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About Us

Our Office and What We Believe In...


Harcourts Accommodation Centre is essentially a successful family business.

Patricia Bowden and Nigel Bowden – mother and son for those who are guessing – are the two shareholders of the company, and we work actively in it on every aspect of the business.

We hold a Harcourts franchise, which means that we are part of the Harcourts Group, and as the winner of the Top Harcourts Property Management office in New Zealand every year since the award was created 11 years ago, we enjoy the benefits of a phenomenally successful real estate brand, while still being able to implement our own policies and respond quickly to changes in the market.

For years Harcourts has been the most preferred brand for buying and selling real estate in Christchurch - but we don’t sell property from our office. From Day One all of our resources have been focused on building a residential property management business that we are proud of.

A small office on the Carlton Corner opened in 1990 without any customers. Today, Patricia, Nigel and their team occupy offices more than 10 times the size on the same corner and actively look after more than 1200 rental properties, and have negotiated more than 1500 tenancies in the last year alone.

As professionals in our industry, we cannot be “yes - men” who just tell you what you want to hear. We have to be brave enough, and confident enough in our work, that we can tell you like it is.

What is Our Advice Based On?

We believe Property Owners and Tenants value someone prepared to do what is right, rather than what is easy. While we have proven and trusted systems in place; rigorous audit procedures; and fast and reliable information management; it is the people who count.

Ours is a very human business. Sometimes we have to balance the competing objectives of Property Owners and Tenants and, when we do, we believe that it is experience and what you stand for that makes the difference.
The bottom line is that for every decision that is made, can we look you in the eye and tell you that if we were in your shoes, then this is what we would do? If we can consistently and successfully transfer these core values, then we can feel we can earn and keep your respect.

And, we need your respect, because good business is a two-way street. We aren’t a firm that takes short-cuts, and we don’t operate on the fringes of the law. If a client asks us to do so, then this not only potentially affects our business reputation, but also the reputation of all of our other property owners.

We want all of our customers to be proud that we represent them, and we are strong enough to say no. Sometimes that leads to the ending of a business relationship, but the risks of continuing are too great.

Small Office Benefits Within a Large Team Environment

When you are balancing business relationships between people, there are often hundreds of decisions made every day. This is where experience and debate are important. We have a large like-minded team, who share an open working environment and often challenge, and ask and answer questions of each other. This is impossible in a one-person operation.

Managing property can often be an exercise in continual problem-solving, but there is no need reinvent the proverbial wheel. Of course, there will be things that even with more than 100 years of combined property management experience we have not seen but, when we come across them, we have the will and the resources to find a solution, while still allowing the rest of the day-to-day business to continue as normal.

Because your property still needs to be managed when people are sick, or on holiday, we have a team structure which provides continuity to ensure that everything still gets done when someone is away.

But, your dedicated Property Manager, and the Tenancy Manager who works alongside them, will still be able to provide you with prompt, personal service.

In a nutshell, we want you to be able to have one-to-one service, but also to be reassured that if something happens and that needs the attention of a dozen experienced people to fix it, or if you just want another opinion about something, then we can do this for you.