Provincial focus prompts real estate firm purchase

Southern Wide Real Estate Otago has been bought by Property Brokers.

The two companies had been in discussions for more than a year and completed negotiations recently. Southern Wide will become a part of Property Brokers from the end of this month.

"We are excited about this opportunity as it further strengthens our position in the local market," Property Brokers chief executive Bill Highet said.

"As one of the largest non-franchised real estate companies in New Zealand, this move further reinforces our presence in the Otago region."

Property Brokers already had a presence in Oamaru before late last year when it bought the real estate arm of Farmlands.

"That gave us a very small presence in Dunedin and Central Otago," Mr Highet said.

"[Buying Southern Wide] certainly increases our presence in Oamaru and Dunedin and gives us a branch in Alexandra we didn’t have before."

The company was also committed to growing its business in Wanaka, he said.

It began in Palmerston North and had expanded to have more than 70 branches and 800 staff across the country.

The company focused on provincial New Zealand, and had no branches in Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch.

"That’s been the strategy of the business since day one ... to focus on the provincial towns.

"We see a lot of similarity in Otago to what we see around Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay, Manawatu ... a very similar situation with lack of listings and a lot of buyers. We feel now is a good time to do this deal and extend our presence a little bit further."

Southern Wide Otago managing director John Faulks said he was excited to join Property Brokers.

"We are in the envious position that the two cultures are very similar and we will be able to add more value to our staff and clients with their superior systems, structures and nationwide network.

"These factors, combined with Property Brokers’ regional focus on being part of the local community will allow us to grow our people and client base and thrive in the Otago region."

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