ELS Office in Melbourne.
Transcript of conversations during visit by Neil Jenman and Warren McGhee.
Friday, February 11. From approx. 3pm - 3.15pm
Pillay: (to Warren) How are you doing?
NJ: Good afternoon, hi I'm Neil.
Pillay: How are you doing?
NJ: Can we come in?
Pillay: Yes of course you can. Come in, take a seat.
Inaudible and lots of background noise
Pillay: we go away a lot, we do investment strategies. Steve Cleeve, he's a very high profile guy, he is very very well known in England He's a bit of a household name, he does a lot of investment. He does these big expos, he goes, he does shows.. these sort of people. It's pretty good.
NJ: A bit cramped in here aren't your?
Pillay: it builds up a really good atmosphere, in London we've got . Hong Kong some of the accounts. We have the contacts in there.. Steve Cleeve.
NJ: Does he come in here that fellow Steve? Isn't he friends with the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.
Pillay: The President of Sri Lanka
NJ: Oh the President.
NJ: Was it affected by the Tsunami?
NJ: Was it affected by the Tsunami, the land in Sri Lanka?
Pillay: No. Well, er, a little bit
NJ: A little bit affected?
Pillay: A little bit, because there was nothing there ..
NJ: So do you like it here in Australia?
Pillay: It is pretty good.
NJ: How long have you been here?
Pillay: About 2 months.
Pillay: I do like it a lot, I like Melbourne.. this is Michael:, he is one of the brokers.
NJ: Hello, Neil.
Michael: Nice to meet you.
Warren: . It is ironic, because like I said, and we were sort of given this floor and this address..it is just ironic.
Warren: The other thing you were telling me, is that this fellow, what's his name, Was it Steve was it? He sort of is really well connected to the Royal family?
Pillay: Yeah, I mean, John Beckwith-Smith, on the back of the brochure, .. large sort of family,.. John actually is related to the Duke of Westminster. He is sort of his right hand man planning.
NJ: So that is how you can get to know which is going to be re- what do you call it, re-zoned?
Pillay: Yeah, actually.we know what areas are coming up. We have a plot in Devon. Devon is quite a eh a ..
NJ: It wouldn't be more than five years?
Pillay: No, well we doubt it. The reason we bought it is we knew Westminster. That Devon there is a new sub-station.local. what they are there to do is regenerate the area, at the moment, the house prices is really high, and the average income is really low, and people can't afford to buy houses there, they haven't got the income to house ratio is so big, so they need to build affordable housing, what you find is that a lot of the young people are moving into London and moving out of the area, which is good.. the area the tourism everything is going down.
NJ: Well the Queen lives in a pretty big house doesn't she?
Pillay: Yeah, pretty big. Many of them, many big houses. It is all over the news isn't she, all morning.
3rd Man .. sorry I didn't mean to be giving you my backside.
Warren: No you are right, you are on the phone, when we walked in
3rd Man Yeah, I was indeed, I didn't hear you, but then again I am relatively hearing impaired nowadays. It is called old age.
Pillay: So we have got good contacts within the company you know, and we phone .. so we went out and bought a pick of land, and we knew that .. in Devon of course 2 months later, it was all over the news, so I was happy with that
NJ: So that went from what do you call it, rural to what residential?
Pillay: Yep, they are looking to change. .they have now turned it over to .. rather than individual people.. 3000 pounds massive
NJ: So why are you selling in Australia then? You are going to do this in Australia, will you do Australian to Australian or Australian to England?
Pillay: Possibly we are looking to buy Australian land as well. I mean the company has grown and grown and grown. We have got land in Spain coming up, land in Sri Lanka as we said, the company has just grown and grown and grown and expanded and expanded and expanded. right nowmore and moreThis is Denis, he will be your broker.
Warren: Good day Denis, Michael:, how are you going?
Denis Hello Michael:.
Warren: I was going to ring you today. Was it you that left a message, there was a message on my answering machine and I couldn't make out the name
Denis Probably not, it wouldn't have been me.
Warren: Because the message on my, I have got a tape machine, I need to get a digital one and move into this century's new technology, was all scratchy and I couldn't hear it, and I am sure that the person said ring me in London on 02 or, is that a London prefix?
Pillay: London prefix 001144
Warren: I couldn't make out what the number was, but it jogged my memory, because I knew it was something to do with this, which is why I was in town, and was telling Neil about it, and I thought we would come in a get a bit more on it. I was trying to tell him but I couldn't remember all the details.
Pillay: I will tell you briefly what it is that we do. We buy pieces of land in areas of land.
Pillay: Milton Keynes at the moment, there are only about 3 plots left there, the reason Milton Keynes is it is the fastest growing city in the whole of Europe. 1.5 million new homes there in the next five years..
NJ: That will be re-zoned for residential then?.
Pillay: Residential land yes that's right. Now Bow Brickhill which is where our site is, that's where the builders.. there are four villages, and that is one of the four. They then bought plan. A guy called David Hopkins brought out a plan for Bow Brickhill .. if you look at where our site is just north is where Woden Sands road is.. that is where to go.
NJ: So that is where they are building all the houses?
Pillay: depending on how big the initial site is, Milton Keynes
NJ: So when it gets rezoned you keep the lot of it?
Pillay: We keep normally about 54 per cent of it.we keep that we keep a certain amount of the plots along with all the access road, you then own the plot freehold. You then apply for plan, which at the moment, this is worth four hundred thousand pounds an acre around a million dollars. With planning permission it would be worth five million pounds. So a 20,000 pound investment will return around 70,000 . And you are looking at sort of around a three to five year..
NJ: 20,000 investment would return 70,000?
Pillay: You are looking sort of three to five year period. I mean to be honest if you get it in two years, you owe us a drink. If we got it in three
Warren: Another warm beer again?
Pillay: Yeah, exactly. If we got it in four, we would be extremely unhappy, if it was five we'd be kicking ourselves.
Warren: What about the other one with the 400
Pillay: Devon was the other one.
Warren: Which is the one that's going ahead soon?
Pillay: (Pointing to a brochure) This is the one that's going ahead soon. This is if you like, the less speculative investment. This is the one that we're pretty damned sure it's going to happen. I mean this has only been out of about six or seven weeks. And out of all these plots, there is only three or four left. I haven't had an update from London, the thing is we are selling here, selling in London, and also in Toronto and we have three guys now in Vancouver they probably landed about half an hour ago, we are doing a show there on the weekend, we are in Bombay.
NJ: So all you guys are from England?
Pillay: I am from, no all these guys are from Australia. I am the only guy from out of out of my .I am the only Pommy (laughs). There were three of us over here last week, well one of them said he was from England, then he said he was Iran, then he said he was from Spain, then he said he was from Texas.
NJ: So when is Mr Cleeve coming?
Pillay: Mr Cleeve will be here in April. He is coming over here in April for the show. No, the April show is in Sydney.
NJ: Oh right.
Warren: And that is a local show in Melbourne?
Pillay: Yeah, yeah, local show.. So is this something that interests you is it?
Pillay: With ours we know what the end price is going to be.
NJ: How do you know it is going to?
Pillay: How do we know? Well that is . How much land is worth.. What we don't know is how long. Three to five years. We can say it might be two, it might be three, it may be five years.
NJ: Do you have any other ones?
Pillay: Any other.. over the past 10 years.. quite a lot.. Jerry Smith is very well known. He is the guy that goes out and finds the sites and lets us know.Very well known in the planning..
Warren: He was on that brochure
Pillay: He is guy who does our sites, he has a pretty good strike rate.
NJ: What is your mobile number
Pillay: 0405 165733
Warren: .Couldn't get my head around, couldn't remember all the details, like I said, I wasn't coming in here with my
Pillay: What do you do?
Warren: I am into security.
Pillay: What do you do? Like what..
Warren: Just guards and things like that.
Pillay: For buildings and things like that.
NJ: You guys seem pretty technical minded.
Salesman: We are now.
NJ: I am hopeless with this technology.
Salesman: When we send out our information, we schedule a call
NJ: So how do you find the customers? (Question directed to Michael: the salesman)
Salesman: Obviously we get leads that come from the trade fair, or there might be someone that had heard about us and rung, we are going into, as Trevor has been organizing the last few days, some email campaigns and some financial magazines, and we will get replies for information. When we originally started up here, we . Cold calling.. just to get us into the swing so to speak, I suppose, and introduce ourselves to some more prospective clients, and basically we put all the details that we have here, and if you like we can run through them and give them a call, follow up the information packs and stuff like that. (Michael: the salesman shows NJ: the computer system and how the lead sourcing works).
Pillay: We haven't really decided what we are doing so far with the marketing.
Warren: You were getting some more brochures come the other day.
Salesman: We are waiting to get those.email campaigns.
Pillay is called to the reception area.
NJ: I got one of these for Christmas, well I am trying to figure how it works..(NJ: fiddling with a camera)
Salesman: .take photographs.
Pillay: Let's go downstairs for coffee?
NJ: Yeah, look he is just going to help me.. Do you know how it works? (NJ: still fiddling with the camera)
Salesman: Pretty flash isn't it?
Pillay: Let's go down stairs for a coffee guys.
NJ: Denis was going to show me [pointing to camera].
Pillay: Yeah, Denis come down stairs with us,
NJ: Bring Denis will you?.
Pillay: Sorry guys, come on guys.
NJ: No good? See? Hang on.see..
Pillay: It's a pretty nice photo,
NJ: You think so?
Pillay: Come on, let's go downstairs for a coffee
NJ: I'll try this way hang on. [fiddling with camera]
Pillay: Come on, we don't want you taking photos of the office please.
NJ: Sorry, do you know how to delete it?
Pillay: No I don't, .. come on, you've got one photo
NJ: No, no.hang on.
Pillay: You want to have a coffee?
NJ: Yeah, yeah.
Pillay: Guys, guys, guys, look I am going to ask you to leave, OK.
Pillay: What are you taking photos for guys?
NJ: Because I just want to, hang on.
NJ: Trevor, (pause). Trevor? Come and have a coffee.
Trevor and Denis close main office door. Eleveator bell rings.