Location: the undeniable crux of the real estate industry. But, navigating the realty sector can be daunting — this is where expertise and experience come in. With almost 100 years in the realty arena, Barfoot & Thompson knows the ins and outs of the business.

The company is New Zealand’s largest privately-owned real estate firm, still managed by the Barfoot and Thompson families almost a century since its founding in 1923.

Peter Thompson, Managing Director of Barfoot & Thompson | © BARFOOT & THOMPSON
Peter Thompson, Managing Director of Barfoot & Thompson | © BARFOOT & THOMPSON

“We’re predominantly an Auckland-based company, but have recently opened branches up north and a property management office down in Tauranga,” shared Peter Thompson, the company’s managing director. “We’ve also recently announced a 50% buyout of Lodge Real Estate, among the top realty companies in Hamilton.”

“New Zealand business is growing between the Auckland-Hamilton-Tauranga triangle, which is going to be a very important hub for many, many businesses,” he explained.

While Barfoot & Thompson has focused primarily on residential, rural and lifestyle, and commercial real estate throughout Auckland and Northland, the group is a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, a collective of market-leading independent residential brokerages in over 70 countries.

“We have very significant relationships with companies worldwide including Japan, which is great, especially in the commercial line. Moreover, the International Property Awards group named us the best real estate company in the world just last year,” Thompson pointed out.

Leveraging over 40% of Auckland’s market share, the company is poised for even more growth, with a dynamic team at the ready. “We have around 2,500 employees, across 71 ethnicities, including a few Japanese nationals. I’d like to see more Japanese in the real estate line. They’re lovely to work with and very successful; I admire them a lot,” Thompson said, noting that “there are great opportunities for Japanese in New Zealand.”

While realty sales were largely unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic — in fact they were even boosted after the lockdown, with New Zealand deemed as a desirable and safe place to live — the company is currently lobbying for the government to allow foreigners to buy property.

“Borders are opening; but at the moment, the N.Z. government only allows Australians and Singaporeans to buy property in N.Z. We’re working with the government to try and free this restriction up so Japanese can also take advantage of real estate opportunities here,” Thompson said.