Real Estate Group Opens Largest Office in New Zealand
Following five years of fruitless searching for the right premises to expand their South Auckland operations, Ray White AT Realty Group directors Adam Thomson and Tom Rawson found the perfect property to execute Ray White New Zealand’s largest office expansion. Since purchasing the premises in 2021, 603 Great South Road in Central Manukau has undergone a multi-million dollar renovation and is now the jewel in the crown of Ray White operations nationally. “We wanted to build a central hub for our entire South Auckland team, a high-quality space to enhance the team experience and allow us to thrive together as a business,” Mr Thomson said. “People spend about 60 per cent of their waking time at their workplace, so we owe it to our people to make it an environment they’re proud to be a part of."
Completed in May this year, Mr Thomson and business partner Mr Rawson have completely remodelled the dual-level premises, enhancing the configuration to high specifications with an industrial aesthetic, substantial car parking facilities, a high-capacity auction room, and green spaces.
Ambitious fit-outs are no new feat for the pair, which in 2022 completed a refurbishment of a 750sqm former Bank of New Zealand premises which serves as their Manurewa office.
Mr Rawson said the high-spec overhaul included the installation of a commercially-sized gymnasium and sauna, children’s creche, and an executive meeting room which incorporated the old bank vaults into its design.
“The gym installation was an opportunity to create more social connection amongst our team. We have yoga classes, Friday morning boxing sessions, and it has been an excellent way for our people to form connections and improve their work-life balance,” Mr Rawson said.
“We wanted to replicate this atmosphere with the Manukau renovation and consulted with the broader team about what’s important for them within the workplace. The result is an integrated environment that has improved our culture and increased staff satisfaction.”
Beginning the renovation process on the back of consecutive lockdown restrictions and the rise of work-from-home flexibility, Mr Thomson said innovation was essential to attract people back to the office environment.
“The majority of our workforce have families, they’re Mums and Dads with school drop-offs, pickups and all the responsibilities associated with family life, so it was invaluable that we created an environment that works within their day, and allows them to be productive when it works for them,” he said.
“Installing a children’s play zone and creche has been a popular feature with the team, who find the flexible working conditions and ability to build the workday around their lifestyle a particularly attractive employment feature.
“Reports have noted a greater proportion of real estate agents leaving the industry amidst difficult conditions. However, our business continues to grow, and we are attracting a high calibre of salespeople, management and support staff who see value in our ethos of investing in our people.”
With the new headquarters in Manukau open for almost one month, Mr Thomson said the reception from clients and the broader group has been outstanding, with a marked increase in the vibrancy and buzz across the office translating into sales results.
“Our market share between four branches in Manukau, Manurewa, Mangere and Mangere Bridge accounts for almost a quarter of all sales across the South Auckland region – making us the leading group locally,” he said.
“Additionally, our in-house property management team are one of the top five in the country with a rent roll of 1,550 properties, and in a challenging market, we have also retained our position as the leading auction callers in the Ray White business internationally - with the dedicated auction space enhancing our ability to grow further.
“We firmly believe that an emphasis on people and culture continues to allow us to attract and retain some of the best industry talent, enhancing productivity which is evident in our continued success.”