Steve Koerber's Old Blog

Remuera's house sold name since 1998 – 021864166

Posts Tagged ‘Helen Clark’

2008 The Year in Review

Posted by Steve Koerber on January 1, 2009

2008 The Year in Review  2009-300x20111

January started with a rush. Buyers were plentiful for realistically priced properties.  My first sale of the year resulted from a phenomenon that often occurs around the festive season – “a change of family circumstances”. My Australia-bound family of five decided Auckland was a better option.  Instead of moving over the ditch, they paid $1.25million and moved around the corner to a similar but bigger version of the home I had recently sold for them at auction for $1.3million.  Ironically, bucking recently reported migration trends, the family who bought their home had just returned from an unsuccessful attempt to enjoy life in Brisbane.  On a more poignant note, New Zealand lost the legendary Sir Edmund Hillary.  His state funeral was held in Parnell on January 22nd.

February is usually one of the busiest months for home sales and 2008 didn’t disappoint.  With the kids back at school and business as usual, I managed to list and sell six properties during what seemed to be a very warm spell.  Things were also hotting up for Remuera residents Bob Bangerter and Mark Bryers as the Commerce Commission and the SFO both announced investigations into their failed Blue Chip group.  Several finance companies had already fallen by February and many more followed as investors understandably fled the sector.

Being the last month of the financial year, March is always a hectic time of year for me.  My family know that I’ll often be home late and that my weekends are focussed on open homes, listing and selling.  Having said that, Easter was earlier this year and we did fit in a nice break at Ruakaka Beach (30 minutes South of Whangarei).

April saw the biggest monthly drop in the number of Auckland homes sold for many years.  Compared with April 2007, Barfoot & Thompson’s sales for the month were down 50%.  For the rest of 2008 sales volumes lagged well behind 2007’s numbers.  These results confirmed that October 2007 was the peak of the latest real estate cycle.  The sale of 44A Armadale Rd marked my 40th sale in that street.  It was a major milestone and an achievement that I am very proud of.

May is traditionally my month of learning & professional development.  This year I was thrilled to be ranked 16th of 1000+ salespeople within Barfoot & Thompson.  I was officially recognised by the company at our annual conference.  I was also given the opportunity to share some of my success principles on stage in front of 1500 people as part of a Q&A panel.  A week later I attended an invigorating three day real estate conference in Sydney hosted by one of the industry’s greats, John McGrath.  While there I caught the ferry to Double Bay and picked the brains of Bill Malouf, Australia’s number one real estate salesperson.  His average sale price is about $4.5million more than mine.  I learnt a lot that day!

June was the month in which the Mars Phoenix Lander found ice on Mars.  Despite some jitters in the local real estate market I continued to sell most of my listings and was enjoying my best year ever.  Barfoot & Thompson’s Auckland market share remained as strong as ever, hitting 37%.  images1

July marked the fifth anniversary of the last time the Reserve Bank of NZ actually reduced the official cash rate.  In July 2003 rates were cut to 5.00%.  In July 2008 they were cut to 8%.  With unprecedented speed, rates were cut again in September, October and December and sat at 5% by year’s end.  Money very quickly became a lot cheaper, but much harder to borrow.  In July Crude Oil hit an all time peak of almost US$150 per barrel.  By year’s end it also was down to about US$40 per barrel.  I started a coaching and mentoring group with the aim of enhancing the careers of selected colleagues within the New Zealand real estate industry.

August was a huge month for me and at one point I had five full page advertisements running in the Central Property Press.  You might think, so what?  The reason I mention this is to illustrate the power of marketing.  These impressive bigger advertisements attracted so much attention that all of the featured properties sold.  In a tighter market environment, I was successfully attracting multiple bidders to all of my auctions and selling them.  It was at this time that I realised that as many “auctions” fail as “for sales” fail.  If people try to tell you that auctions don’t work, it really is a fallacy.  The fear factor makes auctions an easy target for naysayers.  So please, before you judge auction as a method of sale, make sure you talk to someone like me who knows them inside-out.      

September saw the return from Beijing of our successful Olympians.  The team finished 26th on the medal tally and brought home 3 gold, 1 silver and 5 bronze medals. 

In early October I took the family to our favourite holiday destination, Cairns.  We spent two very relaxing weeks celebrating what was my best year in real estate.  After so many working weekends I really enjoyed the opportunity to spend more time with Katie 14, Charlotte 5 and Joshua 3.  Upon our return, the global financial crisis was in full swing and home buyers were all of a sudden a lot more cautious.  The exuberance and confidence of the past five years was gone in a heartbeat.  I dusted off the ‘tough market’ strategies gleaned from my experience of the 1998 – 2000 market and got stuck in.   

Politically speaking November was a fascinating month.  The election of Barack Obama was an historic event comparable to the election of Nelson Mandela as South Africa’s President in 1994.  In NZ we said goodbye after nine years to Helen Clark and welcomed John Key as Prime Minister.  By year’s end he appeared to be doing a pretty good job.  Most buyers I spoke to during this period were convinced 2009 was going to be a better time to buy.  Consequently it was my least successful month of the year.

December the 3rd I auctioned a cute two bedroom cottage at 15 Ventnor Rd Remuera.  Spirited bidding from 7 bidders resulted in a good sale at a figure higher than the owner’s bottom line.  An American buyer who had been in constant email contact with me said I should contact him after the auction.  I wrote back saying that the auction was likely to sell under the hammer and that he should bid.  He didn’t believe that an auction could sell in what he defined as a buyer’s market.  The result proves that the market is always buoyant at the right price.  I finished the year in new territory, recognised as Barfoot’s number one salesperson in Remuera. 

Thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout 2008.  My hope for you is that 2009 will be a year of abundance and opportunity.  Some people will struggle financially this year.  For those who do, I believe it is prudent to belt-tighten and learn from past mistakes.  Concentrate on saving and investing, rather than consuming.  And when the tough times seem like a distant memory, as they will, avoid the consumption mentality of the past 15 years, keep saving and investing!  

If you or anyone you know needs real estate help and advice this year I’d be thrilled to hear from you.


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Real Estate and John Key. Prime Minister of New Zealand.

Posted by Steve Koerber on November 7, 2008

Congratulations to the National Party’s John Key  – the new Prime Minister of New Zealand.  New Zealand voters tonight decided on a change of direction and a major swing to the right ousted the incumbent, Labour’s Helen Clark, after nine years at the helm.

Based on my experience of previous election results, the win by National will give the real estate market a short term lift in confidence.  A combination of factors, including falling interest rates and more affordable housing should also serve to stabilise the market between now and the end of the year.  I expect sales volumes will increase about 10 – 20% compared to historically low numbers over the past few months.

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