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Century 21 reaches out to Albany community

Century 21 New Zealand

Monday, 19 March 2018

Century 21 reaches out to Albany community

It’s coming up three years since Century 21 opened in the old Albany village at 231 Dairy Flat Highway, with former local MP Hon Murray McCully cutting the ribbon.

Back then franchise owner Ivan Rakich had employed just one other salesperson. Now Century 21 Darrak Realty boasts nine agents and one administrator, with the Albany office focused on delivering great service and supporting the community it serves.

“There’s nothing more grass roots than local rugby and local primary schools, and as a family-orientated company we’re committed to both,” says Mr Rakich.

Albany’s Darrak Realty has won plenty of Century 21 awards over the past couple of years, and Ivan Rakich is determined to one day take out the number one office in New Zealand title. However, he says what’s brought him the most satisfaction in recent months have been two local initiatives the company has taken on.

Launching ‘Sunflowers for Schools’ across North Shore primary schools, the promotion has been the brainchild of local Century 21 salespeople Vini Stockman and Olena Medvedieva.

“I’m so proud of my colleagues for coming up with what is effectively a sunflower growing competition. The kids love it. They get the seeds, a chart to map their growth, and the winners get a certificate. Not only does it teach them about growing plants, but it creates a great sense of competition.

“We’ve already had a number of local schools put their hands up so far this year. It’s only getting bigger and in fact our Century 21 bosses are looking at possibly adopting the promotion across Australasia in the future,” says Mr Rakich.

Century 21 Darrak Realty’s other local initiative has been to sign up as the lead sponsor of Marist North Harbour Rugby & Sports Club, based at QBE Stadium. He says they have signed a nine-year agreement, taking over from Toyota.

When he opened the office in 2015, Mr Rakich had to hit the ground running with the Auckland real estate market hot. While temperatures may have eased somewhat, he says the Albany area continues to enjoy unrelenting growth while the wider North Shore area will always remain a very popular and desirable Auckland location.

“Our growth in the past couple of years can be solely attributed to the fact that we have brought on great salespeople. In fact, Ryan Mitchell who’s been with me since day one, is now Century 21’s number one agent in the country. We may not be the biggest real estate office in Albany but as far as sales per agent go, I’d say we’re equal if not better than the local competition.”

At 66, Ivan Rakich is no newbie to real estate. He has over 40 years’ experience in sales and marketing and was instrumental in building some of the best teams in real estate on the North Shore over many few years.

“I’ve learnt over the years that great real estate agents are born not made, and I’m just fortunate our Albany office has attracted plenty of natural talent.”

Darrak Realty is proud to be one of Safari Group’s main sellers for their Ramada hotels and suites across the country. The Century 21 franchise has also just been signed as one of the main sellers for Conrad Properties, one of New Zealand’s biggest residential builders with a focus on the Auckland CBD.

“People are not only waking up to the advantages of apartment living, more retired Kiwis for example are investing in the likes of serviced apartments which can deliver a solid and guaranteed long-term yield. These companies we’re working with love Century 21’s massive global reach which sees us getting email and phone enquiries from all around the world every day.”

Mr Rakich says his office has over 200 listings at the moment, including Pakatoa Island on its books with an asking price of $40m. More recently they’ve listed 2.8 hectares at popular Hobsonville Point – waterfront, subdividable and with a price tag of $20m.

“We’ve never had a problem with getting listings. In fact, we pride ourselves on securing great listings. The one issue we’re currently seeing out there is banks often refusing to finance buyers.

“It’s really tough for young people to get into today’s market, but let’s not forget it has always been tough to buy a house. Forty-five years ago I struggled to borrow $8,000 for our first house despite having a good full-time job and a good deposit.”

He says as well as connecting to the Albany community, helping every day local homeowners successfully market and sell their houses remains an ongoing highlight, as is the joy of handing over the keys to excited new owners.

“We’ve had some great early wins, but we don’t want to grow into a huge office. We want to retain a strong focus on delivering a quality yet personalised service,” says Ivan Rakich.


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