Colliers Victorian, data-centric leadership

Victorian Joint Head of Business

Two of Colliers’ Melbourne-based National Directors, Gordon Code and Hugh Gilbert, have been promoted to the new role of Joint Head of Victorian Industrial Business. They explained to MHD what the position entails, what they accomplished in their previous roles, and how they’re using data and AI to better understand and grow the southern state’s market.

In 2018, leadership in the Victorian Industrial Business was changing and the agents had to decide what type of leadership they wanted. 

“We wanted to be the most knowledgeable team in the market,” explains Colliers industrial expert Gordon Code. 

“We couldn’t forge relationships any faster than our longer-tenured competitors, but we could prepare more organised datasets, and articulate more informed property strategies based on facts rather than gut feel. As a whole Victorian business, we profiled each major industrial precinct and engaged with our clients with this data with great effect.”

Colliers industrial experts Gordon Code and Hugh Gilbert were recently promoted to the newly created leadership role of Joint Head of the Victorian Industrial Business within the company’s Victorian division. They’ll continue to be based in Melbourne where they’ll report to Gavin Bishop, Colliers Managing Director for Industrial in Australia. 

Thanks to the data collection, the Victorian division of Colliers has grown market share, propelled also by the growth of industrial rents and capital values alongside equity market share. 

Gordon Code, newly appointed Joint Head of Victorian Industrial Business, Colliers.
Gordon Code, newly appointed Joint Head of Victorian Industrial Business, Colliers.

The promotion – which is illustrative of Colliers’ forward-looking strategy to emphasise next generation data thinking in Victoria – allows the pair to assist the Victorian Industrial team with further engaging key clients and collaborating with the national business on a more coordinated basis. 

Together they’ll roll out Colliers’ new SA1 Property national partnership across Victoria and continue to develop its other data platforms, allowing them to engage with the market more meaningfully, and move forward with the company’s growth strategy. They’ll also spend time driving national initiatives with Colliers national occupier and capital markets teams. 


Gordon started his real estate career at Colliers almost a decade ago and has always worked on the south-eastern industrial team. 

As time has gone on, he’s been given opportunities to work on bigger projects. His focus has been on institutional leasing and major site sales in the south-eastern market and working with Colliers national industrial capital markets – including the occupier and leasing team – and partnering up with institutional owners and corporate owners of real estate. 

“It’s been nice to grow into this role from starting at the very bottom,” he says. “Working on strata projects and moving into the middle markets, learning the role from the ground up, building strong relationships with private clients growing into the institutional clients.” 

Hugh Gilbert has been at Colliers for the past 10 years. He spent his first five years in office leasing and worked for a little while in Sydney. He relocated to Melbourne ready to operate within the Industrial market, which had strong fundamentals and a bright horizon ahead. 

His first year in industrial was in 2018. He focused mainly on building Colliers’ data platform. 

“That was first for Victoria’s western market,” he explains. “It helped our growth strategy across the board and helped me propel myself quickly as an operator and become a co-manager of the northwest office in 2019.”

The Victorian Industrial Business has learnt about its market and service offering by using data. “There’s a lot of young blood in our team,” Hugh adds. “We’re in tune with technology.” 

He notes the Victorian division of Colliers was lacking cohesion despite growing considerably over the past five years. As a result of the growth, he and Gordon are planning several initiatives. 

“We’re seeing clients together instead of individually,” says Hugh. “This role requires us to take ownership over that, and bring the leadership experience we have with our two successful teams and turn it into one.” 

Today the Victorian industrial business is made up of almost 30 people and market share is rapidly growing. 

Hugh continues: “As we adopt a whole team approach, we can better service clients through the whole Victorian market in terms of geography, size, operations – anywhere from 1,000 sqm to 100,000 sqm DCs.” 


The data platform Gordon and Hugh built added up to 4000 data points across Victoria when it was in its fifth iteration half a decade ago. Now, it has nearly one million data points. 

Besides having a couple of proprietary data platforms, the Industrial division of Colliers has partnered with SA1 Property to create detailed mapping.  

Hugh Gilbert, newly appointed Joint Head of Victorian Industrial Business, Colliers.
Hugh Gilbert, newly appointed Joint Head of Victorian Industrial Business, Colliers.

“This is how we service our clients,” explains Hugh. “We underwrite every deal with data points and references to help them make informed property decisions. We’ve won business by collecting and using data along with cold calling.

“Our vision is simple: fostering collaboration between all operators and support staff. We’ll have best in practice training for support, and that goes from team assistants, personal assistants, marketing, and then with our operators and more mentoring.” 

Hugh – like Gordon – won’t be restricted to working with only his team. Both will cooperate with the northwest and southwest teams respectively. 


The Joint Head of Victorian Industrial Business provides various advantages for Colliers, which include but are not limited to giving a deeper service offering to clients in terms of meetings, data presentations, as well as showcasing the capabilities of the wider team. 

“Many institutional clients are getting into smaller form products as the value climbs up,” explains Hugh. “They’re trying to extract value wherever they can. We want our lower market and mid-market operators front and centre of our major clients, too. 

He continues: “We used trend pieces and databases on submarkets. We can give our clients the lowdown on broader trends. This information benefits emerging investors and developers from overseas. We also cooperate with the Colliers National Team. We want to create the same service standard across all metropolitan markets around the country.” 

Colliers has a referral platform and other communication channels at both state and national levels. Experts throughout the country specialise in different pockets of the market and provide common taskforces for each type of transaction and cover numerous geographical areas. 

“By being subject matter experts, we can help our clients – whether they’re landlords or occupiers – get the best outcome in the marketplace,” says Gordon.

As Colliers’ data platforms have undergone several iterations over the years, it’s been necessary for the team to upskill. They’re engaging in more team and client events. 

“We have quarterly meetings with key clients as a group,” notes Hugh. “We use different client engagement strategies at all levels, whether it be the low market, mid-market, or upper market so we have a lot more client facetime. 

“We stick to our strengths, which are data and now AI. We’re working on machine learning and predictive analysis based on data inputs determining where rates are going on different levels. It’s something we’re testing, and we have the data to support it, so we expect to deliver something in the second half of the year.”

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