What’s Your Story?
25 Jun 2021, Lynette McFadden
“Good stories surprise us; they make us think and feel. They stick in our minds and help us remember ideas and concepts in a way that a PowerPoint crammed with bar graphs never can.” - Jo Lazauskes and Shane Snow, The Storytelling Edge.
Through May and June, the Real Estate fraternity (Harcourts gold included) usually share their stories of success. Full pages in our daily papers and magazines, billboard advertisements and various social media posts to highlight the accomplishments of numerous top performers. These often include (at my last count) at least six different top twenties, each very deserving of their recognition!
Harcourts gold Papanui have recently been acknowledged as the number one office for Harcourts internationally out of over 900 others, for the fourth year running. It’s an achievement worth celebrating and one that’s grown from very humble origins.
At our recent in-house awards, I shared our origin story to the team, and it reminded me of the years of work that preceded the minutes of glory.
Harcourts gold began as a franchise of four offices (the same four we have today - although it once included the West Coast and Wanaka) and was first formed in 1998. We purchased the Papanui office less than six months prior to the franchise being formed and the leap to take on three more was an act of blind faith and trust. This was helped enormously by the support of our long term mentor Stephen Collins. He believed strongly in playing life forward and backing the underdogs (which is what we definitely were). His belief in us and what we could accomplish sustained us in the darkest of moments, and we can never thank him enough.
Our initial start saw us take on a company with only five consultants (the majority having walked out the door when we walked in), and only 17 listings between us. With more debt than we could imagine but a deeply held desire to succeed, we worked to build the business and our profiles.
There were four partners then (as there is again now) and although two have since moved on to other ventures, I am grateful to both of them for their commitment over those early years. To be brutally honest with you – what I do remember from those years is a bit of a blur.
Work and people, people and work, more people and more work. Debts paid off, larger debts gained, sleepless nights, and the birth of my first child. Success followed, albeit quietly at first but it soon became loudly acknowledged within the Harcourts brand nationally as well as internationally.
Over the last financial year (April 1, 2020 – March 31, 2021) the Harcourts gold team wrote $1,016,266,237 worth of property sales and listed 1,422 properties. We are a company of 140 and have an incredible business comprised of four offices, an outstanding international team, a property management division, and a bespoke home staging company.
We grow people, we give back and we’re still writing our own individual story. It’s a story that no bar graph or set of statistics could convey. It’s deep, personal and the essence of who our ownership team of John, Chris, Cameron and I are.
Thank you for letting me share some of it with you.