23 years of service
In the 23 years Marcus Watson has been selling real estate he has seen many different markets, from the highs to the lows.
There was little doubt that Marcus would follow in his father Ken’s footsteps into the real estate industry so he gained degrees in valuation and property management at Massey University. Once he had graduated Marcus began working in 1993 at Watson Wilson, the company Ken founded in partnership with Sandra Wilson. When Ken sold his share of the partnership and left for Nelson Marcus continued working for the company. Seven months later when Ken returned to Palmerston North to set up his own real estate company, Marcus was only too willing to join him.
In 2002 Marcus and his wife Rachel left for London on their OE. Marcus gained a job with a real estate company called Haart, based in Southfields – just along the road from the Wimbledon Tennis complex. It was quite a learning curve for Marcus.
"It was a crazy system for selling real estate in England, it was so strange," Marcus recalls.
"In New Zealand a property can sometimes go unconditional pretty well straight away but in England that can take six to eight weeks or longer, and buyers can pull out of the purchase at any stage, or can be ‘‘gazumped’’ with a higher offer from a different buyer.
"Selling houses in London was the same job as it is here; you are still showing houses to people, it’s just much more of a long-winded process."
The listing of houses was also different where he worked as only the principal of the company did the listings, the salespeople just did the selling. They worked on a retainer and for their part in the actual sale process received a small percentage of the commission.
"The retainer was only 1000 pounds a month so it wasn’t much to live on in expensive London."
The houses themselves were also quite different with many of the properties being terraced housing.
"The houses I sold during that time were some of the most expensive I have ever sold. A one or two bedroom home would sell for around 125,000 pounds while a three or four bedroom home could fetch around 360,000 pounds, the exchange rate was 3 to 1 back then’’.
Marcus and Rachel returned to New Zealand in 2003 and Marcus went back to work at Watson Integrity.
Marcus has enjoyed working in the industry for the past 23 years.
"When I started I was 21. I had a good first year and really enjoyed the job so obviously I’ve stuck with it."