Sean Zhao, the founder of Greenland Homes in Christchurch, migrated to New Zealand in 2002 and now helps hundreds of local people build their dream homes.
“My initial plan when I first came to New Zealand was to get a Masters Degree from Canterbury University because of its reputable academic environment,” Zhao said.
Later on, like many other international students, Zhao made the decision to stay in New Zealand and now calls Christchurch his second hometown.
“Lots of outdoors activities such as fishing, hunting, tracking and skiing are the main reasons why I choose Christchurch as my home. I’ve been living in this beautiful city for over 15 years now,” he said.
Zhao started Greenland Homes in 2014 specializing in architectural housing, new homes, renovations and light commercial construction.
With his comprehensive building experiences from both China and New Zealand, Greenland Homes soon become a multi-award-winning company at local and national levels.
“We have won nine Gold Awards, nine Silver Awards, two Bronze Awards, two Local Category Winners with Gold Reserve, one Gold Reserve, one Category National Winner at the Registered Master Builders House of Year competition so far.”
“We are the first Chinese building company to receive multiple awards in the competition and I’m very proud of my team and the local community’s support,” Zhao said.
According to Statistics New Zealand, the number of enterprises in the construction industry increased to 59,710 by February 2017. The reason Zhao’s company stands out is that he focuses on building trust with his clients.
“ ‘Guanxi’ (building relationships) means a lot in business world based on Chinese culture. Here in New Zealand I also think building up good customer relations is the priority.”
“Many customers choose us because we are very good at meeting clients’ requirements and tailoring our services to clients’ needs with outstanding quality and reasonable price.”
“Sometimes my Chinese background may hinder myself but overall I find it's very easy and nice to deal with New Zealand customers. My work experience with large-scaled development in China helped me a lot to do project management in New Zealand and gained customers’ trust and confidence in me,” Zhao said.
Greenland Homes have helped locals to build over 200 residential houses and two commercial projects in Christchurch after the earthquakes.