images 10 1923 val barfoot

Early January. Valentine Barfoot (Val) buys a land agency in Newmarket and names it V.H. Barfoot.

1924 kelland barfoot

Vals older brother Kelland joins the company and they change the name to Barfoot Bros.

bullet 1929

The firm shifts to new premises in Queen Street on the eve of the Depression, and limps along until the end of the Second World War. Maurice Thompson and Val Barfoot turned to letting and rent collecting as a way of bringing in sufficient cash-flow to continue in business.

bullet 1934

Maurice Thompson joins Barfoot Bros.

images 5 1940 maurice thompson

Maurice is offered a partnership and the name changes to Barfoot Brothers and Thompson.

bullet 1942

The Land Sales and Soldier Resettlement Act 1942 was passed to fix house prices at 1942's level for homecoming soldiers. Vendors felt they would not get a fair price for their homes and refused to sell. At this time the firm only had 6 houses on the market.

bullet 1949

The National Government lifted the restriction on property sales and Barfoot and Thompson began a policy of expansion. The firm purchased T. Mandeno Jackson Limited, one of the leading real estate firms in Auckland. This was quickly followed by the purchase of a number of other existing land agency firms and by 1957, the firm had a chain of 15 branches.

bullet 1950

Kelland Barfoot dies at the age of 55 and soon after the company becomes Barfoot and Thompson. Frank Cooper succeeds Kelland as managing director of Mandeno Jackson Ltd. After the repeal of the Land Sales Act house prices increase by 100 percent. In the early 1950s a bonus system is introduced. Some sales people are even prepared to work fully on commission because of the possibility of higher earnings. In the mid 1950s the decision is made to change to commission selling throughout the firm. The sales people are paid 40 percent of the commission plus vehicle costs and radio telephones are fitted in agents' cars

bullet 1952

Barfoot and Thompson open their first North Shore office in a small cottage on Milford Road.

bullet 1952

Val negotiates to buy Ernest and Bayliss in old Papatoetoe.

bullet 1953

The firm moved away from purchasing existing firms to developing their own purpose-built offices on bare sections.

bullet 1959

Val Barfoot's son, Chris Barfoot, joins the firm in the Onehunga office. The Auckland Harbour Bridge opens in May and the North Shore begins to expand rapidly.

images 6 1960 mt eden office

Auckland is in the midst of a housing boom. Over the next 10 years Barfoot and Thompson open offices in Mt Albert, One Tree Hill, Pakuranga, Howick, Mt Roskill, Remuera and Glenfield.

bullet 1961

Eric Cooper establishes a separate Commercial and Industrial Department. Fay Hobday starts in the Low Cost Department as one of the first female salespersons in the firm.

image 4 1964 head office

The Head Office moves to new premises on the corner of Fort and Commerce Streets. Maurice Thompson puts in place a cadet scheme with the aim of training competent sales people within five years.

bullet 1968

Maurice Thompson died from cancer; Frank Cooper retired later in the year

bullet 1970s

The Head Office moves to renovated premises on the corner of Fort and Commerce Streets. Maurice Thompson puts in place a cadet scheme with the aim of training competent sales people within five years.

bullet 1987

Val Barfoot dies

bullet 2005

In its eighty-second year of business Barfoot and Thompson operates 60sites in the Auckland region with a total staff numbering around 1500. The firm is still family owned, with Val Barfoot's son Garth Barfoot and John Thompson's son Peter Thompson, the two directors of the firm.

© The University of Auckland Business School