With a surprising personal connection to Resort News, Sidney and Lauren Borjesson are the newest management rights owners of (not one but two) outstanding Mooloolaba properties, Mirra Chana Luxury Apartments and 84 The Spit.
According to Sidney, these are two very different properties (to say the least)! Mirra Chana consists of 15 three-bedroom luxury apartments with five ground-floor apartments boasting private courtyards and five top-level apartments with beautiful private rooftop spaces and magnificent coastal views.
84 The Spit, on the other hand, is an iconic Mooloolaba landmark that stands proudly above the tree line, with 24 apartments available for holiday let. Stunning ocean views can be enjoyed from the fourth level above, and all apartments present two-bedrooms, except for a four-bedroom penthouse.
In a stroke of fate and good luck while researching management rights, Sidney re-connected with a school friend on LinkedIn, who turned out to be our very own Resort News industry expert, Russell Birrell. They caught up after 35 years at a local ARAMA gathering and, of course, Russell supplied Sidney and Lauren with some great advice and support along with trusty Resort News magazines.
Sidney adds: “We are so grateful for all the help we have received from many industry professionals who we’ve crossed paths with but especially Peter Foran, the previous manager of Mirra Chana who has been an incredible support to us, his efforts made the handover period far less stressful. I would also like to add a special thank you to the team at Coastal Resorts Propriety Limited.”
This has been a hectic few months for the whole Borjesson family; the boys (Finn, nine, and Sonny, four) adjusting to a new home and schools, while Sidney and Lauren experience a massive learning curve and the pressures of a new career.
Sidney admits: “Being new to management rights we have had to learn fast and on our feet. It has been challenging, intense and busy managing two properties but we have succeeded with the help of some fantastic staff. We cannot praise Penelope Greenshields, the assistant manager at Mirra Chana, and Chloe Campbell, our weekend team member, enough.
“We will settle into our new way of life, become more familiar and confident with the work and it will become easier to have downtime and, indeed, more family time. Easter was a busy period for us and even now, during the quieter period, we have been kept on our toes with Mirra Chana undergoing an upgrade to the external paintwork, alongside the renovation of three apartments in 84 The Spit. We also have major plans to revamp the entire pool area very soon.”
These are two very distinctive properties but they each have a special something in common; innovative managers.
Sidney is originally from Holland and Lauren from Portland Victoria: they met in Cairns, 25 years ago. “Lauren worked at sea in the prawn industry for over ten years and I was the guitar player in a local band,” Sidney reveals.
They have lived very colourful lives; travelling widely, different careers and experiences adding new strings to unique bows. Living in Holland for several years, Lauren worked for the European Space Agency and Sidney was the groundsman at a 1000-member, clay court tennis club. They have also worked in hospitality, with Lauren managing the restaurant of a large hotel in Holland.
The addition of two sons followed and in 2014, they decided to return to Australia to spend precious time with family. They settled on the Sunshine Coast when Sidney took advantage of the opportunity to work on the construction of the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.
Sidney says: “It was during this time that I was fortunate to have a chance meeting with a friend, which led to a conversation about management rights. A few conversations later both Lauren and I knew that our life and experiences had led us straight into the path of this exciting industry.
“We researched and then put a call into Matt Campbell from Australia Resort Management Sales, who immediately saw our potential and offered enthusiastic support. Through Matt, investors were secured and six months later it is hard to believe we are the onsite managers for two amazing properties.”
Acquiring the management rights in March this year; although fresh to the industry, Sidney and Lauren felt ready to take on such a huge undertaking. They were confident in their abilities, varied experiences, unique skills, and passion for success.
“We feel very honoured to have this opportunity; to live in such a wonderful destination, to have been so openly accepted and warmly welcomed by everyone we have come across,” Lauren shares.
The icing on the cake was to find these two remarkable resorts in the very location that they had longingly coveted. The Spit in Mooloolaba encompasses all the perfect ingredients needed for a relaxed family beach experience as well as incredible business potential; it is an extraordinary find!
Here, they have embraced the protective north-facing beach that offers a tranquil sanctuary away from the main hub of popular Mooloolaba town centre, which can still be accessed via the boardwalk. It is also only a short stroll to Underwater World and the harbour, with quirky shops, cafes, renowned seafood restaurants and attractions.
Sidney says: “Our resorts are in the ultimate position to offer our guests an amazing holiday experience, with uninterrupted access to this pristine piece of paradise that we are fortunate enough to call home and are excited to share. We are so excited to be a part of, this wonderful community, an industry that has welcomed us so eagerly. We can’t wait to make memories for our family and to provide our guests with wonderful memories too.”
Tackling this new and exciting venture, Sidney and Lauren have been overwhelmed with support from other managers and industry insiders. However, Lauren states: “I can tell you, hands down, that the most enjoyable element for us has been the wonderful human connections we have made.
“We relish the customer service part of our new career; it is incredible that simply meeting people from all backgrounds, with their own books to write, can be so rewarding.”
Mandy Clarke - Resort Publishing