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.