Faith in the long-term viability of New Zealand’s rural economy has seen leading real estate agency Bayleys add three new high performing country sales consultants to its ranks.
In Ashburton, experienced country sales consultants Jon McAuliffe and Pete Hayward have joined Bayleys Canterbury, while Andy Poswillo has joined Bayleys Marlborough. All three men left rival company PGG Wrightson to join Bayleys.
Bayleys country manager Richard Graham said that despite lower sales volumes for rural properties this year, the company had taken a long-term view of the sector, and was confident that transaction levels would improve in the middle part of the year.
“There’s no denying that the rural market for sales is running lean at the moment.” Mr Graham said. “However, when banks once again begin to loosen their lending policies, the market is already positioned to take advantage of opportunities that will become available.
“The addition of Jon, Pete and Andy is acknowledgement that the rural property market won’t stay tight forever, and we as an agency have to be prepared for the pending period when farms start selling in higher numbers again.”
Mr Graham said Bayleys was seeing more activity in the rural sector being driven by corporate vendors and receivers. Last month the company jointly listed the sale of 29 Central North Island farms owned by forestry giant Carter Holt Harvey, then a week later listed four farms held under corporate ownership for sale through a receivership tender process.
“As a result of this increased activity - and with indications from both the corporate sector and lending institutions that this activity will continue well into 2010 - Bayleys has been looking to recruit more good quality sales people in the rural areas. With no one region immune to the tightening of credit and the effect this is having on farm ownership, we are seeking right across the country.....
Mr Graham said that rural real estate agents who could deliver their customers a national and international profile were increasingly being sought by vendors wanting to promote their property to as wide an audience as possible. For Bayleys, this international activity has increased significantly of late and is more than ever and essential part of the marketing mix.
Bayleys has an extensive international focus for its country division – having sold properties to Swiss, British and South-East Asian investors last year – as well as taking an annual roadshow of New Zealand properties to the UK to present to British farmer/investors.
“Country real estate is very much founded on the ‘trust’ relationship between the vendor and the sales consultant. That is why the additions of Jon, Pete and Andy are so important – because they bring with them decades of relationship building and trust to take customers to new markets and buyer avenues,” Mr Graham said.