Goodwins founder and third-generation realtor Ashley Goodwin has notched up 50 years in the industry. His children run the Goodwins business now, though Ashley continues as Principal Agent and Director. He’s in no hurry to hang up his hat.

These days Ashley spends most of his time close to the water – either at his home in Herne Bay or at holiday spots in Taupo and Tairua.

But the business of real estate is never far from his mind, even if his appearances at the office are fleeting.

He continues to interview prospective Goodwins staff and attends the occasional auction, recently pencilling bids for son Brendan. The experience got him thinking about dusting off his auctioneer’s licence.

Starting out

Ashley cut his teeth in real estate with industry legends Merv Neill and Dick Gladding in 1973, working from the office of Gladding, Keys and Neill in Wakefield Street, Auckland City. He then joined Belton’s Real Estate in 1981, once again enjoying the relationship and expertise of owners Bob Heywood and Scotch MacDonald. Managing both the Remuera and Kohimarama offices before moving to the Mt Albert Office.

Business booms

Beltons was sold to United Building Society, later known as United Realty, in 1991, presenting Ashley with the opportunity to buy the Mt Albert franchise.

Soon after he opened an office in the adjoining suburb of Pt Chevalier and later bought the Mt Eden franchise. Five years on, Ray White purchased United Realty, and under this franchise Ashley opened additional offices in Avondale, Sandringham, and Wellesley Street. These were prosperous times – Goodwin Realty, Mt Albert was named number one in New Zealand no fewer than 13 times and ranked in the top 5 internationally, under the Ray White franchise.

Changing tack

Ashley has always believed Property Management to be an integral part of real estate. An unsolicited offer to purchase Goodwin Realty’s Sales Agency led to it being sold to Bayleys Real Estate in 2011. The move heralded the launch of Goodwin Property Management – now one of Auckland’s largest residential rental and property management companies. However the excitement of sales remained, and the company rebranded to Goodwins last year following the addition of a new residential sales team.

The will to win

Ashley believes real estate is largely about attitude. “You’ve got to be competitive – and have the will to win and to always remain positive,” he says.

A quote from American football coach Vince Lombardi is a favourite of Ashley’s: “Winners never quit, and quitters never win.”

He also says it pays to be a straighter shooter. “Honesty is so important. You can only serve one master in this business – the vendor.”

Fifty years is a long stretch by any measure. But Ashley’s still got plenty left in the tank, working alongside daughter and CEO Catherine – and the rest of the family – to grow the Goodwins name and business.

Ashley is a wellspring of industry knowledge and an astute observer of business and people. He doesn’t publish his mobile number, but always responds to emails.