Growing with their community – Auckland’s Aaron and Sonya Telfar

24 Jun 2024

Arizto is pleased to welcome its newest husband and wife team, but when it comes to knowledge of central Auckland and the Bays real estate market, there is nothing new to the industry for Aaron and Sonya Telfar.

With Aaron's 20 years experience selling in Auckland, including until recently being the local franchisee for Mike Pero Real Estate, he and Sonya have been a fixture in their Ellerslie base, with plenty of success in the neighbouring suburbs like Mt Wellington, Panmure, St Heliers, and Remuera.

Since joining Arizto in April, their current listings include the inner suburb of Mt Albert and spread down to the southern boundaries in the more rural service areas of Karaka and Pukekohe.

And they even got straight into the more technical side of selling through New Zealand's innovative digital company as property No1 on the books was a multi-million dollar auction of a gorgeous four-bedroom property through clients in Meadowbank.

"Everything that Arizto offered, we were learning it [in real time]," said Aaron.

This included entering open home feedback from buyers instantaneously through their cell phones cell phones, with their house owners immediately able to see it through their own login to the App.

"They really loved it and that was something we realised, that after a few open homes, it was pretty easy."

At short notice, the Telfar's did lean on Arizto's outstanding design team to get them the custom items they were used to having for high profile marketing campaigns – such as open home booklets – on top of getting regular advertising items changed over to their new brand.

"They really came through for us," said Sonya.

But it was all worth it – assisted by long time associate Julia Rust as auctioneer, the Telfars had around 40 guests at the onsite auction including six serious bidders, and got the home sold under the hammer at a price which reached the high end of their appraisal range.

It's just carrying on the momentum that goes right back to when Aaron made his first sale in his first month in the industry in 2004 with Harcourts.

He had met Sonya two years before at church, the couple getting married and raising two children, with Sonya stepping away from her teaching role to look after the household.

"Me and the kids would deliver flyers," she said.

Working ten years with Harcourts, the couple decided Sonya could take on Aaron's real estate PA work, and eventually got her own salesperson's licence in order to share the load of weekend open homes and customer enquiries.

In 2014, they met Mike Pero and made the switch to his boutique real estate company by becoming the franchisee for the region – as Aaron had reached his AREINZ Licensed Agent qualification.

The Mike Pero brand would be sold twice over the next ten years, most recently to Raine & Horne, so the Telfars met Arizto founder Pernell Callaghan and chief executive Daniel Budd and decided it might be time to make another big move.

"Just everything they were offering – the way they worked, cheaper commission for vendors – it just made sense," said Aaron.

"We liked their ‘can do' attitude," Sonya added.

The couple have also found they worked better when they feel their brand has that personal touch.

"They were just very supportive – ‘if you want to go that way, we will support you at that'.

"[We] make sure we're there for our clients - get back to them on the phone, answering emails promptly.

"The electronic part of the system, it's great to have it there.

"I listed one for an older gentleman - just doing it online made it easier."

An easier system but still with all the crucial market experience to make it work – having raised their family in the same area they work in, they understand how the community has grown and changed.

Aaron recalls the arrival of the Sylvia Park business park and shopping area to Mt Wellington in 2006 led to a big change in the community, with more jobs and higher values placed on the location.

The Auckland Unitary Plan also allowed for more subdivisions, which also meant construction of more modern housing, as well as continued maintenance and restoration of classic character homes like the iconic city bungalows.

In her 11 years, Sonya has watched three bedroom houses in Ellerslie go from selling at $400,000 or less up to between $1.3 and 1.7 million - "so prices kept going up and up".

"A lot of people have grown up in the area, so they want to buy in the area," explains Aaron.

"The landscape has changed a bit, but people are still family orientated, they want their kids to go to school here."

Naturally, in a fast growing area there can be growing pains, added pressures of the job, so how does a couple who work so closely together manage that stress, given there is no way to avoid ‘taking work home' to your partner?

"We pray a lot," Aaron laughs.

Sonya explained they always make time with the kids as well as Friday dates where they can just put down the tools and talk about anything other than real estate.

They can also give each other space if required through their lovely suburb.

"Aaron's got a motorbike and I like walking and running."

Is it finally time to make the switch? Contact Arizto today to discuss joining New Zealand's expanding and exciting team!

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