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Christchurch franchisee buys first home just in time for the arrival of his baby girl

Cleaner standing by real estate sold sign.
Christchurch South franchisee Fazeel Ali outside his new home.

Fazeel Ali moved to New Zealand with dreams in his head of a better life — but he never dreamt that one day he would own his own home.

Now, just two years after buying a CrestClean franchise, Fazeel and his wife Shazia Sazlin have been able to save enough to buy a home for their growing family.

“I never thought we would have our own home. When you come to a foreign land it can be hard adjusting to the lifestyle but I think we’ve done really well,” says Fazeel.

It is a time of new beginnings in more ways than one for the Christchurch family, with their son Mohammed Ihil, 5, having just started school and a baby girl due in a few weeks’ time.

“We’re really excited. It’s great that we managed to buy a home at this point in our lives.”

Originally from Fiji, Fazeel moved to New Zealand in 2008, initially working as a chef. But, having been in the hospitality industry for more than a decade, he craved a change.

In 2011 he started his own contracting business in building maintenance and painting. His work took him from Wellington to Christchurch, but when the work dried up he looked to CrestClean.

“I had a friend in Wellington who was a CrestClean franchisee who was doing well,” says Fazeel.

Wanting to stay in Christchurch, Fazeel searched online and found the number for Gina Holland, CrestClean’s Christchurch South Regional Manager.

“I made contact with her, and Shazia and I went and had a chat with her. She was really helpful.”

Seeing it as a good opportunity, they purchased a CrestClean franchise in 2019 and have since more than doubled the size of their business — the rapid growth enabled them to save the $65,000 deposit they needed to buy a house.

“Our income is high and our outgoing expenses are really low, so we were able to put a lot of savings in the bank compared to my other work,” says Fazeel.

“We had some savings before joining CrestClean but it wasn’t much. I didn’t think it would be this quick. I didn’t think we would be able to buy a house in just two years.”

With mornings, weekends and public holidays free, the business is not only profitable, it fits in well with family life.

“I’m really happy with this lifestyle.”

The plan is to grow the franchise further with Shazia, who works as a meat inspector, eventually joining Fazeel in the business full time.

“I’m happy with the business and I’m thinking of keeping it for a long time, for the long run,” says Fazeel.

Regional Manager Gina Holland says it’s success stories like this that make her role so rewarding.

“It is so neat to see Fazeel and Shazia growing from strength to strength. It has been an honour to support them in their success, and I know this is only the beginning.”

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