My colleague Jo Barrett and I enjoyed our time working at Meo Realty in 2002/03.
Karen had met Colin at a First National Conference in Christchurch back in 1991, where they all stayed at the Grand Chancellor, which has now been demolished following the Christchurch earthquakes.
Karen tells us how she was very impressed with Colin's auction presentation. “I thought that taking a property to auction was a fantastic idea. It really was a new way of selling back then.
“On the way home in the plane, I asked Colin if he had a job for me in his No.1 Samuel Vaile Ponsonby office. He told me he would love to have me as his newbie salesperson. So there began my stellar real estate career, all thanks to Colin Meo.
“I always say that my work life began the day I joined Colin's team. And what a ride it was. Colin taught me everything I know about how to sell to a house. He was the master and I will miss his larger-than-life personality. I will never forget Colin, and will always be thankful to him and his expert training, his outstanding leadership and his friendship throughout the time. I was lucky to know and love him.”
From his initial foray into Ponsonby with Beltons in the mid 80s, Colin Meo was a pioneer of sorts. Sick of seeing properties turned over two, three or four times in one day, he oversaw a significant change to the way property was sold. In no small way, Colin spearheaded the auctioning of property, so that it became the option of choice in these tightly held inner suburbs.
As the suburbs’ desirability took an enormous upward swing, Meo’s mantra was always that the sellers deserved to have people competing for their keys and that any property sold without competitive factors at work was potentially undersold.
My colleague Jo Barrett first met Colin Meo in 1991. She was selling real estate from the Samuel Vaile First National office in Dominion Road, Mt Eden.
Jo tells us, “Colin and Geraldine ran the Samuel Vaile First National Ponsonby office.
“Years later in 2002, I answered a Situations Vacant ad which was headed up ‘Can you sell Ponsonby Villas’ or words to that affect. I was told the opportunity was with Meo Realty and that Colin Meo would be interviewing me.
“At the interview, with his infectious smile, he looked at me and said, 'Jo, you did well in Mt Eden... you can sell a villa in Ponsonby!'.
“Colin was a huge personality. He mentored us on how to be the best we could be. I was always so grateful for his support and his positive approach to life was an inspiration. To Colin’s family, I extend my heart-felt sympathy - he will be missed.”
Auctioneer Mark Sumich worked alongside Colin for decades and told Ponsonby News, “Colin developed an upmarket auction room in his own Meo Realty office on the corner of Ponsonby Road and Pompallier Terrace, then later in Blake Street. From these premises he dominated the local scene in the 90s, with a series of high-quality agents and an atmosphere second to none.
“There was never a dull moment as six or eight properties went under the hammer most Wednesday evenings. Colin’s unwavering belief in the process saw him lead the way in upbeat marketing campaigns and a hands-on approach to every sale. He had high expectations of his agents, teaching savvy negotiating skills straight out of Tom Hopkins’ top drawer.
“His legacy sees many people better off for his expertise. As someone who worked alongside him for many years, he is sorely missed. However that utter belief in himself, a low tolerance of twits and his wry chuckle, will always be his personal hallmarks.” (MARTIN LEACH)