“There are two things in particular that I enjoy about having a career in real estate,” says Joe Laing, sales consultant and franchise owner with Mike Pero Real Estate.
“That’s the diversity of the job – every day is different – and meeting and developing strong relationships with people. I really like seeing people happy, both vendors and buyers.”
Joe has definitely brought happiness to many clients and they have responded to his youthful, open, friendly, yet highly professional approach. In 2014 Joe was the recipient of the Mike Pero Salesperson of the Year Award and this year he was named the second top auction lister and the third top sales lister for the company nationwide. “I was delighted with this result because Mike Pero Real Estate has grown considerably since I first started in 2013 and there is so much more competition among the agents. I must be doing something right!”
Diversity features elsewhere in Joe’s life as well. Originally from Newcastle, England, he has lived in Canada, Australia and now New Zealand. He’s a father to a nine-month-old daughter, is an avid football fan playing regularly for a successful local team, and a lover of classic cars, especially old Fiats. And, as if all that was not sufficient variety, he is also a part owner of a central city café. “Everything I have done has introduced me to people from all walks of life and that has been immensely helpful for my career.”
For 10 years, Total Realty has helped Cantabrians buy and sell property by “cutting costs, without cutting corners”.
Celebrating the company’s anniversary recently, founder Rachael Cone reflected on how vast changes in the real estate market inspired this new business model. With a strong belief that industry commission rates were unjustified, Total Realty lowered its rates to 1 percent, eliminating franchise fees and unnecessary expenses. “With the age of the internet, it changed everything,” Rachael explains.
“People used to ring their agent when they wanted to buy a house and they’d rely on that agent to source the property and drive them around… there was a lot of work involved. Whereas now, that’s just totally gone by the way.
“Buyers get home from work, jump on the internet and see everything that’s available. They call their agent direct, go to the open home and, if they like it, they make an offer. That’s the reality. We thought we’d cut to the chase and acknowledge this is the new way.”
Starting out with a handful of agents, Total Realty now has a waiting list of professionals eager to join the team, and all average more than 10 years’ experience.
The branches have also expanded, and now service Rangiora, Nelson and Dunedin, as well as the flagship Christchurch office which is home to 20 agents. “There’s so much demand,” Rachael says. “Over the 10 years, we’ve saved Cantabrians over $70 million in commission, so it’s making a big difference which we’re really proud of.”
“It’s truly an honour to be entrusted with the sale of such a standout property.”, real estate specialist Cindy-Lee Sinclair of Harcourts is referring to the unique and magnificent property on West Coast Road, Yaldhust that she is currently marketing and which goes to auction on Wednesday 14 November.
“The 760 square metre house with its four hectares of land must be sold as the owner has already purchased elsewhere,” she says. “This is a rare opportunity to own a country estate on the fringe of the city. The house is of outstanding quality with classic elegant lines crafted in the enduring beauty of Oamaru stone and with expansive entertaining areas inside and out. “We find it a joy to hold open homes at `Alpine View’ because there is so much beauty everywhere inside the house and show-stopping views of the mountains as well.”
Cindy-Lee explains that the house has six beautifully appointed double bedrooms and four bathrooms – plenty of room for guests and friends. There is also an indoor heated pool and sauna, as well as an office and an attached, fully self-contained apartment which is ideal for extended family. And of course there is the entertainer’s dream-of-a-kitchen and butler’s pantry finished in granite.
“The detailing and quality of finish is exceptional throughout, from the soaring cathedral ceilings upstairs, the Italian marble and the north-facing living areas that open the home to the grounds. The property really offers what has to be the ultimate lifestyle.”
Selling your home is a personal business and the tight-knit team at Grassam Real Estate understands that. “We’re all about the individual touch, and with a combined 70 plus years’ experience, we focus on working for you to get the best deal that we can,” owner Juline Grassam says. “We are a boutique business for a reason – strong personal service.”
Juline is successful, she works hard for each client and recognises every transaction is important; Fay Leonard has a focus on marketing in the North of Christchurch and North Canterbury; working mainly in residential property management, Paul Biddington brings a wealth of knowledge to both the rental and sales market.
What do people expect from their real estate salesperson? Personalised, professional service with all the advantages of local knowledge. Juline, Paul and Fay are equipped with the knowledge, skills and resources to provide exceptional results. “We give every single client our full effort and attention,” Juline adds.
Having just passed the nine-year mark, this boutique agency find clients come either as repeat business, or as word of mouth referrals from past clients. “This is a great time of year to sell,” says Juline, who has been in the industry for 22 years. “List now and you could be in a new home by Christmas. Our rates are competitive and there is great flexibility within our marketing packages.”
Cameron Bailey has been awarded the number one Harcourts sales consultant in the world and is also thrilled that the company he is part owner in has had its Papanui office announced as the top office for Harcourts out of over 800 offices globally. Metropol talks to Cameron about the 15 years of dedication behind the accolade.
What attracted you to real estate?
I’ve always been a people person and prior to real estate I was working in hospitality – restaurants and cafés. I’ve always loved property since buying my first home at 20. The longer I’m in real estate, the more I realise it’s about the people and not the houses. I see a real estate agent as the middle man negotiating fair value between sellers and buyers. Building rapport and trust with both sides gets the deal done.
How do you get to be the No 1 Harcourts salesperson in the world?!
I’ve only achieved this accolade twice in a fifteen-year career. I think people see the award but don’t realise there’s fifteen years of hard work behind it to get there. I also have an amazing team of sales consultants and personal assistants that I work with who drive the business behind me. In this marketplace the successful agents are backed by a team, so they can provide better service and better support than a lone ranger agent.
What has been your recipe for success in the real estate space?
As I’ve said before, work ethic is always the basis for success but after fifteen years in the industry I bring to the table a lot of experience and credibility. In a tighter marketplace the credibility of the agent representing your property can mean extra money when it comes to the sale price. I always like to think that we’ve been ahead of the trends and other agents follow us and look at us for what to do in the market.
What does a day in your life look like?
Monday to Friday my alarm goes off at 5am. I go to the gym at 6am, breakfast at 7:30am, arrive at the office at 8:15am, I am in and out of appointments all day and I am constantly on the phone in between appointments. Usually I finish the work day after 8pm, or even later if I’m negotiating a deal or appraising a property. Saturdays and Sundays, I work both days and usually do 12-14 open homes for the weekend. Real estate is a lifestyle, not a job.
Besides from real estate what else are you passionate about?
I have two beautiful identical twin girls that are now seven, I try and spend as much time with them as I can and our favourite place to go for a quick week away is Fiji. I also try to lead a healthy lifestyle, I’m a fitness fanatic and I’m obsessed with eating healthy food. I’m trying to eat a keto based diet at the moment. I love travelling and I try to have some down time overseas a couple of times a year with South America being on the hit list in the near future. I’m also a car enthusiast; I’ve loved cars since I was a kid.
Any words to live by?
One of my favourite quotes at the moment is, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy” – Martin Luther King.
It can be a hard road growing up in the shadow of a big name, but Aaron Pero has stepped up to the commercial party and forged a career path all of his own. Metropol talks to the real estate whizz about his new career.
Can you tell us a bit about your foray into real estate and what attracted you to this career path?
When I was 14 I developed a website for a New York Times bestselling property author and since then I’ve continued working with investors, developers and real estate agents with marketing and technology. I was the Marketing & IT Manager at my father’s real estate company for two and a half years before going back on my own to work with developers and agents in real estate marketing. It was a natural progression.
You grew up with a very high profile father, what influence did this have on your career path?
I spent most of my childhood in Wellington with my mum but there was no escaping the Mike Pero Mortgages jingle which kids would recite at school on a daily basis, so I guess I was always destined to be connected to property! I would fly down to Christchurch during school holidays and spent time in my father’s office. When I was 19 I moved back down to Christchurch and started working for a property investor as an unpaid intern, then went on to work in my father’s aviation technology business. I’ve been lucky to have had those opportunities which all shaped my career.
How difficult was the decision to go with a completely different company?
It was easy. I respect what my father has been able to build in real estate but wanted to take my own path and build a business of my own, which he understands. Good friends of mine, Sarah and Hamish Mcleod, bought the Halswell Harcourts office last year and a conversation in February resulted in me completing my real estate papers, obtaining my licence and getting a desk at the office the following month. They are incredibly supportive and have a wealth of knowledge and experience. I couldn’t ask for better managers. Being backed by the Grenadier franchise means I have a lot of resources at my disposal and the Harcourts brand is an amazing asset.
You’re a bit of an entrepreneur. Can you tell us about some of your other ventures?
On Valentine’s Day 2011 I started an online divorce business with a friend of mine to help people finalise their separations and move on. The Christian group Family First criticised us for being destructive and the publicity they gave us got us on TV3 news, Seven Days, radio and in most newspapers around the country. We received 150,000 hits on our website in a day.
More recently I created software for real estate agents called AgentSend. It helps agents deliver property documents to potential buyers and track their interest while also keeping the property at the top of the buyer’s mind by showing them ads across a network of more than two million websites. The software is used by agents from all brands around New Zealand, including myself!
What do you love about Christchurch?
I love that it’s both a major city and small town at the same time. There are plenty of opportunities and things happening, but people are still friendly and there’s a real sense of community. I think it’s an exciting place to live, we are lucky to have local developers and businesses willing to invest in our city and make it the wonderful town that it is.
What are some of your favourite city haunts or things to do in the weekends?
I’m a big fan of Victoria Street: Louis, Sister Kong and Dirty Land. I’m also really enjoying The Terrace – it’s great to be back dining there again and it’s come back better than ever. I look forward to Saturday mornings when my wife and I grab Posh Porridge at the Riccarton House Farmer’s Market before taking our dog Ruby to Halswell Quarry.
Long established as a top-flight professional real estate agent in Christchurch, Cindy-Lee Sinclair of Harcourts Holmwood Real Estate Merivale says there are several things to know when putting property on the market. An absolutely key element is to ensure an agent has a signed listing authority before they bring buyers through, Cindy says.
Your agent should provide you with a written market appraisal to help you set your expectations about price range for the property. The agent should also discuss with you all the different ways you can sell the property and help you settle on the method that best suits. The agent should also talk through the marketing options and help you choose a programme that meets your needs and the method of sale chosen.
Cindy says you also need to understand how and when the agent will be paid, and how the commission on the completed sale will be calculated. Other costs to consider include marketing and the auctioneers fee, if you choose to sell via auction.
Cindy recommends everyone planning to sell their home read the ‘New Zealand Residential Property Agency Agreement Guide’ prepared by The Real Estate Agents Authority. It sets out in some detail the information you need and the decisions you will have to make and you can clarify any information in there with Cindy or your agent.
Cindy can be contacted at email@example.com
or at 0274 888 616.
Canterbury’s Red Hot Real Estate is owned and operated by a down-to-earth family man.
Fraser Moore has been simmering along building the marketing side of the business during the company’s inaugural year – but now he’s full steam ahead selling homes. The company name is striking. It stands out – just like these guys. “You could say we swim in the opposite direction and we try to be a little more real,” says Fraser.
In their 20s, Fraser and his brother were landlords buying, selling and managing their own properties. Fraser was in his element, but then became a primary school teacher and subsequently ran an afterschool education franchise, before finding a business partner to fulfil his real-estate dreams at 37.
His wife, Karalee, is a teacher at Avonhead School, and they have two children at Russley Primary School. Drawing on past experiences, he relates well to people, understanding family-home intricacies through to lucrative property investment.
Fraser’s Red Hot team includes Daryl Jones and David Eden. “We’re not going to be the big guys. But we are people focused, instead of being solely transaction focused,” he says. “So far we have sold 100 percent of our listed homes. We use all the reputable websites and print mediums such as the Property Press and local papers for advertising, and our photographer produces realistic, professional images.”
As the Managing Director, he has the room to move and be flexible, culminating in a professional and personal service. The company offers very competitive commission rates that include some of the marketing – and there’s no fancy overheads eating into anyone’s budget.
Visit www.redhotrealestate.co.nz and phone Fraser on 021 975839 or 0800 RED HOT for an obligation-free market appraisal on your home.
Just as no two homes are identical, real estate agents also come in their own unique package.
“We’re all different, because we have different backgrounds and choosing a perfectly suited agent is a tactical step,” says Marijke Sheppard of Ray White Rangiora.
Marijke, a former teacher, believes in dealing with facts and believes this, coupled with ensuring the owner’s involvement throughout the process, is where her success for her clients lies.
“It is important my clients are fully informed and involved, including pinpointing the target market, the advertising and creating a price point,” she says.
Professional photographs are a must. “You have one shot at making an impression – and there’s definitely an art to it. It’s a marginal expense compared to the benefits.”
She believes presentation is paramount and with her experience and attention to detail, Marijke offers those useful and creative tricks of her trade.
“It is important not to leave any stone unturned or cut corners. Be prepared for all scenarios. I provide a full property appraisal; my vendors get honest weekly written reports from buyers who have viewed which include anything that can be improved or changed. Sometimes we have to have those difficult conversations.
“It is important that we, as agents, are informed, up to date with local knowledge, so we can pass this onto our clients. But while these conversations can be hard, it is important to keep positive and always include a little humour! There’s merit in believing things happen for a reason!”
Phone Marijke (pronounced Ma-rye-ka) for a chat on 027 461 6127, email firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit rwrangiora.co.nz
The growth of the Twiss Keir Realty team is impressive. Established more than 30 years ago, it recently boasted five branches – Hanmer, Kaiapoi, Rangiora, Belfast and The Palms.
With the recent purchase of Four Seasons Realty – with offices in Hornby and Rolleston – there are now seven offices, 91 salespeople, 33 staff and management and 10 in property management, with a franchise area that stretches throughout North Canterbury, Selwyn and Christchurch’s outer suburbs.
“We are the largest sales team in our market with the largest property management portfolio. We sell on average one in every three residential properties in North Canterbury and one in two lifestyle properties. But it is not our size that defines us – we are a dynamic and varied business designed to cater to all from the smallest property to multimillion dollar estates.
“We pride ourselves on client results. We see ourselves as the most effective sales team with a genuine focus on keeping our clients happy. We have experts in residential, commercial and rural as well as business brokers, a farm specialist and the only known viticulture specialised salesperson,” licenced business owner, third generation realtor James Twiss says.
It is inspiring seeing business growth such as this and the team does it with heart. In the past five years it has supported the Harcourts Foundation and given more than $150,000 to local community charities in North Canterbury and the Selwyn district. “We are regularly amazed and humbled by the support our communities have given and continue to give us.”