A high-end real estate agent who’s just moved to Arrowtown is readying to shake up this sector of the Queenstown-Lakes property market.
Cam Winter, who set up Oliver Road Estate Agents six years ago, has sold almost 500 properties in his 13 years selling property, and in 2021-22 was adjudged ‘best real estate agent, Asia Pacific’, in the International Property Awards.
The 33-year-old says he established his company in the Bay of Plenty — named, incidentally, after his middle name, ‘Oliver’ — by targeting high-end properties listed by other agents that hadn’t moved for some time.
‘‘I got a couple of good breaks, sold AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd’s place [reportedly for $4 million] and a couple of other really high-end properties, and so sort of got some real traction there.’’
He and his wife Isis had been eyeing up moving here for two or three years, then in June bought a pad at Millbrook Resort.
Winter, who has also set up a small Arrowtown office, says he’ll probably specialise in Queenstown-Lakes homes worth at least $3.5m, although he’d also look at, for example, a stunning, historic Arrowtown cottage that might be $2.9m.
He’ll take on, at most, six listings at a time to give his vendors as much service as he can.
He says if you list a high-end property with a larger agency, ‘‘in many instances the whole group, regionally, can take a buyer through your property, and that’s presented as a good thing’’.
“The vast majority of those agents have no place showing a property of that nature, not least in part because they don’t know anything about it.
‘‘They haven’t spent months preparing it [for sale] and going through a due diligence process.’’
The ‘politics’ of agencies where everyone’s fighting for a buyer so they can get a commission ‘‘leads to a less than desirable result’’, Winter says.
‘‘Also, I have only seen a very small amount of real estate marketing of these [high-end] properties in the Queenstown-Lakes district that I would consider good.’’
He says ‘‘the larger traditional models were simply not designed to represent unique, ultra-high-value properties’’.
‘‘In almost no other setting or industry would you engage the services of a broad sort of multi-disciplinary firm.
‘‘You don’t get your GP to perform heart surgery, and selling a $10m property is heart surgery.’’
Winter says he’ll invest up to $25,000 per listing on ‘‘a world-class marketing campaign’’, and promises he’ll reward his first few local vendors with ‘‘something pretty special’’.
And while he’s ‘‘not a discount agency’’, the fact he doesn’t have ‘‘enormous overheads’’ is reflected in his commission rate, he notes.
He says he already has a database of about 4500 national and international buyers, and lists properties on 100-plus websites around the world.
He believes the National Party’s policy to lift the foreign buyer ban for $2m-plus properties, if it gets into power, would increase activity in that sector.
‘‘They should have always been excluded from an international buyer ban.’’
Winter says his greatest thrill is getting favourable reviews from clients.
‘‘We’re just coming up to selling 150 properties and all but one client has rated the service as five stars and the other one was a four-star.’’