of property consultancy?

I grew up on a tenanted farm in the UK, where our landlord lived in a castle on the hill overlooking the Welland Valley, surrounded by several tenanted farms. So, from a young age, I had a visceral sense of the landlord/tenant relationship and how markets can shift the dynamic. During my undergraduate studies, I delved into the economics of less developed economies (sic. That’s what they were called in the 90’s!), environmental economics and contingent valuation methodologies. These papers were instrumental in sparking my interest in how economies develop and the importance of considering broader outcomes to achieve a desirable and sustainable built environment. Following a master’s degree in property and qualifying as a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, I have primarily worked with Pension Fund, Insurance Fund, and Endowment Trust clients, responsible for investment strategy and asset management execution. Learning from market-leading fund managers and knowledgeable Boards has shaped my research-based decision-making style, emphasising asset allocation as well as stock selection when determining portfolio strategies.

My relocation from the UK to NZ occurred when General Electric’s Real Estate (GE) business acquired a $1 Billion loan portfolio from AMP. GE was able to engage at any point in the capital stack, from senior debt through to leveraged equity positions, providing a fast-track education on the impact of risk on returns and volatility.

Serving as Auckland Branch President for Property Council NZ exposed me to the political decision-making processes at both local and central government levels, offering opportunities for advocacy on policy settings that influence the built environment and infrastructure. It allowed me to connect with influential figures across the property industry, gaining an understanding into their challenges and aspirations for the future of Auckland.

More recently, I worked with Auckland Light Rail to explore the development potential within the proposed transport corridor and identifying possible policy and funding settings that may be required to achieve desired outcomes.

I have been incredibly fortunate to have experienced such diversity throughout my professional career, enabling me to adopt a multi-disciplinary approach to challenges faced by my clients.


How do you envision the role of Strategic Property Advisory evolving in the coming years?

In the near term, the challenging economic environment presents similar yet distinct challenges for corporate occupiers, developers, and investors. For corporates, the focus lies in assessing the balance sheet impacts of their real estate strategy and how strategic shifts in strategy can align with broader company goals. Developers face the task of identifying feasible opportunities amidst escalated interest costs and construction costs, which often challenge margins when pricing for end users. Investors, meanwhile, grapple with the divergent performance of property sectors, leading to clear winners and losers. The challenge here is to anticipate whether this dynamic will persist or shift in the future.

A common critique of consultants, particularly in the last decade, has been a failure to produce executable plans. The role of Strategic Property Advisory needs to evolve beyond simply the production of a report to a “report to result” approach. That’s what drew me to Frequency, our reports are informed by insights from colleagues managing significant horizontal and vertical infrastructure development projects. This real-world perspective not only informs initial advice but also enables Frequency to remain engaged with projects until the desired outcomes are achieved for the client.


What strategies do you believe are essential for driving both financial success and positive community impact in the property market?

Financial outcomes and community/sustainability outcomes are interlinked. They cannot exist in isolation. Places are fundamentally for people; community and sustainability outcomes are crucial for maintaining their vitality. To address this, we need greater utilisation and understanding of multi-metric models. These models value both internal and external factors (market and non-market goods) of developments determining costs and importantly benefits of infrastructure and built form investments on our communities. For too long we have relied on single metrics, such as cost or gross margin, this is limiting and fails to capture the full picture. One of my early mentors always emphasized that capital is always available for good deals, we need to be smarter about how we frame up the deals. Funding should not be a constraint and it is crucial to consider the cost of not completing key infrastructure and urban development projects.

For New Zealand to compete effectively in the global marketplace, we need our leaders to develop strategies for our cities that prioritise sustainability, fairness, happiness, innovation, data-driven decision making, and are responsive to citizens’ needs. Achieving these development goals will ultimately yield financial and community benefits for our country.

Connect with Michael.


Our Strategic Property Advisory team works with clients who own significant property portfolios, whether these properties facilitate their core business or serve as investment assets. Our role is to help them navigate the opportunities and challenges of their property portfolio, from acquisition or divestment to place-making and portfolio optimization. We develop evidence-based strategies to help them achieve their goals.