Four experienced real estate salespeople have joined forces at Whanganui's new LJ Hooker franchise.
Agents Tim Hocquard, Kerryn Irvin, Craig Hanford and Michael Bourne are based at 3 Victoria Ave, part of the heritage Thain's Building which is being restored.
Hocquard was part of a group that bought the previous LJ Hooker franchise in Whanganui but LJ Hooker has not operated in the city for the past few years.
"LJ Hooker is quite a leader in the market nationwide so we thought it was time it came back," Hocquard said.
"There's certainly room for another bright and professional outfit in Whanganui. It's about quality and experience and a really good level of service."
The franchise would initially concentrate on residential and lifestyle properties and may diversify in the future. The salespeople were offering appraisals and advice on anything that may need "tweaking" before putting a property on the market.
Irvin, who has been in real estate for nearly 13 years, said all the salespeople prided themselves on following through a listing from the beginning to the end of the process and were available 24/7 to their clients.
"It's more of a personalised service," Irvin said.
"That's what I like to do. I love my job, I enjoy the process of working with people. We're all very passionate about Whanganui."
Hocquard said Irvin was recognised as one of Whanganui's most successful real estate people.
Bourne has a background in customer service through his former business, Wanganui Camera Centre, while Hanford has a media background, predominantly in radio. Both have been in real estate for about two years and Hocquard said they brought different strengths to the team.
Hocquard, who has worked in information technology, said the team was keen on new approaches to real estate and praised NZME's OneRoof platform.
"OneRoof is really important to real estate. NZME saw the light and got in before anyone else did."
Locating the office in the bottom block of Victoria Ave was a conscious decision, Hocquard said.
"It was very important to get in this block. The foot traffic is huge, some of the better cafes in Whanganui are just up the road; there are the markets at the weekend."
Being in the historic Thain's Building was also important and Hocquard thanked builder Trevor Gudsell for the work he was doing on the restoration.
"Trevor has done an outstanding job. He's known for his fastidious restoration work. He really is a very clever man."
The LJ Hooker team welcomed anyone who wanted to visit the new office to see the restoration work that had been done, he said.