TOP REAL ESTATE AGENT IN NEW ZEALAND MARK HONEYBONE
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As founder and head of a “Real Estate Agency with a difference,” Mark Honeybone makes it the business of New Zealand’s Property Ventures to service clients with a 1-on-1 approach, operating a licensed finders service for buyers and a separate, full- service selling service for vendors. Given that the agency is deeply integrated in New Zealand’s investment world, their formula allows the team to provide a higher level of service to every kind of client, whether buying, selling or looking for investments.
Mark, who pursued his lifelong interest in properties after a 20-year career serving in the RNZAF, started with investments in 2007 before adding property management and renovations. “I used to work on my own until about three years ago, when I made a big decision to move to Auckland,” he says, noting that he previously lived on the South Island, but noticed several clients were either living in or wanted to invest in Auckland. His agency now includes ten team members, with several agents covering Auckland; a handful covering Hamilton, Bay of Plenty, and Wellington; and another agent now working out of Christchurch on the South Island.
“Referral biz is quite good with us,” says Mark, mentioning the high rate of repeat business from investors seeking help from Property Ventures in finding homes. “We also have some repeat vendors and sellers of property also,” he says. Their repeat business is due, in good part, to their visibility with online and social media marketing as well as through Mark’s popular real estate podcast. “Our marketing really depends on the vendor. Some just want a really quick sale, but for others we work with stagers and renovation companies to get them the most money.” He maintains a massive database of investors, in addition to networking with many ex-pat Kiwis and some foreign investors, many of whom are depending on Mark to find properties for them.
Unique to Property Ventures is Mark’s popular program, the New Zealand Property Podcast, through which Mark interviews experts such as property investors, traders, renovators, developers, appraisers, mortgage brokers, coaches and agent mentors. In lively interviews with Mark, these professionals share their insights and advice on how to approach real estate.
The free program has become extremely popular, earning positive reviews as a tremendous educational service to new and experienced investors. In his new “Ask Mark” series, Mark answers a mix of real estate questions sent in from listeners across the country.
Mark and each of his team members place great personal time and energy into helping their clients. “People can be taken advantage of if they don’t understand real estate,” he says. Property Ventures takes good care of clients; they particularly enjoy educating people who have either never bought or sold real estate or who may have not sold or purchased for decades. “We understand property really well and we enjoy it.”
A source of well-earned pride for Mark is the fact that Property Ventures sees little or no staff turnover, despite the overall high rate of turnover industry-wide. “Not many offices around New Zealand can say that,” says Mark, who has brought on several new agents each year and plans to continue doing so. “We try new things and we’re different because we used to be just a buyer’s agency, which is quite rare.” Mark describes Property Venture as a small company with big capability, saying, “I love helping my people and seeing their business grow.” His growth plans include opening up a proper office in Christchurch in the near future.
Meanwhile, his loyal clients appreciate that, along with their expertise, the professionals at Property Ventures make transactions enjoyable. “We make it a simple not complicated process,” says Mark, noting the importance of transparency in building trust. “They appreciate that we’re just straight up and honest. Whether they like it or not, we say it as it is!”