From tour guide to property valuation
Meet Andrea Christie – avid adventurer, property expert, and chardonnay aficionado.
Her career has been an interesting one, as you’re about to discover in this interview. From taking backpackers on tours of New Zealand during her 20s, to her current role as senior consultant in our Napier office in her 30s, she’s always up for an adventure in the great outdoors.
It’s a good thing, then, that her job takes her out to so many exciting places…
First of all, where are you from?
I’m an Australian-born Kiwi living in the sunny Hawke’s Bay, but I actually grew up in Australia, Central Otago and Southland.
I spent most of my childhood on stations and farms, both in Australia and New Zealand, before boarding at Southland Girls High School and eventually going to university in Otago and in Lincoln, graduating in 2010.
So how’d you end up in the beautiful Hawke’s Bay, then?
I enjoyed my 20s working in Wanaka, traveling and working as a driver/tour guide for a backpacker company. In mid-2016, after five years of driving laps around our beautiful country, I started working for QV in Dunedin.
Unfortunately, the cooler climate was too cool, so I moved north two years later to Napier. I’m now the senior consultant in Hawke’s Bay with a small but top-quality team. I tend to be rurally focused, on the rating side with the goal of becoming registered this year.
Nice one. How are you enjoying the change of scenery?
I adore the south and its southern charm, but I’m relishing the change and really enjoying myself in Hawke’s Bay. It’s such a beaut part of NZ – hot, sunny, with the freshest summer fruits you can find, and the wine… oh, the wine! I love a good buttery chardonnay, so I may never leave the Hawke’s Bay purely because of how good the chardonnay selection is here.
What exactly does your job entail?
My job entails a lot of juggling. I’m predominantly focused on the rating side of QV, working with four councils and a regional council within Hawke’s Bay. I also assisted on the rural side with the three Wairarapa rating revaluations last year.
But keeping our wonderful council clients and team happy is my biggest focus.
What’s been your favourite part about your role?
Some of the locations and places we get to go to. One of the two most memorable properties was a luxury lodge near the Lindis Pass, in the Ahuriri Valley. It was spectacular! The highest quality materials I’ve ever seen in a build, and what has to be one of the best views in the country. It was voted best hotel at the World Architectural Festival in 2019, and took almost 10 years to build. Google ‘Lindis Lodge’ to check it out.
The second location I was fortunate enough to visit was Rocket Lab’s launch site out on the Mahia Peninsula. Then I was lucky enough to be invited out to a rocket launch a few weeks later by the site controller. Unfortunately, it was their 13th launch – the rocket was lost just 45 seconds into the mission, after what had been a text-book launch. Without a doubt, that was a highlight of 2020 for me and an experience that I will never forget.
Can you share any insights about what’s been happening in your local market?
It has sky-rocketed! The residential market has bolted since spring last year, and with the one-in-250 year storm we had in November 2020, the rental market has gone mad too; it’s near impossible at the moment to find anywhere to rent, with a standard three-bed, one-bath bungalow advertised from $550-$600/wk.
Rurally, it’s steady with well-located properties with a mix of land contours selling well. Quality lifestyle and horticultural blocks – especially those with irrigation consents – are in hot demand.
At QV, we’re big proponents of work-life balance… what do you like to do in your time off?
I’m a big fan of the outdoors and getting out and about, spending time with friends and family. New Zealand is so diverse and different; if I could be permanently travelling about, taking work with me, I would!
I like to travel out of the Hawke’s Bay at least once a month – typically heading to the Far North to visit friends and eat scallops, or south to Queenstown, to sample Central Otago Reds, walk in our UNESCO World Heritage areas and ride horses around Glenorchy.
Last but not least, what advice would you offer young people looking to get into the biz?
Set your goals, make a plan, then work hard towards it and take every learning opportunity you can. Ask questions, too; it may sound simple, but understanding the purpose and background of what you’re doing and why is so so important.
Also don’t be too proud to seek advice – you don’t know what you don’t know.
Want to join the team? Check out QV’s latest job opportunities.