Encountering a concierge service is not a new concept, yet experiencing this in the real estate sector might be music to the ears of many busy vendors.
Lisa MacQueen and Verena Ryan, known as ‘The Property Girls’ at Barfoot & Thompson have built a top performing business on this ‘realtor concierge’ approach that’s reaping rewards and most importantly, long-lasting happy clients in Remuera and Parnell.
Verena discovered the art of true concierge service from her time working in Notting Hill, Kensington and Chelsea as a senior negotiator with a prestigious UK estate agency dealing with a lot of internationals.
“What I learnt in London was that people work very, very long hours — particularly bankers who often work through the night and choose to pay other people to do whatever service it is. It’s on a whole different level — it’s totally a five-star level of service which is the standard we bring in what we do,” she says.
Lisa who’s been in property sales for a decade, and is a former professional indemnity lawyer, nods in agreement: “We take all the stress away through essentially project managing for our clients.”
The agents may be working with them for two years before the property comes to the market.
“It might be that we meet at a time when they are renovating their house and I’ll suggest what could be done to help with the sale. Quite often when someone is doing up a home for themselves it is quite different from what they would do to add value to the property if they were going to sell it,” says Verena.
At the other end of the spectrum, considerably shorter lead times are managed by the dynamic team to the highest level as well.
“We might be engaged a month before to do those last minute touches like home staging, installing beautiful mobile gardens through to giving advice on bathrooms and the kitchen,” says Lisa.
The duo really show their versatility and value with hand-picked expert mobile gardeners, kitchen designers and experienced painters available on speed dial to get a house ready for sale.
“We organise all of that and with Lisa’s legal background it’s all quite seamless,” says Verena.
They know intuitively the level where a property needs to be project managed and pitched to the market through offering an end-to-end service using trusted professionals to create the right result.
Sometimes with a property they also recommend to the vendor not to do anything because the value is in the ‘do-up’ factor of the property wanted by buyers as opposed to working to a formulaic approach.
Both live locally and understand what engages buyers, what their expectations are, and how to make a client’s house ‘pop’ through spending where it is needed.
“We’re really into the senses — the smells, the candles, and the flowers — all that layering as well,” says Verena.
Lisa believes the best moment is when they achieve a great result — and it can be life changing: “The ability to change people’s lives, to help them move up the property ladder and on their journey is such a privilege.”