Who to call when the chips are down? As former chief executive of Potatoes New Zealand (PNZ Inc.) and co-director of Ray White Southern Corridor, Champak Mehta has a lot on his plate. Business to Business spoke to this man about one of New Zealand’s most important primary industries and the burgeoning southern Auckland property market.
– You established Southern Corridor Realty group with your business partner, Prewett. Why the move into real estate?
Reece and I have both had long corporate careers that took us to live in far flung corners of the world. We wanted to be business owners and had been exploring new challenges when the opportunity to join Ray White emerged.
Having developed a very strong affinity to the Franklin district [southern Auckland] during my time with PNZ Inc., it just felt right to work here and I quickly convinced Reece that this was the opportunity we’d been looking for.
We moved quickly, completing our due diligence and owning the business less than three months later. We’re particularly pleased that the legacy owners have chosen to remain engaged in the business and are excited at the vision we have to make Southern Corridor Realty the pre-eminent and most trusted group of real estate advisors in the region.
– Is the balance of rural and urban areas around the southern fringes of the Super City changing?
They are urbanising and that’s not necessarily a bad thing – if it’s done with foresight – as it leads to increased infrastructure benefits. However, a concerted effort is needed to ensure that, if highly productive agricultural land is transformed into residential developments, additional agricultural land is identified and developed to replace it.
We’re seeing the south of Auckland bump up against northern Franklin. This trend will continue. We should see a city the size of Hamilton develop in the next 20 years within the boundaries of the Southern Corridor – that’s a significant development! In our opinion, there is no real estate precinct in Australasia that has the same huge potential for growth than the Southern Corridor.
– Is there a land shortage in Auckland?
No. We don’t have a land shortage in New Zealand – we are roughly the size of the UK in land area, with a [much smaller] population, smaller than Singapore. We just have to ensure we use our land wisely and it’s employed in the most productive ways.
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Canterbury celebrated their Quarterly Awards in December at the George Hotel where Ray White New Zealand CEO, Carey Smith was there to present and congratulate offices and individuals on their achievements.
Ray White Metro was the top office in the Sales Turnover and Business Growth categories. For their focus on Customer Satisfaction, awards were presented to Ray White Merivale, Ray White Full Circle and Ray White Metro. With a lot of focus on auctions during the year, the award for top office for Auction/Tender Lister was hotly contested with Ray White Metro taking the top award ahead of Ray White Unlimited and Ray White Ferrymead. In the community, where Canterbury offices and their people are very active, Ray White Next Step was recognised for their support of Daffodil Day as were Ray White Timaru and Ray White Papanui for their involvement in Trillian Mini-Bash.
For individuals, it was Ray White Rolleston duo Sarah Booth and Brendan Shefford who achieved top spot for Sales Turnover. Kieran Gray from Ray White Merivale took out the top spot for Business Growth. Lead Auction Lister was Ray White Metro’s Rebecca Toone ahead of Ray White Full Circles Linda Wines.
Customer Satisfaction has received much focus by members across the Canterbury region with the following recognised for their results during the last quarter;
There were 19 Premier Plagues and 2 Elite Plagues awarded for the quarter, showing the continued commitment and dedication Ray White members deliver to their clients.
Ray White Canterbury are part of a strong network of offices throughout the South Island, New Zealand.
Find an office by visiting www.raywhite.co.nz
Wrapping up a successful 2015, Wanganui held their 30th Annual Sports Awards Gala Event with Ray White Wanganui being a major sponsor. Wanganui has a rich history in the sports arena – they started the New Zealand Masters Games in 1989; Peter Snell ran a sub 4-minute mile race in a world record time of 3 minutes 54.4 seconds in 1962 on a grass track at Cook’s Gardens, and the famous Wanganui motorbike street races are held every Boxing Day, to name just a few.
Tim Hocquard, business owner of Ray White Wanganui, was himself a prodigious sportsman and loves nothing better than to support and encourage junior sports teams. In 2012 he took this passion further by becoming the major sponsor of the Annual Wanganui Sports Awards Gala Event.
This year a number of the recipients were national and international athletes; the Gowler and Scown girls who won medals at the World Rowing Championships; Earl Bamber – car racing; Philippa Baker – Olympic Medallist, and Darrell Hoskin – a volunteer coach who gives his time to hundreds of budding rugby players.
“We applaud your leadership in the community and generous contributions throughout the year”, said Rae Beale, Central and Lower North Island Business Performance Manager, Ray White New Zealand.
Having moved to their new premises earlier in the year, has made it easier to have client functions that are a little special. Peter organised the entertainment for four nights of functions, so individual salespeople could invite some of their advocates to be treated to an evening of entertainment by virtuoso guitarist and singer/songwriter Andrew White.
Peter said, “Andrew is one of those rare artists who can skilfully combine brilliant finger-style guitar work with a compelling story in lyrics to deliver them both in an engaging performance – his visit to Dunedin didn’t disappoint. He was superb and I know all of the guests were very impressed, especially as it all took place in the office. It worked incredibly well”.
Ray White New Zealand South Island Group Facilitator, David Price said, “securing someone of Andrew’s calibre speaks volumes for Peter’s commitment to enhancing the customer experience. It was of no surprise that Peter was already planning his next client function which, I am told, will be another not to miss”.
Andrew has toured, supported and performed with many international acts, including The Corrs, Taj Mahal, Brendan Power (Sting, Van Morrison), Seals and Crofts, Brian Ritchie (The Violent Femmes) Roy Harper and many others.
To have an artist with this much talent and ability, at a reasonable cost certainly helped make this event a huge success. Andrew is based in Auckland but was happy to travel to Dunedin. If anyone wished to use Andrew for their own client function, contact Peter McCrea on 0274 585360.
Ray White Dunedin is located at 12 Wharf Street and is part of a strong network of offices in the Lower South Island. Feel free to visit any of their offices or contact them on 03 477 3660 or visit rwdunedin.co.nz.
The Ray White Group results for December 2015 saw the highest sales for a month in December and 4th highest sales month of 2015. The sales results were 14% ahead of the same period last year and 17% ahead of November 2015. The combined sales results saw members complete 1,207 transactions at an average sale price of $580,732, which gave a net released total turnover volume of just over $700 million. The number of listings secured decreased by 3.9% to 1,077. This in turn reduced the overall listing portfolio of the group by 2%, which was consistent with December 2014.
Carey Smith, Chief Executive of Ray White New Zealand, said “The dynamics of the December results show a slight change back toward the sellers. This was aided by the reduction in the Official cash interest rate to 2.5% the lowest level since 2011 which has reignited buyer demand and interest. The investor market is adjusting to the LVR restrictions particularly in Auckland with rent levels continuing to rise. This is assisting investors back into the market coupled with lower interest rate levels”.
The top three businesses in New Zealand were Ray White Remuera, Ray White Ponsonby and Ray White City Apartments, these businesses combined completed $129 million in sales which was a record for the top businesses.
Throughout the regional areas of New Zealand – in Northland, Ray White Whangarei featured as the leading office. In the Auckland region the top three businesses were also the top three businesses in New Zealand; being Ray White Remuera, Ray White Ponsonby, and Ray White City Apartments,. The Central North Island featured an outstanding sales month by Ray White Hamilton, Ray White Rotorua and Ray White Te Awamutu. Ray White Wanganui was the leading office in the Lower North Island region. The Upper South Island featured Ray White Richmond as the leading business. In Canterbury, Ray White Metro, Ray White Rolleston ad Ray White Unlimited were the top three businesses. In the Lower South Island, Ray White Dunedin, and Ray White Invercargill, had very successful sales month while Ray White Wanaka continue to build on their continued high-performance results.
The top Commercial Office for Ray White New Zealand was the team from Ray White Commercial Tauranga.
The Ray White Group opened five new offices in the final quarter of 2015 these included – Ray White Te Puke, Ray White Takapuna, Ray White Patumahoe, Ray White Rangiora and Ray White Halswell. The first new office to open in 2016 will be Ray White Devonport late in January.
In 2012, Ray White Beach Haven purchased a 1940’s house at 43 Rangatira Road in Beach Haven with a plan to renovate and resell to raise money for the Beach Haven Plunket as they were in dire need for better facilities.
Now rest assured this is no quick and cheap do up; we achieved a high-quality renovation that is evident when you visit the property. The weatherboards were stripped and the whole exterior bar the roof completely repainted. The interior stripped to the framing, fully rewired, re-plumbed and insulated in all the exterior walls, ceilings and under the floor. New GIB board and classy looking GIB coving applied to the nine foot high walls, all new “government” architraves and skirtings to match the era, and the window joinery stripped and painted in the all classic gloss white. New carpet in the bedrooms and family room and the stunning original Rimu floors exposed in the lounge, kitchen, entrance and dining area. New kitchen, two new bathrooms, retained back lawn – the perfect family home.
With the money donated, they have rebuilt and developed the clinic at 6 Drome View Place, Beach Haven in order for the nurses to have better facilities to work with the mothers and families in the community. The opening was on Thursday, 12 November at 9:30am where Glenn Carpenter (Owner/Licensee Agent) cut the ribbon to officially open the clinic, along with the team from Ray White Beach Haven and the Plunket community.
Our sponsors have been amazing and the list is long and varied. First up was the BNZ (already one of Plunket’s principal sponsors) with an interest free loan, Grove Mitre 10 Mega in Glenfield stepped up supplying majority of the building materials, GIB, Wattyl Paints, Mammoth Insulation, Kitchen Studios, Orange Scaffolding, Lamp Specialists, Contract Landscapes Ltd, Flooring Direct, Heritage Tiles, Foreno Tapware, Tree Fellas, Parmco and Betta Electrical, PS Electrical, Hi-Qual Doors and Stairs, Tradextra, Schnauer & Co, Orion Signs, Ambient Air, McDermond Plumbing, Mokoia Developments, Ideal Electrical, JTMedia, Marley, BCW Design, BeScene Interiors and Refresh Home Staging; and, of course, the many volunteers and the team at Ray White Beach Haven, putting in hours of their time over 10 months.
Feel free to visit Ray White Beach Haven at 350 Rangatira Road or view their website www.rwbeachhaven.co.nz.
Ray White Richmond Co-owner, Christine Cook explains, “some months ago I thought it would be great if we could enter a float in the Christmas Parade. With this in mind a couple of us, Kate Trower in particular, put our heads together for ideas and came up with a Gingerbread House. We spent several nights out at my place in the big shed working together as a team to build the float and make gingerbread men. Thirteen of our staff wore the gingerbread men suits with a number of our children/grandchildren dressed as elves and fairies walking behind the float. We received a fantastic response from the public and this was not only because of the float but also the interaction we did on the day talking with the kiddies lined up along Queen Street, Richmond. Our float received 2nd placing which we were thrilled about especially as this was the first time we had entered”.
Christine went on to add, “currently in our region Fireshire FM are running a ‘Big Give’ Promotion that we are also sponsoring, collecting gifts and donations for 200 families in the area. On Thursday 10th December, we went out in convoy around Richmond homes collecting gifts and we also have a Christmas tree in our office foyer where the public can drop off gifts.”
Ray White New Zealand South Island Group Facilitator, Dave Price said, “it is important for our businesses to be well connected to their communities and this can definitely be said for our team in Richmond. It is of no surprise that the parade prize won, $300 worth of PAK’nSAVE vouchers, will be donated to the ‘Big Give’”.
Ray White Richmond is part of a strong network of Ray White Offices in the Upper South Island. Their Office is located at 257 Queen Street, visit their website at www.rwrichmond.co.nz or give them a call on 03 544 8778.
There was a great feeling of community when clients and suppliers from Ray White Mangere Bridge’s Sales and Rentals divisions came together to celebrate the branch’s first year.
AT Realty Director Adam Thomson said it was a pleasure to see clients and staff come together and celebrate what had been a hugely successful year. “I’m immensely proud of our new office and the passion and drive from the entire team,” he said. “With over 400 managements and both Jared Cooksley and Jared Hards obtaining Elite status (top 2% internationally) this year, we really have had a fantastic year.”
“At the recent Ray White Awards, #TeamJared also picked up the top customer satisfaction award.”
Ray White New Zealand Head of Agency Operations, Graeme Fraser said of their award “right from the opening of the office, Adam and his team have made significant inroads into the local market and community. Their energy and enthusiasm along with a strong client and service focus have been the foundation of their success”.
Tim Obern was one of the attendees who was proud to celebrate the success, being the head auctioneer for the Office, “the teams dedication to running an efficient database and sticking to the process has seen them experience huge growth”.
This year the Ball was hosted at the Ellerslie Event Centre, with the function room being cast with a “winter spell” theme. Guests enjoyed a lovely three-course meal prepare by Mango Catering and were entertained by live performances from circus performers Dust Palace, and the Black Salt Band.
Guests also had the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets to go into the draw to win a $12,000 necklace which was generously donated by Partridge Jewellers and participate in both silent and live auctions during the night, hosted by one of Ray White’s leading Auctioneers, Hayden Broadbelt.
The night was enjoyed by all, and with over $190,000 raised for the Ronald McDonald House Auckland the night was hugely successful.
“We are so grateful for the support of Ray White. With their support we can continue to continue to provide a home away from home for Kiwi families throughout their children’s medical journeys” – Wayne Howett CEO RMHC New Zealand
On Thursday 12th November, Ronald McDonald House Auckland (RMHA) in conjunction with Coutts Newmarket held an exhibition of Hilaire Field’s vintage garments from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s accompanied by classic Mercedes-Benz cars from the same era.
It was a successful evening with over 200 guests in attendance, with drinks and canapés provided by My Kitchen Rule winners Neena and Belinda from The Green Kitchen. During the evening, an auction was held with Ray White Auctioneer Tim Obern calling the auction, to raise money for RMHA. On offer was a $1,500 jewellery voucher provided by The Jewellers Gallery, a two night getaway on Waiheke Island, and a couple’s golf weekend in Taupo. All three lots were sold and at the end of the night money raised came to a total of approximately $14,400.
All money raised went directly towards the House to help provide the comforts of home to families staying in the House during their child’s medical journey.