Experience In A Changing Market

After twenty years in real estate, Andrew Little still gets a buzz from a sale that goes spectacularly well for his clients.

On the day we talked, he’d just closed a cash sale on a property that the Alexandra office had taken over from another agency just a couple of weeks earlier.

“I’m all about solutions, and in this case what the property needed was digital marketing evening photography to showcase it at its best, and a reinvigorated push into a target market.

In this case that led to two offers and a very happy vendor.”

Negotiating skills

Coming from a farming background, Andrew had bought and sold property previously but when a close relative had an issue with a property settlement he was the one who negotiated a compromise.

I enjoy dealing with people, and I’m a good listener which is key to developing relationships with people,” he says.

You need to understand the different demographics of the people you’re working with, from sitting sit down over a cup of tea to text messaging.

“Being able to think on your feet is a skill that develops over time, such when I was negotiating with a couple over a lifestyle block but had also just listed a brand-new house in town for a similar price.

“I thought they’d like it so approached it with a bit of humour, saying they could buy the house and buy a boat too. They did both, and we still joke about it when I see them.”

Property cycles

As manager of the Alexandra office, Andrew’s seen property cycles come and go, including the impacts of the GFC. So while some doom and gloom merchants might be having a field day about the current market, his outlook is positive.

“I’m used to a challenging or changing market so there is always a Plan B where knowledge, experience and negotiating skills come to the fore.

“Up until a few months ago a lot of people who were thinking of selling weren’t listing because they couldn’t see a property to buy, the market was so tight. There weren’t even any rentals available for people to live in while they found the house they wanted, so it was a real handbrake on the market.

“Now there’s much more choice as people are buying and selling in a much more balanced market.”

Agent opportunity

“I’ve always enjoyed that part of the role, sharing my knowledge and experience with others,” he says.

A new blended role is now available in the Alex office, offering a base salary to someone who would start work as an OA (office assistant) while also doing their real estate papers and learning on the job.

“They’d be able to experience first hand how it all works and hit the ground running when they got their papers.

“We’ve never done anything like this before and it’s a huge opportunity for someone who’s self-motivated and keen to pick up the phone, talk to people and work hard for the rewards.

“The rewards are there for someone who’s prepared to put in the time and effort.”

You can apply for the role here https://www.seek.co.nz/job/57352744

Alexandra growth

Alexandra’s the new ‘hub’ of Central Otago growth and development, according to Andrew.

“We have new subdivisions and developments coming to the market, the new cycle trails are getting positive media coverage which is bringing lots of visitors to town, an entertainment hub is being developed right in the centre of town and there’s a new supermarket opening later this year.

“The property that’s just sold has gone to a couple from Tauranga. People from all over the North Island are realising that they can buy a property here, enjoy the affordability, work from home and make the most of the lifestyle.”