More than 190 people gathered at the Viaduct Event Centre in Auckland yesterday for Ray White New Zealand’s Business Owners’ Symposium.
After MC Ray White Digital Performance Manager Emma Craig opened the event, the audience heard from the first speaker for the day, Ray White chief economist Nerida Conisbee.
Ms Conisbee provided an in-depth and insightful understanding of the economic fundamentals specific to New Zealand likely to impact and influence the real estate market over the coming period, from the change in government and policies, migration and international influences.
She said while not everyone will be happy with the election result, National’s recent election win was the best result for housing.
“New Zealand is currently struggling with a severe shortage of housing. Housing is an even bigger problem now than it was when Labour came into power in 2017,” Ms Conisbee said.
“Not all housing policies expected to be implemented by the Nationals are ideal but they are a lot better than those put in place by the Labour Government.
“National is now back in power but will their policies sort out housing? There are definitely many measures which will improve housing supply and make it easier for renters.
“Reinstating tax deductibility of interest rate payments for investors is critical and is one of the policies outlined by National. The bright-line test will also be taken back to two years.
“Build-to-rent will be investigated as an alternative option to providing rental homes. All of these will ensure greater rental home availability.
“Positively, housing supply is a major focus. Building enough homes where people want to live is the best way to ensure affordable housing for both renters and buyers.”
The next speaker was Ray White New Zealand chief executive Daniel Coulson who gave a review of the group’s technology platform and strategy as well as speaking about harnessing the network effects of Ray White.
“We are proud of what we have accomplished together, but we are more excited by the potential to take what we have and create something even more powerful, to give your leadership, your people and your customers unique advantages for years to come,” Mr Coulson said.
“Our salespeople are well-equipped to respond to the resurgence in demand to auction properties, which has once again taken over as the most prevalent method of sale across New Zealand.
“There is no doubt there are multiple and conflicting factors at play when assessing and predicting the economic outlook ahead of us. Attempting to do so remains difficult and largely unrewarding. What we can do is play what is right in front of us now.
“That is that there is renewed confidence in most areas, from buyers and sellers, and most commentary has now turned to the window of opportunity closing or having closed for would-be first-time buyers or bargain hunters seeking a market-bottom opportunity.
“It is also sellers that are regaining confidence in bringing property to market, with our new listings for the month up 12.7 per cent on the same time last year.”
The audience then heard from Ray White New Zealand executive chairman Carey Smith, who spoke about the Next Leaders program, key outtakes from this year’s group and what is in store for the coming year.
“Unlocking the future growth of our organisation is closely linked to preparing the company for the next generation,” Mr Smith said.
Sydney based business owner, Ray White Lower North Shore director Richard Harding spoke to the crowd about how he has built a business in which he successfully grows and empowers leaders within his team.
He discussed how he has structured his business across various specialisations and the way in which he has been able to elevate his team to allow him to focus on work with the highest rate of return.
Ray White New Zealand head of network finance Andy Ebbett took to the stage to talk about what the last 18 months have taught us about resilience in a transitioning market, and how you can position your business to capitalise as conditions start to improve.
He discussed the deep insights from Ray White’s Profit Pulse platform, where benchmarking data can be used to analyse common themes in the performance of our businesses nationally.
After lunch, the crowd heard from Ray White New Zealand head of property management Zac Snelling, who spoke about property management strategy.
The last Business Owners’ Symposium saw the release of the New Zealand Property Management Strategy – a vision for our future and a roadmap to help ensure our success. Mr Snelling discussed the next steps in the property management strategy as the network continued to grow and evolve.
After Ray White launched its revolutionary prospecting technology NutureCloud in New Zealand earlier this year, Ray White’s chief strategy officer (real estate) Mark McCleod gave an update on the platform and what the future looks like together.
The final discussion of the day came from Trade Me chief people officer Annie Brown who shared some of the key trends we’re seeing in the industry as well as sharing some of the things Trade Me has been doing to stay on top of these.
Ray White Gisborne business owner Shelley Donaldson said she loved coming together to learn from the other business owners.
“It’s important to come together and hear stories as everyone is at different stages of their business and we can learn a lot from each other,” she said.
“I really enjoyed hearing from Mark McLeod about NutureCloud as he doesn’t hold back and all the numbers were really interesting.
“I always love hearing Zac Snelling speak as he’s so passionate about property management, he always has a strategy, he knows where he’s going, and he tries to take everybody with him.
Ray White Wanaka principal Duncan Good said he enjoyed Andy Ebbett’s presentation the most.
“I really enjoyed Andy’s speech as I thought it was the most interesting presentation on finance I’ve ever heard,” he said.
“He was concise, to the point, and informative without being too over the top.”
Janelle and Quintin Havenga are the new business owners at Ray White Pukehina, who said they really learnt a lot from the event.
“There were some really empowering speeches delivered today,” Mr Havenga said.
“For us, we were really interested in the property management side of things as it was a new venture for us, so it was really nice to see that passion from Zac Snelling.
“It’s something we feel will empower us to go forward and grow and implement that into our business.”
Mrs Havenga said: “I really enjoyed Andy Ebbett’s speech about the financial side of things with all the figures.”
Ray White Rangiora business owner Stuart Morris (pictured above with partner Claire) said it was really important for business owners to come to events like the Business Owners’ Symposium.
“I think it’s really good to get out of the business to work on the business, otherwise you don’t, so having a dedicated time to do that is really important for us,” Mr Morris said.
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