Ace Auckland real estate agent David Gubb had a life-changing holiday in Queenstown at Christmas.
Not only did he purchase a property here, he also ended up buying into the local Bayleys real estate franchise.
Gubb, one of Bayleys’ most successful commercial and industrial property agents for the past 20 years, says he talked to the company’s managing director Mike Bayley on his return.
“I was sort of saying, ‘Sometime in the future, if something popped up down there it would be a nice place for us to be’.”
Gubb’s wife Kathryn, who’s from Invercargill, was keen to come south again, he told Bayley.
“I was thinking it might be one year or five years or something like that, not sort of next week.”
Gubb, 51, and the Bayley family real estate company – who’ve formed Queenstown and Southern NZ Realty Ltd – jointly take over the Queenstown and Southland franchises on April 1.
Mike Bayley says: “Bayleys Queenstown has a great core team, and our salespeople have a lot of success in the residential and lifestyle markets.
“David Gubb has a proven track record in this sector and is one of our top commercial salespeople, as well as a successful manager.
“He will be expanding our team of salespeople and working to improve our share of the market.”
The Queenstown and more recently Southland franchises have latterly been owned by husband and wife David Murray and Anne Rattray.
A long-time Christchurch realtor, Murray originally took a stake in Bayleys’ Queenstown franchise when his firm merged with Bayleys Canterbury in 2005.
When he and Rattray diluted their Christchurch stake, they took 100 per cent of Queenstown as part of their settlement and moved here four years ago.
“It’s became obvious to me that if our shareholding was to prosper, without being arrogant about it, it needed hands-on owners.”
Murray, now in his 40th year selling real estate, says the past few are the toughest he’s experienced.
“I’ve never known a tougher sustained period of low-volume real estate sales. We had the crash in the ‘80s but to some extent it was of shorter duration and before we knew it we were sort of back.”
But Murray says there’s been a lot more activity in the past year – “and I think the numbers will follow”.
“Our team has grown in stature and they are getting better market share as individuals. We’ve had very few changes, which is great. I think the brand has grown – we’re on the shopping list.”
Murray, 68, says he and his wife had always planned to return to Canterbury to live in Akaroa.
“We’ve both worked hard. I’ve got six grandchildren in Canterbury, we’ve got long-standing friends there.”
Murray says they’re delighted to be selling to people who intend growing the company while also sad to be leaving a special place.
Gubb says a priority will be appointing a sales boss to replace Rattray, who’ll stay till the role is filled – he also intends beefing up the company’s market share in the rural Southland market.
Though a commercial/industrial property specialist he’s also been involved in major rural transactions, including the $200 million Crafar Farms portfolio, controversially sold to Chinese interests.