Real estate agent closes traditional office
Real estate agent closes traditional office to focus on the web.
Paraparaumu real estate company Totally Kiwi Real Estate has shut down its trading operation. Company founder John Bradley said that it was a very sad day for the staff, but it was a decision that had to be made. "We have two businesses that compete with each other". Mr Bradley explained. "We had to make a choice and we have decided our future in real estate is with Jet Agent and the web."
John and Andrea Bradley commenced real estate in Kapiti nine years ago and founded the popular Totally Kiwi model four years ago. "It has been a great business and we have had tremendous support from the market, but it's a good time to get out" Said Mr Bradley. "Currently overall industry sales are down by at least 50% compared to the same period last year and deteriorating. The outlook for traditional real estate operators is not good."
Recent sales figures released by the Real Estate Institute for March confirm that the whole of the New Zealand property market is in the doldrums with sales figures the lowest for 17 years. Most commentators are predicting a hard few years for home sellers as well as agents and support industries. "It is going to be a very tough couple of years for the segment and it's fairly obvious that about 10,000 salespeople will exit the industry." Said Mr Bradley. "In time the market will recover, but by then the Internet will be the next wave that hits traditional real estate and the industry will never be the same again."
John and Andrea Bradley also own and operate Jet Agent Limited the country's first licensed virtual real estate agent. Jet Agent was launched around Christmas and completed its first online sale last month, believed to be a first for New Zealand. Jet Agent encourages people to use the web and DIY to save on agent's fees.
Four full time staff and three part time staff are affected by the decision. Totally Kiwi Real Estate held around 50 exclusive listings at the time of the closure.