Steve Koerber's Old Blog

Remuera's house sold name since 1998 – 021864166

Posts Tagged ‘Remuera’

Anyone know which street this is?

Posted by Steve Koerber on August 25, 2010


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Passion, goals, immigrants, investors, results & family

Posted by Steve Koerber on April 15, 2010

 Dear everyone, this is my April 2010 newsletter sent to all my valued clients. 

Although I’ve been helping people to buy and sell since 1996, as each year passes I find myself becoming even more passionate about real estate as a career.  Whether prices are going up, down or sideways, I love helping people from all walks of life move from one phase of their lives to the next.  Every day this is a truly fascinating industry to be involved with.

This time every year I sit on Piha beach to set my goals for the coming financial year.  Part of this process involves analysing my listings and sales to see where they’ve come from.  It’s probably no surprise that most of my listings were kindly referred to me by people just like you.  What will surprise you is that 70% of my 2009 sales went to people who were born overseas (mostly Chinese immigrants).  What an amazing statistic!    

It’s anyone’s guess what changes the government will soon announce about the treatment of property as an investment.  What I can tell you is that a higher than usual percentage of investors have been selling excess rental properties.  In fact 57% (or 8 of my 14 sales since January) were tenanted properties.  Incredibly, all but one went to owner-occupiers.  Are we staring down the barrel of a rental shortage and rent increases?  I think that is a highly likely scenario.

On a personal note I finished the year ranked in the elite Barfoot & Thompson Top 25.  I actually had my most successful year ever and plan to do even better this coming year.  Home life has been mildly hectic and our kids are now 15 (Katie), 6 (Charlotte) and 4&11/12ths (Joshua).  Joshua finally starts school next week.

As a family we’re very settled in our home and it seems we won’t be moving for a while.  If however you’re thinking about making a change, needless to say, I’d love to help you with your next move.  And if you have a rental property you’d like to cash-up, the chances are high that I can find a wannabe owner-occupier to take it off your hands.

Yours sincerely,

Steve Koerber

Barfoot & Thompson – Remuera

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2009 the year in review

Posted by Steve Koerber on December 30, 2009

My January 2009 holiday reading included a brilliant book titled “The Four Hour Work Week”.  With the lure of eternal holidays I couldn’t wait to implement some of its efficiency strategies.  As a result I am now one of a handful of agents who provide instant information to people who enquire about my listings.  I do this by funnelling customers from property websites to my blog site where they find statistics, titles, Lim reports, appraisals, rates, maps, zoning, links, etc.  Clients have commented that my system is cutting edge in terms of real estate customer service.

February 2009 saw the world financial crisis in full swing with global bank failures, mortgagee sales, emergency meetings, job losses and stimulus packages.  Interest rates plummeted in an attempt to stabilise economies and keep people spending.  The local real estate market was limping along in an uncertain frame of mind.  In hindsight, the first half of 2009 was an excellent time to buy property. 

March 2009 was slower than any March I had seen in recent times.  Many of my sales saw clients accepting small losses.  Thankfully most had some immunity, especially those buying and selling on the same market.  The end of the financial year again saw me recognised in the elite top 2% of Barfoot & Thompson salespeople.  This year I finished with my highest ever ranking:  14th out of 1000+ salespeople.

I remember April 2009 as the start of a prolonged period of very thin Property Press magazines.  The catch-cry of most agents was that they couldn’t get enough listings to sell.  Sellers were fearful that if they sold they wouldn’t achieve a reasonable price.  In turn this meant that anyone who had sold was unable to buy due to dwindling stock levels.  This whole supply and demand imbalance eventually led to a significant revival in median prices throughout NZ towards the end of the year.  April also produced Susan Boyle’s rendition of “I dreamed a dream” and the rest, as they say, is history.

May 2009 marked the 13th anniversary of the commencement of my real estate career.  Way back in 1996 I made what seemed a huge decision to leave the Navy and join Vision Realty in Milford.  Vision was a unique group that didn’t believe in auctions or open homes.  Thankfully I was one of a chosen few who received a salary during my first year.  Without that fortuitous easing into a commission only sales role I’d probably be onto my third or fourth career by now.  In May I returned to Sydney for my yearly dose of inspiration and learning at the Australasian Real Estate Conference (AREC09).

June 2009 saw the untimely death of one of the world’s most influential entertainers, Michael Jackson.  It also marked a turning point that saw a distinct shift from buyer’s market to seller’s market.  All of a sudden properties were receiving multiple offers and the Barfoot & Thompson auction rooms were full again.  Barfoot & Thompson’s Auckland market share held well above 30%, and in Remuera we achieved a creditable 50% share of the market for much of the year.  I took most of June off and spent time with my family.

In July 2009 I published my thoughts on how to solve New Zealand’s leaky home crisis.  My main concern was that naïve buyers and immigrants were at great risk of being stitched into homes that were clearly worth less that they had paid.  The new Real Estate Agents Act has made it harder for this to happen, but there are still significant risks for people who buy privately.  The entire leaky home saga in NZ is a bigger can of worms than most people realise.  I believe we need a Royal Commission to sort the mess out.  If Government keeps side stepping the blame and stalling a decent compensation plan, by 2014 no-one will be able to make a claim to help with the cost of repairs to a leaky home.  I meet people every week who own at-risk homes.  Some are aware that their asset is at risk of losing value but the travesty is that most are completely unaware of the stigma that surrounds at-risk homes built (broadly) between 1991 – 2003.  If you have one of these homes, whether you’re selling or not, please feel free to have a chat with me about it.  If you do nothing else, I urge you to get a professional building inspection report ASAP.  This could prove to be the best advice you’ve received so far in 2010!

August 2009 saw the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, lower his world record time for the 100 metre sprint to an astonishing 9.58 seconds.  Having been a keen runner as a youngster I was in total awe of his achievement.  The number of monthly sales recorded by Barfoot & Thompson was an incredible 65% higher than in August 2008.  This remarkable result provided a great check on how bad things really got in 2008.  I trust we won’t see slumps like that again!  I made my 35th sale in Armadale Rd Remuera.  It sold about $100,000 above an ousted competitor’s estimated appraisal.  I always enjoy results like that.

I spent September 2009 listing quite a few homes.  Spring is always a busy time for me.  The world lost Patrick Swayze, the Commonwealth expelled Fiji and Samoans started driving on the left hand side of the road.  The All Blacks lost the final Tri-nations game to the Springboks 29-32.

October 2009 felt just like October 2006.  The market was booming and my phone and email inboxes were overflowing with enquiries.  During the month I received an unprecedented 200 email enquiries at a rate of over six per day.  On one Thursday I received an incredible 26 enquiries in addition to numerous phone calls and physical inspections.  Not surprisingly a beautiful home in Omahu Rd Remuera attracted eight bidders and fetched a top price for the thrilled owners.  It was the year’s most exciting auction and the talk of the town for weeks afterwards.

November 2009 was one of my busiest on record.  I had so many open homes that my weekend working hours eclipsed my week day hours.  One particular week I was marketing four similar grammar zone villas within close proximity of each other.  Having that much control over the local market put me in contact with a huge number of customers focused on buying in Remuera.  During January most of these people will receive calls & emails telling them about my new listings as they hit the market.  November also saw the introduction of the Real Estate Agents Act 2008 administered by the new Real Estate Agent’s Authority (REAA).  It was a much needed and positive change designed to better protect consumers and improve the real estate industry’s public image.

In December 2009 most economists decided the GFC was probably over and positive GDP growth was in sight.  Simultaneously the US government raised their official debt ceiling to US$12.394 trillion. Personally I can’t get my head around how that debt could ever be paid off, especially when you consider that 12.394 trillion seconds equals 396,608 years – gulp!  On the home front Auckland median prices had risen an astonishing 14% over the past 12 months.  My crystal ball tells me that prices will rise in 2010 but probably not as much as they did in 2009.  Christmas with Gillian, Katie (15), Charlotte (6) and Joshua (4) was spent with Grandma in Thames before we embarked on our most ambitious family holiday yet – the details of which will be revealed in my 2010 yearly review. 

I really enjoy helping people to buy and sell properties.  If you need my advice or services in 2010 I’d love to hear from you.  Remember I can also help your friends and family outside my area by putting them in touch with a proven professional from within my established personal network.

Here are some thoughts for a successful 2010:  

“Success is reached by being active, awake, ahead of the crowd, by aiming high, pushing ahead, honestly, diligently, patiently: by climbing, digging, saving; by forgetting the past, using the present, trusting in the future; by having a purpose, fainting not, determining to win, and striving to the end”

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Who’s Moving in Remuera real estate?

Posted by Steve Koerber on June 30, 2009

These days I sell homes throughout Remuera and in some surrounding suburbs.  When I first started selling in Remuera in 1998 I decided to focus predominantly in one area – Southern Remuera.  Since then it’s been my mission to become the agent of choice in that area. 

If you live on the southern slopes of Remuera you’ll probably be familiar with my monthly statistical newsletter ‘Who’s Moving”.  I believe it’s the best statistical real estate newsletter available to local residents for the following reasons:

1.  It provides an accurate snapshot of the exact state of the market on Remuera’s southern side. 

2.  It takes my assistant Anne and myself several days to research and compile it at the end of each month.

3.  It is totally transparent.  If any company lists or sells a property in my area, that property will be included in it.  Private listings and sales are included also.

4.  Sales methods, listed prices, sale prices and CVs of all properties are included.

5.  Compiling my newsletter helps me to know my marketplace even better.  I can walk into a house and (usually) quite accurately predict its value based on recent sales, without needing to research recent sales. 

6.  Some locals have kept my newsletters for years.  It’s a great way for them to keep abreast of the likely value of their own home, compared to those that have sold nearby.

7.  Readers can instantly spot the market leader – the firm that is listing and selling more property than any other firm – Barfoot & Thompson.

Click on the individual links below to read Who’s Moving –

August 2010

June 2010

April 2010

Jan 2010

Nov Dec 09

Oct 09

Sept 09

Aug 09

July 09

Jun 09

May 09

Apr 09

Mar 09

Feb 09

Dec 08

Sept 08

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July 08

Jun 08

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Apr 08

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Dec 07

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Oct 07

Sept 07

Aug 07

July 07

Jun 07

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Feb 07

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Immigration is changing the face of New Zealand and Remuera

Posted by Steve Koerber on June 28, 2009

After a slightly slower 2008 my sales volumes are back up to 2007 levels.  Over the last 3 months I’ve sold twelve homes at the rate of four per month. 

The other day I was studying those sales and noticed something very interesting.  culturesImmigration trends suggest we will see a net gain to NZ’s population of about 20,000 people this year.  It looks to me like plenty of new arrivals are buying homes at the moment, especially in Remuera.  I’m going to share a telling statistic with you that you won’t see highlighted elsewhere.  Of my last 12 sales, 10 were to families born outside New Zealand.  Not all have just arrived, but the majority have.  Most were from China. 

We are so lucky to live in such a safe, clean, culturally diverse environment.  Many people from all over the world can only dream about living in New Zealand and Remuera.

Posted in Opinion | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

In Remuera people trust Barfoot & Thompson

Posted by Steve Koerber on June 3, 2009

BT Horiz lg logoAt Barfoot & Thompson we don’t often shout from the rooftops about our successes.  We just get on with doing the business we’ve been doing for over 80 years.  Whenever you see company Director Peter Thompson quoted in the media you’ll notice a conscious effort to report fact-based data and market commentary.  Check out our newest website for more information.

Speaking of facts, Barfoot & Thompson’s dominance of the Remuera market continues unabated.  Our research of actual sales shows an approximate 50% market share of all residential sales during 2008.  To demonstrate that was no fluke, B&Ts market share since January 2009 has remain ed firmly around the 50% level. 

As a consumer you have choice.  Luckily, in Remuera, this means you can choose to deal with a real estate company that consistently controls half the market.

Especially in Remuera, people trust Barfoot & Thompson.

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Remuera’s all a Twitter about Blogs, Emails & Customer Service

Posted by Steve Koerber on April 12, 2009

So… I’ve got a blog.  I’ve also got auto-response emails that direct customers to my blog… then I provide them with more information about my homes-for- sale than 99.9% of agents choose to (or know how to).  twitterlogo1

You guessed it, I’m an early adopter of technology! And I get the feeling that Twitter is going to (eventually) propel me (and hopefully you) to the next level of geeksville.

Twitter is the fastest growing social networking site in the world.  For business use, I see it as a way to build a brand and establish a niche.  For example; by regularly using Twitter to share my knowledge, activities and results, you could perceive Steve Koerber as Remuera’s most informed and informative real estate salesperson.  My dream come true!

So how does Twitter work?  People follow you and you follow people.  It’s really that simple.  You can follow anyone and anyone can follow you (assuming you don’t block them, which you can).

Follow me here

See what these people are up to:  Richard Branson, Kevin Rudd, Demi Moore or Brian Tracy.  Who else would you be interested in following?

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Real Estate Commissions

Posted by Steve Koerber on April 1, 2009

I just wanted to clear up a common misconception regarding real estate commissions.  I often hear people say that in NZ our commissions are higher than some other countries.  A figure of 4% is often ‘bandied about’ and people complain that this is high.

It’s important to get the facts right.  No real estate company in NZ charges 4% on a typical house sale.  However, a small component of commission is sometimes charged at 4% or 3.95%.  Have a look at this: 

Residential Commissions (including GST)

 Selling Price  Barfoot & Thompson  Typical Auckland Fee*
 $200,000  $9,000  $9,513
 $300,000  $13,331  $13,809
 $400,000  $15,581  $17,074
 $500,000  $17,831  $19,728
 $750,000  $23,456  $25,930
 $1,000,000  $29,081  $32,204
 $1,500,000  $40,331  $44,752
 $2,000,000  $51,581  $57,300
 $3,000,000  $74,081  $82,396

Typical Auckland Fee is an independently researched average of rates from selected offices of Harcourts, LJ Hooker, Ray White, Professionals, Remax, Bayleys, Harveys, First National, Premium, Unlimited Potential. 

B&T Residential Sales Commission Rate Calculation  (GST exclusive)
On the first $300,000 of the purchase price* 3.95%
On the balance of the purchase price* 2.0%
Min Fee of $8000 + GST

Independently researched and audited by Chatfield & Co, Chartered Accountants May 2008.  Calculations include GST.

As you can see, with Barfoot & Thompson, on a $1,000,000 house sale the owner pays just over $29,081 incl gst.  As you can see, this is about 2.9% of the total sale price (not the 4% abovementioned). 

To put this percentage into perspective and compare it outside the real estate industry, many mutual funds, superannuation funds etc (investments you may have) charge a similar annual management fee on the total dollar amount you have invested with them.  Check the annual fees on your (relatively speaking passive) Kiwisaver fund and you’ll see what I mean.

Most property managers charge around 7.5% of the rent to manage your investment property.

Whilst many readers will argue (until the cows come home!) that real estate commissions are expensive, when you look at the percentages, they’re not that bad after all.  And if you do some thorough research and find an experienced negotiator to help sell your home, you might “feel” as if you’ve paid no fee because you received such great service and a mind-blowing price.  Isn’t that what you’d expect for, say, $29,081?

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Your Home is Worth Less Than It Was?

Posted by Steve Koerber on February 7, 2009

long-queueThis was the front page headline of today’s Sunday Newspaper in Auckland.

I won’t argue the point, for many people this headline is true.  Real estate is cyclical, thank goodness!  Could it go up forever?

News from the trenches:  I’m arguably the busiest salesperson in Remuera at the moment.  I’m running 12 to 14 open homes per weekend.

Last weekend I was face to face with approximatley 150 groups (or 450 people).  Yes, that many came to my open homes alone.  How many other buyers are out there – plenty!

This weekend (Waitangi long weekend) most would expect a slow weekend at open homes.  Again I had approximately 150 groups (or 450 people) through again. 

About 20 groups (or 60 people) were 2nd timers from the previous weekend.  That means, over two weekends (one being a long weekend), I had 280 groups (or 840 people) through open homes.

Methinks there might be some bargains, but not as many as the newspapers would have us believe!

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Remuera real estate is undervalued. I know and believe this. My aim is to change that one sale at a time.

Posted by Steve Koerber on January 9, 2009

This is Steve Koerber’s old site.  Please click here and go to…

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