Watson’s foray into Feilding a success
When talking to the staff at Watson Integrity in Feilding, there’s a recurring theme from each member and that’s the team factor.
Michael Ford is a major part of the team with a career that has spanned 38 years in real estate, 33 of those in Feilding. Michael ran his own business before selling to Watsons six years ago.
‘‘I chose Watsons to sell the business to and was very pleased they said yes. It used to be my little business and before that it was my father’s business.’’
Michael says he is proud to be part of the Watson team and very much congratulates them on their 20 years in business.
‘‘I have known Ken for about 30 years and I knew that Watsons had a reputation for being very ethical, and had a family-based business. I admired their ethical stance.’’
After chairing disputes and complaints committees in Palmerston North and Wellington, the ethics of the business is very important to him, Michael says.
‘‘So when I made the decision to sell it was important to me to find someone with strong ethical values.’’
Michael says there’s a relaxed, friendly atmosphere in the Feilding office with goodhumoured banter the norm.
‘‘But in saying that, when it comes to doing the best for our clients we don’t act as individuals, we act as a team.’’
Michael says even after 38 years in the industry he still loves his job.
‘‘Every day is different, I’m still learning and I love working in this community.’’
Michael says he is extremely enthusiastic about revitalising Feilding and has been a part of Feilding Promotion for 23 years, 20 of those as chairman, and a Manfeild Park Trustee for 11 years.
‘‘It’s about making the town a success and making it grow. I still have ambition to help the town. I always think about making Feilding the best town of its type in the world.’’
Michael covers a large range of property types - residential, lifestyle, sections, development, commercial, industrial and businesses. He offers an improved service to clients by working with Tania Osborne in a residential and lifestyle partnership.
Tania has been with Watson Integrity for nine years and says it’s a good fit for her. No two days are the same.
‘‘I like working for myself. I can arrange to work around time with my family and that is important to me.’’
Tania says she enjoys the variety of work that goes with the job and the variety of people she encounters.
‘‘What I really enjoy about the job is dealing with first home buyers. The satisfaction of the sale going through and the buyers owning their first home is very rewarding.’’
She enjoys working for Watsons as she says they operate on a more personal level.
‘‘It’s a very family-orientated business. Their more personal approach rather than a corporate approach fits well.’’
Tania is a staunch advocate of Feilding which offers a variety of excellent schooling, day care and great facilities for families.
Tania works in partnership with Michael which she says is excellent in terms of the level of service they can provide to their clients.
John Cox has been with Watsons for six years and as an independent contractor enjoys working for himself, but he says he is very much a part of the team.
‘‘This is definitely an office that works very well as a team.’’
John says that while listings in Feilding are a bit short at the moment, things are ticking along really well. ‘‘Feilding is a good progressive town.’’ For John the team factor extends beyond his work selling residential and lifestyle properties. He has been involved in various sporting codes for many years and is a staunch supporter and sponsor of sports teams, as is Watson Integrity.
John has been a player and coach of the Feilding Rugby Club for many years and is currently sponsoring the Feilding Rugby Club’s Mighty Midgets grade.
‘‘I’ve pretty much played rugby all my life and have been involved in rugby for over 50 years.’’
He’s also been involved in tennis and squash and praised the sporting facilities available in Feilding.
When it comes to Watson Integrity, John says it’s a very good environment to work in.
‘‘It’s not a corporate style office and that’s one of the reasons I like it. It’s a well supported office.’’
Newest member of the team is Joanna Beattie who joined the staff two years ago.
‘‘We’re very much a team which is something that I feel can be hard to find when you are all individual contractors, but we actually work really well together.’’
Joanna says she was drawn to work at Watson Integrity because she shares the same values and beliefs as the company.
Prior to moving to Watson Integrity Joanna was area manager for a merchandising company looking after various clients and running the merchandising team. It was a job that involved a lot of travelling and she didn’t really like spending too much time away from her family.
‘‘Working at Watson Integrity seemed a logical progression.’’
Joanna studied for her real estate qualification for two years through polytech while working fulltime.
‘‘Once I had passed I spoke to three real estate companies in Feilding then made the decision that I wanted to work at Watson Integrity. What appealed to me most is that they are a family business and I felt it was a good fit. The Watsons are genuine, hardworking people.’’
Entering a new career has not been without its challenges for Joanna who is working hard to get her name out into the market which she says is one of the most difficult things she has had to do.
‘‘It might be time for me to start creating a bit of a ruckus around town. But to put it into perspective, people don’t generally know who is who among real estate people until they come to need one.’’
What Joanna does enjoy about the job is that she is always learning and there is never a dull moment, which she enjoys.
‘‘A situation will arise that you haven’t struck before so we all get together and talk about it in the office, that way we all learn from it.’’
Bob Weaver is an integral part of the Feilding team and is responsible for the Property Management side in Feilding and surrounding areas. Bob has doubled the property management portfolio in Feilding since moving over from sales. He was a sales agent for 16 years and a branch manager 12 years.
‘‘ I joined the Watson team because I liked the family environment and was impressed by the ethics portrayed by the owners and staff,’’ says Bob.
‘‘As a Property Manager I try to develop a rapport with both owners and tenants and this helps me to do the job professionally.’’
In addition to having a portfolio of properties to manage Bob is also a Business Development Manager being responsible for bringing in new business and spreading the word of the value of using a Property Manager.
Outside of work Bob’s main interest is in the dog world and he can be seen round the country showing Border Terriers. He is president of Wanganui Gundog Society and treasurer of the Hawke’s Bay Terrier Club. Bob is also passionate about the game of cricket which was a big focus before he moved from the UK.
The friendly team from Watson Integrity Feilding, from left, Property Management Business Development Manager Bob Weaver, sales consultants Joanna Beattie, Tania Osborne, Michael Ford and John Cox.