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Q&A with Sarah McBride & Sarena Glass of Sotheby’s

Sarah McBride & Sarena Glass of Sotheby’s International Real Estate are a high-profile partnership working in the competitive Queenstown property industry. QT Magazine spoke to them about the role they have created.

How long have you both been working in real estate?

We are among the most longstanding employees of Sotheby’s in Queenstown going back to the Browns Real Estate days which was a forerunner to Sotheby’s. As a team we established and managed the Sotheby’s Luxury Rental Division and moved into real estate sales together four years ago.

Are there advantages to working as a team?

There are definite advantages and we provide a collective approach to sales where we both bring different skills to the table. It also gives us flexibility to balance family and work life as well as being involved in the community and getting out and enjoying the region and the activities which we both love.

How do you build a client relationship to meet their needs?

We like to be very clear with clients on setting expectations and being honest and open in our communication is key. It is important that vendors know we are working for them and always have their best interests at heart.

How did the Covid-19 lockdown last year affect you?

Our business flourished as a result of the lockdown which initially was unexpected. 

Lockdown gave people an opportunity to take time out and re-evaluate their lives and particularly to decide on where they want to live and work in the future. Queenstown is an obvious choice for those seeking a special lifestyle.

Since lockdown have you noticed a significant increase in offshore buyers’ enquiries?

There certainly is interest from offshore but there are of course restrictions on ownership in New Zealand apart from Australians and Singaporean nationalities. However there has been strong interest from the ex-pat community looking to return home.  

What type of properties are you mostly selling?

The majority of properties we sell tend to be related to lifestyle decisions – people planning retirement, families looking for holiday homes, locals seeking to upgrade their property or people relocating to the district for work. We do market some investment properties as well.

Are you expecting a quieter market in the near future?

No. New Zealand is perceived as one of the countries that will continue to be a safe environment to live in with its seclusion being an advantage in uncertain times therefore we don’t expect there to be a major change to the current situation.

With the borders open and Aussies starting to travel again we expect to see more interest from the Australian market going forward. 

What do you enjoy most about real estate? 

The people we work with and meet. We enjoy interacting with both vendors and buyers and we form ongoing relationships with many of our clients. We both love a challenge and a competitive sales environment suits our personalities.