Meet Simon Dal Zotto, Intrapac’s National Acquisitions Manager

April 18, 2024

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National Acquisitions Manager Simon Dal Zotto joined Intrapac in 2022. His appointment demonstrates Intrapac’s unwavering commitment to build upon our legacy and strategically grow our pipeline. His remit is to search out and secure the sites that will deliver maximum value for existing landowners, our investors and the future communities that will call these places home.

In the article below, we talk to Simon about how he got here, his role, and his aspirations to continue to contribute to Intrapac’s success.

You’ve had quite an entrepreneurial career. Tell us a bit about your career background.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Business in Property and Valuations at RMIT, I specialised in rural valuation work. I then shifted into a corporate investments and sales role before trying my hand at several different ventures, including a data centre development business, and a coffee business, working at the family winery in King Valley, and launching my own property development business.

Working for myself, and also growing up in a family business made me appreciate how great things are at Intrapac. The way the company is run is extremely professional, without being arrogant. Nobody thinks they’re better than anybody else – it’s like working for family. We run a lean team, but everybody works hard and is very good at what they do. It really is the best place I’ve ever worked.

You were previously self-employed. What lured you back to a company role with Intrapac?

Running your own business is very stressful – the buck stops with you, financially, operationally, and accountability-wise and the stresses definitely took their toll on my family. Like a lot of people during the COVID-19 pandemic, I took the opportunity to reskill, completing an advanced mathematics and financial modelling course to support a shift back into full-time employment.

When Intrapac approached me to discuss this role, it didn’t take me long to work out it was a company I would love to work with – the individual reputations of their leaders, Maxwell Shifman and David Payes, and their legacy of developing quality communities was incredibly appealing. Following an initial hour-long chat with Max and a meeting with David, where we spoke more about wine and food than we did about the role, I joined the team as Acquisitions Manager. I couldn’t have asked for a better environment to transition from being self-employed. I have so much autonomy in the role, flexibility to work remotely and, in a national role, I have the responsibility without the pressure.

Why was your role created?

The recent shift in the company’s leadership structure, which saw Maxwell Shifman transition to Chief Executive Officer, alongside a strategic focus on securing and growing a future pipeline of quality projects, necessitated the creation of a dedicated acquisitions role.

I feel very lucky to be working directly with Max and David. It’s a nice feeling to know that they’ve asked me to do a role that, besides themselves, hadn’t been done before, and I look forward to building upon their success.

So, what does an acquisitions manager do?

It’s a truly multi-faceted role involving research and analysis, strategy development, relationship building, negotiation, and more. Each day is different from the day before. For instance, Max and I have just spent two and half days in South East Queensland, driving around looking at sites. But that came after a detailed process that started with employing strategic analysts to identify what might be three or four hundred potential sites, utilising desktop analysis to review, and narrow down the list, and then working collaboratively with our team to review planning, forecasting growth that will support development, and so on. Following our site visits, we shortlist them again, identify preferred sites, look at costs, and then it’s about going out and talking to people, creating relationships, and being prepared for a long negotiation. If we’re lucky this could all take 12 months, but with planning complications, it can be more like four to five years. But we often look at sites that others don’t look at, and it’s finding those gems that excites me!

Are there any types of properties or locations you will be focusing on, and if so, what are the reasons behind these priorities?

The South East Queensland corridor is a key focus for Intrapac. There are a lot of benefits to developers, as they don’t have windfall gains tax, and their planning processes are not as elongated as those in Victoria. There’s also a lot more available land in South East Queensland.

But wherever I look at sites, I look at them holistically, understanding that they need to generate value for all involved – for the person selling to us, for Intrapac, and for the eventual residents. Everything must be realistically affordable. You must think about the end user to ensure that your estate is successful in the short, medium and long term, creating a place where people can afford and want to live.

Intrapac’s acquisition of their 126-hectare Terranora site in the Tweed will deliver 750 much needed lots to the constrained Gold Coast Region and add to its already successful portfolio in Northern NSW. The project will launch in 2025.


As an acquisitions manager, how do you collaborate with other team members within the company to identify and pursue potential opportunities?

Having a tight knit, highly skilled team around me at Intrapac makes my job much easier. I rely on the expertise of several people in our team. For instance, I work very closely with our in-house strategic planner who reviews and summarises the planning reports.

I liaise with our sales and marketing team who forecast monthly sale rates and provide advice on the market and potential revenues, and with our development managers, who provide advice on civil costs.

I also work with General Managers of our Victorian and Queensland operations, who have the local knowledge and expertise to provide more detailed insights into the sites we look at. My success comes down to a team effort, as everyone is in this together and we all pitch in because we’re all working for the same goal.

Intrapac’s have recently acquired a 16 hectare site south of Wangaratta‘s CBD that will deliver 130 homes to the growing rural city of Wangaratta. 


Looking ahead, what impact do you expect the appointment of an acquisitions manager to have on the future trajectory and competitiveness of Intrapac?

I’d like to think it will have an extremely positive impact! This role will provide clear guidance and strategic pathways for the company and, importantly, allow Intrapac’s leaders, Max and David, to focus on the other parts of the company and broader industry, knowing the acquisitions side of things is in safe hands. Strategically, I’m hoping to add at least one site a year into our pipeline and to bridge new markets, such as South Australia and Tasmania, so we have sites in every state.

Success in this role goes well beyond my personal goals; it is a testament to the hard work and talent of our entire team, and it will contribute to Intrapac’s ongoing growth and reputation and our ability to deliver fantastic amenity and lifestyles to future residents.






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