When New Zealand real estate company Harcourts Cooper and Co announced the opening of the company’s annual training conference in January, few could have expected the massive media coverage this would provoke. After all, real estate companies are supposed to be boring, number crunches who sit behind their computer screens 24 hours a day seven days a week looking for the next deal. So, what made this conference so different and how does the Village People parody come into it?
A hit from the 70s is revamped
For those approaching midlife the 1970s was a “different” era for music but one of the sensations of the decade was the Village People classic YMCA. This tongue in cheek music video is still as popular today as it ever has been and while a massive hit in the UK it seems that its popularity was actually worldwide. So, what has the classic YMCA got to do with a boring real estate company conference to start 2017?
A hilarious parody
As you will see below, a group of employees from the Harcourts Cooper and Co real estate company joined forces to put together their own version focusing on the real estate market. The idea was to get across the message to real estate agents that they must comply with all regulations and full disclosure is a must when dealing with customers. This has turned into something of an Internet sensation and you will find it difficult not to sing along to this ever popular tune!
Getting the message across
Underneath all the humour the video actually gets across an array of very important messages for those dealing in the New Zealand real estate market. Over the years, as competition has intensified, some real estate agents have been seen to “step over the line”. This has prompted a major crackdown by the Real Estate Agents Authority (REAA) which is now pursuing with vigour those who overstep the mark and break regulations.
While individual real estate agents will obviously pay the price for any misdemeanours it is worth noting the impact this can have upon a company’s reputation. Therefore, while it is obvious that the REAA is pursuing wrongdoings with vigour the same must be said for real estate companies. This twin pincer movement should hopefully prompt those thinking of “stretching the regulations” to think again.
New Zealand property market
Those who follow the New Zealand real estate market will be well aware the market has been extremely buoyant over the last few years with areas such as Auckland posting some very impressive figures. There was a cooling off towards the end of 2016, with prices up just 0.4% in December, but there is still significant forward momentum. For many years New Zealand has been seen as the “poor cousin” of Australia but the perceived gap between the wealth of these two nations and the relative value of their property markets has certainly narrowed of late.
It will be interesting to see how 2017 begins and whether indeed the blip in momentum towards the latter part of 2016 was just a pause for breath.