Merger maths: ‘1 + 1 = 3’

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A unique merger took place last week in Queenstown’s real estate sector.

Colliers International’s Queenstown/Otago franchise, which specialises in commercial sales and leasing, tourism sales and valuation and advisory services, joined forces with residential real estate agency Hoamz, which also incorporates short- and long-term property management.

The two long-established, locally-owned firms have merged under the Colliers International brand which is represented in 68 countries.

The Hoamz brand is being retained for Hoamz’s Invercargill and Balclutha branches only.

Former Hoamz Queenstown staff will continue to operate from their Shotover Street offices till March 1, when they’ll shift to Colliers International’s leased office space in Athol St, which is being expanded.

The Shotover St ground floor premises, however, will be retained as a shopfront for the merged business.

Colliers International’s Queenstown managing director Alastair Wood will head the new company, while former Hoamz director Fred Bramwell will head its residential agency.

Altogether the combined business will have 66 staff, including Colliers’ Wanaka and Dunedin offices.

To launch the enlarged Colliers International franchise, the company’s brand colour is shifting from dark blue to light blue.

Wood stresses the merger isn’t about adding one and one to make two – “we want to hit three”.

He believes Colliers International’s expertise in valuation and market research will be valuable tools for its new in-house residential real estate agency.

“When a market gets a bit tougher, if you’ve got more tools in the box, you can deliver to the agents and you can deliver to the clients.” Former Hoamz director Brendan Quill believes the merger is made in heaven in view of his new business partner’s knowledge base.

“In a tighter market, you’ll see the pull of the Colliers International brand as they are such a respected brand in not only the national but also the international marketplace.”

Between the two teams, he also says they offer a lot of local experience.

Meanwhile, Colliers International’s New Zealand chief executive Mark Synnott says the merger satisfies the demand from existing commercial clients for high-end Queenstown residential property and residential projects like subdivisions and apartment complexes.

He notes the merger creates the first real estate division for his company in Australasia.

“Queenstown is the perfect place to establish a full-service residential business alongside our already well-established commercial business,” Synnott says.

He adds it’s rare to see two established businesses with such well-aligned values and cultures not competing with one another in a small region like Queenstown/Otago.

“Our people and culture are what make us work so well, so it’s exciting times ahead.”

A function to celebrate the merger was held on Thursday. 00

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