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Success Stories

Why Grenadier?

Here at Harcourts Grenadier we know we would be nothing without our people – all of those many talented individuals that make up the unstoppable team that is Harcourts Grenadier. And we think we’re pretty special. However, don’t take our word for it, here are some stories of continued success from several of our team members. 

Nicky Brownlee

 

In 1999, I was a stay-at-home Mum with a 5-year-old and an 18-month-old. Coming from a background in office administration for a law office, rental car office and lastly a dental assistant and office manager, my experience was varied, but I felt very happy in my new role as a stay-at-home Mum to my two girls whilst my husband ran a successful plumbing business.
 
Well, as they say the ‘best laid plans’ – my husband became very ill and by the beginning of 2000 after numerous surgeries, he was too ill to work and could no longer run his business.  With a mortgage, a sick husband and two young children to support, panic set in. Always calling in to the local Avonhead office to collect a Bluebook  and chat to the team, Andy Freeman suggested that Real Estate Sales would be a good idea. With a lack of confidence and a lower self-esteem from not being in the work force for so long, this was to be a huge leap of faith. 
 
Fast forward 14+ years and my career with Harcourts Grenadier has been the best decision. The support I received from Grenadier Management and my other team members has been second to none. Trying to juggle a full time career and a young family certainly had its challenges, but the beauty of this career is yes, the hours are long, but the flexibility is undeniable when you have young children.
 
My girls have grown up with Mummy being in real estate and them seeing me succeed is such a nice feeling to be a role model for them. Many a time I had a wee laugh to myself when I watched the girls set up a real estate office in their bedroom with their plastic phone and sell dozens of houses for millions of dollars! 
 
What a rewarding career it has been, and the continued training and support has never wavered. Life sends us many challenges and in October 2008, I was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Around the same time, my husband had a stroke. I was in recovery for 1 year and the entire time I still felt like part of the Grenadier family. In September 2009, I slotted straight back into my untouched office and career. 
 
If you are contemplating a career in real estate and you want a company that is knowledgeable, loyal, family-friendly, supportive and fun – then look no further than HARCOURTS GRENADIER. There is a reason I have stayed with them for 14 plus years and will continue to do so!
 

 

Jonny Nicholls

When making the decision to go into what is often perceived as the ‘daunting world of real estate’ I was told time and time again that I was too young and didn’t have the network in Canterbury to succeed in the business. This only made me more determined to succeed in the industry.  

Youth is an advantage nowadays. It’s surprising to see how many people out there are willing to give a young guy a shot. No one cares nowadays whether you have 25 years’ experience in the business, if you don’t carry with you the energy and passion that is required in the industry, the experience becomes irrelevant.
Uncapped earning potential in this industry is without doubt a big attraction for many, however for me this is very much a by-product. Each and every day presents new challenges, and every day you have the opportunity to exceed your client’s expectations, that’s a massive driver for me. 

Harcourts Grenadier were the obvious choice for me. I’d heard rumours regarding getting lost in such a big office and franchise, however the opposite was true. The management team here are absolutely invaluable and the support network you’re surrounded with is instrumental in getting started early on in your career. 

Alison Carter

Originally from Auckland with a background in fashion and textiles, I headed to Christchurch to pursue a new opportunity. This didn’t work out so while trying to figure out my next move, a friend of mine suggested that I give Real Estate a go. She was working for Harcourts Grenadier at the time so I sat my exams, did the Harcourts training courses and I was off on a new venture.


I only knew a handful of people and had no idea of suburbs or street names but in no time at all with the support of the team at Grenadier Ferrymead, I had a farm area, followed by a couple of sales under my belt and I was underway.

On looking back, I was so lucky I joined the Grenadier Group for its support and professionalism and in part of that especially the Ferrymead office where I have been the top performing agent every year since I started in 1996. This office has given me a diverse range of properties and price ranges to sell and subsequently I have been able to establish myself as a specialist in the hill and seaside area.

Overall it has been a rewarding career with plenty of highs and fantastic team support along the way. I can honestly say that if you put in the effort you certainly reap the rewards. 

Louise McLeavey

I was initially attracted to real estate because I wanted to be able to work my own hours, be my own boss, and be responsible for my own success. A successful salesperson that I knew suggested I talk to Harcourts Grenadier, which I did. I was overwhelmed with the positivity and welcome from the business owners. They weren’t demanding, they simply answered my questions and allowed me the time to make my own decision. The business owners and managers are honest, genuine people who wish success for all of their staff. They are very supportive and help is always available, day or night.


Although the salespeople are competing against each other, everyone is friendly and helpful. Grenadier invest a lot of time and money into training, goal setting and award functions. Having the latest technology in the office is also a great advantage and allows speed of service to your clients. 

Joining Grenadier has been the best move of my career. Never before was I rewarded, congratulated or recognised for my achievements as I am now. A positive environment is all that you need to succeed. 

Lin Ma

In my homeland of China, I studied Civil Construction and worked for a real estate company for 6 years. I came to New Zealand in 2002 as my partner was offered the opportunity to study for his Masters in Engineering Management at Canterbury University. At the time, I was applying for residency to come to New Zealand as I love the environment and peacefulness. 

In 2003 my partner and I got married and I completed my real estate license in New Zealand. My first real estate role was with another brand. After working there for 3 years we decided to start our family, we now have two beautiful girls. 

I got back into real estate in 2006 joining the Harcourts Grenadier Avonhead office. I felt that the Harcourts network was a powerful and successful one and I wanted to be part of that to ensure I could give my clients the very best results when buying or selling. I really enjoy the technology, the tools and the ongoing training that Grenadier provides. 

I believe in hard work and the blessing of God.  I have been exceptionally successful in my career at Grenadier, I’m efficient and I get things done – my clients are loyal and refer business to me as I try to always be available. I would recommend coming to Grenadier if you are serious about creating a successful career in real estate just as I have been able to achieve.  

Tim Harris

I arrived in New Zealand from England in 1999, after 15 years as a bond trader in the City of London. I had a wife and baby, another on the way but little idea of what I wanted to do, let alone what was on offer.


I fell into a job with a software company and enjoyed 6 years there. However, a take-over by a large US corporate changed the culture and I decided it was time to try something new.

A career in real estate beckoned. Harcourts was the only sensible choice in Christchurch, but for me my formative years were spent at another franchise rather than Grenadier. Then, as though history was repeating itself, a change of ownership meant the culture changed and it was time to move on. For once, though, I knew I had to stay in real estate and Harcourts remains the only sensible choice for anyone wanting a successful career in Christchurch.

And so I chose Grenadier and the City Office in particular. There were obvious reasons why – among them the success of the group over 20 years is unrivalled and the fact the City Office has fostered the career of probably the best agent  NZ has ever seen (Alison Aitken) meant they had to be doing something right, and I wanted to be a part of it.

Having been here for 4 years, I now know there are plenty of other reasons for staying and achieving even greater personal success with Grenadier. The professional standards are obvious, but it is the support from owners, managers and colleagues when times are tough that puts this organisation head and shoulders above the rest. We have all had our own dramas through the Earthquakes – personally I have had to cope with a relationship breakdown and a son with a chronic, ongoing illness. Without the support of the unique people at Grenadier, I am not sure I would have had the strength to carry on. Yet here I am and the future is looking even more exciting.

The new Grenadier House is symbolic of the renewed energy in the organisation and Grenadier will be climbing to new heights within the Harcourts Group -  and I am looking forward to being a part of that. If you are looking for a career where your own efforts are handsomely rewarded, but also where support and recognition from those around you is paramount – then look no further than Grenadier!

Simon Rowland-Jones

I was initially attracted to selling commercial real estate as it seemed to offer a wider scope than residential sales, there were fewer salespeople and I prefer the people involved in the commercial sector of the market. 

Following the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake, the displaced NAI Harcourts Grenadier team temporarily shared premises with the NAI Harcourts franchise I was previously with. They were a larger team and had a great team spirit, which appealed to me. 

As a result, I made the decision to join Grenadier and it has proven to be a good one. I am now able to network more efficiently with my colleagues and this has provided better outcomes for my clients. Because of our size and our management portfolio, the scope of work and contacts available to me is so much greater that it was previously. 

The generosity and encouragement of the business owners and management is something I cannot speak more highly of. The communication, support, and follow up that NAI Harcourts Grenadier offers is second to none, and for that – I am very thankful!

Alison Aitken

My work life was very diverse prior to real estate. From a farm worker in Canterbury to a bank teller, to a cook at an Austrian language school in my early years, eventually I began raising a family back home in New Zealand. At one point I even owned a small antique shop.

I gained my first bit of experience in real estate as a PA for my husband at the time who worked as a sales consultant at Harcourts Grenadier. We were long term friends of the entrepreneurial owner Robert McCormack, so Harcourts Grenadier was a natural choice.

When my marriage ended, I thought that the flexibility, freedom and income potential of real estate sales was the ideal way to utilise my experience and to best be able to bring up my 2 young children.

I have now been with Harcourts Grenadier for over 23 years. I love its size, energy and diversity, as well as all the support you receive plus the freedom to do your own thing. Harcourts Grenadier is well led, richly-resourced, and cutting-edge in business, but what I love most is its culture of celebrating success and having FUN!

Claudia Cockram

I always knew I wanted to be involved in sales. I grew up constantly surrounded by negotiations and listening to business calls, I knew I would like to go down a career path that involved sales. 

I assumed that I was too young to start out in real estate, so I decided to go to Lincoln University and study a four-year Land and Property Valuation degree, with the intention of getting into real estate once I graduated. I gave it a go for a year and decided that it was definitely not for me. I couldn’t see myself spending another 3 years in and out of lectures. 

Ultimately real estate was what I wanted to do and I didn’t see why I should hold off from pursuing the career I really wanted. With no research or window shopping at other branches or companies, it was by sheer luck that I happened to come and talk  to one of the managers at Harcourts Grenadier City Office. My father knows Rob McCormack so we already had a connection with Harcourts Grenadier and it seemed like an obvious place to start.

To this day I still think how grateful I am to be a part of such a great team. At the City Office, the support you are given is second to none. As a younger sales consultant, the environment is very positive and welcoming. I would recommend Harcourts Grenadier to anyone who is looking for a career in real estate.

Bruce Winder

I thought about selling real estate for several years before I took the leap. I was living in Wellington and working as a business manager for a finance company when, for family reasons, I resigned and moved back to my hometown of Invercargill. Back home, I seriously considered joining the real estate industry, but after listening to conservative real estate people about how much I could earn, I chose to stay with the finance industry and joined a bank as manager. In 1996, I moved to Christchurch and spent many years building houses, owning liquor stores and employing lots of staff. I suffered some life threatening health issues so in 2008 I finally decided I didn’t want to employ lots of staff and have large amounts of capital tied up in my business, so it was time to join the real estate industry. I then had to decide what brand to join as well as what franchise group.


I decided that I wanted to join Harcourts as it was a large and well-known brand. I chose Harcourts Grenadier over other franchises based on the experiences I had while selling my own houses. The Grenadier agents I dealt with were switched on and nice people and from discussions I had with these agents, I had developed friendships. Some of my ‘friends in the know’ shared with me that with Grenadier, they had the flexibility to grow their business which was only limited by the time and effort they put in. They had the support from their management when required which was important for me as opposed to a management style that is controlling.

I would certainly recommend joining Grenadier to anyone I know wanting to start in the real estate industry because of the freedom to grow your own business with the support from management when required as well as the convenient locations of the different offices you can operate from.  

Andy Freeman

I didn’t have any rare or unique skills when I embarked on my career with Grenadier Real Estate Ltd, but I was focused and determined, ready to embrace every opportunity this exciting industry threw my way. As a result I’m now one of the owners of the company, working in partnership with Rob McCormack, the same person who hired me back in 1993.

There have been plenty of challenges along the way; I’ve seen the local market soar to all time highs, and watched it bottom-out in spectacular fashion. I was here when natural disaster brought our city to it’s knees, and I’ve worked alongside Cantabrians as they navigate the numerous legal issues which have surrounded the industry in Christchurch ever since.

Throughout it all I’ve helped agents defy the market conditions and overcome the hurdles in front of them to build successful careers. Our team has grown significantly over the years – when I started with Grenadier Real Estate Ltd there were 20 of us; there are now 194, spread between 8 offices right across the city including Banks Peninsula. 

Culture is all-important, and I’ve gone to great lengths to create an environment where our agents work collaboratively to achieve the best possible outcomes. Honesty and transparency are fundamental to this, and I ensure I maintain strong and open lines of communication with every member of the team.

As a constantly evolving business, we’re always on the hunt for individuals with fresh ideas and enthusiasm, and we’re regularly creating new openings at management and partnership level for people with the right attitude. Indeed, this is an industry where you can control your own destiny, and where your potential really is limited only by your imagination.  
I’m living proof of the world of opportunities that await those who are prepared to put in the hard yards, and I love working alongside motivated individuals who have big dreams and are eager to succeed.

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