Colliers takes on residential

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A Queenstown commercial property franchise is merging with a local residential real estate agency.

Colliers International Queenstown, which specialises in commercial sales, leasing, valuation and advisory services, is joining forces with Hoamz from November 1.

It’s the first time Colliers International – which operates in 68 countries and around New Zealand – has added a residential real estate division in this country.

The Hoamz brand will disappear locally but will still be used for the company’s Invercargill and Balclutha branches.

Including Colliers’ offices in Wanaka and Dunedin, the merged company, under the Colliers International banner, will have 17 residential agents, 10 commercial brokers and 15 valuers, plus support staff.

Hoamz boss Fred Bramwell, who’ll head the agency division of the new company, says he’s got some regrets about losing the Hoamz brand, but he’s excited about “the big opportunities”.

“We’re confident the merger will not only bring us a new look, it will give us even greater reach.”

He says the best part is that the two brands are already well aligned in terms of philosophy, culture and teamwork.

Teamwork has been a feature of Hoamz since it was set up in 2003.

Bramwell: “Everyone says they’re a team, but our litmus test for teamsmanship is that 60 to 63 per cent of the time the listing agent won’t sell the property they’ve listed, it will be another team member.

“That means everyone’s working together.”

Bramwell adds that while his Queenstown team will work under the Colliers banner, the new company will maintain strong ties and an active referral network with Hoamz’s other branches.

Local Colliers International boss Alastair Wood, who’ll head the new company, says it will build on both brands’ existing strengths.

“The merger has come from a unique set of circumstances not often seen in our industry, where both companies are very strong in their particular sectors with very little crossover – unlike other real estate mergers.

“Combining our resources not only provides better opportunities for staff and business growth.

“It will also give our clients access to the region’s only full-service real estate offering, with the backing of Colliers International’s global brand, knowledge and expertise.

“We’ve got probably a 60 to 70 per cent market share in commercial.

“That’s hard to grow, but last year there were about $940 million of residential sales in the Wakatipu.

“There’s been a $24m sale, there are $10m houses being constructed – I just think there are big opportunities at that end of the market.”

Colliers’ NZ boss Mark Synnott believes Queenstown’s the ideal place for his company to take on a residential division.

“Residential projects and high-end residential are key growth areas, with the former being the largest product line for Colliers International in Australia.”

It also exposes his company’s commercial clients to lifestyle and development opportunities, he says.

Wood says it’s likely that, following the merger, the two teams will be together under the one roof.

scoop@scene.co.nz