Barfoot & Thompson expands into Tauranga and buys rental management company

Business

The agency opened its new Tauranga management office on April 1. Photo / supplied

The real estate agency Barfoot & Thompson has set up in Tauranga where it has bought a rental management company.

Samantha Arnold, the agency’s managing director of property management, said the company bought the rent from Connect Realty Property, which has been in business for 10 years.

This has its offices on Cameron Rd and has five staff and the lease in the existing premises was continued but the offices were rebranded under the new banner.

Barfoot began operating from there earlier this month.

Arnold is advertising for a new branch manager and said half of the applicants are from Auckland and ready to move.

The agency already has around 17,500 rental properties on its Auckland and Northland books in the division.

“Like Auckland, Tauranga is growing. Rents are increasing according to the Department of Business and Innovation. Statistics show that there has been a steady growth in rental prices, with the average rent per week increasing by 40% over the last 10 years.” said Arnold.

Samantha Arnold from the agency.  Photo / provided
Samantha Arnold from the agency. Photo / provided

The agency has operated for 98 years in Auckland and Northland and celebrates its centenary in 2023, she said.

The new Tauranga division has 250 properties on its books. Arnold said this is all in Tauranga and within a 10km radius of Cameron Rd.

Average rents in the city were $520/week, Arnold said.

“Rents in Tauranga have gone up around 10% over the past five years, similar to Auckland,” she said.

Joanne McLean, Lisa Vale, Teena Kennedy, Samantha Arnold, Kobie Lindstrom and Debbie Wilson.  Photo / provided
Joanne McLean, Lisa Vale, Teena Kennedy, Samantha Arnold, Kobie Lindstrom and Debbie Wilson. Photo / provided

“There is an interesting mix of hospitality and also a large industrial presence in Tauranga. This combination means that many permanent residents might prefer to rent a property,” she said.

“Overall, we felt comfortable with this acquisition, particularly as there is strong rental demand and rental yield in the area, and the rental register is very well aligned with our business because the prices and commissions are very similar,” she said.

Connect had ensured landlords complied with new healthy home standards which are partly in effect now but mean all rental homes must be fully compliant by July 1, Arnold said.

a roof

“We looked at this during the due diligence process and knew the properties were in compliance with the law. We had already considered rent buying and realized that some managers had not looked after tenants or landlords, which which would have meant a tremendous amount of work for us,” Arnold said.

Despite the government’s changes to the rental sector announced last month, Arnold had yet to notice rents moving strongly.

Landlords could now only raise rents once a year, she pointed out.