It’s not often a new real estate agent comes along and ticks those boxes, from the get-go.
But Richard Elvey joined the Wanaka office of Harcourts with an enviable pedigree. Deeply ensconced in the Wanaka community since he established the Kahu Youth Service in the town 15 years ago, he’s also known for his involvement in Wanaka football tournaments and as a manager of one of the 11-a-side teams. A family man with a young daughter, he’s also part of the school community.
And when Richard decided to switch to real estate after a couple of years of “thinking about it” he knew exactly who he wanted to work with, and why.
“I quit my job in mid-2021 and started training with the Harcourts Academy”, he says. “My friend Chris Wright was already an agent so I knew I’d have the support. I thought it could be an extension of doing what I love, being involved in the community and people’s lives, helping them, and not sitting behind a desk.”
He got his real estate license on February 16 and settled in for a few weeks of getting his feet under the desk, learning the lie of the land and working towards his first sale, albeit with some trepidation about the paperwork and processes required.
But in a small-knit community like Wanaka it didn’t take long for an opportunity to come knocking.
Harcourts Wanaka manager Wanaka Grant Parker wasn’t surprised. “He’s a self-motivated, self-starter who’s full of energy. He was memorable from the moment I first met him.”
And opportunity knocked just 22 days after Richard gained his license.
A Wanaka local saw Richard’s face on a group Harcourts ad posted in a local publication. He’d been playing football with (and against) Richard for the best part of a decade. And he thought Richard might be able to help him and his partner secure a piece of land on which to build their first home.
“I met Sergio for a quick beer on a Wednesday evening and he told me the parameters of what he and partner Maria were looking for in some detail,” says Richard. “I rang Chris that night to run it past him and the next day, we did some research and the absolutely perfect section came up. It was the right amount of money and the timing was right.
“At 11am I emailed Sergio, at 3pm we decided to go and have a look and at 6pm they were signing up for it on the back of a car out in the wind. All within 24 hours.
“That’s when due diligence kicked in and we found we had a bit of a challenge in terms of finance arrangements for buying a section. Rather than be put off, I went back to Grant and Chris who introduced Sergio and Maria to Ken Cochrane from Mortgage Express who works with us across our Otago offices.
“And Ken came in with clear and obvious ways to address concerns and provide solutions so they could buy the section they absolutely wanted. It’s amazing to have a service like that at our fingertips.
“For Sergio and Maria it’s meant everything. They’ve been Wanaka locals for 10 years and this will be their first home, their first step on the property ladder.”
Grant says Harcourts works hard to drive opportunities and create success for its agents.
“Our training academy helps good people get on their feet with the support services they need to succeed.”
“In this case not only did Richard have that training but he knew to come to Chris and myself at such an early stage in his career for the support and validation he needed to help this couple buy the section they wanted and look to the future.”