Best-Rated Real Estate Agents

Compare Real Estate Agents in New Zealand at Canstar Blue. Tall Poppy, Eves, First National, Property Brokers, LJ Hooker, Barfoot & Thompson, Professionals, Bayleys, Ray White and Harcourts were compared on Overall Satisfaction, Communication & Advice, Contract Handling, Problem Resolution and Financial Paperwork.

See our Ratings Methodology.

Most Satisfied Customers | Tall Poppy

Kiwi homeowners are sold on Tall Poppy, rating it No.1 for customer satisfaction.

 

How we rate real estate agents

Our review compares real estate agents on customer satisfaction, so you can discover what other Kiwis think about our compared real estate agents before you make your own choice. Think of it like asking hundreds of your closest friends which real estate companies they think deliver the best value and service!


Canstar Blue surveyed 1666 Kiwis who had used the services of a real estate agent to purchase, sell or rent a home in the past three years for their feedback on the real estate agent they used.

  • The outcomes reported in these ratings are measured via accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics.

Respondents rate their satisfaction with their real estate agents from zero to ten, where zero is extremely dissatisfied and ten is extremely satisfied. Brand satisfaction was rated by respondents on the following criteria:

  • Overall satisfaction: measures consumer satisfaction with a real estate agent as an individual score NOT a combined total of all criteria.
  • Communication and Advice: the real estate agent offers informed advice and provides clear communication at every step of the home rental, sale or purchase process.
  • Contract Handling: the process of drawing up and explaining the finer details of the contract are handled professionally by the real estate agent.
  • Problem Resolution: any problems that occur during the real estate transaction are dealt with promptly by the agent and resolved to the agreement of all parties.
  • Financial Paperwork: the agent handles all the paperwork related to the real estate transaction accurately and professionally.

The winning real estate brand is the one that receives the highest Overall Satisfaction rating once all the scores from the Overall Satisfaction criteria are combined and averaged.

  • Overall Satisfaction is asked as a specific question and represents an individual measure, not a combined total of all criteria.
  • When we cannot determine a clear winner from the criteria for the Overall Satisfaction rating, we will then look at the other criteria measured in the rating.
    • The brand with the highest number of five-star ratings within the supporting criteria will become the five-star recipient in overall satisfaction, and thus win the award. If a clear leader still cannot be determined from the supporting criteria, joint winners will be declared.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included, so not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The brands rated in this survey are listed below in order of best overall satisfaction.

  • Tall Poppy
  • Eves
  • First National
  • Property Brokers
  • LJ Hooker
  • Barfoot & Thompson
  • Professionals
  • Bayleys
  • Ray White
  • Harcourts


Find more information on our Most Satisfied Customer methodology.

Tall Poppy

Ratings Results

For the second time in three years, Tall Poppy has won Canstar Blue’s top Real Estate Award. And this year, the real estate agency has won in emphatic style, earning top 5-Star ratings from its customers across every prize category, from Overall Satisfaction through to Financial Paperwork.

Editor’s Notes

Tall Poppy was founded just over a decade ago, in 2012. It has offices in Hamilton, the Bay of Plenty, Palmerston North and around Wellington in the North Island, and in Christchurch in the South Island. However its digital reach and sales and marketing team spans the entire country.

A modern agency, it has a tech-savvy approach, that enables it to offer market-leading prices. It charges a flat rate for selling a home, based on its value, and its basic marketing package is included in the price. For details on how much it would cost to sell your home with Tall Poppy, check out the handy fee calculator on the Tall Poppy website.

Tall Poppy also aims to be New Zealand’s first carbon-neutral real estate company by 2025. To that aim, its national team of home photographers all drive electric vehicles.


Eves

Ratings Results

Second on this year’s award ratings, Eves achieves a great mix of 4- and top 5-Star ratings. It achieves its best ratings for Problem Resolution and Financial Paperwork, and a 4-Star rating for Overall Satisfaction.

Editor’s Notes

EVES was founded in the Bay of Plenty in 1969, and now has 14 dedicated offices throughout the north, the Waikato and the Bay of Plenty. It remains wholly New Zealand owned and operated.

For more details, check out the Eves website.


First National

Ratings Results

Although First National places third on this year’s award table, it achieves a great set of results, bagging three top 5-Star ratings, for Contract Handling, Problem Resolution and Financial Paperwork. Across all other categories, including Overall Satisfaction, it earns 4-Star ratings from its customers.

Editor’s Notes

Established here in 1985, First National has independently owned and operated franchises throughout the country, from Kaitaia in the north to Riverton in the south.

This year’s strong placing for First National follows on from its back-to-back wins in 2021 and 2022. For more details on First National’s services, check out the First National website.


Property Brokers

Ratings Results

Property Brokers achieves a strong set of award ratings from its customers, earning 4 Stars in all but one category, a 3-Star rating for Problem Resolution.

Editor’s Notes

Property Brokers is a Kiwi-owned family business that was founded in 1986. From just five original staff members, it now has over 85 branches across the country, employing more than 850 people.

Property Brokers has a provincial focus, and prioritises building the kind of strong relationships that are integral to doing business in small-town New Zealand. For more details, check out the Property Brokers website.


lg hooker logo

LJ Hooker

Ratings Results

One of the country’s most recognisable real estate brands, LJ Hooker achieves a strong set of marks in this year’s award ratings: 4 Stars in every category apart from Financial Paperwork, for which it earns a 3-Star rating.

Editor’s Notes

LJ Hooker is one of Australia’s largest real estate companies. Here in NZ, it has offices nationwide, all staffed by experts in their local markets. For more details about buying, selling, renting or investing with LJ Hooker, check out the company website.


Barfoot & Thompson

Ratings Results

Earning a great 4-Star rating for Overall Satisfaction, Barfoot & Thompson earns a further 4-Star rating for Communication & Advice. Across the other categories rated, it earns 3 Stars from consumers.

Editor’s Notes

Barfoot & Thompson is New Zealand’s largest privately owned real estate agency, and this year it is celebrating its centenary. It has more than 95 branches throughout Auckland and Northland, over 1800 sales staff and over 17,000 residential rental properties under management.

For more details, check out the Barfoot & Thompson website.


Professionals

Ratings Results

Professionals is one of only four real estate companies in our research to earn a top 5-Star rating, which it achieves for Financial Paperwork. It earns two 4-Star ratings, including for Overall Satisfaction, plus two 3-Star ratings.

Editor’s Notes

Founded in Australia, the Professionals brand was established in New Zealand over 40 years ago. It now has a network of independently owned real estate businesses across the country, staffed by property experts with local knowledge.

More information on buying, selling, investing or renting with the Professionals can be found on the company’s website.


Bayleys

Ratings Results

Rounding out our list of 4-Star Overall Satisfaction ratings winners, Bayleys scores 3-Star ratings across all other categories on our awards table.

Editor’s Notes

Bayleys is New Zealand’s largest full-service real estate company. Drawing on 50 years of experience, it offers expert advice across all property sectors, including residential, commercial, rural and property services. For more information, refer to the Bayleys website.


Ray White

Ray White

Ratings Results

Ray White scores a set of 3-Star ratings across all categories. While not a top rating, 3 Stars is not a poor result, and is still indicative of solid consumer satisfaction.

Editor’s Notes

Ray White is a fourth-generation, family owned and led business. Founded in Australia in 1902, it is now an international company, boasting over 930 franchised offices across Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Hong Kong. Here in NZ it has offices across the country and is responsible for around 16% of all property sales. Click here to check out the Ray White website.


Harcourts

Ratings Results

Rounding out our awards ratings for 2023, Harcourts, like Ray White, scores 3 Stars across all ratings.

Editor’s Notes

You’d be hard pressed to find a team more experienced than Harcourts, who have been selling Kiwi homes since 1888. As New Zealand’s largest real estate group, it offers a full suite of real estate services, from helping you to buy and sell, to managing investment properties and more. For more details, check out the Harcourts website.


 

Other real estate agents

Not all real estate agents in the market qualify for our ratings (based on minimum survey sample size), but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth considering. Here are more real estate agents to check out before making a purchase decision.

  • Lodge
  • Mike Pero
  • RE/MAX
  • Tremains

Lodge

First opening in 1969, and with over 50 years of experience, Lodge Real Estate prides itself on being Hamilton’s leading real estate agency. Their business philosophy is to be number one through excellence. And it looks like it’s working. With eight offices through the city, Lodge Real Estate are able to satisfy every Hamiltonian’s real estate needs.


Mike Pero

Mike Pero real estate first opened in 1991 and now has agents nationwide, dedicated to helping Kiwis buy, sell and rent property. Their in-house marketing team uses a range of mediums to get your property noticed, including TV and digital marketing.

Their sister company, Mike Pero Mortgages helps ensure that buying a home is straightforward and hassle-free.


RE/MAX

Short for Real Estate Maximums, RE/MAX is an American international real estate company that was founded in 1973.

Boasting over 500 employees, RE/MAX’s franchise system is internationally renowned for its accessibility and trustworthiness.


Tremains

Tremains has its roots deep in New Zealand history. The real estate company was founded in Hawkes Bay by former All Black legend Kel Tremain, in 1970. Since then, it has expanded across Taupo, Rotorua, Tauranga and the Wairarapa, and is still a family business.

Choosing the Best Real Estate Agent

Wherever you live in New Zealand, there’s usually never a shortage of real estate agents ready to sell your home, or sell you a home, or rent you one!

But what do most people look for in a realtor? According to Canstar Blue’s latest research, local knowledge is key. Of the 1588 Kiwis in our survey, 39% say their choice of real estate agent hinges upon the realtor’s local expertise.

Equally, 37% say they look for a real estate agent to have a great reputation, and great references from previous clients. Just 18% are most influence by price.

And when it comes to what impresses people the most about their experiences buying and selling property through a realtor, communication is key. Over a third of respondents (37%) in our survey cite clear Communication & Advice as the biggest driver of their satisfaction, while just under a third (32%) say Contract Handling for a smooth transaction is most important for them.

Here’s the full rundown of what the consumers in our survey say are the main things they consider when rating their real estate agents:

  • Communication & Advice: 37%
  • Contract Handling: 32%
  • Problem Resolution: 28%
  • Financial Paperwork: 3%

What do real estate agents do?

While real estate agents are basically a bridge between potential home buyers and sellers, or landlords and their tenants, there’s plenty that goes on behind the scenes.

In addition to their housing market knowledge, they can also give you specific information on your local area, including demographics, average house prices, public transport options, schools and even local council regulations, which can be useful if you’re moving to a new area. And if you’re not comfortable with negotiating, some real estate agents can play hard ball on your behalf.

Real estate agents can also be classified into speciality fields. These include buyers’ agents, if you’re looking to buy a property and need someone to evaluate, negotiate and even attend buying auctions for you. Or a property manager, if you want to become a landlord and need help with screening new tenants and dealing with repairs and inspections.

While most real estate businesses will have a number of agents on hand to help you with whatever property query you have, it doesn’t hurt to look into what type of agent is best suited for your needs, and the assistance they’ll be able to provide.

Real estate agents’ fees

There can be a lot of costs involved when selling your home. Expenses you will need to consider include:

  • Administration fee – expect to pay approximately $500.
  • Agent’s commission or fee – Obviously, these vary between agencies, but in broad terms you can expect to pay between 2.95% – 4% on the first $400,000 of your sale price and around 2% on anything over that.
  • Marketing costs – these are usually incurred on top of the commission fee and cover the cost of advertising in local property magazines, newspapers and online, as well as any bespoke property literature. Again, there is a huge variance in costs here, as it really does depend on what the vendor wants and how much additional cash they want to spend. Have a clear plan of what you want to spend before you sign any agreements. Also have a clear understanding of how many adverts you can expect, their size and when and where they will be placed.
  • Auctioneers costs – you can expect to pay around $500 for the services of a qualified auctioneer, regardless of whether your property sells or not. 

Real estate agents’ services

No matter which agent you engage, in return for the fees and charges, you should expect:

  • Clear advice on what is involved in selling your property, including outlining your legal obligations.
  • An outline of current market conditions and recent selling prices of comparable properties in your area.
  • To be given copies of the Agency Agreement Guide and the Sale and Purchase Agreement Guide.
  • Arranging and managing the advertising of your property.
  • To be provided with a pool of potential buyers viewing your property.
  • Your agent to act as a contact point for potential buyers and other agents, answering queries and arranging viewings (both scheduled open homes and private appointments).

The most important thing is to do your research before you sign with an agent and, where possible, to negotiate. All agreements should be included in your agency agreement (which both you and the agent sign) but make sure you receive and read a copy of the agency agreement guide before you make any decisions.

Every real estate agent needs to be registered and must adhere to a code of conduct. In addition, their licence needs to be renewed with the Real Estate Agents Authority each year. 

About the editor of this page

This report was written by Canstar’s Editor, Bruce Pitchers. Bruce has three decades’ experience as a journalist and has worked for major media companies in the UK and Australasia, including ACP, Bauer Media Group, Fairfax, Pacific Magazines, News Corp and TVNZ. Prior to Canstar, he worked as a freelancer, including for The Australian Financial Review, the NZ Financial Markets Authority, and for real estate companies on both sides of the Tasman.

Frequently Asked Questions

Key statistics

Was happy with the real estate agent they dealt with: 55%

As a renter, think real estate agents provide good value: 54%

As a seller, think real estate agents provide good value: 48%

Think they pay too much rent for what they receive in return: 40%

Trust real estate agent’s expert advice: 38%

Bought a house outside preferred area because it was cheaper: 27%

Think they receive better service from a smaller real estate agency: 24%

 

Canstar Blue surveyed 7604 New Zealand consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from respondents who had used the services of a real estate agent to purchase, sell or rent a home in the past three years. In this case, 1588 New Zealanders.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criterion.

The past winners from Canstar Blue’s Real Estate Agents ratings:

  • 2022: First National
  • 2021: First National & Tall Poppy
  • 2019: Professionals
  • 2018: First National
  • 2017: LJ Hooker
  • 2016: Bayleys
  • 2015: First National

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