The real estate power couple from Barfoot & Thompson chats to Verve about selling houses, the value of experience and what keeps them ahead of the game.
If you live anywhere around Auckland’s central suburbs, chances are you’ve probably seen or heard about Ketiesha Elliott and Frank Excell, a highly successful duo from Barfoot & Thompson, Mt Eden.
Theirs is no overnight success story, however. “Real estate has been a part of our lives since 1994, when Frank started in the industry. I joined him a year after and it’s been a constant in our lives through two children, home and career moves, and other milestones,” says Ketiesha.
The couple met in the UK on a blind date when Frank was working as a civil engineer, and when he returned to New Zealand six months later, Ketiesha came with him. Residents of Mt Eden for over 21 years, the duo works primarily in that area and in neighbouring suburbs such as Epsom, Newmarket, Parnell and Ponsonby. “Mt Eden is an incredible place and we love the community vibe. We have a deep understanding of the area and can state with confidence that we are experts in the suburb and its surroundings,” says Frank.
Known for selling beautifully-restored character properties, the couple recently completed a painstaking 18-month refurbishment on their own 1919 arts and crafts home in Mt Eden, glimpses of which can be seen in their video on the Barfoot & Thompson website (barfoot.co.nz).
“For me, it’s about selling the essence of a home — whatever era it may be from,” says Ketiesha. The personality of the owners and the property itself is a great consideration, something that Ketiesha aims to convey in the creative naming of her listings. “I often use song titles of music that I feel gets to the heart of the property, and I keep a playlist of all the songs I use!” she laughs. “People have told me that they can tell which listings are ours, purely from the headline.”
Frank explains: “Adding value through our experience is key for us. With more than 20 years in the industry, we have the knowledge to advise on everything from interiors, landscaping to marketing in order to achieve the best possible outcome.” The couple strives to constantly be tweaking, innovating and improving their strategy to stay ahead of the competition. It’s this commitment to excellence that has them consistently ranking among the top salespeople at Barfoot & Thompson.
Ketiesha and Frank are very active in the digital marketing space, particularly on social media and through property videos, where their energy and sense of humour really shines through. “I see our role as creators of connections, making the connection with the vendor, with the house itself, and connecting the right buyers to the right property. Both Facebook and videos are a great way to spark that emotional connection,” says Ketiesha.
A huge amount of their business comes from referrals and repeat clients, something they really value. “Through real estate, we’ve met a lot of amazing people and made some really good friends,” says Frank.
“I truly love what I do, and I can’t imagine doing anything else,” adds Ketiesha.
Real estate at this level can be an all consuming business, so what does the couple do to keep a balance? “I love ocean swimming and although I wouldn’t call myself a beekeeper, I do tend to a hive in the backyard,’ says Frank. Ketiesha likes to unwind with the “three w’s”- wine with girlfriends, walks with her “walking family”, and writing poetry. “It’s good practise for writing property descriptions,” she laughs.