Experience counts - Arizto introduces Regional Support Managers

11 Oct 2023

American basketball legend John Wooden once said, "a good coach can change a game. A great coach can change a life".

As New Zealand's rapidly growing real estate company on the back of innovation and technical progression, expanding to over 150 agents in September 2023, Arizto has recognised the need to make sure there are steady hands ready to be offered to our expanding sales teams.

Under the guidance of founder and director Pernell Callaghan and Chief Growth Officer Daniel Budd , Arizto is delivering the new concept of Regional Support Managers (RSM) to key locations throughout the country.

And there could be no better individuals to be the first to step up to these new posts than Auckland-Northland's Alan Cooper and Steven Schwamm for Manawatu, Rangitikei, Whanganui and South Taranaki.

Arizto was founded on the principal that New Zealand real estate would benefit from a cutting-edge technology approach, putting digital platforms in the hands of the right salespeople to deliver a more user-friendly service for their clients at a better value commission fee.

This concept did away with the idea of the "traditional" real estate office and therefore the overheads which home owners had to cover through higher selling commissions.

Arizto's Auckland headquarters are able to deliver the tools required by their agents working remotely across the nation.

And after five years of expansion, with established teams in all the major regions and cities, Arizto is ready to take the next step – having dedicated and experienced RSM's able to use their wealth of knowledge to help their fellow salespeople deliver great service to their clients.

"I could see from being in the trenches, that a virtual-type model that Arizto runs, there would be a fair amount of salespeople that would miss the whole tactile piece that comes with being a real estate agent," said Cooper.

This involved the background knowledge gained and sense of routine learned from operating out of a traditional office – some of it good, some bad.

"I could see there was an opportunity with Arizto to be a vital missing piece that could provide in- person encouragement, support and mentorship like that."

Cooper made a splash from Day 1 in real estate in 1995, having worked with family connections to gain his salesperson's license and then secure his first listings in South Auckland before he even joined an agency – choosing Ray White after being head-hunted across the city.

In four years with the company, he became No1 in South Auckland, at his peak overseeing 41 listings at the same time.

Wanting to downscale from an 80 hour work week to spend more time with family, in 2001 Cooper switched to the corporate sector, working in the areas of strategic business planning, change, implementation and growth management, as well business coaching – assisting companies in America, Australia and across Asia, visiting 16 countries.

He returned to Real Estate in 2013 for a ‘Rookie of the Year' season with one of the popular Australian brands, and in the past decade worked across a couple of different agencies before joining Arizto.

Cooper will oversee a very multi-cultural team with over 45 agents in the wider Auckland area.

But based on his experience, it doesn't matter your ethnicity, religion, financial, educational or cultural background – there is a common language that comes with good real estate.

"We all have fundamentals that make us very, very similar.

"The first question I ask is, "who do you work for?".

"Actually, if you say you work for yourself before you say you're working for Arizto, that's a good place to start."

"The message is - ‘try to [come] see me when you get your head around the fact you're a business owner'.

"I look forward to working with those who want to improve, who want to continue learning, listening, and are willing to try things."

Cooper's initial work will be helping the Auckland team to create and hone their own business plans – as a commission-based industry, one must grasp the necessity of managing their expenses while building their brand so revenue becomes steady, instead of sporadic.

"Do that and you can have a massive influence on your business' impact and people's lifestyles.

"I'm not surprised by the type of people Arizto have working for them.

"There's guys at the top of the tree who work hard, but can use help from people like me to continue to improve."

Cooper also wants to help the middle and lower agents get better as well – they all have different goals in real estate, depending on life balance or specific commitments.

He wants to help them get the best out of their skills so a sole listing becomes a handful, or a handful of listings become a dozen.

"Better never sleeps. Keep learning - never think you know it all."

Becoming a mentor to other talent is a position that Schwamm has coveted ever since he entered the industry 13 years ago with Property Brokers Whanganui as a wide-eyed young man in his early 20's.

Learning from branch manager Philip Kubiak, who he credits as his mentor and role model, Schwamm won both Rising Star and Rookie of the Year awards, before self-training to receive the Real Estate Diploma and Branch Manager's Certificate.

He was the youngest agent in the organisation to hold an Agency license, and is also an Associate of the Real Estate Institute NZ (AREINZ).

"There was no leg up from a database or another salesperson – I've been in the shoes of a Day 1 salesperson, [how] to build a solid foundation, I've done it," Schwamm said.

Moving to Arizto in September with business partner Jared Smith, Schwamm has spent his early weeks in the RSM role meeting an 18-strong team from Whanganui to Rangitikei, Palmerston North, Hawera and Levin – an expansive area with multiple unique town markets across 200km.

"After over a decade of experience, I didn't just want to help clients, I wanted to help real estate people," Schwamm said.

"I bring something unique to the role. I haven't been rounded from within - I'm still a salesperson, day to day.

"I like to be hands on – it's a very hands on role, giving support to the sales team in terms of what they need, not what an agency says they need.

"To some, they need reassurance someone's on their side.

"To some, impartial back-up cover. If something's going on, life events, they know [the task's] sorted.

"To some, it's the advice of everyday stuff. I'm a phone call away to discuss potential property defects, and I don't mind being on the road – I'll shoot over and sort it.

"And for some, it's everyday accountability."

More RSM's will be joining up or stepping forward from within Arizto in coming months – veteran industry performers who can be there in-person for agents who adjust to working without a specific headquarters - so that their individual businesses have every chance to being successful.

"I've got to get out there and see them and ‘walk the talk', and be compelling to listen to, then back it up for exceeding expectations," Cooper said.

Schwamm has a similar mindset.

"Being firm but fair in all actions. Appreciate everyone brings something to the table, and collectively, that makes the sales team succeed."

You may also like