PHOTO: RE/MAX Capital Legacy 

RE/MAX Capital Legacy made certain nobody would miss its arrival in Wellington this year: a giant billboard on the SH2 Motorway announced the business a week before the launch.

“You can’t miss it,” says Thariq Rifki, Director of RE/MAX Capital Legacy and Director/Project Manager of Rifki Homes Ltd. “It was election time when it went up and we were right alongside the Prime Minister.”

The RE/MAX message reads ‘We are back’, and yes, the iconic RE/MAX balloon is there.

“People certainly noticed, and Ivan began taking calls immediately,” Mr Rifki said.

Ivan Wong Kee is RE/MAX Capital Legacy Director and Sales Manager, with experienced real estate sales associate Julie Wong Kee also on the team.

The business name is both a nod to New Zealand’s capital, Wellington, and to a vision of creating a legacy for people, helping them to wealth created through property.

The Directors’ desire is to change the way real estate is done in Wellington.

“We have two major goals,” said Mr Rifki.

“One is to move away from the traditional selling of established houses into project sales and selling off-the-plan.

“The second is to bring young people into real estate careers though developing an education program where we will train and mentor.”

Mr Rifki expects the huge housing shortage in Wellington to continue.

“That’s why the need for projects and housing creation,” he said

The legacy the Directors build extends to people on their team.

“Our business model is based on future growth. We want to open many offices in Wellington in the next three or four years, possibly 12.

“As our business grows, so will the business of our individual agents. That is the RE/MAX way.”

Mr Rifki, Mr Wong Kee and RE/MAX are an interesting story of connections and taking opportunities.

“I was an IT specialist with Bank of NZ (NAB) for five years. About five years ago, I helped a friend buy their first home. From there, I thought I should buy my first home.

“It needed renovating.

“I enjoyed the process and Rifki Homes Ltd was born, though the company is now more about new builds and developments.”

He went on to buy another investment property, and another … ‘creating wealth through property’ … becoming a millionaire at 26 and now, at age 29, holding a property portfolio worth $10mil plus.

Mr Rifki, who earlier this year left the bank to go full steam ahead with Rifki Homes and RE/MAX, had bought and sold with experienced agent Ivan Wong Kee, and a professional relationship began and strengthened.

“I got to know Don Ha who owns RE/MAX New Zealand through attending his seminars. Ivan had nowhere to grow in his job as a real estate agent with another brand, plus Rifki Homes was so much more geared towards developments, so we looked to RE/MAX, which was missing in Wellington and had huge strengths in projects and developments through Don.

“Even though he is the CEO, he is always approachable and contactable, unlike other companies where the person at the top is hard to reach.

“That is another tremendous benefit, especially when you are establishing the business,” Mr Rifki said.

Approximately 250 attended the RE/MAX Capital Legacy official launch party.