Smarter Real Estate is expanding - Arizto passes 150 real estate agents across New Zealand

26 Sep 2023

There was a moment for a quiet toast on Friday, 8th September, as New Zealand’s most innovative and technically progressive real estate company achieved a significant milestone.

Arizto now has a pin in the map of every major centre, a signal of significant growth from the company’s beginnings in May 2018 from the vision of founder and director Pernell Callaghan.

Callaghan saw that New Zealand needed a real estate company that puts the right technology in the hands of their salespeople to deliver a more user-friendly service for their clients at a better value commission fee.

Now, Arizto has brought on board 150 agents – 155 to be exact as of the date of this article – with presence in all the major centres and throughout the heartland, a source of great pride for Daniel Budd, the company’s original Head of Talent who in late August was promoted to Chief Growth Officer.

Budd and his Growth & Development team went out to find the best agents who would be interested in joining this innovative brand – and like any new enterprise, he heard all the sceptics.

"Arizto who? What does that mean? How do you spell that? Why is your colour green?"

"How can you go through the process paper-lessly?"

"The business started with 18 agents across Auckland, Tauranga, and Hamilton."

"For the first two years they grew from a team of 18 – and next year across September 2021 to September 2022 they grew by 100 people."

"That was the elbow grease. Everywhere we were going it was brand new [to that local market]."

"You had to have very early adopters. The number of times I got told it was too good to be true, was numerous."

"I had to meet people face to face, no way we could close [recruitment] on the phone like we do now."

Since this initial drive, Arizto has increased its Auckland sales team to over 30 agents, while the Bay of Plenty with 35 agents has embraced the Arizto model - especially in Rotorua where the company generally hovers at around 25% market share.

The Waikato has 20 agents while the large Manawatu-Whanganui region is just about at that number.

Starting with the vastly experienced Les Mortimer in Dunedin in November 2020 - Arizto’s first South Island agent – there was significant growth in the Canterbury region in mid-2021, which now boasts 15 agents.

Sellers can choose to be represented by a handful of agents in Otago and Southland, Taranaki, Northland, while Nelson and Tasman have seen several quality agents just join, having brought their loyal clients with them.

Look in Wellington, the Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne and you will find an Arizto sign with a good person behind it.

Budd acknowledges the real estate market of 2018 to 2021 with low interest rates, ease of borrowing and a soon to be Covid-domiciled population eager to find new homes, did assist in the recruitment process.

Arizto’s model of set fees, effective marketing plans and 24/7 access to state of the art technologies was the type of structure that many experienced agents had wanted to offer their sellers.

"In that market, people realised to gain an upper hand and be competitive, they needed options," said Budd.

However, what perhaps has pleased Budd most, although at the time it was hard to see the forest for the trees, is how recent events have proven that the model is sustainable in the hands of the right agents – Arizto weathering the changes in the OCR in December 2021 that saw the market "just hit a wall".

The psyche was through 2020-21 - ‘I’ve got a listing, I sell it. If it takes 30 days that’s a long time.

But then people had 10, 15, 20 listings and it takes longer. Conversations with owners changed.

Lots of people left the industry - we had attracted people that needed the vine to hang onto to help close the deal, and perhaps they didn’t have that.

"Instead of going into our shell, we doubled down and worked harder."

In 2022, the company brought on over 60 agents yet saw the departure of nearly as many, but those who have stayed or joined since have proven their ability to keep working and importantly, keep delivering sales for their loyal customers, showing their adaptability to different market conditions.

"It has been incredibly hard to get from 100 to 150. We’re now very set to double that head count over the next 12 months," said Budd.

That initial 100 are not the same people today, we chipped off 30 to 40, and replaced them with more productive agents as the brand awareness and acceptance of our disruptive model allowed us to.

The team is better and bigger than it was. We’ve prepped for growth – the call to action for this is ‘partner up with a company that is serious about growth.

We provide the best possible sales format for our people.

If you imagined different models – the Arizto model is now one that deserves recognition and respect as its weather-beaten, tried and tested.

Now we’ve been through a tough market, and not just through it, we’ve grown.

There’s a bunch of proven Arizto agents out there, now it’s all about building on our hard work over the last five years growing our teams across the country.

The landscape is exciting for our business model, we offer all the bells and whistles - more and much more efficiently than most of our competitors.

"If these traditional companies aren’t able to change the fees they need to keep afloat – paying the salaries and the bricks and mortar – people are going to start coming to companies like ours, we are being approached every day by established agents wanting to find out more."

The changing times has also seen Arizto make changes to how they service their sales teams – Budd laughs how he used to run small training sessions for all their agents in the company’s East Tamaki offices – when before May 2021 they all had to use I-phones because the company’s phone Apps were so new that Androids couldn’t use them.

Now, not only has the technology improved but a dedicated office staff of 16-18 people sends out daily designs, equipment and information to the sales agents around the country.

Remembering the tough times of 2022-23, the company is also hiring Regional Support Managers (RSM) to be boots-on-the-ground to assist their growing sales teams – able to be called in at a moment’s notice to assist with any complex transactions while providing in-person encouragement and advice to help them grow their businesses.

The first of these new RSM’s are Alan Cooper in Auckland & Northland and Steven Schwamm in Manawatu-Whanganui.

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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