CEO Comments by Carey Smith 20 September 2016
As we head into the mid way point of the third quarter, sales across New Zealand, particularly in Auckland, are adjusting. While sale prices remain consistent, the edge has come off the actual sales numbers. We see that this is occurring mainly in the investor markets where the Reserve Bank is about to introduce the loan to value ratios, which have been softly introduced through the financial system via bank lending from 1 September 2016.
To offset the investor market, we have seen increasing sales numbers in properties across New Zealand over $1 million (source reinz.co.nz). This is influenced by the affordability and reduction in the Official Cash Rate, which now sits at 2% and is expected to have a further adjustment during the final quarter of 2016. The historic low interest rates give a degree of comfort in respect of mortgage repayments. While many take the opportunity to increase their equity levels in property, it also allows for the ability to leverage further buying options for many who have interest in real estate.
During the past quarter, we have been proud to see the recognition that several of our group members have achieved at industry level throughout New Zealand and also internationally throughout the Ray White Group. The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand hold their annual Awards of Excellence and in the highest individual categories, Ray White Remuera achieved the leading sales volume agency in turnover of any individual real estate agency across New Zealand. Ray White City Apartments were acknowledged in the top category as being the highest number of sales agency across New Zealand. Ray White Rolleston were recognised as the leading medium agency for number of sales. This recognition reflects the individual leadership and team collective commitment of these agencies and recognition as the very best across New Zealand. At international level, during the month, Ray White Group’s Chairman, Brian White, at separate gala dinners, recognised Ray White Remuera as the number one agency internationally within the Ray White Group. Ray White City Apartments were acknowledged internationally as the number two office; while Ray White Ponsonby achieved the international ranking of number five. Individually, Rohan Thompson from Ray White Royal Oak was awarded No 4 International selling principal and Anton Huang from Ray White Howick was recognised as the number three salesperson in the broader international Ray White Group.
During 2016 the Ray White Group has continued to place a strong strategic emphasis on customer satisfaction. Aligned with Customer Monitor, the Ray White Group measures the level of customer satisfaction and engagement for all sales across the Group. For many this has been a wonderful way to have customer satisfaction recognised, given that in New Zealand close to two-thirds of those who survey our members measure them at a 10/10 in service. The Ray White Group continue to measure the importance of customer satisfaction through the net promoter score and encourage all clients so not only can the Group learn to continue to adopt best practice, but also enhance the long-term relationship between clients and the agencies
In the last week the Ray White Group in New Zealand has launched the What Do You Value? campaign with global brand ambassador, Steve Hansen. There are a number of synergies in the appointment, including family values, integrity, expectation and determination. The appointment of Steve Hansen to Ray White shows the growing position of the Group and the What Do You Value? campaign is designed to be emotive to connect values through seven quotes that are directly from Steve Hansen that were put together during interviews by the team from Create Me, who are now distributing the campaign across New Zealand.
The Ray White Group consistently undertake campaigns in the area of sales and property management. A sales campaign comes into focus during late October and November, in which the company will offer an upgrade campaign for all properties listed with the Ray White Group. Each sales member will be able to talk individually with clients to offer Ray White Know How and value to each marketing campaign. In the area of property management, Ray White will launch their first integrated landlord evening. This programme is designed to engage landlords to assist with the new tenancy laws together with health and safety across all communities within New Zealand. At this point, the landlord evening will be held in 80 locations and as part of the campaign, the latest updated Landlord Guide is available for free download at landlordguide.co.nz. More information on the landlord evening can be found at landlordevent.co.nz.
The new WorkSafe health and safety policies have come into place during the last quarter. Ray White has established a working policy to assist all stakeholders in their responsibility around health and safety. There are a number of additional Acts which have been brought to relevance during the past quarter and Ray White has been proud to be at the forefront of these changes in engaging members.
The continued growth of the Ray White Group sees several offices currently opening, including Ray White Parnell, Ray White Bishopdale and Ray White Devonport. Next month new offices will also be opening in Napier and Havelock North. This supports the recent announcement of the Ray White Group of Leaders Real Estate, predominantly based in the Wellington region, joining progressively from October 2016.
Other key Summary data (source reinz.co.nz)