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