From of­fice man­ager to chief ex­ec­u­tive


While tak­ing on the job of of­fice man­ager at Wat­son In­tegrity was a far cry from Tanya Wat­son’s pre­vi­ous ca­reer the skills she took to the job were a per­fect fit.

A thor­ough un­der­stand­ing of sys­tems, struc­tures and pro­cesses served Tanya well as she stepped up to the role of chief ex­ec­u­tive.

Real es­tate might be a far cry from the road­ing in­dus­try where Tanya worked for 12 years, but her skills were read­ily trans­fer­able.

Tanya be­gan work­ing in the road­ing in­dus­try in Tau­ranga.

‘‘I had a real em­pa­thy for the guys on the road and in get­ting them trained so they could gain a qual­i­fi­ca­tion. I al­ways felt their skills should be for­mally recog­nised,’’ says Tanya.

Over time her role changed and she was ap­proached by a com­pany called In­fratrain to be­come their train­ing ad­vi­sor.

‘‘Ba­si­cally my job was to pro­mote the qual­i­fi­ca­tions the guys could earn so I would go into dif­fer­ent com­pa­nies and get their staff gain­ing qual­i­fi­ca­tions. It gave me great sat­is­fac­tion to see them be­come qual­i­fied.’’

Tanya was then ap­proached by a com­pany called In­fra­max and was ap­pointed their train­ing man­ager.

‘‘This role in­volved or­gan­is­ing train­ing from the chief ex­ec­u­tive to the guy hold­ing the stop/go sign.’’

Tanya moved to Palmer­ston North and af­ter work­ing for a year with In­fra­max she then joined Wat­son Real Es­tate.

‘‘When the eco­nomic cri­sis hit I of­fered to help out and joined the com­pany to as­sist Ken, tak­ing on the role of of­fice man­ager and han­dling all of the ad­min­is­tra­tive side of the business.

‘‘I wanted to help re­lieve the stress that Ken, Mar­cus and Greg were un­der at the time.’’

Dur­ing this time Tanya and Ken started work­ing more closely to­gether.

‘‘In the course of grow­ing the business it was clear that we worked very well to­gether, that we were like­minded peo­ple and we had the same vi­sion for the com­pany go­ing for­ward.’’

Three years ago Tanya stepped up to the role of chief ex­ec­u­tive which al­lowed Ken to re­turn to what he loved - ad­vis­ing peo­ple on sell­ing their houses.

‘‘Ken has a pas­sion for the in­dus­try and for sales so by me tak­ing on the chief ex­ec­u­tive role it meant he could go back to his pas­sion. What it also means is that Greg and Mar­cus can fo­cus on their pas­sion and I can take care of the run­ning of the com­pany.’’

The em­pa­thy Tanya had for road in­dus­try trainees has car­ried over to the younger staff mem­bers at Wat­son In­tegrity.

‘‘I have a real em­pa­thy for young peo­ple and I’m a real ad­vo­cate for them. About five years ago young peo­ple started be­com­ing in­ter­ested in work­ing in real es­tate so in the past five years we have con­cen­trated on men­tor­ing new peo­ple into the com­pany. Young peo­ple bring in so much en­thu­si­asm. They are also very techno savvy. Young peo­ple have a real vibe about them, why wouldn’t you em­ploy them. Young peo­ple to­day are very clever.’’

Tanya ad­mits that her first cou­ple of years at Wat­son In­tegrity were chal­leng­ing.

‘‘It was a learn­ing curve. The first two years I was just find­ing my feet with all as­pects of the business. It’s still chal­leng­ing to­day but I feel much more com­fort­able with my role. I have a real pas­sion for Wat­son In­tegrity and with the suc­cess they have en­joyed in the past, I would just like to make them more suc­cess­ful.’’

While Tanya may have em­pa­thy for the younger staff mem­bers she ap­pre­ci­ates the con­tri­bu­tion of the whole team.

‘‘Every one of our staff mem­bers are here be­cause they want to be here, they en­joy their roles and that’s what it’s all about. The cul­ture within the com­pany is very im­por­tant to me and we have a fan­tas­tic cul­ture. It’s a very sup­port­ive en­vi­ron­ment. Each and every team mem­ber sup­ports the oth­ers, whether it’s sales or property man­age­ment.’’

Tanya says staff changes are not com­mon at Wat­son In­tegrity.

‘‘We have a high level of staff sta­bil­ity in our com­pany, and in fact we have a steady stream of peo­ple knock­ing on our door to work for us. We are seen in a very pos­i­tive light in the com­mu­nity.’’

Five years ago Wat­son In­tegrity opened an of­fice in Feild­ing.

‘‘It’s a very set­tled en­vi­ron­ment in our Feild­ing of­fice and we have ex­cit­ing times ahead of us. The property man­age­ment side is very pos­i­tive and we are grow­ing our rental port­fo­lio over there which is very pleas­ing. It’s an of­fice that works well to­gether. On the whole both our of­fices have got that good cul­ture.’’

Tanya says as chief ex­ec­u­tive she has a very good rap­port with all the staff and that’s a key ben­e­fit for the Wat­sons.

‘‘I’m also not fright­ened to take on a chal­lenge. I get very en­thu­si­as­tic and driven when it comes to pro­mot­ing the Wat­son brand.’’

Wat­son In­tegrity chief ex­ec­u­tive Tanya Wat­son.

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