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Changing of the guard at long-standing Coromandel real estate agency 

Tags: Residential

Coromandel real estate and community stalwart Mary Walker is stepping down as owner of the area’s two Bayleys Real Estate branches after running the company for 25-years.


Pictured left to right: Karl Davis, Mary Walker, Chris Bayley, Shaun Paterson.

Walker – well known for not only her highly-successful real estate business across the Coromandel Peninsula, but also her deep-rooted community involvement – is handing over the reins to Bayley family member Chris Bayley and real estate professional Shaun Paterson, who both have strong connections with the area.

The third shareholder on the new venture is existing Bayleys Coromandel shareholder Karl Davis – a long-time member of the Hauraki North Rugby Club, and top Hauraki Plains rural real estate salesperson with a home in Pauanui.

Shaun Paterson spent his formative years in Whitianga and has returned home to live in the area with his wife and their young baby, after 11-years working in the corporate real estate sector in London. He previously spent five years working for Bayleys in Auckland. The new shareholding continues a strong Paterson family link with the business – with Shaun’s father Garry spending his real estate career working under Mary Walker.

Under Mary Walker’s watch, Bayleys Whitianga first began trading in Albert Street, before moving to new premises – currently being refurbished and modernised to accommodate more staff – in The Esplanade some 20-years ago. Growing the real estate business on the other side of the peninsula, Bayleys Thames opened 10 years ago.

Following the official Coromandel branch ownership transition in May, Mary Walker said she intends to spend more time travelling around New Zealand with her husband Ross in their campervan, as well as spending more time with her daughter at their co-owned horse breeding and training stables in the Waikato.

During her time in Whitianga, Mary and Ross Walker have been staunch personal supporters of both the Coastguard body, and the Mercury Bay Art Escape organisation - promoting the works of local painters, sculptures, potters, photographers, weavers, woodworkers, jewellery makers, and musicians.

Bayleys Whitianga and sister operation Bayleys Thames have also been supporters and sponsors of such other philanthropic activities as surf lifesaving, a lunch-in-schools charity, guide dogs for the blind, and the Make-A-Wish foundation.

“It’s been a fantastic time running Bayleys in Whitianga and Thames, but the past two years under Covid have really brought home to Ross and I, the importance of family – so we’re going to enjoy life a bit more with the kids and see more of the country. Hopefully, international travel will get easier too so we can see a bit more of the world as well,” said Mary.

“We’ll still be living in Whitianga, and Ross and I will still be actively involved with Coastguard and Art Escape – so you’ll still see us out there fishing or wandering around the local arts scene, on the golf course, and of course sipping the occasional glass of wine.”

Incoming Bayleys Whitianga and Thames co-owner Chris Bayley – son of company founder Graham Bayley – said he was excited about taking over from Mary Walker in what has become one of the agency’s most successful provincial locations.

Chris Bayley has been working in the family business since the 1980s – establishing the company’s South Auckland office, selling real estate, and managing various commercial property teams at the company’s head office.

“Mary has done an outstanding job building and cementing the Bayleys brand throughout the Coromandel,” said Chris Bayley, who has owned a holiday home in Cook’s Beach for some 25-years and is a member of the local fishing club.

“For years I’ve been reading about Aucklanders getting out of the ‘big smoke’ to a much more rewarding quality of life in the regions, and the past couple of years under Covid restrictions have certainly driven home that message to me personally… hence the move to the Coromandel.

Shaun Paterson said that while there may be new personnel ‘behind the scenes’ from a leadership perspective, there would still be the same professional Bayleys salespeople and administration team in the offices – “so it’s business as usual in what is a seamless transition.”

“Combined, Karl, Chris, and I already have deep-rooted networks across the Coromandel, and a passion for the local area. We are excited about working with clients – both existing and new – as the area continues to grow and evolve in the years ahead,” said Shaun Paterson.

Bayleys Whitianga and Bayleys Thames are part of Bayleys Real Estate – New Zealand’s largest full-service real estate agency with a network of 90 offices nationwide, employing more than 2,000 sales and support staff nationally.

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