There has been a McDonald Real Estate in Taranaki for longer than anybody can remember.
McDonald Real Estate was founded in 1912 by Michael (Mick) McDonald Senior. Having immigrated from Ireland in 1899, Mick worked several jobs throughout New Zealand before settling on a farm on the outskirts of Stratford. From there he began negotiating livestock and butterfat sales, and eventual land deals. He tells his family that from 1912 he considers himself to be a land agent.
Mick McDonald's journals provide a fascinating insight into the life and spirit of the pioneers of Taranaki. They include records of his dealings in many areas, with some land sales from as low as £10.00 per acre. In the early years Mick becomes a popular local figure by standing outside one of Stratford's Hotels and talking to other settlers. He reportedly carries a notebook and records the names of those looking to sell land in the front, and those wishing to purchase land in the back.
It all started in Stratford
Mick McDonald began operating from an office on Broadway in Stratford in 1918. To this day, the McDonald Real Estate Stratford office is still located at the same site. The company performed well in the early years, and Mick McDonald ran regular sales campaigns in the local papers with the slogan "I make money for you". The entrepreneur also began to offer finance to Taranaki families. But the 1930's depression hit everyone hard, and many were unable to repay their debts, nearly bankrupting the fledgling company.
Mick operated as a one man band until his son, Tom, joined him in 1946. Together they continued as a father and son partnership until Mick's retirement and subsequent death in 1961. After his father's retirement, Tom McDonald continued the business as a sole practitioner for several years until in the late 1960s, he formed a partnership with Mr W.L. (Joe) Witton. Together, they operated McDonald Real Estate, which concentrated on the Stratford market.
The third generation
In 1976, Tom McDonald's son, Peter, then 22 years of age, joined his father in the family business. In 1979, another son, Mike (29), also joined the firm. The father and sons team proved to be a big success for McDonald Real Estate and the blend of experience and youthfulness saw the market share soar. During this time, they were consistently handling 75 - 80% of the entire rural market for Taranaki. With the growth in sales came expansion and the company opened further offices in both Eltham (1981) and Inglewood (1985) - soon becoming the major operator in both areas.
Good old fashioned rural values
The rural sales team was developed and expanded and the theme “McDonald Real Estate Sold Our Farm” became famous throughout the province. This was also the beginnings of the powerful eieio brand. The company built a dominant rural market share, which is still maintained in today’s competitive environment. Mike McDonald retired from the firm in 1999, and Peter’s other brother, John, came on board. Tom remained an active part of the business up until his death in 2001, aged 78. The company continued to grow during this period, especially in residential markets, where the company quickly became a major player.
The company expands and welcomes the fourth generation
The demand for McDonald Real Estate services saw branches open in Waitara (1999), Hawera (2000), Oakura (2002) and Bell Block (2005). In 2005 the company welcomed the 4th generation of the McDonald family, as Peter’s son Daniel (22) joined the firm. Daniel started in residential sales but now holds the position of Managing Director. The company marked its complete coverage of the Taranaki region by opening offices in New Plymouth (2008) and Opunake (2016).
The company website eieio.co.nz has become one of New Zealand’s most recognised real estate domains, and the brand has taken on an identity of its own. It is at the forefront of all of the company’s marketing and the website itself has been praised for its ease of use and innovative promotional tools.
2012 marked 100 years of business for McDonald Real Estate. It was a great time to reflect on the relationships made and maintained over the previous century, but it was also a time to be excited about the future of the company, as it goes from strength to strength.
Since the turn of the century, McDonald Real Estate has successfully introduced Rental Property Management into its operations, and is now the largest Property Management provider in Taranaki. The company also proudly boasts a specialist Commercial & Industrial Sales and Leasing department, and is fast becoming the dominant performer in those areas.
The McDonald Real Estate operation now totally services Taranaki with offices in Stratford, New Plymouth, Oakura, Waitara, Inglewood, Eltham, Opunake and Hawera. The company also has a strong presence in all of the smaller Taranaki towns, such as Okato, Manaia, Urenui, Waverley and Patea. Today, Peter and Daniel are proudly represented by a staff of more than 50 local people, offering services in Residential, Rural, Rental and Commercial real estate.
Michael McDonald Senior
The original founder of McDonald Real Estate in 1912, Michael McDonald worked originally from his home until 1918 when he established his Stratford office. He remained involved in the business up until his retirement in the late 1950s and he died in 1961, aged 82. The photo on the left shows Michael McDonald Senior shortly before his death in 1961.
Tom joined his father, Michael, in the late 1940's and continued to be fully involved in all aspects of the company until his death in April 2001. At the age of 78, he was among the oldest and most respected members of the Real Estate Institute and was awarded his fellowship in 1965. Among Tom's other interests were his racehorses and his pedigree Hereford stud. Tom enjoyed great success with his horse, "All In Fun". He was also a president of the New Zealand Hereford Association and achieved considerable success with his Hereford cattle - both in the sales ring and the show ring. Tom was very much the family man and his influence can be strongly felt in all dealings with McDonald Real Estate.
In 1976, at just 22, I joined the business with my father Tom, and started a career that I look back on with great pride and no regrets. The company has since grown from a two person partnership, to a globally recognised brand, proudly represented by more than 50 staff in 8 offices across Taranaki. I am based in our Stratford Branch and share an office with my wife, Min. As a third generation owner, my main goal is to ensure the company remains among the top performers in the industry and that it continues to grow and prosper for future generations. I have held many industry and advisory roles, including being President of the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand, of which I am a Life Member. Perhaps the greatest thrill for me was celebrating our company centenary in 2012 with so many of the fantastic Taranaki people who have supported our family over the years. Another highlight was being made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2014 for services to real estate and the community.
I'm the Systems Manager for McDonald Real Estate Ltd. Working is a pleasure when you're passionate about what you do. After working as a dairy farmer for 30 years, I decided to follow in the footsteps of my grandfather, father and brothers before me and join McDonald Real Estate as an agent in 1999. Selling farms and rural properties along the coastal area from New Plymouth to Opunake, until late 2013. With the expansion of the company I have stopped selling properties and taken on the role of Systems Manager where I keep the information, internet and technology systems, that we use, running smoothly.
I am the fourth generation of my family to work for McDonald Real Estate, an achievement we are very proud of. I was born and raised in Taranaki and I love the area and its people. I began in real estate in 2005 and from an early stage it was clear to me that service is the number one requirement in building a healthy relationship with my clients. This commitment continues in my managerial duties as we strive to ensure that the McDonald Real Estate family continues to grow and prosper for the next 100 years. I am also an associate of the real estate institute which assures my clients receive a professional and ethical service.
Our Mission Statement
"To provide a Real Estate Service that is second to none."
McDonald Real Estate Ltd. will conduct business in a manner that will display professionalism, integrity and honesty.
All customers will enjoy the experience of using our services and will feel confident in referring us to friends and family.