A lifetime in real estate

Repeka Lelaulu started working in real estate in 1992 at Empire Realty in Greenwoods Corner, Epsom. Since then she has listed and sold real estate all over Auckland from Pukekohe to Warkworth to the value of hundreds of millions of dollars.

“Apart from the cost of property, what are three of the main differences you have observed in real estate over the past 28 years?”

The first one that comes to mind is the mortgage interest rate property buyers are paying. When I first started selling homes, interest rates were around 21%! These days, my buyers are borrowing funds at under 3.5%. Though prices have significantly increased, the cost of borrowing is a fraction of what it was.

I have noticed that the range of people who are purchasing has widened. Once upon a time, only a very select few were buying property. These days, it seems there is a much wider diversity of people in the market to buy, which is nice to see.

The real estate profession is just that – a lot more professional than it used to be. Although we have better tools for marketing and selling, buyers and vendors want immediate action these days and can contact an agent (via email or text) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In a world of ‘instant, immediate and 24/7 contact’, clients expect agents to be responsive, aware and willing and able to act quickly on their behalf.

Despite the advances in technology, the purchase of property is a very personal and often emotional thing. Face to face communication is as important (and in many ways, more important) than it has ever been.

Even last weekend I was negotiating with one of our top salespeople from our Barfoots Greenlane office who has been in the industry for around eight years. She had never before written up a contract on the bonnet of a vehicle, yet there we were, in 2019 doing just that – with the buyer in the car and the owners in the house!

Now, perhaps more than ever, people need the personal touch.

REPEKA LELAULU, M: 0274 990 855, E: r.lelaulu@barfoot.co.nz

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