New generation in real estate dismiss brand differences and unite to celebrate success

WINNING FEELING: From left: Kyron Gosse, Blair James, Ashley Young, Lee Robinson, Natalie Wendell, Josh Storey, Jodi Douglas, Rick Hale, Hannah Cleary, Phillip Haeder, Jared Cooksley, Sarah Pearce and David Palfreyman.

THE INAUGURAL Young Professionals in Real Estate (YPIRE) Awards is indicative that the next generation of real estate practitioners are changing the face of the industry.

Close to 150 people from 15 different real estate brands across New Zealand attended YPIRE’s ‘End of Year Party’ in Auckland earlier this month.

This was held in partnership with Unitec on campus at Carrington's Pumphouse. Some attendees travelled from as far away as Dunedin, Christchurch, Gisborne and Palmerston North.

As well as celebrating their successes together, the YPIRE End of Year Party allowed these young professionals the opportunity to network and socialise with their peers from other companies.

YPIRE New Zealand facilitator, Sarah Pearce, believes the level of enthusiasm for YPIRE and the large attendance at the event indicates newcomers to real estate are open to rising above old brand barriers.

“This is good,” she says. “The real estate industry is well due for a change. I believe YPIRE is the platform to make that happen.

“What YPIRE is doing is encouraging a whole new positive culture, career development opportunities and a professional networking group nationwide.”

YPIRE was founded about five years ago in Australia. At the time it was a Ray White initiative that arose from wanting to give special support to its young agents.

It soon became apparent, though, that there weren't enough youth in the group at the time to make the initiative feasible. Ray White made a decision to open it up to all young agents from every other real estate group instead and YPIRE became a non-partisan industry group, as it remains today.

YPIRE arrived in New Zealand six months ago and has been warmly embraced from the very beginning.

“YPIRE is about maintaining pride in your own group but not being limited by that,” says Sarah, who also has a role as New Zealand Growth and Relationship executive for Ray White.

“Historically, the real estate industry has tended to be a bit territorial and overly competitive. I believe it's better for our culture, our reputation and, most importantly, for our clients if we can all get along.”

REAL ESTATE GENES: Sarah Pearce and her boys Theo (left) and Carlos.

Sarah has a personal and professional interest in seeing YPIRE continue to grow and succeed. She has two sons who also work in real estate – and for a different brand.

Carlos, 21, works in property management at Anne Duncan Real Estate. Theo, 23, is a salesperson at the same office. Both are big fans of YPIRE, and Theo runs the YPIRE New Zealand website in his spare time.

“It's a fantastic initiative,” says Theo.

“There aren't many youth in real estate, particularly not all in one office. It's encouraging to attend these events and see so many other people your age doing what you do and also doing it well. It gives you confidence to keep going. I also find it useful for exchanging ideas and hearing what methods others are using, especially when it comes to technology.”

Adds Carlos: “When you bring young professionals together from all over the place and they get along, so many more opportunities open up. We learn from each other, build relationships and can do a better job for our customers as a result.”

Shortly after the End of Year Party, Sarah and a number of the YPIRE award winners were joined by Barfoot & Thompson corporate executive David Palfreyman and Kyron Gosse, founder and director of Young Kiwis in Property, for photos and celebratory drinks at the Neighbourhood Brewbar in Auckland.

Event planning for 2014 for the group is now well underway.

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