Goodwins Profile: Lucy Byrne – Business Development Manager

Lucy Byrne says people are “lining up out the door” for family-sized rental properties in desirable suburbs. Auckland’s red and yellow stickered housing stock has tightened supply, ratcheting up demand, especially for fully furnished homes.

Lucy is a fan of reinvention, taking established skills to new places. Before joining Goodwins on the eve of the country’s first lockdown, way back in 2020, Lucy spent five years with Air New Zealand, working as a long-haul flight attendant, mostly flying between Auckland and California’s two best-known cities, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

She’s a bit coy about divulging details of her craziest moments at 30,000 feet, hinting only about the incidence of sleeping pill-related mishaps in the business class cabin.

What has really stuck with Lucy is her exposure to diverse cultures and people from all walks of life. It’s taught her the value of keeping an open mind. “In certain cultures, clapping is a protest – so you can’t jump to any conclusions as spontaneous applause breaks out when the plane touches down after a bumpy flight.”

Lucy’s current focus is easing the load on property owners and investors by matching their requirements with the right Goodwins property manager.

She says business is booming as renters scramble to secure good family homes in desirable suburbs. “The other day I woke up to 27 text messages and an overstuffed email inbox for a single listing,” she said. “There are many flood-damaged houses off the market and displaced families looking for a new home – never mind the usual interest from renters looking to relocate to better school zones and for work. The rental market is really hot – people are lining up out the door.”

What kind of renters are active right now? “We’re getting a tonne of enquiries for fully furnished homes – we’ve built a reputation in this space through our work with America’s Cup crews and film studios,” she says. “We’re often the first port of call for homeowners considering overseas secondments and extended holidays – and people coming in the opposite direction, including sports teams and execs looking for a fixed-term rental.”

Are there additional considerations when renting your home fully furnished? “No matter how much the bond is, it won’t always cover damage to furnishings and art… on the rare occasions, such items are damaged. And that should determine the rent because it needs to reflect a degree of the risk the owner is taking,” Lucy says.

What surprising piece of advice do you give to clients? “If you’re leaving your property, particularly your family home, fully furnished, remove sentimental items – anything you couldn’t bear to lose – even if it’s the pillow cover your granny crocheted. Always declutter your house – renters want a functional house, not a menagerie of mementos. Strip it down to a level that would work for an occupier swinging a suitcase.”

Is there anything that landlords underestimate? “Healthy homes compliance. We deal with an abundance of very nice homes – they’re often sunny and warm, with underfloor heating, heat pumps, and so forth – but they don’t always satisfy healthy homes standards. And that’s an issue because you’ve got to tick those boxes and it can be an unpleasant surprise when you don’t.”

Don’t let small things undermine rental returns. Get Lucy on the job. She’ll explain what you can do better and put your rental property into the capable hands of the Goodwins property management team. Call Lucy now – 021 278 7701