Tommy’s Real Estate continues to win more national awards than any other Wellington agency under a new management team that sees community partnerships as pivotal to its future.
Tommy’s latest success in the Real Estate Institute of NZ Awards comes on the eve of the company celebrating its next milestone.
“Tommy’s turns 25 years old in 2024 and there is no sign of us slowing down,” Tommy’s Group CEO Ben Castle says.
“We continue to learn, continue to grow, and will always strive to support our community and deliver success to our customers and clients and we are looking forward to being here for Wellington for the next 25 years and beyond.”
Ben says he is “extremely proud” to be stepping into the shoes of Tommy Heptinstall, David Platt and Nicki Cruickshank and having them still involved at a Board level ensures the momentum continues.”
“It is a real privilege and a huge responsibility to continue the company’s Wellington presence from the city to the coast. Our reputation is critical to the success of the business and that is why we work extremely hard as a team on how we deliver our service to the Wellington region.
“Our ethos has always been that real estate is not a transaction, it is a partnership and most importantly about people – this will never change.
“At Tommy’s, we are like a family and that sets us apart. Every one of our agents actively works to sell each other’s listings, and that support and competition are encouraged as that is what gets the best result for our vendors.”
As well as winning the REINZ award for Multimedia Marketing, Tommy’s was a finalist in the Office of the Year, Highest Volume and Community categories; it was the only Wellington agency to make the finals of the REINZ Awards.
“We are incredibly proud of our whole team and the acknowledgment of success, being finalists in all four categories that we entered and, of course, the win for multi-media marketing, is amazing,” Tommy’s Sales Director Tim Clark says.
“We are especially proud to be finalists for the community service award. Being a Wellington owned-and-operated business, we are here to serve our community and this ethos drives Tommy’s forward on a daily basis.
“We cannot do what we do without the support of our local community and giving back is always top of mind.”
Tim has been with Tommy’s for more than a third of its history.
“I am looking forward to the next 25 years,” he says. “We will continue to be community-focused and innovative leaders in the real estate industry.
“The key to our success has been creating a community of people who believe in doing good for Wellington. We are successful because of this team. We have always believed in supporting the community that supports Tommy’s.
“While the market has been slower than we would like of late, we understand that property moves in cycles and that as long as we stand true to our values we will continue to succeed, in any market.”
Tim believes Tommy’s team approach distinguishes it from other Wellington agencies.
“Every one of our agents actively aims to sell each other’s listings and more importantly the listing agent is welcoming of that support from the rest of the team,” he says.
“This is best for all our vendors as they get to work with their preferred salesperson backed by the team of over 40 talented, hardworking salespeople.
“Our team is 100 per cent committed to their careers and their communities. At Tommy’s we are big on building long-term relationships, we believe in togetherness and helping each other out.
“We will do whatever it takes to grow our community.”
Helping to lead the charge will be top agents like Alexia Stoddart, Ramon Kane, Sam Newble and Chris Robinson.
Alexia has been with Tommy’s for seven-and-a-half years. She attributes her success to not only her determination, self-motivation, competitiveness and passion but also collaboration and teamwork.
“All agents work towards the common goal of selling our vendors property for a good result,” she says. “Support with viewings and creating a multi-offer situation achieves a great result.”
Ramon agrees. “Being a part of one of the most successful real estate companies in New Zealand yet feeling like I’m surrounded with family has been a massive point of difference,” he says.
“The Tommy’s team philosophy really rubbed off on me when I first started nearly 13 years ago,” Sam says.
“The team has an unusual mix that’s both internally super competitive and yet supportive of the group.
“This works brilliantly for our clients and has done for nearly 25 years since Tommy Heptinstall started the business.”
He calls the Tommy’s group “a tight-knit bunch of special people … Successful members of our team have quite different attributes and personalities but there are few common ones: empathy, competitive, discipline to do things when you don’t feel like it, working long and anti-social hours, and the drive to keep doing this year after year.”
“Whoever you may choose to work with at Tommy’s, they are backed by the team of over 40 brilliant, thorough and highly capable salespeople,” Chris says.
“Our service is what we hang our flag on. The team at Tommys are competitive and also extremely supportive of one another and most importantly, we care about our clients and our community.”
Tommy’s Real Estate has supported numerous charities and non-profit organisations since its inception in 1999.
From donating more than $300,000 to Wellington Free Ambulance and food to Wellington City Mission, to staging an annual charity golf day that’s raised tens of thousands of dollars for Wellington Children Hospital
and Given For You charity, to launching a Local Heroes campaign that recognises the hard work of community volunteers, the list goes on … and continues to grow.
“In recent years, we have formed new partnerships with pay-as-you-feel restaurant Everybody Eats, environmental charity Trees That Count, Wellington Children’s Hospital, and Life Education Trust,” Tommy’s Head of Marketing, Henry Bong, says.
Tommy’s not only support Everybody Eats financially but also helps out in the kitchen and restaurant, plating up food and washing dishes.
A fundraising dinner in August 2022 raised more than $8,000 in one evening, Henry says.
“We also have a tap donation machine at the office that helps Everybody Eats continue to generate much needed donations to keep their doors open.”
“We are very grateful for the generosity of Tommy’s Real Estate,” Everybody Eats Manager Jack Rainey says.
“They set a wonderful example of how success in a business is more than just financial, it’s about raising the community alongside them.”
Tommy’s has been a long-term dedicated partner/sponsor of Wellington Free Ambulance since 2014.
“The funds that we raise or donate, plus additional donations raised through street appeals, helps Wellington Free keep their service running 365 days, answers over 100,000 calls and attends 48,000 incidents in the Wellington and Wairarapa region,” Henry says.
“The cost of call-out averages at $650 — which means Tommy’s has assisted Wellington Free in helping hundreds of Wellingtonians with bandages, oxygen, medicine, fuel, and everything else the paramedics could need when treating a patient on a single call-out.”
“Tommy’s commit annually to contributing a significant financial sum, $75,000, to help keep Wellington Free Ambulance, free of charge and assist us with raising awareness at every opportunity,” Claire Carruthers, Wellington Free Ambulance, General Manager Fundraising and Communications, says.
“They provide many opportunities to work in partnership on promotional materials for the community to tell the Wellington Free story as well as allowing us to work directly with their agents, who then become ambassadors for our service.
“The team goes above and beyond to weave Wellington Free Ambulance and the other community groups they support into all they do.
“They are more than just financial supporters — they are champions and ambassadors for the community good.”
Helen Pinson, Life Education Trust Trustee, says none of the 32 local branches receive government funding; instead, they rely solely on grants and fundraising.
“Tommy’s generous donations allow our Wellington City brand to take time to train our new Educator and continue delivering the Healthy Harold programme in schools.
“What we love about Tommy’s is that their support goes beyond a monetary donation. The whole team got in behind us and came along to see how the mobile classroom operates, and they actively promote ‘Harold’ and the work we do.”
“We want to focus on changing lives rather than just raising funds,” Henry says of Tommy’s community programme.
“We provide financial and ‘physical’ support such as volunteering our time and skills, be it auctioneering, manning a stall at a school fair, organising events and the like.”
He says Tommy’s is open to helping charities or organisations that align with its brand mission of supporting those that do good for Wellingtonians. “It has got to be local and worthwhile.
“We are proud of all the industry awards we’ve won over the years. But the one we’re proudest of is the recognition of our contribution to the community.
We are successful because of them and our team of community champions.
“At the end of the day, it’s not the Tommy’s distinctive green colours nor the signs that have earned Tommy’s position as the market leader.
“It’s the staff, the culture, the community, and it’s supportive Wellingtonians.”