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Expanding Simes joins alliance with JLL

Published 23 November 2007Layne Harwood’s expansionary moves since he took over Christchurch-based real estate company Simes Ltd 2 years ago has led him to a strategic partnership with Jones Lang LaSalle.

Jones Lang LaSalle’s new managing director for New Zealand, Auckland-based Stephen Saul, said yesterday the alliance was a response to increased client demand for access to investments in the South Island. “The match was a logical one, as we have comparable service offerings and operate under very similar guiding principles. We both place a strong emphasis on research, innovative thinking & personal dedication to our clients’ best interests,” he said.

Mr Harwood said the link would help it extend its reach more widely across Asia & the Pacific for its South Island clients: “The alliance offers our clients global access, representation, knowledge & experience, while in return we offer Jones Lang LaSalle an extensive, in-depth & well researched understanding of the South Island market.

“We have similar businesses, philosophies, strengths & market interests.”

Jones Lang LaSalle has Auckland & Wellington offices offering a full real estate service, including sales & leasing, project & development services, research & consultancy and New Zealand’s leading third-party property management service.

Simes also offers a full real estate service and has been operating out of Christchurch for more than 100 years. Mr Harwood & his wife, Linda, took over Simes after he’d headed Barfoot & Thompson Commercial in Auckland for 5 years.

In August, Simes expanded into the Southern Lakes, buying upmarket real estate company Belle Property Queenstown Ltd, and early this month Simes bought Gillman Edge Real Estate, which has 6 offices, including branches in Rangiora, Kaiapoi & Dunedin, which will take on the Simes brand. Gillman has 50 staff. Mr Harwood said then: “The time is right to take a stand in the market as a centralised & established business offering a serious alternative to franchised operations. We are always looking for opportunities to offer a broader service.   “I am aware of soon-to-be-released research showing people desperately want guidance on the market from established & reputable identities. People are clearly seeking understanding of the real estate market to help make sense of statistics which are regularly offered.  “One of the reasons Simes is acknowledged as a market leader is we keep ahead of market trends. We have a fulltime researcher on the team looking closely at the Christchurch market, constantly accessing & interpreting the latest local market intelligence to share with clients.”  Mr Harwood said the larger company would offer not only better service for clients, but also a better internal culture for staff. “Simes will continue to be aggressive & highly competitive. We are business-focused for all the right reasons and people want to deal with a confident & proven company. They want reassurance their agent is working for the vendor and providing the best service possible. A single company focus allows this.”  Gillman managing director Mitch Goodall is joining the Simes management team.

Earlier stories:15 August 2007: Harwood’s Simes buys Belle Property Queenstown29 January 2006: On the move, January 2006

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Attribution: Company statement, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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Harwood’s Simes buys Belle Property Queenstown

Published 14 August 2007

Christchurch-based real estate company Simes Ltd has expanded into the Southern Lakes, buying upmarket real estate company Belle Property Queenstown Ltd.

 

Belle was part of the Belle Property Pty Ltd group founded in Sydney in 2000 by Chris Meehan & Mark Elmowy.Simes chief executive Layne Harwood said: “This is a very exciting development for Simes. Adding Belle Property Queenstown to our company complements all our current work.“The Simes focus is on commercial property, with more than a century’s business heritage and the number one commercial real estate position in Christchurch. Belle is an Australasian company which is well known as a successful marketer of premium homes.”Layne Harwood says he & wife Linda, the Simes chief operating officer, had long admired the Belle Property marketing style and now looked forward to growing the brand in Queenstown and introducing it to Christchurch.“Belle Property has a unique & successful marketing approach to top-of-the-line homes. It is unrivalled in this country and will help us maximise the profile of Christchurch’s most outstanding & elegant homes.“I have spoken to former Belle staff in Queenstown, who all speak passionately about the Belle Property brand. I know we are buying a brand people feel very fond of and proud to market their homes with.”Belle Property Group chief operating officer Anthony Harris said the sale was good news for South Island real estate: “Layne & Linda have a proven track record of business & real estate experience & success – they have certainly made their mark on Christchurch since they bought Simes 18 months ago.”Mr Harwood started his career as a property valuer nearly 3 decades ago and established his own commercial valuation practice in Auckland, before expanding into property consultancy, property development & management consultancy.Barfoot & Thompson recruited him in 1998 and, from 2000-05, he headed the commercial property division. In his 5 years at the helm it grew from 15 to 70 staff, and from $50 million to more than $500 million of sales.

 

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Attribution: Company release, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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