Being raised as the youngest of five boys, growing up happens quickly.I was fortunate to be educated at one of the better schools in Sydney. Part of that experience was as a boarder, which exposed me to a broader range of experiences as a teenager than what I would otherwise have experienced as a day pupil.I left school a little bit early, according to the rulebook.While I did okay at school, the discipline of learning didn’t come naturally to me. I tended to enjoy what school had to offer, rather than focus on achieving actual results.
In 1982, at the age of 17, I joined the real estate industry as a cadet on the Central Coast of New South Wales. This was a four year experience during which I learnt the industry from the basics up, and also achieved my real estate license.In 1986, I moved to the far north coast of New South Wales and became involved with my father in his business, which expanded into a partnership in a major national franchise real estate business.As I began to understand the real estate industry it felt natural for me to own a business in my own right subsequently I did this when my business partner and I bought two offices and started our own business.Outside of my working day I continued to enjoy a high level of sporting activity and also began to learn the skill of auctioneering.
In 1990, I was offered an opportunity with the real estate group we were with to take up a role in their Sydney-based management team. Perhaps I read more into what was being offered, because the outcome was that no job existed. Now I was in Sydney without a job! From that point, I made a decision to approach a number of major real estate organisations to see if there were any management positions available. One company’s manager who showed a particular interest commented that he would get back to me after ten days because he had a board meeting and wanted to confirm that a position was available.This was quite a long ten days as you would expect, but it was even longer when the eleventh and twelfth days rolled around and I had not heard back. It seemed that I had made a poor decision in moving to Sydney! I called the company, and the manager replied, “Yes, we have a position, and I am sorry that I didn’t call you when promised”. That was almost 20 years ago, and I learnt my first business lesson: Never promise then don’t deliver!
Thus I joined the Ray White Group in Sydney as a junior auctioneer. I was consistently trained and given opportunities to learn through a range of business experiences that I believe I would never have had otherwise.
A couple of years later, in 1994, the Ray White Group further expanded its business into Western Australia and New Zealand. The basis of this expansion was an inherited group that needed to be rebranded and changed culturally to a degree. I spent 2 years in Western Australia offering assistance in the changeover of two companies to Ray White. Following that, I moved to Auckland, New Zealand, with Ray White in 1996 to become involved with the changeover of the New Zealand component of the business as it stood then. This was probably the most challenging position that I had held. I was naïve about the difference between the countries, and the fact that the business environment in New Zealand was not necessarily friendly to outside influences. At that particular time there were many companies beginning to set up businesses that were taking a more global approach so, in a retail and service sense, New Zealand was being exposed to different business models than it was used to because of its size.
During the changeover period in 1998, I was offered the opportunity to lead the company. At that time we were just another real estate agency and probably ranked somewhere in the middle in regard to market share. During the past 10 years of my leadership, I am proud that our group has made significant gains that make recognizable as one of the leaders in the real estate and finance field.
I have recently taken over the running of our finance business, The Loan Market. This will integrate well with our agency business, despite the economic downturn we face at present. I consider it a time in which we all need to be doing a little bit more for potentially a little less reward.
Over the years, I have enjoyed contributing to the game of rugby league; I played for several years and have also enjoyed an extended relationship with the game through refereeing. I see this as a good personal leveler for me that enables me to give back to the sport that I enjoy.
Late last year, Taryn and I became proud parents. Being a father has already given me many life changing moments.
As you will see through the website, the basis of many of my achievements has been an annual letter that I write to myself. The book Deliver is part of one of those promises, and I have had great enjoyment in bringing it together. I hope that it becomes something that I can continue to build on.
Carey Smith at a Glance
- Chief Executive of Ray White New Zealand. Ray White New Zealand has more than 125 offices nationwide, transacting approximately $5 billion worth of property sales per annum.
- Chief Executive of The Loan Market New Zealand. The Loan Market New Zealand has 38 brokers facilitating $600 million in loans per annum.
- Entered the Real Estate Industry at the age of 17 and joined Ray White Group in Australia in 1990 as an Auctioneer and Development Associate
- Assisted in the changeover and conversion of United Realty to Ray White Zealand, which I have led for the past 10 years
- Currently involved in the international expansion of Ray White
- Inaugural recipient of the Chairman’s Cup 1996 and White Family Trophy 2005.
Author of the book Deliver.
Ex-Rugby League player and current referee.
- Proud, family oriented Father