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SPOTLIGHT ON MAREE & LEON VAN DE WATER, NORTHWEST FRANCHISE OWNERS FOR SENTINEL HOMES
We’re all about the people here at Sentinel Homes, and our staff are an integral part of that philosophy. To give you an insight into our awesome team, we’re profiling our people up and down the country. This month, the spotlight is on Maree van de Water, our NorthWest franchise owner and Managing Director.
Building for her clients – and something of her own
Maree’s big background in the corporate world has made her a different sort of franchise owner – she’s only the second female managing director of a Sentinel Homes franchise in New Zealand; and she’s not a builder! She instead brings incredible experience in property development, sales and marketing.
After leaving corporate, Maree spent eight years as a new property specialist. During that time, she used her sales and marketing knowledge to really provide value to her clients, quickly becoming one of the top consultants and writing over $225million in sales. Her main goal? To ensure her clients got a well-built home for great value – and she found that in Sentinel Homes. So much so, she has been part of building over 200 homes with them. Maree chose Sentinel over and over again above a vast array of other options simply on client satisfaction and their excellent outcomes. That belief in the brand and the company was a key driver that led her to wanting to own a franchise.
Sentinel and Maree – investing in people
The more homes she built with Sentinel, the more Maree found herself aligned with Sentinel’s philosophy; its family focus, its open communication and total commitment to finishing every home.
“That’s what I love about Sentinel Homes,” she says. “It’s not just a transaction of ‘cool, next, hope you have a good life’ no – we’re investing in these people, and we’re with them for the entire build process. We get to help someone achieve something very personal and be part of their journey. That’s a very rewarding thing to do.”
Meanwhile, Maree’s husband Leon found his eye was wandering from his corporate career over to Maree’s industry, where his wife was enjoying unprecedented success and work satisfaction. When his company restructured, he took redundancy and ended up working with Sentinel Warkworth/Matakana. A year later, the couple started talking about buying in.
“We bought the NorthWest franchise, which was already doing tens of millions a year. So, I went from never owning a business to owning a huge one!” Maree laughs.
What drives this born-and-bred Aucklander is a passion for creating legacies – for her clients, her staff, her family and for herself. Making a difference and adding value is hugely important to Maree.
Customer service, strong partnerships
As a salesperson focused on client service, Maree believes excellent client communication is key.
“It’s about building strong partnerships rather than working as an island. That means working with people who you might think are competitors, to deliver better outcomes to the customer. There’s strength in a quality partnership.”
Even though she holds the managing director role now, Maree isn’t hiding away in her corner office. She’s rigged her job so she’s still where she’s best suited – on the ground, working with families to create their ideal homes.
“Being behind a desk, in an office removed from the frontline – that’s just not me – my strengths are being out there working with people, and making sure they’re getting the best possible experience and outcome.”
Thinking about building? If you’d like to work with people who will be as passionate and committed to your project as you are, contact Sentinel Homes NorthWest today.
0800 456 321
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