Bayleys CEO Simon Anderson tells why relationships are what really matter.

WORDS DANIEL DUNKLEY / PHOTOS SALINA GALVAN

Real estate’s not just about business, and some agents really take that knowledge to heart. “Real estate isn’t about property, it’s about people and family. We live and breathe it,” says Simon Anderson, CEO of Success Realty, Bayleys’ franchise in the Bay of Plenty, Waikato and Taranaki.

Simon, who took up his role two years ago, has been with Bayleys for nearly 20 years now. Most of his senior colleagues have spent two decades helping people buy and sell across the region, and this gives Bayleys a close-knit, family-like feel in an industry that really values loyalty and consistency. Simon says real estate is also about personalities. “Those who come into the real estate business for the people are the ones who prosper.”

It’s 8am at Bayleys HQ on Tauranga’s Cameron Road and the office is already up and running. Phones are ringing, people are tapping away at keyboards, and you get the sense that it’s like this every day of the week.

The company is based in the ANZ Business Centre, the modern office block that epitomises Tauranga’s transformation from small city to national business hub. The slick Bayleys suite is home to management, salespeople and support staff, all hard at work pushing deals over the line.

Bayleys has a rich history around these parts, having been brought to the region in 2002 by well-known realtors Richard Cashmore and Brian Waldegrave. The Tauranga-based franchise now stretches to Hamilton and beyond, but Bayleys is synonymous with the Bay, with the logo regularly spotted on rugby shirts and sports grounds. The firm even contributed towards the multimillion-dollar floodlights at the Bay Oval at Blake Park.

Simon grew up in rural Otago, and moved into real estate from banking after striking up a relationship with Richard. “We sat down and he felt I had a future in real estate. Seventeen years later, here I am,” he says.

Simon spent more than 10 years in rural real estate before becoming CEO, and has only just stopped selling properties. He’s excited about the Bay of Plenty’s prospects and has seen the region grow in national prominence in recent years. “People want to be here,” he says. “We’re seeing so much development. Twenty years ago, Tauranga was like a village. Now, right across the board, it’s very positive.”

So what makes Bayleys stand out in the high-octane real estate market? Simon reckons the firm’s breadth of expertise is invaluable. Bayleys has expert teams in residential, commercial and rural real estate, all of which support one another. They sell mid- to high-end property of all kinds: beautiful beachside apartments, kiwifruit orchards, dairy farms, lifestyle blocks, commercial buildings…

Simon believes the breadth of the business makes it more effective. “Bayleys is positioned at the top end of the market,” he says. “We have the philosophy that we want to look under every stone to find the right buyer and value for the vendor. We offer a consistent service. Behind every Bayleys person there’s training, marketing and IT, and it’s all part of our offering and what we do.”

The Bay of Plenty continues to be a hot market, with many sales going to auction, and Simon reckons this is where Bayleys truly excels. The company has an in-house auction business, a rarity among real estate firms. Simon says this helps buyers navigate the often nerve-wracking process and secure the best price. “Our in-house team works exclusively for us, and that’s a big part of our business. Selecting who will sell your property is the most important thing. You should get consistency across our group.”

Two years in as CEO, Simon confesses to missing the rush of the auction room and seeing sales happen firsthand. But he knows his team of experts has the market covered. “Knowing you’ve been able to help someone buy their dream home and seeing their joy gives you a thrill. That’s the best thing about being in our business.”

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