How does your usual day look?

Right now, as we head into week eight of lockdown, my usual day now resembles something of the past. That is to say, the home office regime now has some rigour and routine to it. I start my day at 5am with a quick scan of the business news and by 5.30am I’m out for a run, harbour swim, or mountain bike ride.

I am definitely at my best in the mornings which initially consists of team briefings and hitting the phones until about 10am, then it’s usually out on my Vespa to inspect properties and opportunities and when possible have safe distance meetings with clients.

Around early afternoon, if I am not with a client I will try and spend some time with one or more of the team members mentoring them and reviewing their proposals etc. Afternoons are generally out and about in the market as by about 3pm I’m told I can tend to be a bit of a distraction in the office as my energy and focus wanes!

I manage an hour of admin, emails, database around 5pm and then home about 6pm where I catch up with family and relax preparing the evening meal. (Having started my career in hospitality I still love to cook). Out of lockdown, mid-week late afternoons I coach my sons under eight rugby team in the winter and touch rugby team in the summer. Evenings include a bit of guitar (I am a hopeless but happy novice), helping kids with homework, family time, and finishing up around 10pm with a quick review of emails and setting my key tasks for tomorrow.

How did you start your career in commercial real estate?

From school, I began in hospitality where the hours were unsociable and long – but I had heaps of fun!

I then studied accountancy and worked in finance and executive roles in CA firms and corporates for about 15 years. This gave me a great insight into a wide range of business types of all sizes, across many industry sectors.

A wonderful and highly successful residential agent in Auckland, Leila MacDonald had just sold a house for me and she recommended that I should get out of the corporate scene and would be a ‘good fit” to sell commercial real estate. That was almost 20 years ago in 2001.

What do you enjoy most about being at Ray White Commercial? What makes Ray White Commercial different? 

Firstly, I enjoy being a business owner with some real skin in the game and the responsibility that comes with that. Responsibility to our team, my co-owners,  and the bigger Ray White family.

Ray White Commercial is very unique in that it comprises a huge amount of very talented, experienced people with the same core values who every day strive to provide fantastic service to clients from SME’s to multinational corporate clients.

But the Ray White Commercial entity structure is by no means a big corporate dinosaur. Our business structures are flat with very few levels of hierarchy which means we are extremely dynamic and fast when compared to some of our large competitors. We simply get the right people or team for the job and get into our work without delay. Clients of any size just love that approach and the exceptional level of service delivery. From that experience, our clients come to trust us.

What are your go-to property marketing methods that you present to your clients?

While I have brokered over three quarters of a billion dollars worth of deals using a wide range of marketing methods, I certainly don’t have a preference. You need to look at the property fundamentals first and get a clear understanding of the client’s objectives before you go to your marketing methods menu.

Auctions are a great method of sale and I was taught by Ray White auctioneer John Bowring to first ask this question when considering options as to how to sell any commercial property: “why wouldn’t you sell this property by auction?”

At the outset, getting client commitment to invest in the chosen marketing strategy is critical in improving your chances of achieving a successful sale and getting paid.

Tell me about a unique success story?

I received a phone call from a Ray White residential agent, Leigh Ingles of Ray White Drury just three days prior to Christmas. The next day Ray White Commercial Auckland co-owner Nigel Ingham and I met the large industrial ASX listed tenant on site.

On January 4 we presented our recommended strategy for a sale and leaseback of their industrial facility. In good faith, over the next nine months we engaged with and advised the client as required and were finally appointed to broker the sale in September.

Under extremely tight deadlines to meet the client’s objectives we finalised the sale and leaseback transaction within just three weeks via a closed RFP. The deal settled just a week later.

The sale price achieved and the lease terms agreed well and truly exceeded the client’s expectations.

Why was this deal a success?

  • The deal was initiated by one of our Ray White residential colleagues who got a nice big slice of the fee for her efforts.
  • We were appointed ahead of two other large commercial agencies because we got straight into our work once contacted and worked through the Christmas/New Year period formulating our strategy without any formal agency appointment. We continued to advise the client for another nine months until they were in a position to appoint and proceed.
  • It demonstrated that, although we were a relatively new commercial agency, that we had the experience and skills within Ray White Commercial Auckland to achieve and even exceed the client’s goals.

What’s the one thing you know now, that you wish you knew when you first started out?

What my dad told me at age seven – “You’ve got two ears and one mouth for a reason son – so listen twice as much as you talk”.

What is your outlook for the Auckland commercial market over the next 12 months?

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, I think there will be a widespread fundamental shift in how all types of commercial property are used and ultimately valued. Hospitality, retail, and office assets will be affected more so than industrial properties.

We are going to be extremely busy helping our commercial clients navigate their way through the murky landscape to establish the new normal for commercial property.


Phone: +6421 520 701

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