The Ray White Group announced earlier this month that it has signed a strategic partnership agreement to market all of its residential, commercial and rural real estate listings in New Zealand, Australia and Indonesia in the Chinese language exclusively on Juwai.com, the No. 1 Chinese international property portal.
This is a significant strengthening of the existing ties between Ray White and Juwai.com. Besides tying Ray White exclusively to Juwai.com, it provides every Ray White office with extra tools to service their vendors, including upgrades to their listings and branding, advertorials, feature properties, email direct marketing, professional translation and Chinese-language brochures, websites and mobile websites.
Juwai.com now has Chinese-language marketing partnerships with each of the four largest real estate networks in Australia and New Zealand to be the exclusive portal marketing their listings in Chinese – Ray White having the largest network of offices across the region.
Carey Smith, CEO of Ray White New Zealand, says this agreement makes Juwai.com an exclusive Chinese partner, and will lead to new transactions and better outcomes in Ray White offices across the country. “China is New Zealand’s largest source of offshore property buyers, with 25 per cent of all offshore sales… We will channel all of our China marketing efforts through Juwai.com, because it is the leader in audience, product and results” he said.
With 1.5 million users, Juwai.com has the biggest audience and has been the market leader in online real estate since 2010. Baidu, China’s online search giant, gives Juwai.com a page rank of four, but gives myfun.com.au and soufun’s international property website together a combined page rank of only two.
“Vendors now know that, when they work with Ray White, their property is marketed on the leading website in China, so that no stone is left unturned in getting the best possible price” Mr Smith explains.
Andrew Taylor, co-CEO of Juwai.com, said: “This is another example of Ray White’s innovative leadership in the real estate industry. While the majority of our consumers are in China, we are also the preferred Chinese site for Chinese speakers residing in New Zealand.”
Over the past year, New Zealand moved up the ranks with Chinese buyers, from their 10th most popular country to their fifth most popular. That’s the biggest improvement of any of the top 10 countries. “We see sustained and growing interest in New Zealand by Chinese buyers. Queenstown is one of the top three destinations for Chinese property enquiries in the country” says Mr Taylor.
The Ray White network’s listings went live on Juwai.com as of 1 September 2014. In addition to the basic listing package, Juwai.com provides every Ray White office with extra tools to service their vendors, including upgrades to their listings and branding, advertorials, feature properties, email direct marketing, professional translation and Chinese-language brochures, websites and mobile websites.
Ray White on the North Shore have developed the exclusive Next Talent mentoring programme designed to give salespeople the very best start to their real estate career.
With a great deal of activity and expansion on the North Shore, which has seen a variety of roles available within the group, the North Shore teams have developed their unique mentoring program, Ray White Next Talent, tailored exclusively to the individuals’ needs and which complimentary to those joining the Ray White North Shore offices.
Led and personally mentored by Ray White New Zealand Growth Executive Sarah Pearce those joining the Ray White North Shore collective will now also be supported by the Ray White North Shore Next Talent leadership team of Nicola Gilliver, Nicky Hattam, Lynne Royston, and Chantall Turner (pictured above) who hold a wealth of experience in the real estate industry. Calling upon their own personal success and insight they are now offering those, who are brand new to the industry, a cutting-edge platform of networking, guidance and advice.
“We are proud to be able to invest in those joining this exciting industry” says Sarah Pearce. “Ray White are now tailoring an extensive training and career development programme to our North Shore members, beginning with this new program ‘Next Talent‘ on the North Shore. This is further supported by our national sales programs: Sales Ignite, Sales Accelerator right up to the prestigious Next Leaders program – which addresses the needs and development of the salesperson at the very highest level.”
Sarah Pearce, who also facilitates the Next Leaders programme, says she is rewarded by seeing attendees succeed through to taking up positions of leadership within the group.
There are now nine Ray White offices on the North Shore: Albany, Beach Haven, Birkenhead, Browns Bay, Forrest Hill, Glenfield, Milford, Northcote and Pinehill, with exciting plans for further growth in the region. Ray White North Shore is backed by the strength of over 140 New Zealand offices, plus more than 1,000 international offices across nine countries.
“Our training programmes are very successful, equipping our people with the knowledge, skills and experience to help maximise the value of property sales for our clients,” says Ray White New Zealand CEO Carey Smith. “It’s one of the reasons Ray White have sold more properties in Australia and New Zealand than any other real estate group.”
Business owner Haydon Jones from Ray White Papanui jumped at the chance to take part in Variety‘s recent Southern Dash. Representing his newly branded Ray White Papanui office Hayden was one of hundreds of people from all over New Zealand who got involved in this Children’s Charity event which raised close to $8,000 for disadvantaged children in the local community.
Famous for their unique fundraising events, Variety’s Southern Dash was no exception. Adding a new angle to its entertaining car convoy of fancy-dress teams this years Southern Dash saw participants travel in clapped out old rental cars, as opposed to the traditional classic car convoy, as they donated money to kids in need, entertained others and took part in a Grey Main School working bee.
First visiting the STAND Health Camp at Glenieg, where Pooh Bear, Elmo and former All Black Reuben Thorne joined in with singing and a basketball contest against the kids, teams then headed south to Waitaha Special Learning Centre in Templeton for a short stage-show and well-deserved lunch with the children and staff. Heading West to Hokitika teams took part in impromptu contests along the way. After a bright and early start on the final day teams joined a working bee to develop a garden for the students at Grey Main School – featuring artwork, fruit and vegetables which is designed to encourage, and allow children to grow, harvest, and cook their own weekly meals. ”Parents and children delighted in watching Spiderman planting strawberries, three sunglasses-clad bees working among the string beans plus a pair of Mexicans spreading gravel – and at the end of the day plenty of work was completed before the convoy left for a night at Blackball, where they were joined by celebrity chef, Jax Hamilton.” Haydon tells us.
Variety, known as The Children’s Charity, levels the playing field for disadvantaged Kiwi kids; and with around 260,000 Kiwi kids growing up in poverty their work is essential. Every year the charity raise funds to help over 10,000 local children with funds used to meet unmet health and education needs and helping to provide the children with brighter futures. At the heart of Variety’s fundraising efforts is the unique Variety Bash - a quirky car rally which travels hundreds of kilometres during one week in March each year fundraising for Kiwi kids, distributing grants, entertaining children and telling the Variety story. It’s a mad-cap adventure full of eccentric vehicles, larger-than-life characters and heart-felt philanthropy. Smaller events such as the this years Southern Dash are also regularly held around the country. Variety work alongside schools, agencies and the government, tackling child poverty so the Kiwi kids who urgently need life-changing assistance are set up to reach their full potential in life.
Having taken part in other Variety events in the past this was the first time Hayden had entered a team of his own. ”The event itself was a lot of fun, but highlight was definitely seeing the kids faces light up when we arrive at their school… I’m looking forward to Variety Bash 25 Year Anniversary event next year, and am hoping to bring in other Ray White Group Members to support. - They are such an amazing charity and it is such a fantastic cause” says Hayden.
The rain was horizontal and the temperature was five degrees, however Ray White Wanganui still managed to draw a crowd of over 100 people to their recent Auction Night Extravaganza featuring Ray White New Zealand‘s CEO Carey Smith as special guest and head auctioneer.
“We are coming out of what can can be a quiet time so we at Ray White Wanganui decided to inject a bit of life into our property marketing with the Auction Campaign.” says Tim Hocquard from Ray White Wanganui. “Initially we thought we could have an auction event featuring 15 or so properties, however once we approached our clients with the concept we found we were overwhelmed with requests from our customers who wanted to be included in both the event and the auction process… which in turn led to the Auction Extravaganza.”
The Ray White Wanganui team eventually put put 21 properties up for auction on the evening – ranging from tidy and steady investment properties through to high-end architecturally designed homes plus four commercial properties. Calling it an ‘Auction Extravaganza’ the event was marketed via a five-week advertising campaign, which included some eye catching signage around the city.
An experienced auction campaigner himself, Carey Smith led the evening with local auctioneering personality John Blaikie for some light hearted charity auctions throughout the evening to raise money for the local Riding for the Disabled community.
As is the case with the auction process one property sold at the onset of the campaign, another four went just hours before the Auction night. Although only one property sold under the hammer – three of the properties had contracts on them immediately after the auction and another five were under negotiation. “This really is a great example of another auction success story” says Rae Beale, Central and Lower North Island Business Performance Manager for Ray White New Zealand. “Auctions are highly focused marketing campaigns designed to expose a property to the maximum number of buyers, maximise the sale price and minimise the number of days the property is on the market – giving the seller not one, but three opportunities to sell their property: before auction, at auction, and after auction… In an area were auctions are not typically used in the sales process, we were delighted to see our Wanganui office adopt the concept with such positive results for their customers.”
Auctions certainly continue to be a favoured method of sale in the real estate industry as both an effective and efficient method of sale, and Ray White has a long history in the real estate auction market. Ray White presently conducts more auctions than any other real estate company in Australia and pioneered in-room auctions – conducted by industry-leading auctioneers and backed by quality property presentations. According to Real Estate Institute of New Zealand data, auctions account for over 1 in 5 of all New Zealand property sales. – In Auckland the numbers are far higher with over that same period 38% of all sales being by auction – as evidenced by Ray White City Apartments whose recent auction successes have been featured on Interest.co.nz.
Tim Hocquard says the Ray White Wanganui team will certainly run an event like this again – with planning for their next auction event already underway. A similar Auction Night has also been planned for October by the Ray White North Shore Offices in Auckland who will be putting a selection of properties up for Auction at the Takapuna Boating Club - another evening that will be hosted by CEO, Carey Smith.
Mike Hook from Ray White Takanini took some time out turf-side recently – coaching and supporting the Counties Senior Women’s Hockey team at the Senior New Zealand Hockey tournament. Run by New Zealand Hockey and hosted at the North Harbour Hockey stadium this national event was held from 7-12 September and saw 28 teams (approximately 448 competitors) support staff and spectators attending over the six days.
Passionate hockey player Mike Hook, a salesperson with Ray White Takanini, has played hockey himself since the age of 13 and started coaching whilst at Lincoln University, on a hockey sports scholarship. He now regularly coaches.
“Despite the girls defeat, the highlight from the event was definitely the first game where the girls were able to win against North Harbour who were the defending champs and had a huge reputation.” explains Mike. ”The Counties girls had not all played together before and didn’t have the best lead up to the event, never having actually had the chance chance of training together, but despite this the girls put in a tremendous effort!”
When asked about how he manages the balance between hockey and his real estate career Mike admits it can be hard at times but says “I think it is a good way to refresh, recharge and also provides a wonderful opportunity to expand my horizons and promote my own brand at the same time as taking part and serving my community” he says. ”There are many parallels between high performance sport and a career like real estate. They both require discipline, desire and ultimately is process driven not result driven so if the process is done correctly then the result takes care of itself.”
“The girls still had a great time at the tournament, they were disappointed with the result but still had moments of great hockey, … at the end of the day being able to encourage the girls to play their best and sharing my knowledge” is what it all comes down to. Ray White were well represented on the field as well with Anil Nathoo from Ray White Glenfield playing on the Counties Mens team – who came 3rd winning the bronze medal.
“I saw the opportunity to volunteer to cook for the families as I am currently fundraising for Ronald McDonald House by running the Queenstown marathon and thought it would be a great way for the team to come together in a unique way and learn about the House” says Hannah Cleary from Ray White Manukau.
“Both my brother and I were Starship babies and my mum had to spend a significant amount of time at the Starship Hospital and the house facility they had back then. To see the facility today and what they are able to offer these families shows how much progress has been made and the support from New Zealander’s for such a great cause” says Hannah Cleary. ”We did this purely with the aim of putting the families first and going out of our ways to ensure that we make their lives just that little bit easier. Naturally, it takes team-work to have the event come together and without each individual working together in sync would never get off the ground, so the team building factor is really just an added-bonus for us.” she adds.
Ronald McDonald House’s primary purpose is to support families on their time of need by providing practical and emotional support. With three houses across New Zealand Ronald McDonald Houses help keep families together – because families are stronger when they are together.
“There is no feeling like being able to help take a load off families that are under intense stress; it is a mix of realisation of how fortunate we are, and how much we have to be grateful for. The feeling of knowing that you gesture may only be a small part in the matrix but is extremely cherished by the families is indescribable. ” says Adam Thompson from Ray White Manukau.
Ray White Manukau regularly sponsor projects in their community – such as the New Zealand Fire Brigade Touch Tournament. the Radio Networks ‘Special Children’s Christmas Party’, and have also provided books for Puhinui Primary School. Although this was their first time cooking at Ronald McDonald House it certainly won’t be the last - with all team members keen to make it an annual event.
Ray White New Zealand have supported Ronald McDonald Houses since 2007 – helping to keep families together, and this year also stepped up their support of the charity by offering individual salesperson support partnership initiatives in addition to the long established office partnership opportunities. ”It is always humbling to see members step up as individuals and gather their teams to support this important charity” says Graeme Fraser, Ray White New Zealand Auckland Performance Manager.
This is the 12th Most Trusted Brands survey and it provides an insight into which brands the New Zealand public trust and why. Being one of the featured brands and being recognised by the Readers Digest Trusted Brands in New Zealand for 2014 is one of the most important and essential qualities in business, which is trust.
As part of the Ray White New Zealand Strategy, our members understand that the integrity of our decisions and the way that we build trust is through collective strength. Our endeavours as a company to continue to provide service at an outstanding level drives the relationships between our members and the clients and customers that we serve. We see trust as being one of the most important elements in respect to choice and, in more recent times, our company has introduced the customer satisfaction programme which allows feedback by clients and customers on the service that we provide. This assists us in understanding the way we go about offering services and being able to connect our members with our clients and customers, primarily through trust based relationships.
Carey Smith, Chief Executive of Ray White New Zealand, said “Being acknowledged as one of the trusted brands in New Zealand is not only a continued ambition for our company but allows us to strive for better outcomes for our clients, which range across all of our services including residential, commercial, rural and property management. Our Group understand that trust is an experience and we have aligned the success of our New Zealand Strategy directly to connect with trust and we are proud to have been selected as one of the Trusted Brands again in 2014.”
The Ray White Group sell over 1,000 properties per month and manage over 15,000 properties in their property management portfolio. The Group has 142 offices, with 1,365 salespeople, over 300 property managers and administration staff.
For more information on the Ray White Group please see raywhite.co.nz
Michelle Greer, franchise owner of Ray White Timaru, recently sponsored the Oceanview Heights School with swim bags, skipping ropes, pens and balloons; enabling close to 90 school children to be able to have their sports gear stored in one place and easily identifiable when they travel to the local pool in Timaru. Seen here at the school assembly, the children were very appreciative of the offering by Michelle and the team at Ray White Timaru.
Office manager at Oceanview Heights School, Christine Welsh, said “Local businesses contributing to our school children plays an important role in their development, socialisation and commitment to our school and the activities we provide. It is also great our children can identify together and they were very excited when receiving these gifts from Ray White.”
Michelle Greer said that seeing the smile on the childrens faces is a reflection of the opportunity the school has given us to provide these small gifts to the children. “We hope to be able to continue to support the children of our local community and it makes us proud that we can help out, even in a small way, with the children’s needs at Oceanview Heights School.”
Early on Saturday morning Ray White North Shore joined forces with over 100 members of the community to plant native trees at Upper Eskdale Reserve in Glenfield.
The community planting event was organised by new community partner Kaipatiki Project Environment Centre and Kaipatiki Community Facilities Trust to restore and enhance the bush perimeter of the Eskdale Cemetery. Native plants were planted on the fringes of the bush to protect the cemetery from encroaching weeds and provide some protection from the wind. Mulch was then added to help the young plants get started and to suppress weed growth.
The Ray White volunteers encountered slippery conditions but came fully prepared, and took to the task enthusiastically before cleaning up and heading off to their open homes.
Kaipatiki Project works to create a totally sustainable Auckland – connecting people to the environment, and each other, where they can take action to make a difference. The Ray White North Shore offices are proudly supporting the project and are looking forward to taking part in more events to further extend their support the Trust. “There is something very satisfying about planting a tree en masse with others… No matter what the weather conditions, it is nice to work side by side on a project such as this… It makes you feel like something is being achieved.” says James Widjaja from Ray White Albany.
Sarah Pearce, Growth and Relationship Executive for Ray White New Zealand said she has been inspired by the North Shore team members who turned out on the day. ”The members, representing nine offices on Auckland’s North Shore, gave it their all… and had a great time as well!… Businesses, churches, guide and scout groups and local families all came together through the simple act of tree-planting. It is a great way of giving-back, caring for the natural environment and building strong communities.“
Each year over 8,000 volunteer hours are contributed to the organisation by hundreds of volunteers including individuals, community groups and corporate team-building days who grow 20 – 30,000 native plants from locally sourced seeds. The plants are then planted back into local reserves by members of the community during each winter planting season.
Kaipatiki Project is a registered charity and an independent non-profit, and through a recent initiative the Ray White North Shore team will be working with them as they becoming more socially enterprising and progressive.
Photos: Philip Moll
The Ray White Group across New Zealand completed 986 sales at an average sale price of $457,947 and listed 1,597 controlled properties with an average listing price of $523,757. The results for the Group were 3% ahead of our sales turnover in August 2013 but were lower than last month in July by just over 20%.
Individually our leading businesses were a good spread across many of the markets in New Zealand and while the top three offices featured our Central Auckland businesses, being Ray White City Apartments, Ray White Ponsonby and Ray White Remuera; there were three businesses in Christchurch, being Ray White Metro, Ray White Next Step and Ray White Unlimited, that also were top 10 turnover offices. Ray White Manukau came in at number five with a personal best in respect of their sales volume.
Carey Smith, Chief Executive of Ray White New Zealand, said “The August results in isolation were not as good as July due to the level of stock that was available over the past month. However, the increased levels of property we expect to come to the market throughout September, which will be aligned to our marketing campaign, will drive further interest in the market and will add to the turnover results for the company.” He went on to say the company has grown with a further three offices opening; two of those being in Auckland with Ray White Mangere Bridge and Ray White Epsom. The Group has also welcomed a new office in Russell which has rebranded from another company.