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CHANNEL FEATURE: Interview

Aaron's got a passion for property

 Aaron Tunstall lives in Hauraki Corner and works in real estate for Impression, a property management company. He's passionate about the property industry and explained to Channel Mag what it's like managing the company, why he loves the Shore and also explained his views of the Unitary Plan.

Courtney Bennett: What’s the best part about your job?
Aaron Tunstall:
I get to work with a great bunch of people.  The team is hard-working, but there’s always time to have fun and enjoy the job.  One of the highlights has been introducing our younger staff members to the real estate industry and helping them buy their first home, or even a first investment property.

CB: What is your background in business?
AT:
I’ve always enjoyed building and construction, and I started out as a quantity surveyor.  That led to project management and development. The big projects I worked on helped me hone my management skills and I learned about sales, marketing, and investing in property.  Put all that together and managing one of Auckland’s largest property management and sales companies makes perfect sense.   

CB: Why did you get involved in property?
AT:
Property is an investment like no other – you can touch it, you can feel it, and you can leverage your returns using money from the bank.  Add up the numbers and it’s easy to see that it makes sense; it trades easily and the returns are solid.  I’ve never been interested in shares or commodities; there are just too many variables and, most of all, you can’t get the leveraging that you can get with property.

CB: You live in Hauraki Corner, why is Hauraki a great place to live?
AT:
I live at the beach but the big city is only a short drive away. Takapuna is constantly improving and has a great atmosphere with excellent shops and restaurants. You cannot beat it. 

CB: Who are the business people you look up to and why?
AT:
I love to see people grabbing opportunities with both hands.  I met an older lady in Italy a few years ago, who was catching a train to start a new life.  She said to me: “It is better to be a lion for one day than a sheep your entire life.”  Those few words have stuck with me since that day. You have to surround yourself with good people to be successful. I have a few people I see regularly to help me in business and personally.  I also use The Breakthrough Company, run by Mike Ashby and Ryan Castle. They are big thinkers and have been very good for me - I have now introduced them to some of my senior team, which is also proving successful.

CB: What are your thoughts on the proposed Auckland Unitary Plan?
AT:
As part of the proposed Auckland Unitary Plan, Takapuna will be seeing higher-density developments in the future.  I do hear the odd grizzle about this, with people worrying about the effects this will have on the community – and, in particularly, the problems with increased traffic. But I don’t think we should be afraid of increased density.  It’s important to remember that with it also comes positive change.  So long as there are detailed controls in place to ensure the local environment is not compromised, then more people can also enjoy the area. Overall, I think the plan will be great for Auckland and for Takapuna.  Auckland faces a housing shortage, which has led to sky-rocketing house prices.  The proposed Unitary Plan is trying to ensure there is enough land zoned for housing, and it aims to provide a set of rules to ensure that development can occur in the right place and in the right densities. Sure it has its issues, but largely the thinking behind it is great to see.

CB: Favourite house/area you’ve ever lived in and why?
AT:
I really enjoyed growing up at Wainui Beach in Gisborne.  This is part of the reason why I enjoy Takapuna so much, as the beach has always been a big part of my life. 

CB: What do you do in your spare time?
AT:
Anything to do with the water; swimming, surfing, fishing. I play tennis every week and I go for a walk on the beach every morning. Friends and family are important to me, so plenty of time catching up with them.

CB: If I wasn’t in property for a career, I would be…
AT
: …In the water.  Aquaculture always held some interest for me.  Or better yet, a pro surfer.  Unfortunately, I don’t think Kelly Slater has much to worry about…

by Courtney Bennett

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