Archive for the ‘My Desktop’ Category

Ray White business owners join together in Queenstown

BOSThe Ray White New Zealand Group Business Owners came together at the Hilton Hotel in Queenstown to continue to develop the Ray White Strategy, which has been designed for implementation over a five year period. The Symposium was set on the key questions of how the Group is now aligning to the Strategy, how we redefine and understand the capability of Ray White through the business owners and to ensure that each of the customer values are understood through our strategic statement.

Carey Smith, Chief Executive of Ray White New Zealand, opened this years’ Symposium reviewing the last 12 months and acknowledging the success of the Group and discussing the way the Group will present its outcomes over the next three year period.

Peter Camphin of Ray White Australia held a session on how Next Talent, Future Leaders, partnerships and mergers all form the process for successful succession planning in a real estate business. Peter presented case studies around risk and also showed how succession can be a key to growth and can add value to the future of all real estate offices. The session was complemented by a panel discussion comprising Michelle Greer from Ray White Timaru and Megan Jaffe from Ray White Remuera.

Customer satisfaction plays an important role in meeting expectations and in the last we months the Group has introduced an extensive customer satisfaction process. Chris Pescott from Customer Monitor presented on the complete view of the transaction and how customers rely on expectations being fulfilled and the greatest benefit to a business is word of mouth through meeting and exceeding customer expectation.

Graham Crews, who is known to many in the industry, delivered on the all encompassing subject of compliance. Graham described how efficiency in compliance can lead the way to a successful business in today’s regulated environment. He also spoke on using compliance to the benefit of best practice, which engages both the sales team and the client.

Ray White marketing continues to be defined by excellence delivered through our business owners. Ensuring a concise message in the area of successful marketing and how individuals are trying to achieve a best outcome was behind the presentation of Cheryl Hayes, New Zealand Marketing Executive. Cheryl presented on the balance between the agency, agent and the property.

Professional indemnity provides to ensure that any unintentional outcomes are covered for our clients and the agency business. Marsh presented on the integration of professional indemnity insurance in the business of today and introduced the 2015 panel of insurers who are available to Ray White Group members.

National Sales Manager for Loan Market, Brian Greer, headlined day two of the symposium. Brian discussed the changing market conditions in finance and how integration between agency and finance was becoming a link which the client continues to embrace.

Having leading industry technology is the responsibility of Ray White. Adam Campbell, who is the director of MyDesktop, and Keith Ashkettle, head of Ray White New Zealand Technology, presented on the innovations that continue to be embraced through the use of technology and how Ray White has allowed the involvement of applications to be applied to greater enhance the efficiency of all Ray White members and in turn clients.

The keynote speaker presentation was an incredible story by John Anderson (pictured above with Ray White CEO, Carey Smith), who developed a simple idea into a worldwide business known as Contiki Holidays. John spoke of his development of the business model over the past 20 years and how Contiki Holidays had welcomed over 3 million young people, including over 450,000 New Zealanders. John’s story was inspirational and one of the highlights of the Business Owners Symposium.

Financial benchmarking has been introduced to our groups members during the past 12 months. Ray White Group Finance Director, Luke Richardson, presented the benchmarking model and spoke of the value of understanding the risks and rewards in agency and how better planning for financial success can be achieved through the use of benchmarking.

Zac Snelling, who is the New Zealand Business Performance Manager for Property Management, presented on the Group’s leading market position in the property management business throughout New Zealand. With over 15,000 properties being managed by Ray White, the value for property management and the direction of property management services for better outcomes is one of the core beliefs for the Ray White Group.

The Ray White Business Owners Symposium is one of the key success stories of the Ray White Group. Over the past number of years the Group’s Strategy has developed and continues to take shape through until the end of 2016. As part of the Group’s capability, the Strategy Statement being: Ray White demonstrates leadership through our primary customers decision making based on honesty and integrity. Our core family values respect all stakeholders. We have pride in our membership, with recognition and trust being our collective strength.

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Ray White presents annual technology roadshow

TechnologyRoadshow2014Over 300 Ray White New Zealand Members have attended the 2014 Ray White New Zealand Technology Roadshow series – run by Keith Ashkettle, Head of Technology at Ray White New Zealand, and Adam Campbell, Technical Director of MyDesktop, over the last two weeks.

The companies adoption of Google, and Google platforms, including Google Communities and Google My Business, were discussed as were mobile technologies and advancements in this area. Interestingly projections indicate we are soon likely to see mobile web access overtake desktop internet usage worldwide. With populations becoming more mobile, and more and more people having access now to mobile devices (with other reports from ITU Wolrd Telecommunication showing mobile penetration within 5% of the actual world population) this is an important area, and one in which Ray White remains active in investigating and advancing.

Ray White’s presence on TradeMe Property and websites was discussed in length- as Ray White offices continue to lead the way in the adoption of Feature Listings on (over other agencies advertising on the site). Statistically, Feature Listings lead to far higher page views and enquiries for the property being advertised – resulting in more enquiries on the property. Interestingly too in April 2014 54.2% of browsers to TradeMe came through to the site via a mobile device.  As online industries and consumer review sites, such as, gain further traction in an online space Ray White’s impressive Customer Service Satisfaction program was reviewed.

Facebook targeted advertising has been another area online marketing tool trialled by various Ray White offices. One Ray White Richmond Facebook ad was reviewed – the property receiving 1121 office website hits – almost 4 times more enquiry in it’s 3 weeks of marketing compared to a similar property the office had had listed and which had been on the market for more than 3 months! These statistics could be visually compared in Ray White’s internal MyDesktop System – and were supported by Google Analytics reports from the office.

Vanessa McKenzie, Co-Director of Ray White Whangarei, who attended the first session held on 30 June for the Ray White Northland Zone commented that “One of the things of most interest to me was the discussion around capturing the attention of a passive buyer and how to interact with them online – both on Google and Facebook, and Keith’s case study of this initiative – highlighted to us the simplicity and effectiveness of these tools available to us.

“We already encourage, and actively attend, the online webinars to our Whangarei, Bream Bay and Tutukaka teams, and the individual salespeople who have adopted the regular learning sessions have shown growth in their business – but it’s great to come together in a training format such as this – with other Ray White team members – to both learn and share ideas.”

Video marketing is one area in which Ray White are increasingly active – currently offering free video for every property listed, and with recent video views on the companies YouTube page exceeding 2 million, Ray White agents and offices continue to adopt and employ advancements in this technology. “This is impressive when you consider that people only generally remember about 20% of what they hear, 30% of what they see – but people generally remember 70% of what they see and hear – which is the case with video content.” says Keith Ashkettle.

At the 10 roadshows run over the two weeks, Adam Campbell presented a range of new technologies, integrations, reporting tools and options for the Ray White Group in MyDesktop, and Ray White’s Digital Marketing Packages were presented to our Group – for our agents to utilise for their vendors. “These technologies provide extra depth, and additional value to our agents and offices. We look forward to implementing them in our business” commented Vanessa McKenzie upon conclusion of the Roadshow.

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10 years creates first mover advantage

KeithThis week Ray White New Zealand are proud to recognise 10 years service by Keith Ashkettle, head of Ray White New Zealand technology. Keith started 10 years ago this week and has played a leading role in the success of the Ray White Group’s technology position today. Over the 10 year period consistent and ongoing first mover advantage has been undertaken by Keith to put the group in what is known today as the most advanced position in the technology space of real estate groups generally.

Late in 2004 the first movement towards collective software was undertaken by the group in New Zealand as a leading example for real estate groups across Australasia. We deployed in partnership with Online Solutions a general software system which allowed our business to be viewed agency to agency and fundamentally gave advantage to salespeople to be able to view property across a broad geographical spread, which allowed buyers to be introduced to properties in real time through direct member contact and auto-feeds. Building on the group’s individual website platform, individual agent platforms became pride of place in our group during 2008. It was introduced alongside Ray White taking up a full upload position with Trade Me as one of the first group’s to understand the value of online lead generation and the importance that was placed on this by clients and customers.

A further advancement in 2009 saw the group join MyDesktop with integrated fully functional real estate applications including CRM, buyer matching, property marketing and works towards the concept of one piece of data being relevant across all value pieces within an individual salesperson’s contact base and more broadly, the agency’s wider community database.

Applications Keith has been responsible for include school zones, walkscore mapping, slide shows, customer satisfaction and the recently introduced video policy which provides the capability for all Ray White marketed property to be shown via the Ray White You Tube channel which gives purchasers a unique experience of every property they view.

Carey Smith, Chief Executive of Ray White New Zealand, said “Keith Ashkettle’s tenure with the company continues to allow us to be known for our industry leading position. Loyalty and consistency are two of the attributes which business thrives on and Keith has been able to demonstrate this with the Ray White Group at outstanding levels. His ability to adapt and implement change is at the highest level, even when he is urging progress ahead of the pace of change. Keith is a true example of a leader within his own field that adds not only value to Ray White, but also to all of those who engage with the Ray White Group from partners to suppliers to clients and to our own Ray White New Zealand team.”

“We wish to thank Keith for his continued service to Ray White and congratulate him for his 10 year tenure thus far with the Ray White Group.”

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Continued Growth in Dunedin

Just over 10 years ago the Ray White Group entered into the Dunedin market with Peter McCrea, who took over the business known as Kindleys Real Estate.  Earlier this month, Peter made the decision to continue with the Ray White Group for his offices in Dunedin and Mosgiel.

He said that the combination of his leadership style and the values of Ray White fit perfectly.  “The progress that is continually made with technology is the best in the industry and that is consistently demonstrated on all levels within the Group.”  He went on to say that Proven Realty Limited has experienced strong growth over the last 12 months and this has positioned the business to look further into growth strategies going forward.

Carey Smith, Chief Executive of Ray White New Zealand, said “Peter’s business is a very important one for the Ray White Group. The Dunedin and Mosgiel areas have shown consistent turnover in a diversified market.  The way Proven Realty has been structured fits with the market sales for the area. Peter is looking for further growth in the area and this aligns with our growth policy across our group.”

Ray White Dunedin and Mosgiel have a collective team of 25.  As part of the new website developments they have both of their local sites enabled and


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2010 Christmas Message

When trading commenced in 2010 there was a high expectation that the real estate market would remain positive throughout the 12 months.  There were definite signs that the economy was returning to normality, with a better than average confidence level.

The first quarter reflected this confidence with 14,500 sales.  Our group market share hit a new high and this set a platform for what we felt was going to be a year that saw the industry return to better times.  In April the Government started to mute on the basis of changes to LAQCs and also personal taxation advantages.  Their dissertation behind this was to make property less friendly and steer people towards personal saving with the benefit of tax deductions and a higher awareness of Kiwi Saver. In the midst of all this came two interest rate increases.  These were minor but enough to move property into an unfriendly position and to again be questioned as to its value from an investor point of view. 

The second quarter plummeted. Sales were almost 30% down on the previous year and close to mirroring the numbers of 2008.  Our group was acclimatised to these conditions, but you got the feeling this was going to set in for some period of time.  In June we had our third interest rate rise which was enough to send the signal to the market that property sales were going to go into hibernation.  Most in the industry understand that to have buyers you need to have sellers.  Sellers come to the market when there is confidence that they can market their property to receive a satisfactory return on the price that they may have originally paid.   The lack of confidence from sellers then began to domino towards the buying market. 

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Thank you

The Ray White Group would like to publicly acknowledge the business partners and suppliers who have openly supported our Canterbury members on request after the devastation of the September 4th earthquake.  These companies have gone out of their way to provide our members a collective relief package that we believe will enable our offices and sales teams to continue to trade through this most difficult period.

Our relief package has been made possible through our direct business partners MyDesktop, Trade Me Property, Ray White Technology, Ray White Online, Google Mapping, Agreement Writer, IDI and Campaign Track. Other supplier businesses that are part of our relief package include Property Press, Terralink, Fuji Xerox, Vodafone and Telecom.  These partners provide essential services to the continuation of marketing property for sale on behalf of Ray White clients.

We thank all the above suppliers and ask that, where possible, we provide support to them in return.

More on the meeting in Canterbury and the release of Ray White Relief package can be seen in this weeks CEO comments.

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