Crosby: Sopo, thanks for sitting down with me today. Can you tell our readers a little about your role?
Sopo: Thanks Crosby, I deal with all our home buyers' sales contracts. When our Home buyer agrees a price with one of our Sales Consultants, that gets placed on a sales sheet. From there I put together the sale and purchase contract. That typically includes plans, interior specifications, colour scheme, information about the development and of course all the legal clauses.
Crosby: So, we don’t sign them up on a contract straight away?
Sopo: No, it’s a no pressure agreement. We put all the details together for their lawyers and they typically have 10 days to sign the agreement, when it then becomes conditional.
Crosby; But if they wanted to they could, like an automatic 10 day ‘think-about’ clause?
Sopo: Absolutely they can pull out. We encourage buyers to be fully informed on our sales contract. We give the lawyers the full copy of all the information and also provide the buyers with the key documentation – although they can have everything if they wish. Sometimes they have some questions. But not many buyers change their minds during that time.
Crosby: Are all sales then unconditional at that time?
Sopo: Some are but others include a clause to sell their existing home first or finance and occasionally other short-term conditions. That depends on the sales consultant negotiations, which I don’t get involved in.
Crosby: So, a busy a time during the ten-day period?
Sopo: Yes, all the information must be put together and questions have to be answered. The sales consultant might also have questions from the buyer. There is a bit of back and forth and I put it all into our database system. If there are conditions, then I monitor those dates quite closely as well – just to make sure everyone is on track. Once our client is signed I provide them with a Health and Safety update, regarding access to their home whilst under construction. That all kickstarts our Customer Service department, Mandy and Meagan’s, involvement through to settlement. The sales consultants keep in touch with our clients as well.
Crosby: And then your interaction on the agreement is at the end?
Sopo: Yes, except I am continuously monitoring construction programmes to ensure that our forecast settlement dates are correct.
Crosby: What! Do you mean construction completion dates move? Nobody told me that!
Sopo: It’s all good, the Project Managers and Council approvals are pretty good but just in case I like to make sure so contracts can be as accurate and realistic as possible.
Crosby: How long have you been making sure our client contracts is a smooth process then?
Sopo: Well it's seven years now, but I was also involved in the accounts department – all the numbers and paying the bills. That was a great experience and nice people to work with over the years, although not too many changes, just a few new faces as we have grown. It’s still a great family orientated team to work with.
Crosby: Talking about family, we are always comparing rugby stories on Monday – sounds like your son is a promising first five?
Sopo: He loves his rugby, in fact lots of sports. And I love netball. I actually worked for Netball North Harbour before Universal. That was also a lot of fun – I sort of did a bit of everything -accounts, reception, running events.
Crosby: Not sure if we are allowed to talk about New Zealand netball are we at the moment? Not the best run in the last few months
Crosby: Ok, moving right along then…
Sopo: You know I have brought two Universal homes?
Crosby: Really? That is becoming a common theme amongst Universal employees. Is one an investment?
Sopo: No, there are always a few sales contracts to staff every year, as staff like the product we are part of. We brought the first home in Millwater when the kids were younger – and the place was just taking off. It took 2 years to get hubby to agree to moving to Millwater. He wanted Hillcrest/Forest Hill/Sunnynook and had heaps of excuses not to move. But eventually I got him there and he loves it. Kids go to the same school – all easy on the bus. Later we upgraded to the bigger home that we are in now.
Crosby: Thanks Sopo, appreciate it. Better get you back to the office – so we don’t keep our clients contracts waiting!