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Planning, planning and more planning is the key to success according to Ray White Morris and Co Real Estate owners Stuart and Claire Morris, and so far, it has served them very well. Despite having extensive backgrounds in real estate, when they pooled their knowledge and skills to develop their now successful real estate operation spanning the North Canterbury region, they started with a plan.
“Before opening the doors on the head office in Rangiora, we undertook a heavy due diligence process involving business planning, SWOT analysis and financial modelling,” explains Stuart.
“Claire and I both brought extensive experience, qualifications and complementing skill sets to the business but despite this, we still brought in specialist advice early, involving two business mentors to help with the initial planning.
“We believe that planning allows you to focus on exactly what it is you are hoping to achieve and then prepare appropriate courses of action to get there. It also allows for short, medium and long term thinking and measurement of success.”
Measuring the pair’s success since opening their first real estate office in Rangiora in 2015 has not proven difficult: the couple have achieved massive business growth since, and awards have been rolling in from regional, national and international competitions including the Emerging Business Award at the 2018 North Canterbury Business Awards.
“In addition to the North Canterbury Business Awards win we have been awarded at both a national and international level by Ray White as being leaders in customer service in several of our markets,” says Stuart.
“The awards are primarily around growth and the performance of our sales people including customer service and sale turnover, number one office for growth in market share and top national office.
“Receiving any awards in our industry is incredibly positive given the young age of our business and how competitive the industry is. But the North Canterbury Business Awards was our first chance to be judged against other businesses – not just real estate businesses – so it meant a lot. The team loved it, and it gave them the confidence that they are involved with a good business, whilst to Claire and I it was recognition that we are on the right track.”
Indeed, the North Canterbury Business Awards judging panel stated they were “impressed with the ways in which Stuart and Claire have managed to stamp their own mark on an international franchise brand”. They went on to say, “[This is] a well-run business built on strong systems and processes and driven by a big commitment to staff engagement and development which in turn leads to a superior level of customer service.”
In the three years following the opening of their Rangiora office, the pair have opened offices in Papanui, Kaiapoi and Pegasus and have added a property management branch to their business, meaning they are covering a significant portion of the North Canterbury region; a strategy that was always a focus given their long-standing relationship with the area.
“Our lives, families and work are well and truly entrenched in North Canterbury and it was important to us to run a business where we live. I’m a third generation North Cantabrian!
“We live here, we like the place and we like the people so we try and give back to the community as much as possible via sponsorship, time and resources with a focus on family, children and sport events and organisations. We contribute greatly to these local events and community groups on an annual basis along with our team’s time and human resources.”
Asked if they felt the North Canterbury Business Awards were worthwhile, Stuart said, “Yes! The awards were a good chance to review the business and a great opportunity to increase our local profile. I am very proud of what we have built so I hoped we would be competitive. To other businesses thinking of entering next time, I’d say it’s a no-brainer.”
Ray White Morris & Co Real Estate and Property Management are located in Rangiora, Kaiapoi, Pegasus and Christchurch. Find their office locations, contact details and more at https://raywhitemorrisandco.co.nz/.