“Ilse Evans and Andrew Bruce have asked me to furnish a testimonial/reference with respect to the property recently sold at auction at 14 Byron Avenue, Takapuna.
The property is currently zoned Residential 7 and is situated directly opposite the main entrance to the Spencer on Byron Hotel. All the other properties nearby with the same zoning have been successfully transformed into ‘professional’ type commercial properties. Hence the problem. Commercial by location or Residential by zoning?
It became apparent at my first meeting with Ilse that the marketing focus for this property had to be divided. Ilse Evans would manage the residential side and Andrew Bruce the commercial.
I requested proposals from three real estate companies and focussed on their marketing proposals. I was looking for a company which would provide the trustees with a total, once only solution. Harcourts stood out from the others, offering a marketing package which promised to fully cover the potential market.
That marketing package promised to cover the broadest possible range of both residential and commercial opportunities. There were three liners in the ‘Herald’ classified, 10×2’s elsewhere, entries in the China Weekly, and good internet coverage over several sites. Later in the promotion, Ilse identified a missed opportunity in ‘Property Press’. With her help this loophole was quickly plugged. While I was personally disappointed with some of the advertising prices being charged (probably just out of touch), I recognised that the true marketing value is in the package. Take away a part and the end result will suffer.
With Ilse’s and Andrew’s help, editorial space was secured in both the NZ Herald and the North Shore Times. The property was made out to be ‘special’, warranting the editorial space. Indeed, the North Shore Times followed up the Friday after the auction with a bonus second editorial on page 3 which covered the result of the auction.
The marketing period was four weeks. Possibly a little long?? At one stage Ilse expressed concern that potential bidders were starting to cool down and that she would have to keep on them.
Each week I was provided with a report which detailed all aspects of the marketing effort. On each occasion the report was either discussed with me in person or over the phone.
The trustees agreed that the ‘on-site’ auction proposal in the marketing plan was indeed the most appropriate method.
I was introduced to Andrew North, the auctioneer early on and being new to all of this, I took the opportunity to attend several other auctions he conducted in the weeks prior to ours. I was impressed by the way he seemed to read the bidders’ intentions and was able to continue to invite new bids from the potentials while remaining focussed on the probables. His ability and experience markedly increased the bid on all of those occasions.
So, I thank Harcourts’ Ilse Evans and Andrew Bruce for putting it all together. They oversaw the marketing and made sure everything happened to plan and on time. It is they who made sure that Andrew North had the potentials on auction day. Their efforts saw about 200 people attend the auction among whom were six bidders.
Thank you Andrew North for converting one of those six potential buyers into a purchaser. The result you all produced was one that none of the trustees had dreamed about.”