Real Estate Agents: First National Is First in Real Estate

Whether you’re buying, selling or renting, for all your property needs, you know you can rely on First National, the winner of Canstar Blue’s 2022 award for Most Satisfied Customers | Real Estate Agents .

The housing market is a hot topic right now. The last few years saw record-low interest rates and record-high housing prices, as thousands of Kiwis surged into the market. But this year, thanks to rising interest rates and some changes to lending rules and criteria, it’s somewhat cooled.

Total No. Borrowers In March 2020 March 2021 March 2022
All borrower types 22,277 30,914 18,110
First home buyers 2472 3347 2110
Other owner-occupiers 16,444 22,819 13,628
Investors 3361 4748 2318

Last year’s boom has, for now, gone quiet. Which is all the more reason you need an excellent real estate agent. Whereas before just about anything under the hammer was auctioned off for well above RV, the queues of potential buyers fuelled by FOMO have dwindled. More than ever, knowledge of local property markets, expert marketing guidance and great negotiation skills are essential attributes to look for in a real estate agent.

So if you’re looking to buy, sell or rent, which real estate agents deliver the best service, and great value for your money? To find out, Canstar Blue surveyed everyday Kiwis about their customer satisfaction with their real estate agents.

First National: New Zealand’s favourite Real Estate Agent

We asked 1063 Kiwis who had used the services of a real estate agent to purchase, sell or rent a home in the last three years to evaluate their experiences across the following categories:

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Communication & Advice
  • Problem Resolution
  • Value for Money
  • Financial Paperwork
  • Contract Handling
  • Marketing

And coming out on top is First National, the winner of Canstar Blue’s 2022 award for Most Satisfied Customers | Real Estate Agents.

The clear winner, First National earns multiple 5-Star ratings, including the only 5-Star result for Overall Satisfaction. The New Zealand provider earns 5 Stars across all categories bar two, with excellent 4-Star results for Problem Resolution and Marketing.

The result marks back-to-back victories for the realtor, which won last year’s awards, and is the fourth time the agency has won Canstar Blue’s award over the past seven years.

MSC real estate agents wide logo

New Zealand’s favourite real estate agents

Here are New Zealand’s favourite real estate agents, based on our survey results:

  1. First National
  2. Tall Poppy
  3. Property Brokers
  4. LJ Hooker
  5. Eves
  6. Harcourts
  7. Bayleys
  8. Ray White
  9. Professionals
  10. Barfoot & Thompson

While First National is our clear winner, there are plenty of real estate agents rated highly by Kiwis. Seven providers earn a 4-Star Overall Satisfaction score: Tall Poppy, Property Brokers, LJ Hooker, Eves, Harcourts, Bayleys, and Ray White.

Professionals earns 3 Stars for Overall Satisfaction, despite two excellent 5 Star results for Financial Paperwork and Marketing, while Barfoot & Thompson score 3 Stars in all categories measured.

Top providers: real estate agents

Below we have provided an overview of all providers that earned 4 Stars or more for Overall Satisfaction.

first national real estate agents

First National

Established in New Zealand since 1985, First National has become the first stop for tens of thousands of property buyers and sellers throughout the country.

From Kaitaia in the north to Riverton in the south, First National Real Estate has the country covered! Each is independently owned and operated, just like their counterparts in Australia, where First National Real Estate is country’s leading real estate network.

As the largest network of independent real estate agents in Australasia, wherever you’re based, and whatever your real estate requirements, there will be a First National agent near you to provide expert market analysis and resources.

And thanks to First National’s excellent sweep of 4- and 5-Star results, it’s the clear winner of this year’s Most Satisfied Customers | Real Estate Agents award.

Tall poppy logo

Tall Poppy

Tall Poppy may be young, but it’s wasted no time in becoming a Kiwi favourite. Since 2012, Tall Poppy has been providing excellent service at a fair flat rate, so you know exactly how much you’ll be paying. It’s also aiming to be New Zealand’s first carbon-neutral real estate company by 2025.

In this year’s survey, Tall Poppy scores excellent results. It earns two 5-Star results, for Communication & Advice, and Problem Resolution, and 4 Stars for Value for Money, Financial paperwork, Contract Handling and, importantly, Overall Satisfaction. It earns a single 3-Star result for Marketing.

property brokers logo

Property Brokers

The Property Brokers real estate company started with five people in 1986, and now covers the entire country. With a particular focus on provincial New Zealand, Property Brokers prioritises building genuine, strong relationships which are integral to doing business in small town New Zealand.

So it’s not surprising that the Kiwi company scores two 5-Star results for Communication & Advice and Contract Handling. It earns a single 3-Star result for Value for Money, and 4 Stars in all other categories.

lg hooker logo

LJ Hooker

The majority of the LJ Hooker team were schooled, brought up in, or currently reside in Manukau, Mangere, Alfriston, Manurewa, Papatoetoe, Flat Bush, Otara, Weymouth, The Gardens, Papakura, Wattle Downs, Takanini and Franklin areas. And that local knowledge and love of those areas is crucial to LJ Hooker, which specialises in South Auckland real estate.

In this year’s survey, LJ Hooker earns 3 Stars for Financial Paperwork and Marketing, and 4 Stars in all other categories.

Eves real estate agents logo


EVES Started in the Bay of Plenty in 1969, and although plenty of trends have come and gone since it opened its doors 50 years ago, Eves dedication to market-leading real estate hasn’t changed a bit.

EVES now has 14 dedicated offices throughout the North, the Waikato and the Bay of Plenty. It remains wholly New Zealand owned and operated.

In this year’s survey, Eves earns two standout 5-Star results: Value for Money and Contract Handling. It earns a single 3-Star result for Marketing, and 4 Stars in all other categories measured.

Harcourts logo


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.

In this year’s survey, Harcourts earns 4 Stars for Overall Satisfaction and Communication & Advice, and 3 Stars in all other categories.

Bayleys logo


Bayleys is New Zealand’s largest full-service real estate company, and offers expert advice and experience at selling a wide range of properties. From residential to commercial, inner-city apartments to rural farmland.

In this year’s survey, Bayleys earns 4 Stars for Overall Satisfaction and Communication & Advice, and 3 Stars in all other categories.

Ray White logo

Ray White

Ray White is a fourth-generation, family owned and led business from the small Queensland country town of Crows Nest. Since its founding in 1902, it’s grown into an international company, with more than 930 franchised offices across Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Hong Kong.

In this year’s survey, Ray White earns 4 Stars for Overall Satisfaction and Communication & Advice, and 3 Stars in all other categories.

For our full Real Estate Agents award, click here

author andrew broadley

About the author of this page

This report was written by Canstar Content Producer, Andrew Broadley. Andrew is an experienced writer with a wide range of industry experience. Starting out, he cut his teeth working as a writer for print and online magazines, and he has worked in both journalism and editorial roles. His content has covered lifestyle and culture, marketing and, more recently, finance for Canstar.

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