Gary Bodle Real Estate Agency
I found this accolade amoungst Basil's archives and thought this maybe the most appropriate place to present it.
It was a natural progression that Gary gained his Real Estate Agent's Licence for the resort. Dave Pringle had other business commitments in Masterton so he was very relieved that Gary was to take over the responsibility of the resort's real estate business. Before Gary returned home from Australia Basil was a very worried man because he had a new subdivision developed which attracted huge debt. To make things worse, sections were not selling as there was a financial recession happening in New Zealand. Furthermore, Basil had purchased the "Riversdale Station" - being the farm property overlooking the resort to establish his eldest son Brian, who was a farmer. This purchase carried a hefty mortgage which needed to be paid within one year of Gary's return from Australia. Gary had set up a company in Australia for Hansell (NZ) Ltd, so had the expertise in marketing and sales which Basil needed.
With Basil's influence, a carefully thought out marketing plan and much travelling to Wellington.
Gary sold enough sections to pay all subdivision contractors' debts, including the mortgage on the farm. Furthermore, Riversdale Beach section values reached some of the highest in the Wairarapa to the bewilderment of other Real Estate Agents in Masterton.
At the same time Gary took control of the new store, camping ablution construction, and managing the Motel. It was obvious to Basil and Gary that all these businesses needed to operate strategically for the one aim and that was to sell sections.
Part of the marketing strategy was the presentation of the resort as a whole - meaning it had to be manicured with lots of colour and atmosphere, flags , brightly coloured sun umbrellas, flower beds, grass mown, no rubbish, and smiling staff at the shop with happy background music. Gary contracted to the Masterton County Council to mow all the and grass footpaths as well as contract to clean the public ablutions and remove village rubbish. This fitted in well with normal jobs around the camp with cleaning, rubbish removal and cutting grass. The work load was huge and most times no staff. Gary found himself wearing overalls one minute, a quick change of clothes , selling real estate the next minute. On interview, Gary said there would be few real estate people doing the dirty jobs he had to, to maintain the resorts presentation.
With presenting the resort to a high standard there was definitely a "wow" factor with visitors to the beach, evidenced by the amount of sales made to people on their first visit to the resort. Emphasis was then put into newspaper advertising in Wellington and sometimes full pages were purchased including other trades contributing. Gary's Real Estate Agency advertised constantly in eight Wellington area newspapers promoting mainly accommodation and the resort's features, in other words selling the "sizzle instead of the steak ".
Basil and Gary produced a newsletter nearly every month giving the latest beach news along with store services, and property sales news. This was so successful that if a newsletter was not sent out in time the phone would ring beach home owners asking "whats the latest , why no newsletter."
Basil and Gary were a very successful business team, but achieving what they did came at a hefty cost in workload and the jealousy of others. Basil called it "undermining cloud of jealousy" which created sabotage, discrediting and orchestrated defamation for years and ongoing.
Reading through the archives it becomes evident that Riversdale Beach Resort had some of the highest values in the Wairarapa for many years whilst Gary's agency was in operation. My investigation reveals the resort had the highest values until 2003 , compared to (with C.P.I. price adjustment) than in the last 14 years, with the exception of one brief period 1995 -96 when Gary was on volunteer service in Samoa during 1995 -96, so I asked Gary what happened during the times of high values.
Gary said Real Estate Agents in Masterton could never understand how we achieved high values at the beach. It is all too easy for agents to pressure vendors into reducing their selling price. There were many cases where vendors (sellers) would suggest their own selling price. Most occasions I would tell them if their asking price was too low and suggest a much higher price with much success. The motive for Real Estate Agents to talk prices down is obviously more sales and therefore more commission even though Real Estate Agents ethics are to work for the Vendor (seller) and try and gain the highest price. Because our family was promoting the whole beach and had the biggest stake in the resort, it was in our interest to keep values high which delighted the sellers and this adhered to Real Estate ethics. We spent hundreds of thousands of dollars advertising in Wellington which we considered our main market and economic recessions made little difference as Government employees still earned good money. This was another facet that most of the Real Estate Agents in the Wairarapa did not comprehend in those times. Most of their advertising money was wasted advertising in Masterton Papers where there was only a limited market for beach property buyers. In addition, keeping a wow factor in presentation of the resort (atmosphere/cleanliness/service ) we promoted accommodation "as the sizzle before the steak". Opposition real estate agents tried very hard to compete, but failed miserably mainly through trying to promote auctions which only attracted a few people at any point in time. Being "on the spot" 24/7 made for a large percentage of sales and having access to, and, controlling all accommodation which included 5 motel units and up to 25 private houses and hundreds of camping sites made access to many potential purchasers."
Gary explained, "One large Real Estate company from Masterton was influenced to challenge my agency influenced by the same "undermining cloud of jealously". The manger of this company was very vocal how he had support of some locals and he was going to play havoc with my agency, even said this to my face. He tried to Auction a house in Tamerisk Drive, but it failed to meet the reserve of on today's values (2018) around $450,000.00. (on todays values )Richie Griffith who supported Gary as a real estate salesman sold it a week later for approx $100,000.00. more. That large Real Estate Agency was not to be seen again at Riversdale Beach.
The following is very good example of how some people underestimated our strategic set up at the resort and the huge effort we put into Real Estate Sales. A farmer very close to the beach made his own subdivision and erected a large sign advertising his sections and included on the sign was his name then calling himself a "Property Consultant". He wasn't much of a property consultant because he didn't sell one section. Locals thought this was just another example of undermining, "the cloud of jealousy."
"My agency never asked for a vendor's contribution to advertising which cost my agency hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years . Much advertising was promoting Riversdale Beach as a whole to attract Wellingtonians to come and look".