In the third instalment of our series, new residents and Bayleys real estate agents Andrea and Duncan Ritchie reflect on taking the scenic route.

Andrea and Duncan Ritchie

UNO: It’s been almost a year since you moved from Auckland to live in Papamoa full-time. Did you and Duncan celebrate your anniversary?

ANDREA: We went for a long walk on the beach on one of those blustery winter days after a storm, when the sky is grey and the sea is wild. It’s the kind of weather we love – it stirs the spirit, and is a great time to chat and think. In particular, we were reflecting on how easily we’ve settled into our new life here. It’s been nearly a year of working and living here permanently – a busy and exciting time that’s absolutely flown by. We feel so lucky. Life couldn’t be better, and we’re enjoying being part of the small, agile Bayleys residential team. It’s just like a boutique agency. We’re selling paradise slice by slice with the backing of the powerful Bayleys brand – it’s the best of both worlds.

UNO: Speaking of time, real estate can be a very fast-paced industry. How do you guys deal with that?

ANDREA: With 40 years of real estate between us, we’ve learned that it can sometimes be better to take the scenic route than the highway. When negotiations are complex – as many are now, with more creativity needed around terms and options given the current economic climate – time is the most valuable commodity. Devoting extra time to our vendors and buyers is integral to the way we work and build relationships. Rather than a straight-down-the-highway approach, we often detour and get more creative, taking the scenic route to bring people together to form an agreement.

Duncan and I apply this approach to our personal life, too. Making time for family, business and friends is a challenge for everyone, but a few years ago, we ditched the term ‘time management’ and replaced it with ‘rhythm’ – a change in mindset that has allowed us to blend family, business and friends more naturally into the rhythm of our life.

Real estate has its own rhythm, and can be very fast-paced in a buoyant market and equally intense in a challenging one. There’s no doubt that even though we live in a digital age, people like doing business face-to-face. Our philosophy of making business personal and building long-term relationships really has held us in good stead over the past couple of decades.

UNO: What would you say the ultimate highlight of your year has been?

ANDREA: Our family is scattered around the world, in Sydney, London, Scotland, South Africa and Spain, so we make a point at the beginning of every year to plan a special mid-winter family holiday. Sometimes it seems like an impossible task to get everyone together, but everyone’s invited, and this year we had a wonderful holiday on the Sunshine Coast. The house was full of family and best of all, Duncan’s daughter Amy flew over from London as a surprise. Hundreds of photos were taken and we made lots of noisy FaceTime calls to our siblings and grandchildren who couldn’t make it. We brought home great memories of sunny days, chaotic meal times, boogie boarding, sailing, eating sand-dusted apple slices on the beach, playing plenty of golf and browsing farmers’ markets.

Now we’re looking forward to another year of discovery – lots of golf courses, cycle trails and social events, and there might be some sailing in between the open homes too. We’ve already had our first Christmas dinner invitation and a group of us are getting together for
the beach polo. We can’t wait!