This issue, we talk relationships – new ones and the ones you leave behind when you move – with Bayleys agents who could moonlight as tour guides.

UNO: Having recently shifted from Auckland to Tauranga, are you having fun making new friends?

Andrea: Duncan and I are thoroughly enjoying our new home and life, including numerous dinners, drinks and outings with friends new and old. We’re lucky – we have great neighbours, we work with a tremendous team of people, we’re making new friends daily and we’ve reconnected with old friends who moved here before us. The other night, we had dinner with some long-time friends. Over pinot noir at Latitude 37, we realised we’ve seen more of each other in the past year than in the past decade in Auckland!

Andrea and Duncan Ritchie

UNO: Have you disengaged from your work in Auckland?

Andrea: We might be separated by 200km or so, but you never totally disconnect from family and the relationships you’ve built with others. Everyone likes to do business with people they know, like and trust, so as well as introductions from my old Bayleys colleagues, I’ve had agents from other Ponsonby companies recommending me to people here in Tauranga. They trust Duncan and I to look after these special clients with the same care and attention they would themselves. So we’re building some great new friendships. It’s really fulfilling.

It seems everyone’s interested in what’s going on down here. We’d been sending our newsletter, Metroliving, to about 3000 people, and thought we’d get lots of people unsubscribing when we moved, but that hasn’t happened. It never ceases to surprise us who reads them and gets in touch – whether it’s someone in London who wants to buy a beach house, a family that’s relocating and needs advice on the best locations in the Bay, an investor who’s looking for new opportunities, or even someone who just wants to say hello.

UNO: Last issue, you told us you’d had lots of visitors – did that slow down when the temperature dropped?

Andrea: No – and we’re so glad! Last year, we went to Hong Kong to visit a South Korean couple who we’ve helped buy and sell four properties in New Zealand; it’s been one of those wonderful experiences of customers becoming close friends. Recently, they called and said they wanted to come to stay with us in Papamoa, and we were like the proud parents of a newborn, planning the itinerary.

We walked with them around the Mount base track, where they were blown away by the clarity of the water, the pohutukawas and the seals. We took a drive to the lookout at Minden, stopping several times on the way to photograph cows in paddocks. Then it was down to Te Puna to buy bags of fresh gold kiwifruit, avocados and figs, which they took back to Hong Kong. We ate out at Harbourside, Post Bank and Bamboo; they said the Peking duck at the latter was the best they’d ever had, and chuckled at the taped Chinese and Korean English lessons playing in the bathrooms. Our friends were so taken with the area and what it has to offer, they looked at some apartments at the Mount.

UNO: What’s the biggest difference between working here and in Auckland?

Andrea: There’s something magical about living in a coastal city. It feels like there’s a touch more freedom – a dusting of sunkissed carefree-ness that pervades everyday living. Tauranga has a real down-to-earth heartbeat, however, it’s no less professional, despite shrugging off the big-city corporate attire. In fact, it’s perfect.

Get in touch with Andrea and Duncan at AndreaDuncanRitchie