Goodwins profile: Brendan Goodwin – Lead Salesperson

Goodwins chose a tough year (2022) to step back into residential sales. But that’s OK with Brendan, who is leading the sales team. A finalist in last year’s 2023 REINZ Awards for Excellence – Residential Salesperson of the Year – Rising Star, Brendan is making waves, building on his reputation as a high-performing business development manager (two-time winner of the REINZ Business Development Manager of the Year Award) to grow the family firm into a bonafide full-service agency.

Q. Goodwins stepped back into residential sales in 2022 after a long hiatus following the sale of the family firm’s sales agency back in 2011. What was the motivation to reestablish a residential sales agency?

BG: “The move was partly in direct response to the request of our investment clients and us wanting to offer a full circle client journey from purchase to investment and ultimately for most, a sale: ‘Clients would reach out to us and say ‘We trust Goodwins  – could you sell our property for us.’ We have built relationships to the point of becoming a trusted advisor. We have also seen so much of the same ‘cookie cutter’ approach in the market and we did feel that we could provide a more tailored approach that considered the long-term goals of the client.  There were countless times last year, when I told clients to wait as the timing wasn’t right for their circumstances.  That didn’t do me any favours, but I am glad to be working with many of those same clients this year now the market has improved.

Also, we have worked hard at being able to tailor a service offering and marketing plan specific to a property, embracing the digital nature of selling real estate (we do not waste client’s money on print media, if print is not necessary), and it is our client’s needs as opposed to a ‘one size’ fits all approach that we have adopted.

From a personal perspective, the decision was also an act of faith in my ability as a sales agent and part of a plan my wife Aleina and I had formulated for the business before we came home. I’ve been with the firm since 2017 and over that time established productive relationships with property owners, both current clients of Goodwins and not, and built an intimate knowledge of both rental and sales markets. This dual focus gives me a strong read of the overall market and is something that distinguishes my value to clients.”

Q. How is the sales division after 12 months in the hot seat?

BG: “We launched in stealth mode, focusing on the foundations, including the design and build of sales systems. We’re in a good place and are gearing up to grow this side of the business. However, property management remains our mainstay and principal focus, which is a refreshing contrast to so many other firms where property management is treated as a poor second cousin. At this stage of its growth, the sales division is complementary to the overall firm – a development that ensures we provide a full-service experience, from investment to sales.”

Q. Interest rates appear to have plateaued, economists are picking house price growth, and conditions look more favourable for investors. What’s your take on market sentiment?  

BG: “Last year was tough – no one really knew if we’d reached the market bottom. Unless people really needed to be in the market, they remained on the sidelines. While there hasn’t been huge growth, now is still a better time to sell than 12 months ago. Interest rates appear to have peaked, and the more recent uplift – albeit small – in property values has continued. The market seems to be enjoying a new equilibrium. It’s easy to forget that the period after COVID wasn’t a property boom, as such – it was a credit boom. The lending environment produced a bubble, which I think even then most people realised wasn’t a good thing. Property owner or not, not many people wanted it to remain on that trajectory. Certainly, a few people did well, but it wasn’t sustainable. We’ve had great foot traffic so far this year, which I think reflects a bit more confidence off the back of more certainty. Now that interest rates and house values have levelled out it’s easier for people to budget. People are no longer waiting because the market is pointing in a positive direction.”

Q. What’s the mood of property investors? 

BG: “More of our conversations with investors centre on capital and life stage. People are considering a broader class of assets and where to place their bets to best serve their stage in life. For example, older investors are often happy with the capital gains they’ve made and lean toward cashflow whereas a younger couple might be more interested in a property with development potential. Investors have diverse requirements. Broadly though, investing in residential property based on yield alone doesn’t make much sense in Auckland – yields can be as low as 2%. Historically, the prevailing mindset is fixated on long-term capital gain. But times have changed. At least in this new period of stability and with more favourable tax deductibility and investor borrowing, investors should be more confident that they won’t get bashed around.”

Q. What’s different about the way Goodwins does business? 

BG: “It’s a bit of a cliché – but property is about people.  It is seldom about what the property needs, it is about the motivation of the people involved on both sides of a transaction.  Asking the right questions and taking the time to listen goes a long way in understanding what needs to happen to get a deal done, and one that makes both the Seller and the Buyer happy with the outcome.  And that’s not necessarily about the price being paid but the process we followed to get the result.

Q. Finally, apart from your family, what is the thing or things that bring the most value to your life?

BG: “I love diving and fishing and snowboarding and getting out of Auckland to the Coromandel as much as I can. Exercise is another big part of my life. I’m currently working with a trainer to rehab an old rugby injury to my back. I also love to set big goals and chip away at those. Watch this space.”

List your property with an industry rising star (so says REINZ). Call Brendan on 021 278 7770.