In the Spotlight: Cindy Burgess
Cindy Burgess is an Associate Director managing a team of approximately 20 residential valuers who service the inner and outer northern and western suburbs of Melbourne.
She is a member of the Australian Property Institute (API) Report Review Board and a Certified Practising Valuer. Cindy particularly enjoys actively mentoring and supporting the valuers in her team, as well as reviewing and guiding graduate valuers on their paths to becoming qualified valuers.
Following her passion to forge her career
Cindy started her career working in the tourism sector. In 2003, she grabbed an opportunity to transfer her management skills to the property sector, taking on a new role as an Owners Corporation Manager for a division of property developers, Central Equity. While in that position, Cindy met a property valuer and was fascinated by his work across the property market.
Shortly afterwards, Cindy moved to Amsterdam where she completed her Masters in Business Property (Property Valuations) from the University of South Australia by correspondence. On her return to Australia, she started working for the City of Melbourne specialising in rating and taxation. She transitioned to specialising in residential mortgage valuations in 2015 and became an Associate Director at Opteon in 2021.
Cindy loves the fast-paced nature of residential valuations and seeing how Melbourne’s markets – ranging from the inner city, to leafy suburbs and growth corridors – are changing over time.
The importance of diverse leadership in the sector
Cindy is passionate about the evolving valuation sector and the importance of women’s leadership. She was drawn to Opteon in part because of our strong, diverse leadership team.
“There are many inspiring female role models in the sector, including Amelia Hodge, CEO of the API, and Opteon’s Maria Berto (National Director of Operations) and Marion Simmonds (Regional Director). Their influence on the sector is critical, and I have seen how diversity can provide alternative thinking about how businesses and the industry can evolve within the ever-changing market,” said Cindy. “Importantly, Opteon also has great men in its leadership team, including Ash Bateman, Nello Noto and Anthony Salce in Victoria. Like their female counterparts, they have been very supportive of my progression into further leadership opportunities,” she added.
Cindy was nominated to join Opteon’s Emerging Leaders Program in 2021, which she completed last year. One of the initiatives she designed in the program is now being advanced by the business.
Cindy’s advice for other women considering entering or emerging as leaders in the sector
On reflecting about the advice she would share with other women interested in valuation careers, Cindy said: “I read that there’s still only 22% of women registered in the valuation sector. While women leaders are still paving the way for future generations, my advice to women considering entering the industry is simple – know you are supported, encouraged and will succeed. Of course, it helps if you can find a great mentor. For example, I was particularly lucky to have guidance from Maria Berto when I first joined Opteon. It also helps if you can find a company like Opteon that has a strong female leadership team and a progressive culture.”