Real estate market 'on the upturn' in the Eastern Bay | News | Kawerau

The provincial real estate market is on the upturn after experiencing a sluggish few years, says the new owner of Harcourts Whakatane Glenn Austin.

Mr Austin, who already owns Harcourts Rotorua and also recently purchased Harcourts Kawerau, says business confidence is at an all-time high, people feel secure in their jobs and the economy, and the prosperity is starting to trickle down to the Eastern Bay.

“The regions are always a few years behind Auckland and we are now starting to see an upturn of the real estate cycle. A good indication of this is the fact we have had 100% auction success since the start of 2014. This is good news for vendors in Whakatane and the surrounding area.”

Mr Austin bought Harcourts Rotorua four years ago after 10 years as a sales consultant. Such is his confidence in the provincial real estate market, he made the bold move to add to his business last month with the acquisition of both Harcourts Kawerau and Harcourts Whakatane.

“The businesses became available and I took the plunge. I truly believe the market is turning and there are great opportunities for both vendors and buyers.”

As the owner of a home in Ohope, Mr Austin is already a fan of the Eastern Bay. He says sharing all that is incredible about the area comes naturally as it’s what attracted him to purchase a property and then a business locally.

“It’s a truly unique and beautiful place. Locals are blessed to live here and it’s a great thing being able to share the secrets of the Eastern Bay with others. Every chance I can get I’m out on the water or at the beach with my family.”

Mr Austin takes over the Whakatane office with its current staff of 20 including sales consultants. In Kawerau his staff is comprised of five people and in Rotorua he manages another 25 staff.

He is sure his team are the best people to be representing his business. “It’s important to be able to trust your staff. I am always there to offer advice and answer any questions, but I like to give my people space to perform to the best of their ability.”

As well as having the right team and systems in place, running a successful real estate business requires a sincere appreciation for the community you are serving, Mr Austin says.

“I believe if you support and look after your community, they will in turn support you.”

It’s a philosophy that has earned him respect in Rotorua. He is well known for his generous sponsorship of Rotorua Hospice, as well as bringing the highly popular ice skating rink into town on a seasonal basis.

Mr Austin plans to get behind the Whakatane and Kawerau communities and is looking forward to sponsoring local charities.

In Whakatane, he also plans to expand the business by adding property management to the services offered.

“We have a lot of holiday homes and rentals in the area. We want to offer full real estate services to our clients, and the investment into property management will allow us to do that.”

Harcourts New Zealand CEO Hayden Duncan says Mr Austin is an award winning real estate professional and a strong leader with a sense of civic duty.

“It is fantastic to see Glenn expanding his business with the opening of Harcourts Whakatane and Kawerau. I have every confidence he will show the leadership and drive that has led his Rotorua office to be the success it is.”