Building something boutique in the boom



A booming industry

The real estate industry has been riding the wave of a strong housing market for the past few years. A considerable number of new greenfield developments have helped the Bay of Plenty take off and grow tremendously. Cashmores stands out by offering a boutique service targeted at residential properties all throughout the Bay, from Waihi Beach to Maketu.

Stepping out

Blair and Kirsty Cashmore decided to pursue their dream of opening a boutique real estate agency after working with bigger real estate firms for many years. They wanted to deliver their trademark personal service, unencumbered by the rigid corporate processes. This meant stepping out from the umbrella of a large organisation. From doing that, they could make changes to how they see a real estate company operating and delivering on service.

The Cashmore's are a second-generation real estate family with a long history in the area. Starting their own business still took a lot of groundwork, which included establishing their systems, processes and networks of suppliers. When they shifted premises, they also re-evaluated some of their services.

Being a boutique firm, Kirsty admits she was apprehensive about whether a ‘big business’ like Spark would offer the level of service she needed to get things working. However, since the locally owned and operated Spark Business Hub was just across the street, she decided to give them a shot. She learnt that the local team was a small business as well and they understood what she was after in terms of personal service. Since then, Kirsty's been nothing but impressed.

Growing technology

When talking about technology, Kirsty says they didn't use a lot - “just a phone and a Surface Pro”. Cashmores now have a full Microsoft 365 suite of tools at their disposal for everyday tasks. New cloud telephony makes sure their mission-critical calls get to the person they need to. The most crucial aspect of the real estate industry is connecting with the right person at the right time, and now they no longer have to worry about missing calls or not getting through to the appropriate person.

From video walk-throughs for virtual viewings to 3D modelling and high-definition renders that allow visualisation of unbuilt developments, the use of technology in the sector is widespread and will only grow. The difficulties of lock-down sales served as the catalyst for this new technology, and its use is only expected to increase. With the help from Nicky at the Business Hub, Cashmores’ communications are now very ‘set and forget’. Everything is in place and works the way it should. Better still, they’re future-proofed to grow.

As we watch the market change and the boom slow down, these sorts of competitive advantages will make a big difference. Kirsty advises more developers and vendors consider how technology can make a property stand out. And with the Spark Business hub being so local, the Cashmores team know exactly where to go to ensure they’re equipped with the right tech. This means they can continue to offer their customers a service that’s personal and powerful in achieving the best outcomes for everyone concerned.