CE Comments by Carey Smith 16 June 2017

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There is a definite air of change in the residential real estate market. The first signs were the considerable slowdown in sales numbers for April 2017 versus April 2016. Across the industry, numbers dropped by over 25%. Was this a case of the amount of holidays in April or the first real change in the market? The numbers in May reflected a strong bounce back and this in itself proved that the consistency in the market remains in respect of the number of sales, although, as our listing inventory continues to grow this may change the pricing dynamic, certainly the days on market, and, potentially, the success rate of sales for clients who put their properties on the market. It has been notable that the continuing success of our auction programmes remains the better choice for clients to show value and demonstrate motivation to potential purchasers. Our inventory has lifted and this is giving more choice to purchasers. While for some vendors this may feel that there is a delay in activity, this means there is more selection for purchasers and creates a degree of comfort in respect of non-urgent decision making.

As a group, one of our key relationships is with our franchise owners. The measurement of that in many respects can be our renewals. This month I am pleased to acknowledge Ray White Beach Haven, Ray White Manukau, Ray White Newmarket, Ray White Legacy, and Ray White Tokoroa. During the month we have welcomed new offices in New Lynn (West Auckland), West Melton (South West Canterbury) and Kaiapoi (North Canterbury). Next week is the official opening of the new premises for Ray White Remuera, who is acknowledged as the number one international business for the Ray White Group. In conjunction with the opening of the new premises, business owner Megan Jaffe had a story published by the New Zealand Herald. Please see here for the link.

This month we have joined the website platform homes.co.nz. Our partnership with homes.co.nz will see each of our Ray White properties listed on their website. It is a unique interactive platform that allows home owners and those interested in purchasing a top down view of each market through overlaid mapping that shows sales data as well as estimated value data on each home across New Zealand. Home owners as well as agents play a role in authenticating the data and the concept of dropping the barriers to information allows for better decision making. Ray White sees the unfiltered approach to data is in the best interests of clients and the market, while it can also prove out Ray White’s individual agent success and broader market share across each of the suburbs.

During May we were pleased to be recognised as the winner of the Quality Service Awards through Reader’s Digest and their independent survey. Over the past three years we have regulated our customer experience through Customer Monitor, whereby we survey each client and, in more recent times, each purchaser, asking them to rate their customer experience with Ray White. During the past year the company has completed more than 18,000 sales and this has seen us send out over 36,000 surveys for which we received one of the highest net promoter scores of 83. The Reader’s Digest award is a direct reflection of our continued efforts to prove out customer experience as one of our key offerings and significant points of difference.

Our first quarter with the new Ray White Leaders Group shows that our market share has increased across New Zealand to 18.9%. The Leaders Group has added significant depth to our business through the Lower North Island, particularly in Wellington where they have a market share of over 30%. Our group now stands at 159 sales and rental offices in transacting $11.2 billion in property sales. Our property management business has increased and now sees us managing 16,500 properties on behalf of landlords.

Our Property Management Landlord Event is due to be held on 5 July whereby our offices across New Zealand will hold an evening to provide education for landlords on all of the latest requirements and changes in successfully being an investor and a landlord in New Zealand. Information regarding the Landlord Event can be received by completing details on this link.

Over the next quarter, we begin our rebranding of Ray White. Seen as a change to a contemporary and modern placement of the logo, the new livery will begin rolling out in July and come to a more complete presentation when our media takes on the new look from 1 September. As part of our new branding, each of our websites have been renewed at a local office level. Each office has engaged in lifestyle photography, which is a key part to our new branding look. This has given a personality to each of our members and allows them to present their profile in a more connective way to their own communities. This is an example of one of our websites with team lifestyle photography.

We have recently produced the first of our At Home series with the Vodafone Warriors. The first video is presented by Charlie Gubb, who takes a look inside the home of the Vodafone Warriors. In the first 24 hours the video has been viewed over 130,000 times and this, according to the Vodafone Warriors commercial manager, is one of the highest ever viewed pieces of content the Vodafone Warriors have had on their home page. You can watch the video here. We will be producing five videos in the series with the Vodafone Warriors.

Our company came together as one to support the Ronald McDonald House Charities Appeal Week which was held in mid-May. We were pleased to be able to contribute to the success of the Appeal, which raised over $200,000 for each of the Ronald McDonald Houses.

Carey Smith
NZ Chief Executive

csmith@raywhite.com
@careysmith
more about Carey Smith

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