Their individual skills and experience are very impressive. Harcourts Gold sales consultant Milena Bartlett has brought to her real estate role a wealth of experience in sales to the most discerning of customers, while her colleague Andrew Swift has served real estate with passion and drive for more than 20 years. Put these two powerhouses together and you have created a really formidable team.
“We decided to form a partnership because we really are like-minded in the way we think and act. The client gets double the attention and double the service. The primary focus for both of us is on meeting our customers’ needs. We know that every vendor’s or buyer’s circumstances will be different and so we work with them to achieve the best result possible.”
Milena and Andrew say that while they bring complementary strengths and abilities to the partnership their combined experience, skill, knowledge and accessibility are what sets them apart from most other sales consultants.
They love a challenge and will persevere until they get a result or find a solution to a problem.
Their passion for outstanding customer service has earned Andrew and Milena an enviable reputation for success in the industry. In the last financial year they were recognised amongst the top 20 consultants for Harcourts Gold.
“Of course accolades are nice to receive, but it’s helping people that’s the greatest accolade for us. Our clients appreciate our promptness of service and our availability and that is not going to change.”
On a daily basis in my job, I find there’s a lot of misconception when it comes to selling houses, real estate salespeople and real estate in general.
A lot of sellers hire an agent who has sold in the area and operates locally. While this is great, more important is an agent who has a truly consultative approach and will recognise and market the unique features of a property.
I always look at a property and try to identify its unique selling points:
• Does it have a great layout for a family?
• Is it next to a park or reserve
• If so, how can we show that in the photos?
• Is it built for the sun?
• Is it a project or ready to move into – therefore, are we appealing to The Block enthusiasts or time-poor families and busy professionals?
I don’t subscribe to the notion that a house will sell itself. I like to believe the unique selling points incorporated into my marketing plan will ensure the right buyer is identified and captured.
Vendors are our employers, but without the right care and attention given to a potential buyer, we will not have bidders in the auction room or an offer to present.
Buyers need to feel the right information is being supplied in a timely manner, with transparency and willingness to assist with viewings and additional questions. That’s where my background in teaching, retail, and sales of high-end products comes in handy. After all, as they say, ‘people buy from people’.
As a real estate specialist, I am aware every day of fluctuations in house prices and how this affects vendors and purchasers of real estate. Following the earthquakes and subsequent demand for new properties, Christchurch was something of an anomaly in the market, not following the trends of the country’s other large cities.
Currently, eight years on from our seismic events, the market here is rebalancing itself. The average sale time for a property is now 56 days – that’s the longest time for more than seven years. Why is that? There has definitely been uncertainty over the introduction or otherwise of a Capital Gains Tax (CGT) and about immigration law changes. In addition, insurance and EQC money has pretty much dried up.
House prices, however, have remained flat – the fluctuations are merely ripples, rather than waves. The median price has slipped by only one percent over the past 12 months and there is also stock available. That means choice and opportunity for buyers. I believe it is a strong time to buy right now with purchasers less likely to drown in competition.
There’s no CGT but there are lower bank interest rates and, in some parts of the city, vendors have adjusted their price expectations to better reflect the market – over 70 percent of the houses sold in the city have been under $750,000. Only 10 percent are over $1 million.
This makes it a good time to sell if you are looking to upgrade. So call me on 021 339 078 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to have your property appraised at no cost and with no ongoing commitment.
The honours shelf at Harcourts Gold Papanui just got more crowded with stunningly successful agent Cameron Bailey achieving 2019 awards for Number One Agent in New Zealand (for the third time), Number One International Agent (for the third time), Number One Agent in Canterbury (for a staggering seventh year), and Harcourts Gold Papanui is Number One Harcourts Office for New Zealand – and internationally out of 900 offices.
At Cameron’s level of achievement, real estate is a lifestyle, not a job. But while he truly is the top agent, Cameron is still driven by working with a great team every single day, and meeting clients and helping them realise their goals.
Cameron works all over Canterbury and is as satisfied in closing a sale on a $300,000 home as on a $3 million home. “In the current market, skilled agents are getting homes sold – there is a big difference in what a great agent can achieve.”
Cameron says that while prices have softened, the current market is “a fairer market and buyers are very prepared to pay what a property is worth”. He has taken over many listings from agents and companies that have stalled, and achieved a very successful sale.
Cameron and his ‘A team’ completed 1850 open homes last year. “Our market reach ensures we have more buyers and opportunities at our fingertips; business happens constantly and our network buzzes.”
Repeat business is key “you reach this level and maintain it for seven years only if you’ve got excellence and consistency – clients who want to work with you again and again”.
The central city is exciting, alive and vibrant. In my opinion, there are several factors and benefits buyers should consider if they are thinking about living in the CBD.
As homeowners are downsizing, it’s a great opportunity to enjoy a vibrant inner-city. Living in a townhouse or apartment in the central city allows owners or tenants the benefit of a small footprint and low maintenance options with easy access to local services and amenities. The simplicity of central city living cannot be underestimated, having cafés, restaurants, entertainment, art and culture, music and great bars right on your doorstep. In 2018 there were seventeen events in Hagley Park. The soon to open Convention Centre, the Metro Sports Facility, the recent opening of the Town Hall and other city projects will only make living in the CBD more exciting.
Another aspect of living in the inner city is a growing community spirit. There is a swing back to knowing your neighbour and a sense of looking after each other, especially for those in multi-unit buildings. This fosters a sense of security, safety and feel-good factor. We’ve had strong sales in the city over the last two months, with one-bedroom apartments from $330K to executive three and four bedroom dwellings up to $2m, from first-home buyers and families to professionals and investors. We have three only left at 17 Salisbury Street, a lovely two-bed two-bath townhouse for $680,000. I have a free inner-city booklet with the current new build properties plus pending projects.
About 6,000 people currently live in Christchurch’s inner city; a third less than pre-quake. We have been warned we must speed up central city growth if new enterprises are to survive. The CBD has seen a lot of retail, office and civic developments, but the missing ingredient is people.
I believe it’s critically important for the future of the city to have a strong residential component. You need a night-time economy to add to the daytime economy. So I totally endorse the Christchurch City Council’s recently announced three-year plan aimed at accelerating the inner city population, named Project 8011 after the central city postcode and the estimated number of homes needed for 20,000 people.
Incentives in the plan range from working with developers to provide subsidies around the consenting and building fees charged by the council, to low equity loans, rebates on development contributions and investment from the NZ Super Fund, as well as introducing rating and other financial incentives to encourage people to buy. Its geographical focus is the central city as defined in the Christchurch District Plan – known as the ‘Four Avenues’.
I am already seeing keen interest from buyers in apartments, town houses and homes in the specified area; the SOHO Apartments at 118 Salisbury St where pre-paid rates and pre-paid body corp fees for up to three years are part of the incentive to purchase, are 60 percent pre-sold. So the new plan is being talked about and is working.
Christchurch’s Anchor Projects are key initiatives to attract people into the central city. They are all about people – making the central city a place where people want to live, work and visit for social and cultural activities.
At long last we are now seeing physical evidence that major new public facilities such as the Convention Centre (Te Pae) and the Metro Sports Facility (Taiwhanga Rehia) are more than concepts on urban planners’ drawing boards. Bookings are already rolling in for the Convention Centre due to be finished in early 2020 and predicted to bring in more than $60 million in revenue to Canterbury.
Short and longer-term accommodation for participants and spectators at conferences and events at these world-class facilities is going to be highly sought after. I am already finding inner city apartments are selling like proverbial ‘hotcakes’. Christchurch Central is definitely experiencing exponential growth and popularity from both locals and internationals. Scheduled for completion at a similar time to the Convention Centre, is a new inner city apartment development on Salisbury Street called SOHO Apartments. There are 44 apartments and 6 townhouses in this complex – all 2-bedroom/2-bathroom units, finished to a high specification and selling for $550,000 to $650,000.
Each apartment has a secure car park and we are currently selling them off the plans from the developers. These units are an excellent opportunity for potential buyers to not only secure a better future for themselves and their families, but to also be an integral part of the renewed vibrancy of our beautiful city.
See www.sohochristchurch.co.nz /#markoloughin for more information.