Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tackling the housing market with Casey Laulala

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

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Neueli Mauafu | Reporter

The Laulala surname is no stranger to the rugby world. Brothers Casey, Nepo and Luteru Laulala have all graced the rugby stage throughout the years with their amazing rugby skills.

But now, the Laulala name’s taking a new route with Casey trying his hand in the housing market as a real estate agent. Although they’re  two vastly different fields and workspaces, Laulala admits they’re not too different at all. 

“It’s all about trusting the process,” he says.

“That’s something we throw around a lot in the rugby world and obviously here as a real estate agent. Trust the process and making sure there is no shortcutting of that process”

After finishing up his career only two years ago, Laulala made the move back to Christchurch to where it all started. With a plan in place and a lot of faith, he decided to take on the realtor role with Harcourts in Papanui Christchurch. 

“Honestly, I didn’t know what I was gonna do. But then real estate was always kind of there as Ray White was our main sponsor for our Canterbury team,” Laulala says.

“So I had a conversation with them and thought you know what, I’m just gonna do it, not knowing whether I was going to like it. And then obviously got my licence and here I am.”

Only in his second year in the job, Laulala understands that relationships and building connections is what makes his business work. 

“This is a big part of my business. And those who are in real estate, the open homes are where you really build that relationship and ask the right questions of what they are looking for. 

“And I think once you know how to build that relationship and that rapport with them it’s just a matter of them making the decision or not.”

Finding and securing a dream home is something Casey understands fully. 

Having made the move to Christchurch in 2002, he had to quickly get to grips with rugby in the Canterbury environment and adapt to it as his new home. 

Casey became a fan favourite for many avid Crusader and Canterbury fans, going on to make his debut for the All Blacks in 2004.

Transitioning into housing from the rugby field was something Laulala found hard to adjust to, but traits from rugby and being in the All Blacks environment was what helped him along the way. 

“One thing that I did get from rugby coming into this job was the mindset” he says. 

Gilbert Enoka who is the mind person of the All Blacks, he always talks about the triangle. which was the mindset, skillset and the structure.

“Obviously I’m working on my skillset which is learning about what goes on in the real estate world, but I think the mindset and having a structure in place will definitely help me move forward in my career.”

Moving forward, Laulala not only hopes to grow professionally but also get his Samoan-Pacific community engaged in housing and property management. 

Having grown up as a child in Samoa, Laulala hopes to give back to his community and to the people who raised him through cultural and spiritual values. The same values that have earned him his blessings through his journey.

Each month, he conducts workshops and seminars for the Pacific community in Christchurch, part of his desire to ‘normalise’ the home-ownership dream.

“What we find in our community, it’s actually having someone guiding them through the process. Which is why I thought it would be perfect for me to come into this space and help our community and our Pacific people, and make them understand and have that face to face with them explaining the process and also why real estate is powerful for our people.

“And then again, you know, you just have to say come with me, let’s go see the mortgage broker. Let’s go see this house. And that’s the bit I really really enjoy. is walking with them in that journey.

“We’re well educated now; we have a lot of information out there. Just hope to see our own people owning their own property and start to empower their kids and it becomes a normal conversation at home.”

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