Mark Fourie

Start sooner! Don’t wait for the ‘right’ time to follow your dream.


Mark Fourie emigrated to New Zealand from his childhood home of Pretoria, South Africa. Settling in Christchurch, he attended Lincoln University and completed his Diploma in Horticulture. To further his passion for growing fruit, Mark then travelled to England to study at the prestigious Hadlow College, where he achieved the highest honour possible, the “Fruiterers Award”. Returning to New Zealand Mark established a pedestrian orchard, and then began an aggressive growth plan that culminated in a successful group of orchards and two substantial export pack-houses. When the opportunity arose to sell his business, Mark chose to follow his other passion – real estate. Starting out in his hometown of Christchurch, his career was interrupted by the devastating 2011 earthquake. Not being one to sit on his laurels, Mark packed up his life and moved north to Auckland where he has carved out a strong position as an agent with Bayleys Counties.

Where did the idea for your career come from?

When I first wanted to start my own orchard, I needed to find a way of funding that dream. I did this by buying smaller bare blocks, and moving relocatable houses onto them, renovating them to a high standard and then on-selling.

When I sold my business, and was still deciding what I would do next, a friend suggested that I would be very good at real estate due to my strengths with interpersonal communication. This comes from managing a very large workforce with over 1000 people in my employ during peak production. Given my earlier background of buying and selling, I realized I enjoyed selling real estate and was good at it.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I always start the day by bringing coffee to my wife in bed. We sit together for some quiet reflection and gratitude, and discuss our day ahead. My next job as I finish my coffee is my social media accounts. I can quickly post across each of my networks, whilst spending a bit of time with my wife as often I am home late. Over breakfast, I will plan my day and ensure I know where I need to be and what time, ensuring I have travel time planned in with sufficient wriggle room for unexpected congestion or road works. My days are usually a mixture of appointments for private viewings or open homes, and admin time for follow up phone calls and emails. I also have my pigs to look after, so I always make sure they are tended to before work if I know I am going to be home late.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I am a great believer in your thoughts becoming your words, and your words becoming your actions. I do like to spend a bit of time thinking about things, and once they have formed, they are always written down. I find having a whiteboard in the office invaluable for my personal goals. I know people will find this hard to understand, but it really works! In my professional work, my clients will also receive a written plan. During our initial meetings, we will discuss ideas for marketing, and these are captured in a documented marketing plan.

What’s one trend that excites you?

I am an avid fan of the Investment Clock, and thoroughly enjoy thinking about where we are in that cycle. I am also very interested in alternative energy sources, and I am following the rise in popularity of electric cars and solar powered homes. Solar power has not yet fully shown up in the real estate market due to the high costs, however, I do believe at some point in the near future it will likely emerge in the buying habits.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I make a point of traditional ways of communicating with people such as face to face or phone calls. I don’t rely on email or direct mail. I like to schedule most of my meetings in person and I have always found that the face to face interaction brings the most value when it comes to building relationships with clients and fellow prospects.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Start sooner! Don’t wait for the ‘right’ time to follow your dream.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

We are actually entirely responsible for everything that happens in our lives.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Be prepared to step beyond your comfort zone. One way that I like to use is to play the challenge over in your mind. I use quiet meditation to clear your thoughts, close your eyes and clear your thoughts, then jump out of the car and go, and do it.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Lots of face to face communication, introducing myself to lots of people. Telling people what you do, and how you can help them achieve their goals.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Investing in the wrong kind of marketing. Once I realized my mistake, I spent a lot more time researching different options and looking at the potential returns on investment.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

An App that could write your own Farm Environment Plan in order to meet the new laws and regional regulations.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

Taking my wife out for dinner. Because it made her happy, and happy wife, equals happy life!

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

I really like Wufoo. It’s simple to use, and best of all it’s free! Every client that comes to my viewings is asked to fill in a simple Wufoo form, and I have easily and correctly captured their information and it has been sent to my Outlook mail.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

“How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie.
This book is an essential piece of reading which really helps you understand how people react to different circumstances. This will help you to hone your interpersonal skills.

What is your favorite quote?

Henry Ford: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.”

Key Learnings:

• My most productive time is when my home is secure and peaceful, and the people in it are happy and stable.
• Positive visualization – your new best friend.
• Embrace trying new things, be prepared to take risks.
• Even when you are terrified of failing, you will find the greatest growth comes from pushing through that fear.