Building New Zealand’s Leading Agency

by Ben Handler

October 2, 2020

Hadley Nightingale has always had a passion for property and when he started finding more great deals than he could handle himself, realised that a buyers agent might be the right path for him.

Early on in his working life, Hadley started out in the mining industry in Australia, before returning home to New Zealand and wanting to build a property portfolio. His first property didn’t go according to plan, but it made him realise there was no one helping buyers during the process.

“I quickly realised that there’s no one out there in the industry that represents the buyer. You turn up to an open home and the agent tells you that they’ve got the deal of the century for you and it just brought back some really bad memories of what happened the first time that I bought property and got it wrong.”

“The other thing was that we were finding great deals, but I had no clients. I couldn’t do them myself so I thought, ‘I need to monetise this. I can’t just let these opportunities keep slipping through.’ From that point onwards it was a transition phase out of work and starting up full time as a buyers agent.”

Hadley realised the opportunity that presented itself in New Zealand and also that property was his true passion.

“At the end of the day, I wasn’t enjoying what I was doing and I always had a dream, of working for myself rather than someone else. I also saw a business opportunity there with there being next to no-one in the market offering it in New Zealand.”

With his connection to Australia, Hadley began focusing on helping Australian-based clients find properties in New Zealand, before working with locals as well. With New Zealand’s tax laws and strong demand, there is plenty of incentive for investors to purchase property.

“There’s no stamp duty and no capital gains tax. Obviously, if you hold the property for longer than five years you pay zero in tax provided your intention was to hold the property. As of November last year we’re about 40,000 houses short so there are also huge supply issues.”

“We’ve just had a look at our net migration today and we’ve had 79,000 new people come back into the country since the start of this year. So demand just keeps on increasing and we just can’t build houses fast enough.”

Hadley initially starting working with another firm in New Zealand, before going out on his own to try and establish his own business. After discovering BAI, his business quickly started to grow.

“In the first six months I was averaging a new client a month, maybe two in a good month. It wasn’t until February of 2019 that I found out about Ben’s course. I’ve been in business for around 18 months now and since starting with Ben we hit a peak last year where I had 15 clients on the books at any one time. So we got ridiculously busy.”

“Since then I’ve recently started my own agency. We’re just getting the wheels turning again for that, which has had its own unique challenges.”

Looking forward, Hadley is excited to continue growing his business to try and make it the biggest in the country.

“At the moment, it’s a case of the sky’s the limit. There’s one other company in New Zealand where all they do is operate as a buyer’s agency. So it’s a bit of an unmapped path.”

“To aim to be the biggest agency in New Zealand at the moment wouldn’t be overly difficult. If I get two clients a month, I’ll probably achieve that.”

“The idea’s to grow the agency rather than have me finding houses and dealing with the buying side of things. I much prefer the chase so to speak and the prospecting side of things rather than negotiating deals. The ideal would be to have four or five agents working for me and then hand over the hunting for properties and delve more into the sales and marketing side of things.”

For anyone wanting to become a buyers agent, Hadley feels that there is only one way to go about it.

“You’ve just got to put the work in. It’s simple, but it’s not always easy.”

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