Lower North Island real estate firm Leaders has joined forces with Ray White in a rebranding deal that is considered one of the biggest industry moves in recent history.
Ray White colours have replaced Leader Real Estate offices on Wednesday.
Leaders started in 1987 and has had the most sales in Wellington over that time.
The agencies began in Wellington, Hutt Valley and the Wairarapa, and grew expanding to a network of 15 offices around the Lower North Island and 280 salespeople.
Leaders’ founder Rob Garlick said he expected the number of sales staff employed by the former Leaders offices to increase under the Ray White brand.
Garlick said the loss of the familiar logo was the cost of keeping up with the times.
“If there’s a price to be paid as far as maintaining if not improving the standard of business service then so be it, because at the end of the day it comes down to customer satisfaction.”
Under the Ray White franchise, Leaders agents could access “vast resources” that surpassed the limits of an independent real estate company., he said.
The re-brand gave Leaders opportunities including a wider audience for listings online and on social media, more competitive pricing on advertising contracts, a nationwide referral basis for properties, and more access to Chinese language sites.
Ray White has listed properties for sale with China’s largest real estate agency, Lianjia – also known as Homelink – since July last year.
Lianjia promotes properties to about 260 million Chinese buyers, both online and through its 6000 branches in more than 25 cities in China.
Ray White’s New Zealand and Australian properties are co-listed on the Lianjia websites in Mandarin.
Garlick expects the change to be a good thing for Leaders customers because the scope of the service is dramatically increased while the cost remains the same.
Home owners listed with Leaders were aware that the company was on the verge of a rebrand.
Offices in the Wairarapa replaced for sale signs, and building signage prior before Christmas.