Blog - Cooper & Co

Harcourts is a proud partner of the Auckland Lantern Festival for the second year in a row

Harcourts is delighted to announce we are the proud partner of Auckland Lantern Festival 2019.

Chief Operations Officer of Harcourts International Jo-Anne Clifford says Harcourts are delighted to be part of such a fantastic event for the second year in a row.

“The Lantern Festival is the largest celebration of the Chinese New Year outside of China and is a joyful celebration of the cultural diversity that makes Auckland the amazing city it is.

Our franchise owners from the northern region which includes Auckland, Whangarei and the Bay of Islands have banded together to sponsor the event and we couldn’t be happier to announce our partnership which began in 2018.”

Clifford says Harcourts is proudly multi-cultural, represented by 2,373 sales consultants in New Zealand from a diverse range of backgrounds.

The free, family-friendly festival takes place in Auckland Domain from Thursday 14 to Sunday 17 February until 10.30pm each day, culminating in a spectacular fireworks display on Sunday night at 10.15pm.

The festival, welcoming in the Year of the Pig, will showcase a mix of music and dance performances, martial arts demonstrations and traditional Chinese art and craft. Be entertained and dazzled by hundreds of handmade Chinese lanterns and enjoy some delicious food from the wide-range of Asian food stalls which will be open throughout the event.

The Harcourts area at the festival will include an innovative House of Lanterns with over 500 brightly lit up lanterns on colourful display. Aucklanders are invited and encouraged to go along to the Harcourts House of Lanterns and enjoy the spectacle for themselves.

180,000 people are expected to turn out for the 20th Auckland Lantern Festival for a chance to enjoy and experience the traditional and contemporary Chinese culture.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the festival, Harcourts is giving away $20,000. Two lucky winners will each receive $10,000 when they list their property with Harcourts between 1 February and 7 April 2019. Find out more about this exciting promotion at here.

The Auckland Lantern Festival is delivered by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), on behalf of Auckland Council.

New Managing Director for Harcourts New Zealand.

I am delighted to inform you that we have appointed the widely respected industry leader and former Harcourts CEO Bryan Thomson as our new Managing Director for Harcourts New Zealand.

“We are delighted Bryan has agreed to return to lead our New Zealand business,” says Managing Director of Harcourts International Ltd, Mike Green.

“Bryan brings to this position an innate ability to draw exceptional performance from individuals and teams and has a proven track record of success across all sectors of the real estate industry, both nationally and internationally.

In addition, Bryan will also bring his significant governance experience as Board Chair of Property Page (NZ) Ltd, and as a Director of and the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand.”

“I am excited to return to Harcourts and to have the opportunity to combine the experience I have gained over a long career in this industry with the talented and committed people who make up this iconic New Zealand company.

Bryan will also be acquiring a shareholding in the NZ company and will commence his new role in early April 2019.

Jo Clifford

COO Harcourts International


Creative De-cluttering and Storage Ideas

Whether you’re looking to make a dent in your spring cleaning or getting your house ready for sale, decluttering and cleaning your home can be a big job. It’s also likely you’ll come across a lot of junk, unused clothes and other things that you’ve forgotten about.

To help you declutter effectively and make the most of your new-found space, we’ve compiled some top tips – take a look below.


Start by decluttering your home – selling, donating or throwing away all the things you no longer use will free up plenty of space you didn’t realise you had. Don’t just do the easy areas too – tackle the garage or storage cupboards you haven’t done in a while.

1. Three box exercise

Do you find yourself with too many clothes, drawers overflowing or your closet bursting?

Grab three boxes and label them keep, donate and trash and go through your all your clothes and pop them into one of the boxes. If you’re hesitant to donate and throw away something ask yourself if you’ve worn it in the last six months – if not it’s likely you don’t need it.

This is also a great method to use on other parts of your house – think garage, cupboards and laundry. If you’re preparing to sell your home tackling these areas will give you a good idea of how much you need to move into your new home, and could save you money on the move if you can get rid of the non-essentials.

2. Don’t get too attached

When you’re decluttering it’s important to think objectively about things – do you need this or use it often? If it’s something that you keep because you might use it one day think about whether it’s really necessary or not. If you’re moving home all these little things can add up into a lot of clutter that you’ll have to take with you.

3. Hire a skip bin

Once you’ve decluttered, hire a skip bin. This may sound simple but once you’ve paid for the space you’ll be surprised how many things you’ll find to get rid of. It can also be a lot easier to throw things away with the bin right in front of you rather than just having a pile sitting in the garage that you’ll get rid of one day.

Creative storage spaces 

Once you’ve decluttered it’s time to get creative – you’ve freed up space in your home so how can you use it effectively while keeping your home tidy? Here are a few ideas.

1. Floating shelves

These are great in numerous spaces around the house. They can double as a table or desk or a place to put your toaster depending on the size. Regardless of what they’re being used for on top, there will always be storage space underneath.

2. Ottomans 

Ottomans are stylish and can be a great way to add some hidden storage in your home. Look for ones with hollow insides, that you can store DVDs, books or spare cables you might need for your TV.

3. Wall hung storage

Whether it’s the spices in your kitchen, pots and pans, or toys in your child’s room, wall hung storage is an effective use of wall space. It doesn’t protrude too much but takes the away the clutter and can be an interesting focal point when done right.

4. Pull out pantry

Have a space but it’s too narrow to be used for anything useful? Hire a handyman and install a pull out pantry to allow you to use all the space right to the back – you’ll be surprised how much more room you’ll gain.

5. Remove your doors

How many times are you restricted from putting a piece of furniture where you want it because it gets in the way of a door opening? Remove the door and in its place, put a sliding door or a simple curtain to section it off. In some instances you’ll find it can look nice without any door as it can open the space up more.

Credit: Lili Stellingwerf –

How to keep your Christmas tree alive and looking good all December

If properly cared for, a tree will keep reasonably fresh and definitely remain green for a month – great news for Christmas-fanatics who put their trees up on the 1st of December. However, things can turn pear-shaped quickly, these tips will ensure it doesn’t. So here are our top tips for how to keep your Christmas tree alive to ensure it looks just as good on Christmas day than it did when you first put it up.

Pick the right tree:

Ideally, you want to buy your tree from a farm that chops it down in front of you, that way you can ensure it’s the freshest it can be. If you’re buying from a vendor that sells pre-cut trees, make sure you’re purchasing one that has been stored in the shade and given plenty of water. Inspect the tree before you make your decision to ensure there are no brown or dead branches or needles.


Re-trim the trunk:

The most common mistake people make when buying a fresh Christmas tree is leaving it out of water for more than half an hour, or allowing the water in the stand/bucket to run completely dry. When the base is not in water, sap leeches out forming a resin-like seal at the base of the tree. Once this happens, the tree can’t drink the water it needs because the base is no longer porous. The good news is that if this happens there is a fix: saw a thin sliver off the base of the tree so that the bottom is porous again and able to drink water. Trees drink the most water in the first few days after being cut so that is the time to pay extra attention that they don’t run dry.


Give it a good stand:

Store your tree in anything that supports the tree well and that holds plenty of water – at least four litres of water. Never put the tree in sand or soil. Large tree stands with a wide footprint and adjustable levers are a good option for people with small children and/or pets. Some people go for a bucket with bricks but it’s a lot of hassle so most usually come back for a stand.


Pick a shady spot:

A shady spot, out of direct sunlight, is the best place for your Christmas tree to live as sunlight will cause it to wilt ahead of its time. Christmas trees are divas; they hate sitting in a warm room that has no circulation because their needles will go limp. But, they also hate air conditioning. Making sure there is some fresh air circulating through the room is the best way to keep them happy.