Riding Out of the Blue with Ray White Warkworth


Ten cyclists will make their way from Auckland to Warkworth today as they enter the third week of the 2014 Ride Out of the Blue cross country challenge to raise awareness for mental health issues.

Supported by Ray White Warkworth, the team of ten riders, who started their journey on Saturday 11 October in Bluff are stopping in towns, cities and communities along the way to discuss and raise awareness around mental health, depression and suicide.

Over their 22 day journey Ride out of the Blue will use nothing but pedal power and determination to travel the 2330 kilometers from Bluff to Cape Reinga. Now in its third year, Ride Out of the Blue  participants will be encouraging discussion about mental health and suicide along the way, celebrating the simplicities of life, and attempting to raise over $50,000 for the Mental Health Foundation Mindfulness in Schools project – which aims to prevent the development of childhood mental distress by encouraging positive mental health practices for children from a primary school level.

Ken Bouge and the Ray White Warkworth office are supporting the 2014 campaign with Ken’s wife also driving one of the support vehicles across the North Island leg of their journey.  Ken says “It is a community connection, although the funds are being raised for a national cause and not just for local use. We personally know two of the riders, who live within our immediate community and have served on other community organisations with me. They are passionate about the cause on a personal basis.  I strongly believe in their cause as well – having seen the effects of suicide on families right across the country. Our support is for the ‘national’ community, not just our immediate one.”

Rider Sally Smith tells us that despite two punctures and two crashes in just two kilometres on day one that it was all plain sailing, on a beautiful first day where they completed 95 kilometers – a shorter course allowing the team members to get into a rhythm and find their feet.  She tells us the are making great progress and have experienced some amazing hospitality along the way as they drop into various towns and communities. ” I am one of the two pensioners on this ride and a Blue rider from 2012. Suicide and depression have touched both our family and our friends and I wanted to do something positive about it…. I am totally committed to do anything I can to help reduce this country’s appalling suicide and depression rates!” Sally tells when asked why she chose to get involved.

The riders crossed to the North Island on Monday 20 October and are riding between Auckland and Warkworth today – being on track to complete their journey in early November.

Photo: The Ride Out of the Blue 2014 cycle team taken on Friday 10 October before departing from Bluff.

To find out more about Ride Out Of The Blue, and support the initiative, please visit their official website  rideoutoftheblue.org
Read more about the participants here.


Serving up a storm at Ronald McDonald House

RonaldMcdonaldHouseLast week the Ray White New Zealand Corporate team once again cooked dinner for the families at Ronald McDonald House, Auckland.

Ray White have a long-standing commitment to Ronald McDonald House (RMH) who provide a home away from home for families from all over New Zealand when their children require specialist medical treatment in another city.

Ronald McDonald House has three locations across New Zealand: Auckland; Wellington and Christchurch. Their primary purpose is to support families on their time of need by providing practical and emotional support – as, when a family faces the weight of a child’s illness, the best thing they can do is face it together.

From humble beginnings 20 years ago, opening with just 10 bedrooms, Ronald McDonald House in Auckland now take care of 80 Kiwi families each night; and over the last 20 years have served more than 15,000 families from right across the country.  The demand placed on the House means they have been working too on expanding their facilities, and they now have finalised plans for a further 22 rooms for the second wing of Grafton Mews which they hope will commence in 2015. New Zealand’s Ronald McDonald House’s primary aim is to keep families together – because, as they say, “families are stronger together”.

Since 2007 Ray White New Zealand Offices have been involved by partnering with RMH to help keep families together.  While Ray White regularly cook for the families staying at the house, this year Ray White have also stepped up their support of the charity by launching salesperson support partnership initiatives in addition to the long established office partnership opportunities promoted to members.  “This year we took it upon ourselves to actively promote the Ronald McDonald Street Appeal to our members, and the broader community, with really positive results.  We also look forward to launching our Ray White Little Ray of Giving campaign this Christmas season which will see all offices come together again to support those families who may need a little extra cheer this festive season” says Carey Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Ray White New Zealand.

Evening such as the cook for the families night are always a group effort, and this year was no exception with the Ray White Corporate team enlisting the support of business partner,  LoanMarket New Zealand, to make the evening a success.  Following on from the mid-winter Christmas dinner the team cooked earlier in the year traditional Kiwi Burgers were served to the families at last weeks family dinner.

“This is a collective effort, and our service delivery to families in need would simply not be possible without supporters like Ray White!” says  Dominique Cornille, Business Relationship Manager for Ronald McDonald House.


Ray White City Apartments go pink for breast cancer awareness

Breast-CancerLast week Ray White City Apartments took part in a week of fundraising for New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation and breast cancer awareness in New Zealand.

The team have been raising funds through a variety of events including The Estée Lauder Companies Pink Star Walk which saw around 12 of their staff members (pictured above) walk to 10km event with close to 5,500 other women in Auckland.  Last Friday the Ray White City Apartments team also got involved in the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation Street Appeal (Michelle Yurak pictured above with Amanda Fonoti) and, in addition to holding in-house morning teas and auction fundraisers, have raised close to $3,000 for the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation to-date.

“One of our dear staff-members is battling breast cancer, so we are really doing this for her!” says Michelle Yurak from Ray White City Apartments.  “We get the satisfaction of at the very least just trying to make a difference. Besides, all it really costs is time – something many of the people we help don’t have. ​​We enjoy raising money for a cause and making it into an event. Our team are very generous and really get on board with donations and being involved.  We have held other ‘Pink’ Morning Teas in the past but one of the highlights this years was seeing my Sales Manager and fellow colleague getting into the spirit and dressing up for our morning tea shout, as well as another colleague, Dominic Worthington, bidding $400 on the bottle of Moet Rose in the last minutes of our in-house auction.”

October is breast cancer awareness month and the New Zealand.  Breast cancer is the most common cancer for women affecting one in nine New Zealand women over their lifetime, and each day seven women are diagnosed with breast cancer in New Zealand..  The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation is a not-for-profit charitable trust and is totally reliant on grants and donations from the New Zealand public including community events held nationwide; and their own fundraising initiatives such as the Pink Ribbon Street Appeal. The money raised throughout the month will be used to fund vital research projects and support women recovering from and living with breast cancer in New Zealand. The Foundation also actively promote awareness of breast cancer in the community by providing information and education – specifically on the life-saving benefits of early detection and the importance of mammograms.

Each month Ray White City Apartments hold their own in-house ‘bake sale’ and the ladies of the office choose a charity to support.  To date the team have made donations to the ​SPCA, ​New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation, The Leukemia and Blood Foundation of New Zealand (through Delanie Horrobin’s S​ky ​T​ower ​S​tair ​C​hallenge),  Ronald McDonald House, as well as stepping up to support a colleagues friend who lost everything​ in a recent house fire​​​. Other team members also support various charities, including Greenpeace, Save The Bees, St John, Autism New Zealand and Diabetes New Zealand, through regular donations from property sales.

“It is an inspiring team to manage and work alongside” says Phil Horrobin,  owner of the City Realty Group.

Cam Calkoen and Ray White Timaru encourage students to dream big


Timaru high school students are being encouraged to dream big to achieve more with the help of Cam Calkoen, and Michelle Greer from Ray White Timaru.

Inspirational speaker Cam Calkoen recently spoke to Timaru Boys’ High and Timaru Girls’ High School students on “bending perceptions through the pursuit of awesomeness”.

Calkoen has represented New Zealand in sport, set up his own business and worked and spoken internationally. He also has cerebral palsy.

“You may have noticed I talk funny and walk funny, and it’s not because I’m drunk,” Cam said as he introduced himself to his audience.

In his own words, Cam dreams “of of a world where everyone is presented with opportunity, and our bodies are not barriers to succeeding in our dreams and aspirations. It is dreams that have brought the world to what we see today. And our aspirations will propel it into the future.”  His message to the students was ultimately to create a vision for their lives and believe in themselves. With hard work, passion and commitment, they could achieve their goals, he said.  “Life is what you make it and choose to make it awesome.”

Michelle, who saw Cam speak at the Ray White Conference earlier in the year, was contacted by Cam who shared his thoughts with her on coming to speak to the students of Timaru – and Michelle was jumped at the chance to assist. – “It’s great to be able to facilitate this and support Cam on his quest to speak to as many high school students across New Zealand as possible.  Cam is an excellent, captivating speaker and it was an excellent event… so well received by the children, staff and all those in attendance! The halls were packed with over 700 students from Boys High alone, followed by an equally large number in attendance the following day at the Girls’ High.  Despite the crowds you could still hear a pin drop in the room. Cam certainly knows how to hold and inspire an audience, and his presentation really got the students thinking about their futures.”

Cam told the story of when he wanted to enter the egg-and-spoon race at his school. Although it was going to be messy he entered anyway, and with the help of some inspirational words from his father, and chewing gum on the spoon, he completed the race. From then on he had a passion for sport, competing in golf, skiing and archery.  – The take home message being that people needed to focus on their strengths and what they could do, rather than what they could not do.  “Ignore the voice that says ‘I can’t’ and ignite the one that says ‘I can’. What are your strengths? Package them up and take them to the world.”

This was the third time Calkoen had visited Timaru to present this year. As a full-time inspirational speaker, he gives three to four speeches at different schools and corporate events each week.

“The power of a small passionate community is so awesome. You get the right people who have the right vision and great things happen.” says Cam of the event and Michelle’s support.

Michelle hopes that other Ray White New Zealand offices will follow her lead and bring Cam Calkoen to speak in their local communities.


Some information sourced: Stuff.co.nz
Pictured: Boys’ High rector Nick McIvor, Cam Calkoen and Michelle Greer from Ray White Timaru.


Sunnynook opens on Auckland’s North Shore

SunnynookThe Ray White Group are proud to announce the opening of a new office on the North Shore located in Sunnynook. Steve Brennen and Winnie Leung are the owners of the new Ray White Sunnynook franchise which is located on Tonkin Street, Sunnynook. The office is well situated in the heart of the Sunnynook community and Steve Brennan said the office has been developed as a model to grow the business from a platform of their successful Ray White Forrest Hill office. He said the combination of the two offices supporting each other allowed members to work across both markets and to lift the market share through the Sunnynook area.

Zone chairman, Richard Mason, said “The North Shore zone has shown strong growth over the last six months with the relocation of Ray White Glenfield, new owners in the sales division of Ray White Browns Bay, and now supported by the new office at Sunnynook. The collective commitment strategy that the North Shore business owners have developed is now starting to position Ray White strongly on the North Shore and the owners collectively congratulate Steve and Winnie on the new business.”

Sarah Pearce, Growth and Relationship Executive for Ray White New Zealand who has been working closely with the Ray White North Shore offices, said that the opportunity for Ray White to re-open in the Sunnynook market is significant. “Through Steve and Winnie’s efforts the Group is proud to have a new agency in Sunnynook and this will further shore up our plans to grow the overall Ray White business in the region. Recent community programmes that have been undertaken by the North Shore offices have seen a lift in collective commitment and it is pleasing to welcome a further new office on the North Shore at Sunnynook.”

Open home numbers up as over 4,700 step in to win


Ray White across New Zealand held the Step In To Win campaign which was for open home attendees at Ray White registered open homes held on election day Saturday 20th September and Sunday 21st September. The weekend was a huge success, not only for clients of Ray White, but also for Ray White members with the campaign being supported through national advertising, on radio, distribution of flyers and through both print and online advertising campaigns.

The number of attendees who came through property marketed by Ray White totalled over 4,700 and this was an increase on what is a normal weekend campaign of over 75%. Right across New Zealand open home numbers were reported to increase and areas that normally would have only a couple of buyers through homes for sale increased, with some properties to double figures.

The campaign was designed to support the Ray White national marketing campaign whereby clients of Ray White were able to support their marketing with upgrades throughout national and regional media, were offered discounts through Realestate.co.nz and Trademe.co.nz. Upgrades were also provided for signage through Neo Neon and brochure production. The success of the campaign was the best ever for the Ray White Group. Over 65 pages were presented in the New Zealand Herald and over 500 pages in the Property Press during the campaign.

Ray White were proud, as part of the campaign, to select an open home attendee in each of the regions across New Zealand to win one of 12 iPad Airs. Diane Voordouw, owner of Ray White Te Atatu said that the campaign lifted their open home numbers to the highest level that they had for any single weekend over the last 12 month period. Diane also made comment that the team engagement, not only from her office in Te Atatu, but right across West Auckland saw Ray White with a good lift in open home numbers and profile across the region. A winner from each of the 12 zones was selected and has been contacted and presented locally on behalf of the Ray White Group.

Picture: Customer at Ray White Remuera receiving their iPad Air – pictured with Ray White New Zealand CEO, Carey Smith (far left) and Leading Remuera salesperson Cathy Roselli (centre)


Ray White New Zealand CEO Comments – October 2014 just released


I am continually reminded about market conditions and the risk of inaction. The last quarter will be remembered very much for the election and the regular commentators who make generalised statements that election periods see a slowdown in the property market. The analysts are different to the commentators. The last election in 2011 saw an increase in the quarter before the general election so what was expected this time was quite different if you took what most people in the industry were saying to be correct…

>> Click here to read the full post.

Ray White Pakuranga unveil vibrant new location in East Auckland


As development in the local Pakuranga area continues to gain momentum, the newest office in the Mountfort-Baker group is looking ahead to a bright future from its new East Auckland location.

The Ray White Pakuranga office, previously tucked away behind a row of shops in Reeves Road, is now embracing a fresh look at Kentigern Plaza- a new retail development on Pakuranga Road opposite Pakuranga Plaza.

Boasting high visibility the brand new contemporary offices are making an impact both with the public and the long-serving Ray White Pakuranga real estate team.  Two eye-catching flat panel display screens have been installed on either side of the main entrance to the new office – which display both property listings and videos.  “We hope to have weather forecasts, sports and other interesting content relevant to locals displaying on the screens” says branch manager, Ian Taylor.  “Our focus isn’t just on real estate and selling properties, but about connecting with people and being a local resource to the community.  We want to inform people about what’s happening in the area, important changes in the Unitary Plan as well as promoting the region as a great place to live.”

The Ray White Pakuranga branch also incorporates a property management division, and a Loan Market office.  “We work in synergy with Loan Market, one of New Zealand’s most successful mortgage brokerage services” Ian says “…with our sales, rentals and mortgage brokerage teams working closely together to provide the best solutions for all our clients.”

Ian is supported by a branch sales team of 20, many of whom have worked with Ray White for more than a decade.  The Ray White Pakuranga branch is part of the Mountfort-Baker group of six Ray White branches in east Auckland, owned by Bob Mountfort and Neil Baker.  The 100-strong team of licensees covers the entire eastern beaches area and the prominence of the Ray White brand in the local area is something that people easily associate with.

The Ray White Pakuranga office can be visited at 102 Pakuranga Road, Pakuranga or rwpakuranga.co.nz, facebook.com/raywhite.pakuranga, or contact the team by phoning 09 576 4099.

Paraparaumu help to raise funds for new rescue boat

CoastguardAuctionRay White Paraparaumu were proud to be a part of the recent Coastguard Spring Ball held at the Southward Car Museum in an event which helped raise over over $21,000 for Kapiti Coastguard.

Close to 300 people attended the fundraising event for an evening of fine dining – where guests were welcomed with drinks and canapes and the soothing sounds of the Kapiti College Barbershop Quartet.  The evening  concluded with a charity auction followed by music and dancing to the tunes of the Aspire Big Band.  The Ray White team helped promote and sell tickets to the event and further money was raised on the night through auctioned items and further donations.  Ray White Auctioneer Tim Obern flew down specially for the event and was privileged to auction a great range of items donated from local businesses including furniture, electronics, dinner, jewellery, accommodation packages (including a nights stay on Kapiti Island which sold for $1,500) and two domestic flights – with spending money donated by Rachel Steinmetz and the Ray White Paraparaumu team.

Ray White Paraparaumu have been active supporters of Coastguard for some time now with plans to continue and further extend their support. Rachel Steinmetz from Ray White Paraparaumu recently joined the Kapiti Coastguard Fundraising Committee to assist the team with planning for the Spring Ball – an event which the Ray White Paraparaumu also came out to support on the night.

The money raised from the event will be used towards funding the new $550,000 rescue boat for the Kapiti Coastguard – who are looking to replace their 22 year old craft. Through various fundraising events – including a fishing competition run by Ray White Paraparaumu earlier in the year – their totals raised to date are sitting at around $80,000.

As the primary maritime search and rescue service, Coastguard is here to make New Zealand’s waterways a safer place for boaties – with 85% of their funding coming from donations and local community support. There are currently 71 Coastguard Units located across New Zealand, and since 1976 most of these units have been independently established by communities concerned with the lack of available marine safety. Nationally Coastguard are supported by by more than 2,465 volunteers – who have access to 78 dedicated search and rescue vessels in their fleet.  Coastguard rescue crews brought 2,915 people home safely in New Zealand last summer alone.

“Following on from our fishing competition and auction fundraiser earlier in the year, we are proud to be able to continue our support of Coastguard who do an amazing job in our local community, and all across New Zealand’s waterways… We are so proud and pleased to support Coastguard Kapiti, they are crucial service that work so hard at keeping our community together and safe and we look forward to many more ways in which we can offer our help & support… although, lets hope we never need to use them!”  Rachel says her team will “definitely continue to support Coastguard and look forward to seeing them be able to replace their existing vessel.”

Ray White Pinehill expand their business


Jimmy Wu and Iris Chen, who have been long term business owners with the Ray White Group, are proud to announce the recent relocation of the Ray White Pinehill office to East Coast Road. The premises are not only high profile but expansive in their nature and offer salespeople and property managers an environment that allows customers and clients to interact as well as integrated workspaces that give a response to the direction of the company in respect of collective commitment.

Jimmy Wu said the new premises align with their commitment to the local community and also their increasing sales team which sees them as market leaders within their area. “We run a diversified business which not only offers our clients sales but also property management. Our business has been one of the leading offices on the North Shore and we pride ourselves on the multicultural diversity we offer and we are proud members of the Ray White Group.”

Sarah Pearce, Growth and Performance Executive for Ray White throughout New Zealand, said “the move by Jimmy and Iris to reposition their business to the new premises has allowed the Group to continue to lift the profile of the company given there has been several other offices that have moved into high profile premises on the North Shore.” She went on to say that Jimmy and Iris have been business owners with Ray White for just over 10 years and they have one of the leading sales teams, with 36 salespeople on their team.

Ray White Pinehill’s new premises are located at 537A East Coast Road and is one of the central locations on the North Shore of Auckland surrounded by the rapidly growing Albany to the west and East Coast Bays to the east.

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