Saving the deposit for a brand-new home in little more than a year is a big achievement in itself — but doing it during a pandemic, amidst rising house prices, is nothing short of amazing!
CrestClean franchisees Mohammed Ashad and Shamina Ali are proud to have bought their first home, in an upmarket Auckland suburb, just 15 months after starting their business.
The hard-working couple bought a CrestClean franchise after returning from Australia in March 2020, just before New Zealand went into its first lockdown.
They had previously owned a CrestClean business but sold up and moved across the ditch in search of new opportunities. However, three months later, having stayed in touch with the CrestClean’s Auckland South Regional Manager Viky Narayan, they were back.
“Shamina was studying nursing and when she finished her degree, we had in our minds that we would move to Australia. We thought it was the right time to sell everything and go to Melbourne. But our kids didn’t like it and also the income I was earning there, it was a shocker, so we thought it was better we move back to New Zealand,” says Mohammed.
“When I was in Australia Viky called me and, because I had a good rapport with CrestClean, he said if I ever wanted to come back he would leave the door open for me. So, I thought why not? I called Viky and he arranged everything, and we moved back.”
Although their decision to return had nothing to do with the pandemic, they are grateful to have come back when they did.
“We are so relieved because of the way that things have happened. If we were still in Australia, we would have struggled a lot,” says Mohammed.
The family came back into the country with just $5000 in savings, but quickly grew their business turnover to $180,000. Mohammed also became a trainer with CrestClean, inducting and upskilling new franchisees, resulting in additional income.
Their business prospered despite changing Covid alert levels – in fact their income increased during the lockdowns with customers requesting additional sanitising services.
“We don’t regret coming back because our goal was to buy a house and we have achieved that. Viky motivated me, and I am where I am because of him. Shamina and I put in a lot of hard work, but without Viky nothing would have been possible. He’s a very good regional manager, the way he handles everything.”
Shamina, who is a registered nurse, helps Mohammed in the evenings and says it is good ‘bonding’ time for them.
“It’s ‘our’ time. I really enjoy it. When we went to Melbourne I missed the cleaning! Nursing is such a stressful job, cleaning de-stresses me,” she says.
“We had our goal, but with house prices going up and the banks changing their rules, we weren’t sure if we would be able to achieve it. We were renting a house for $750 a week — it’s not easy to save and rent. But we worked hard and we did it!”
Viky says he’s pleased to have Mohammed and Shamina back on board.
“Within months of joining they were very much liked by their customers and quickly increased their business threefold. When they moved to Australia I was sad to lose such an excellent operator but, due to their hard work, I assured them a spot should they decide to return,” he says.
“I clearly remember when I got a call from Mohammed saying he wanted to return to New Zealand and was hoping he could re-join CrestClean. My only advice to him was to get on the next plane!”
Viky says it is amazing what Mohammed and Shamina have been able to achieve in such a short space of time.
“They returned when Covid was just creeping in throughout the world and not only built up their business but also bought a house for their family,” he says.
“Congratulations to them for achieving such a great milestone!”