A step out­side the square

Central Otago Mirror - - WANAKA NEWS - By MAR­JORIE COOK

Nicky Rams­den is a typ­i­cal Wanaka busi­ness woman: ter­tiary ed­u­cated, mother and wife, and self-em­ployed in an in­dus­try she never con­tem­plated when she started work­ing in her dream job more than two decades ago.

Rams­den, a for­mer phys­io­ther­a­pist, re­cently opened Wanaka’s first li­censed buy­ers agency for house seek­ers, Buy­ers Agent NZ.

Buy­ers agen­cies are com­mon over­seas but most New Zealand real es­tate agen­cies of­fer the ser­vice within a ven­dor-list­ing agency.

Rams­den notes Wanaka is stacked with peo­ple who have been pre­pared to give up city ca­reers to ac­quire the town’s famed out­door lifestyle.

‘‘The one thing [about liv­ing in Wanaka] is you have to look at women with re­spect. They want to live in this town so they have to step out­side the square. They have the balls to make it work . . . When you delve into women’s back­grounds, you are fre­quently sur­prised. Never as­sume any­thing,’’ Rams­den said.

Ter­tiary de­grees are pour­ing out of Wanaka women’s ears. De­greed women out­num­ber de­greed men in all but doc­tor­ates.

But de­spite 32 per cent pop­u­la­tion growth since 2006, it is still a small town of just un­der 6500 (9036 if you count Hawea and other small towns), so you will find econ­o­mists cook­ing pub meals or lec­tur­ers stack­ing shop shelves.

Ac­cord­ing to Cen­sus 2013 data, there are more un­qual­i­fied men than women in Wanaka. Of the 6690 peo­ple who stated any qual­i­fi­ca­tion, 3426 were women and 3261 were men.

‘‘I have friends with a past life, peo­ple who were very much the suits-around-the-board-ta­ble type of women, who are now in the grass roots, do­ing hands-on prac­ti­cal jobs now. You would never know! But even then, men here are like that too. I clicked on to some peo­ple on LinkedIn the other night and thought ‘‘Re­ally? They used to do that?’’ No won­der peo­ple are able to think out­side the square and make things work here.’’

When Rams­den and her sheep ge­neti­cist hus­band Andy Rams­den moved to Wanaka from Welling­ton in 2003, Rams­den had worked 21 years as a physio, in­clud­ing a stint of in­ten­sive spe­cial­ist care with a spinal sur­geon.

She was ready for a change of scene and has ex­plored roles in health man­age­ment and con­sult­ing, tourism and real es­tate.

Her job as a physio had been very real and holis­tic, ne­go­ti­at­ing client’s psy­cho-so­cial is­sues along­side their in­juries and phys­i­cal ail­ments.

‘‘I felt I had been to the top of my ca­reer. I wanted a fam­ily and liv­ing in Wanaka had a dif­fer­ent vibe,’’ she said.

With her 6-year-old son Jonty off to school, now was an ideal time to launch her new busi­ness. Rams­den be­came in­ter­ested in set­ting up a buy­ers agency af­ter mar­ket­ing her own Mt Barker home for sale.

Although the Rams­dens de­cided not to sell and lease more farm in­stead, she car­ried on and ob­tained her real es­tate qual­i­fi­ca­tions and li­cence.

She scopes listed and non-listed houses that might in­ter­est her clients but she does not list houses to sell.

In the United States or Bri­tain buy­ers agents take a cut of the ven­dor’s agent’s com­mis­sion.

Here, the buyer agent charges a fee to cover the costs of re­search and rep­re­sen­ta­tion but does not take a per­cent­age of com­mis­sion from the ven­dor’s agent.

If the client buys a house, the buy­ers agent charges the client a small per­cent­age-based fee (per­haps about 1 per cent), based on the house price.

Rams­den is keen to help her clients through the life and ca­reer chang­ing ex­pe­ri­ence of be­com­ing a Wanaka res­i­dent.

‘‘I like in­tro­duc­ing peo­ple to Wanaka’s so­cial or­gan­i­sa­tions as well . . . It’s about help­ing them into a new life. It is not just about click­ing the ticket and say­ing ‘See you later’. Twelve years on from mov­ing here, I still to­tally love it.’’

Nicky Rams­den, a for­mer phys­io­ther­a­pist, now helps home buy­ers.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.