Church to focus on digital technology and development of 'young guns'

By Colin Taylor

John Church, Bayleys' new commercial and industrial group manager.
John Church, Bayleys' new commercial and industrial group manager.

The development of technology-based market information platforms and recruiting "young guns" will be two points of focus for John Church, who has been appointed the new commercial and industrial group manager at Bayleys Real Estate.

Church joined Bayleys this year from Jones Lang LaSalle as national director for corporate accounts to develop, implement and deliver Bayleys' national corporate client strategies.

That included engaging with landlords and tenants of multinational corporations through Bayley's affiliation under the Cushman & Wakefield marketing alliance. Church has also identified the continued expansion of leasing services as significant in his new role.

Church says that since joining Bayleys, he has reviewed the critical importance of marketing in sales and leasing, and how technology was playing a greater role in influencing sales and leasing decisions.

"Traditional media, as we know it, has evolved phenomenally over the past few years, with the growing prominence of online, web and mobile phone marketing innovations in particular," he says.

"While real estate is essentially a people-relationship business, agencies and individual salespeople need to be aware of the changing dynamics of how people in the domestic and international markets are gathering, disseminating, and processing information.

"I'll now be looking at how digital technology in all its formats can be harnessed to improve efficiencies for all parties involved in a real estate transaction."

Church says Bayleys is taking a long-term view of the commercial and industrial property market recovery after four years of "doing it tough" and aims to inject a "younger feel" in sales and leasing teams.

"Just this year we've had several long-serving salespeople retire from the business, so there are definitely opportunities for the hungry new 'young guns' to make names for themselves in this industry with Bayleys.

"This recruitment strategy also acknowledges that a new generation of investors and tenants is coming through; a generation which needs to communicate on a peer-to-peer level with Gen Xers and Gen Yers. Again, this is founded on increasing our service delivery through technology."

Church says newcomers will partner with more experienced personnel to create a "dual-learning" environment. "The newcomers will be immersed in the industry, learning the foundations from some very experienced practitioners, while more senior agents will be brought up to speed very quickly by their partners in relation to the use of technology-based communications."

Church says the company will also increasingly segment sales and leasing personnel into sector-specialist teams. "Bayleys, in some respects, has been a victim of its own success.

"The message that we have specialists in the various subsectors, such as industrial warehousing, retail, investment, hospitality, commercial office space, or leasing, has sometimes been blurred behind the actual sale.

"We will also be redefining our strengths in those niche sectors.

"This restructuring into specialist silos will also bring up the opportunity for new middle-management sales/leasing and team leader positions within Bayleys.

"Those roles will be for operators who have been around for, say, five to seven years but who are now looking at their careers from a longer-term perspective and see themselves heading up small specialist teams."

Church says he hopes to leverage the peer-acknowledged success of Bayleys' commercial and industrial sales teams at this year's Real Estate Institute of NZ annual awards as recruitment magnets for increasing the size of the company's leasing teams across the Auckland isthmus.

At the recent REINZ awards Bayley's Auckland Central and Counties/Manukau offices won the title for best commercial and industrial sales offices in NZ, while Auckland Central salesperson James Chan was runner-up in the best commercial and industrial salesperson category.

- NZ Herald

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