Vanilla Rentals acqusition manager Simon Hatherall. PHOTO: Ali Kuchel
Vanilla Rentals acqusition manager Simon Hatherall. PHOTO: Ali Kuchel

Behind Lockyer real estate rebranding, expansion into SEQld

A real estate company that began in Forest Hill is building its rental role and expanding into south east Queensland.

Vanilla Rentals, previously known as Lockyer Valley Real Estate, is the same business with a new look as it expands into Jamboree Heights.

Operating from Plainland, Vanilla Rentals will solely focus on rental properties and developing its own maintenance program.

The plan involves having build and tradie staff that can assist with maintenance requests and ensure landlords aren’t being overcharged for works, acquisition manager Simon Hatherall said.

“We’ve rebranded the business and done an acquisition in Jamboree Heights and a third in progress – it didn’t make sense to take Lockyer Valley Real Estate naming across south east Queensland,” he said.

Vanilla Rentals acqusition manager Simon Hatherall. PHOTO: Ali Kuchel
Vanilla Rentals acqusition manager Simon Hatherall. PHOTO: Ali Kuchel

The rebranding and acquisition plan includes securing rental roles in northern Brisbane and the Gold Coast area, with bigger plans for the future, Mr Hatherall said.

By having rental portfolios across south east Queensland, tenants would be able to stay with the same real estate if they wanted to relocate.

“If tenants are wanting to move, we can assist them if we have a presence in that area – that’s the scope of what we are trying to do long term,” Mr Hatherall said.

Mr Hatherall is new to the Vanilla Rentals management team, having previously being involved in actuarial and financial analysis.

He was part of the acquisition team when Suncorp took over GIO insurance in 2010.

Vanilla Retails is aiming to almost triple its rental role, with the industry in peak demand.

Vanilla Rentals property manager Jemma Wood. Photo: Ali Kuchel
Vanilla Rentals property manager Jemma Wood. Photo: Ali Kuchel

Mr Hatherall said the spike in rentals was due to coronavirus and the home builder grant.

“We track it back to COVID – people can work anywhere from home, so they don’t have to commute to Brisbane,” he said

“But there’s also people moving from interstate to get away from hot spots.”

He said the government’s home builder owner grant has also pushed more people into rental properties while they wait for their new houses to be built.

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“In areas like Plainland, there is a lot of growth going on and a lot of new houses being built, some of which are being pushed by the home builder grant.”

AS for the former Lockyer Valley Real Estate branding, Mr Hatherall said it was “business as usual” for the company – but there would be internal tweaks and refinements for a more efficient business.

“The company structure and ownership are exactly the same,” he said.