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Real Estate: The Unlikely Career Step for Tradies


Tuesday 2 July 2019 - After eleven years in the building industry, Ōtaki local Brendon Heenan’s unlikely career move is enabling him to give back to the local community, hire locals, and have better quality of life, and he is now encouraging others in the trades to think about real-estate as a viable career step.

Owner of Tall Poppy franchises in both Ōtaki and Horowhenua, Brendon Heenan has been in real estate since 2009, leaving a successful career as a builder to opt for what he says is better earning potential and future security, and says hiring other young locals originally from the trades has been a great direction for his franchises.

“There are definitely advantages to hiring millennial locals from the trades, they make really good agents. They understand property construction, have a far better ability to relate and attract millennial buyers, and are hungry to learn and take initiative. They also understand new advertising media such as Facebook which gives a great competitive edge,” says Brendon Heenan.

Recent hire Jayden Matthews in Tall Poppy’s Ōtaki office made the switch from being a gas fitter of 10 years to licenced real estate salesperson, noting flexible hours, sociability, and managing your own time as major factors for the switch.

“Meeting and talking to new people and having more flexible hours appealed to me. Of course the busier the market is, the busier you are, but I like managing my own time more. There are also plenty of transferable skills, I’ve learnt a lot about houses over the years, this broad trade knowledge is useful as clients may ask me questions about an extractor fan or a water tank, or various elements of a house they are considering buying. In Ōtaki it’s a mix of new and old houses (some up to 100 years old) that I may be working with, for a client,” says Jayden Matthews.

Both men say that working in the communities they were raised in and giving back positively is a real plus.

“Tall Poppy are changing the way real estate is bought and sold, they’re very relatable, down to earth and community focused. They just feel like great members of the community. I like that the money stays in New Zealand and their low, fixed fee approach. They also do a lot in our community such as sponsoring sports teams,“ says Jayden Matthews.

Brendon Heenan’s franchise currently supports various local sports teams (from soccer, squash, rugby league, netball, softball to basketball), supports the local food bank with food parcels every Christmas and sponsors local schools with activities such as annual fireworks, the 40 hour famine football challenge or a quiz night. They will be looking at growing the team in the Horowhenua area. Interested in working at Tall Poppy? You can find out more at:

About Tall Poppy
Tall Poppy is a New Zealand Real Estate Agency, headquartered on the Kapiti Coast, north of Wellington. Founded in 2012, it operates the length of New Zealand and has saved New Zealanders $35 million in fees. It is working to create a fairer real estate industry for all Kiwis and prides itself in being an active member of the communities in which it operates. It plans to be available in all regions of New Zealand by the end of 2020.


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