When it comes to buying, selling or renting your property, the team at Custom Residential make the next step easy, just call us on +64 9 360 4860
Property Consultant / Director
Phone: (09) 360 4860
Mobile: 021 333 053
So far in 2019, the John & Nic sales partnership has completed 27 unconditional sales to a total real estate value of $52,000,000. When we look at the last six years, we have completed around $400,000,000 in total real estate sales.
Why is this relevant?
This high level of local real estate activity represents the huge number of open homes, auctions, negotiations, individual buyer appointments plus literally thousands of buyer follow up calls we have completed in recent years.
As a result, we consistently build strong connections with what we believe are the best and most ready buyers in the marketplace. In addition to this, we have built up an enormous amount of local market knowledge and expertise which we bring to the table each time we launch a new property to the market.
We are absolutely focused on making sure that each new listing we represent gains instant impact and momentum in the market from day one.
We have always been certain there is a demand for the 'Low Volume & High Care' approach that our independent agency offers, and it is with gratitude that we see this confirmed in our strong customer following and high levels of repeat and referral business.
John Wills is a very familiar name to many in the wider Ponsonby area.
He founded Custom Residential in 2008, and a decade on it is abundantly clear that Custom has been a very successful addition to the Western City Fringe real estate scene as the independent local specialist agency.
Custom has now represented and sold over 1,000 properties in the area while competing against the larger, established franchise brands. By being smaller, Custom remains agile and flexible - able to pivot swiftly to best meet our clients’ needs. Now in its 11th year, Custom Residential has successfully completed sales to a total value of over $1.6 billion and are proud to well and truly have found their niche.
John is a family man, with two young children, and is well known for the work ethic and very strong customer focus he continues to display.
Our was a sensitive undertaking for any Real Estate Agent; A Californian bungalow, untouched over time and packed full of 50+ years of family memories. The right real estate company needed to be in-tune with us as owners preparing to say goodbye to a significant time in our lives. The right real estate company needed to translate the emotion, the exclusivity, the uniqueness and the potential of our home to prospective buyers who could realise this dream as the next chapter in the life of their family. We believe we did find the right people in John & Nic from Custom Residential: From the very start, John & Nic 'got' us, they kept us informed, they answered our questions, they understood our home and all it's character and at the end of a whirlwind three week campaign, they achieved a fantastic outcome for us in the sale of our home! We would highly recommend the Custom Residential Team. They cover all the bases and get things right first time!
We did our research before deciding on our final choice of who we would trust to sell our family home. John and Nic were stand out candidates because of their professionalism and care they showed us from the first meeting. We were selling our family home and wanted this sale to not only maximise its full potential in terms of value but we were also looking for a very personal approach to what was an emotional sale. We were so glad that we chose John and Nic as they listened to everything that we said whilst offering us their professional expertise along the way. They knew the market very well. Were always available for any questions we may have had. They kept us completely up to date through out the campaign. Their sales strategy was completely on the ball. At the completion of our campaign we could not have been happier with the sale along with the way the sale had been managed. If we are looking to sell again we will without hesitation utilise the services of John and Nic again.
John and Nic have been an absolute pleasure to work with. After having tried to sell for sometime, it was a breath of fresh air to have two passionate, positive and honest professionals selling our home. Nic and John ‘got’ our home, they saw what we saw and appreciated what we had for the past 12 years as a family of four. We were somewhat apprehensive after our previous experience, that quickly changed to excitement when after our first open home with Custom Residential we had an offer. We cannot recommend John and Nic highly enough, they are a fantastic team and will listen to your needs and ensure that you are 100% happy at all points along the selling journey.
John and Nic have been amazing to deal with. They have kept me informed every step of the way. I am extremely grateful for their support through the sales process. They are consummate professionals, while still being extremely personable. This is invaluable not just as a vendor, but also as it plays out with their engagement with potential purchasers. Magic!
We have worked with Nic and John as vendors and purchasers in both a "hot" and more stable market. What sets them apart from others is the fact that they're genuinely nice and trustworthy people, which makes the experience of selling and / or buying that much more enjoyable. They're our first port of call for any property-related questions and are the only agents we'd use and recommend to use for any property transactions.
I have used John and Nic and the team at Custom Residential to sell a property in Ponsonby and very recently in Westmere. On both occasions I was impressed with their flair, hard work and attention to detail. On both occasions they achieved a great result for me. I highly recommend them.
‘Nic and John were beyond fantastic in our campaign, from start to finish. They always made sure we were kept well informed of the process and any developments, and were incredibly accommodating during the viewings process - always trying to make things work best around the family. Nothing was ever a problem and they were always positive and supportive around the auction process - which is always a stressful time. We achieved a result we were happy with and are thrilled our beloved home is going to people who will love it as much as we have - John and Nic - thanks so much for helping us all achieve a great outcome’
A lot has changed in the property market over the last year and I have been really impressed with the way you both have adapted to this change.
For us this resulted in the sale being completed, at a good price, in a market where we are increasingly seeing properties being withdrawn.
You managed to find that one buyer, who perceived greater value than others, and structured a deal that worked!
From our first meeting you impressed us with your honesty, integrity and most importantly open communication. At every step of the process, you let us know what the buyers were saying and exactly what our expectations should be come auction day. The figures we discussed never wavered throughout out the campaign and the final result exceeded them.
The auction process is never an easy one, but you laid out exactly how it would go and the scenarios that could occur on the day. This gave us peace of mind and confidence going into an otherwise stressful situation. It all happened to the letter and I’m sure both parties walked away happy with the result.
We would like to commend and thank both of you on achieving not only a superb result for our home, but for making the experience easy, transparent and (dare I say it) enjoyable.
We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend both of you to any prospective clients; buying, selling, or just to have a beer. Thanks once more, we look forward to working with you again soon.
Nic and John, thank you so much for helping us achieve a fantastic result on the sale of our property.
From our very first meeting Nic had a genuine energy and enthusiasm for our property, and a clear understanding of where it sat in the market so we always knew if we did sell it would be with Custom. Over a period of 6 months Nic kept us up to date with the market and local sales, so that when we finally decided to list the property we knew exactly what to expect.
Being from Hamilton, it was great to be able to use your local contacts in preparing the property for sale. Your advice in what things needed attention to maximise value was much appreciated.
The marketing campaign was spot on, and we felt we were in capable hands through the whole process.
The result on Auction day was just icing on the cake to a great vendor experience, you guys have a great business model and team, we couldn’t be any happier.
Jeremy & Sara Baker
During the sales campaign of my property well out of Ponsonby, while having committed to a local sales agent here, I sought the advice of John Wills and Keith Dowdle of Custom Residential at several key points during the process. Not only did John and Keith happily give up substantial amounts of their valuable time, their advice was always comprehensive and always spot on.
I much appreciated their selflessness in advising me (even when they weren’t my agents), something I consider to be the hallmark of a true modern-day consultant. Most of all I was thoroughly impressed with John and Keith's exceptional knowledge of the real estate sales process, and the auction process in particular. There is no doubt in my mind that they are among the best in the business.
From the moment we contacted them about selling, right through to confirmation of settlement, John, Nic and the team were professional, helpful and extremely responsive. Selling our Ponsonby property from Amsterdam, we needed to know we could trust our agents. Not just to manage the process, but to do so in our best interests. John and Nic impressed us every step of the way - they recommended and facilitated improvements, got the property on the market quickly, and ultimately fetched us a great price.
Nic and John worked with us for 10 months before we were ready to sell, and we trusted them right from the get-go. Nic and John are honest, hard working, straight-talking and all-around good people. From the prep, to the photos, right up to the auction itself, Nic and John were on our wave length. They always had time for us, long before our house was on the market. The result we achieved on auction night was well beyond our expectations. You guys set the standard for the future of house selling.
We recently sold our house after a wonderfully brief two week/three weekend campaign. Nic and John were so easy to deal with during the
process. I appreciated their straight up but unpushy style, particularly when we were choosing the agency we wanted to represent us. They demonstrated a very real understanding of the local market which was of great benefit. I wouldn't hesitate to use them again.
We recently used John and Nic to sell our home in Ponsonby. They’re well known as one of the best duos in the area and they lived up to that reputation. Appointing them was easy due to their track record, fresh marketing, and great blend of professionalism and personable style. This continued throughout the process where they were also hardworking and generally great to deal with. The awesome sale result they achieved for us is testament to their ability. We’d recommend them to anyone.
Kris and Sarah
'Thank you for the amazing job you did for us. As you can probably imagine we discussed value a number of times and we were very surprised at times with your resilience on sticking to your assessment of were the value sat. Right from the initial proposal, setting the Auction reserve and the post auction negotiations you stuck to your guns and ultimately held out for us. We have been through this a few times and have been talked down or up on value by various agents over the years depending on where we are at in the sales process but your integrity from the beginning has been impressive and is rare amongst your peers.
Thank you once again for all the hard work you put in for us, we really do appreciate it.’
It was a pleasure selling with the Custom Residential team. As busy professionals, we didn't have a lot of time up our sleeves but John and Nic took the reins and kept us in the loop the whole way. The end result? Timely, straightforward, and most importantly, a record price for an apartment in our building. Thanks guys!
I purchased my first home in The Avenues from John ten years ago. He was an excellent agent to deal with and made the process very easy. I felt at ease with him and that he was actually trying to help me succeed in buying. He created a relationship of trust and honesty. Since then I've touched base with John for advise several times and he's always been happy to take the time to give me his best opinions.
John and Nic have recently sold our house in The Avenues. I chose them because I could trust they would do the absolute best they could and that everyone in the process would be treated fairly and with respect. I'm really happy with the result that was achieved. The level reached was above my expectations.
John and Nic were excellent in providing advice on preparation of the home and responding to buyer queries. The marketing campaign recommended was appropriate but not excessive. They kept us very well informed of all details as we went through the marketing campaign. During the campaign there were several tricky situations for them to navigate, they did an excellent job doing this. They managed the sale process exceptionally well and made it a very easy experience. Looking back I'm very pleased to have chosen them to sell the house, I would do so again and would recommend them to others.
We would highly recommend John & his team at Custom Residential to anybody looking to sell a property in the area.
John stood out from other agents we interviewed for his enthusiasm, efficiency, drive & commerciality. John & Nic ran a great campaign, which culminated in a fantastic result on auction night. We really enjoyed all of our dealings with the team at Custom, we were kept informed as necessary throughout, & John was always happy to answer any questions or concerns that we had, providing valuable guidance & insight based on his market experience. Most importantly, he was refreshingly genuine & straight up to deal with, which we very much appreciated.
As a result, this was undoubtedly the easiest and least stressful sales process we have undertaken & we would certainly look to use the services of John & Custom Residential again for any future property sales.
I asked John and Nic for help with selling my Kingsland apartment. ‘Help’ was delivered in spades! Their energy, enthusiasm and sheer hard work culminated in a truly outstanding result at auction. I can’t recommend them highly enough.
A big thank you to Nic and John (and the behind the scenes team at Custom Residential)! We would not hesitate to recommend these guys to anyone thinking of selling anywhere!
Nic and John made sure that the entire process of selling our property in Pukekohe was enjoyable and stress free for us. They both provided us at all times with excellent advice and
support delivered in a clear, straightforward, honest and friendly manner. They engaged perfectly with potential purchasers and we were very proud to have them as our agents.
Stepping into an area beyond their normal “patch” did not phase either of them at all. We value their professionalism, delivered with charm and integrity and will most certainly be
working with them again. Thanks again! Jim & Jan Frazer
The team at Custom Residential exceeded our expectations throughout the marketing and selling of our first home.
We chose John & Nic because we felt they had a genuine empathy for our home and our family, as well as a dedicated desire to achieve the absolute best result.
They were always friendly, calm under pressure, honest, transparent, professional and extremely knowledgable about the local market.
As first time vendors, we leant on this level of expertise to steer us towards a fantastic end result. It's been a pleasure working with them.
Thank you Nic and John!
John and Nic are genuine, approachable real estate agents who we enjoyed working with to sell our home.
Our campaign was well run, with John and Nic keeping us well informed every step of the way. We appreciated their unwavering enthusiasm for our property and know that their enthusiasm would be visible to potential buyers too.
When we requested some last minute tweaks to our marketing campaign, Nic worked tirelessly to make sure everything was perfect for our property launch. John and Nic are very customer focused and were not only interested in helping us to sell our home, but to find our next home too. They considered our requirements and would alert us to any potential matches, and checked in regularly to see how we were going with our house hunt, and how we had gone at any auctions we were planning to attend. Another example of this customer focus and proactivity is Nic attending an auction of a property similar to ours to gather more market insights and feed these back to us. I don't think an agent with a high number of listings could afford the time to do this, and it was much appreciated.
We also appreciated the air time our property got on Facebook, especially at launch and prior to our open homes. We weren't buried amongst 10 other properties, so our house got its chance to shine.
We felt well prepared on auction day and were pleased with the outcome. Thanks and great job John and Nic.
John and Nic are great to deal with, having both bought a new house via Custom Residential and then selling ours in quick time. Their approach is personable but at the same time professional and knowledgeable and they kept us well informed on everything. A pleasure to deal with and people we happily recommend.
Thank you John and Nic for doing such a great job of marketing our house in Bayfield Road Herne Bay. You kept us really well informed at every stage and there were no surprises. You were always calm and professional and we were delighted when the house sold under the hammer for a good price after a sizzling three week campaign. You have a fantastic knowledge of the area and we are recommending you to our friends.
We chose Custom because of their brand presence & sales in our area, and we'd dealt with Nic & John whilst looking to buy recently. Custom's commission rate is competitive and they seemed easier to approach than the bigger companies - a more personal service. This continued throughout the campaign, the copywriting was thought through and felt unique to the property, not 'cut & pasted'. They have a really good photographer and we were really pleased with how it was presented/communicated across the various marketing platforms.
Nic & John communicated with us throughout the process, were thorough, gave comprehensive feedback and were always available if we had questions. We are very pleased with both campaign & result.
We had come to a decision to sell our first family home. Choosing the agent to partner with was actually the easiest part, for us there was only one choice, John Wills.
John has a great reputation and his knowledge of the local property market is excellent. We really enjoyed working with John and he made everything really easy and of course he got the result.
We were recommended to contact John and Nic by a good friend who had sold their property successfully with Custom. Right from the beginning John and Nic were fantastic to deal with and professional to a tee. The communication was just superb. Along the way they were always available to answer our questions and that went for the whole Custom team.
John and Nic just seemed to have a great balance of experience of the market mixed with being able to identify with what we needed. We were fortunate to experience a quick sale with our optimistic sale price being met in a short space of time. Our own experience met and exceeded our expectations seeing the sale through on time. It is almost too quick as the excitement of selling is already over!
We would thoroughly recommend John and Nic to anyone selling their property.
John and Nic are gold! In a time where trust in real estate agents is at an all time low, these two are an absolute breath of fresh air. Lots of fun to work through the process with, they made us feel like ours was the only house they were selling. John and Nic really went the extra mile for our family. We'll definitely be recommending them to anyone we know who wants to sell. Thanks guys! We're stoked!
Working with John and Nic was incredibly enjoyable. Not only are they experienced, confident, thoughtful and insightful, but - most importantly - they are really nice people to share the journey of a house sale with. There wasn't ever a time we felt stressed or put out - the process was smooth and seamless. Of course, the fact that we had a great outcome made the whole thing so much easier, but I always knew we were in safe hands and that was confirmed on the sale day! Putting up that sold sign was definitely a life highlight. I wouldn't hesitate in recommending them and I will when asked.
We have recently sold our large home in Titirangi. We chose to employ Custom Residential because a close friend had highly recommended the company and in particular John Wills. John and all of his crew were friendly and provided straight forward and very effective communication at all times. The Custom team are guaranteed to maintain an extremely professional approach at all times which ensures a smooth transition. From our past experiences, selling and buying a cherished family home can be an extremely stressful process. We have very much enjoyed working with John and know that he has dedicated his time and expertise to achieve the best possible outcome for us. I would have no hesitation in recommending Custom Residential and in particular John.
We weren't keen on dealing with open homes and an auction, so John used his networks to sell our house in Grey Lynn without any of the backing of a marketing campaign. The house sold in 17 days, and at every stage of the process we felt we were in great hands. John was open and honest about everything, as well as being extremely considerate at working around the schedule of our family. He really has his finger on the pulse of the Auckland real estate market, as was demonstrated by the quick and satisfactory result we had with our house sale. As well as being a guru at his job, he is a genuinely nice guy who has the best interests of all parties in mind at all times. We would not hesitate to use John to sell any of our homes in the future.
Thank you John for all you did in helping us sell our property in Dexter Avenue, Mt Eden. We found John to be completely honest, open and courteous, he has an excellent area knowledge and client database, and above all has worked hard for us in a thoroughly professional manner. Your high degree of service, enthusiasm, honesty and constant communication was genuinely impressive and we really cannot recommend you highly enough.
Having shown a number of other other agents through the property, John was the obvious choice. Within a few minutes it was clear that he was not only a very competent professional, but that he immediately saw the potential of the property, understood how to market it and had the drive, the energy and the skills to get the best result possible.
He is also a ‘people person’ - very personable, honest, reliable and a great communicator. I enjoyed meeting him and had absolute confidence that potential vendors would similarly enjoy meeting him and be comfortable dealing with him – and so it was.
Throughout the whole process, John and the team at Custom were absolutely fantastic to work with and I could not have asked for more. The marketing materials they produced and the ongoing feedback and communications were excellent and much appreciated – they work very hard and certainly go the extra mile for their clients.
I highly recommend Custom Residential to anyone wanting to buy or sell a property – it was a pleasure to work with them and I am delighted with the result.
We are so very happy with the sale of our house and the amazing level of service that you and your team provided was outstanding.
You and Rachael made the whole process so easy, were very easy to get along with and most importantly for us, to trust. The advice you provided us with was spot on and we can't thank you enough.
We have already passed your details on to another party who will be using you and your company in the near future and we would not hesitate at all to suggest you to anyone else looking for a true professional who goes above and beyond for his customers.
Choosing John at Custom Residential to sell our house was a great choice. He was professional throughout the process, keeping us very well informed along the way. I was particularly impressed with his flexibility to fit in with our busy schedules so that the sale process ran smoothly and felt easy.
I chose Custom, and John especially, based on his drive and his ability to clearly relate to all types of people, without sounding like a real estate agent! He was very personable, straight forward, open in telling us what he did and didn’t know and exceptionally easy to work with.
I was genuinely impressed with the results.
Once again thanks for the quick and efficient service you gave us on the sale of the Point Chevalier address. We both appreciated continually being "in the loop" through out the the sale.
Thanks also to your staff for their friendly co-operation and advice which eased the stress of selling the property. Thanks once again.
For us, when it came time to selling our home, John was the obvious choice. His experience and understanding of the local market gave us confidence that he would achieve for us the best possible outcome. He was hands on throughout the entire process and at all times we felt we were fully aware of what was going on. However if one thing stood out, it was the level of commitment and enthusiasm that he brought to the campaign. With that in mind we would not hesitate to recommend John to anyone looking to sell their home.
John and his team at Custom Residential provided an excellent service and I would thoroughly recommend using them to sell your home. I was extremely pleased with the end result and John's communication and professionalism throughout the sales process was second to none. Thanks Team!
John Wills at Custom Residential ran a slick operation taking our house to the market and achieving an excellent sale through a three week auction campaign.
We were kept up to date every step of the way and in a very professional manner. As selling a house is quite a stressful task, it was reassuring to hear from others that we were in good hands. An awesome job - huge thanks and recommendation from us.
As an ex Real Estate Salesperson and AREINZ member, my expectations from an agency and their team is extremely high!
I approached the top three salespeople (based on recent sales in the area) from three separate agencies in the area to consider our property, give me an estimated sales price and suggest the appropriate marketing campaign to achieve the best result.
In my mind I had already made the decision to go with an agency who I felt 'owned' the Westmere market and was surprised when I was completely underwhelmed by the experience. By contrast, I met with John Wills who was genuinely sincere, gave me an honest 'bottom dollar' price expectation (without the Vendor hype) and provided a robust marketing strategy to achieve the best result.
It was an easy decision to make and despite several calls from the other agencies to 'better the deal', I was 100% confident in my choice. John bought Dan Reed into the sales process to assist with the campaign and again I was impressed, at ease and never doubted their feedback or capability.
Our property sold under the hammer, above expectations, with a record number of attendees and multiple bidders. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Custom Residential, in particular John Wills and Dan Reed for their professionalism and honest approach which is refreshing and a credit to the industry.
We made the decision to list with John as he talked to us about people and the way they buy houses, not about himself, and throughout the process he continued to demonstrate his understanding of this.
He was easy to deal with, did everything he said he’d do and most importantly, achieved a result that we are very happy with. We found ourselves in a position of having to make a big decision about accepting an offer pre-auction or waiting for the auction to run. We needed John’s advice and we trusted him to guide us in the right direction.
John’s level of experience, professionalism and communication made the process easy for us. He’s totally dedicated to the job and when we sent him away to go and get more money on a Saturday night, he got it.
Thank you for your call (this evening) to advise that I was the successful purchaser, and for keeping me informed and updated throughout all of this process. In my past experience as a buyer, I’ve not come across an agent who thinks to keep the buyer as much in the loop as their vendor. These kinds of principles are a breath of fresh air in the industry and I guess what set Custom apart from its competitors. It helps anxiety levels when an agent just phones.
We interviewed a number of local agents and our decision to use John was based on his open and down-to-earth approach and the consistently good results that he had achieved with what we considered to be the lion’s share of the sales in the area. John achieved a great price and continued to be responsive and helpful following the sale.
I listed with John Wills at Custom Residential because he is a proven local specialist. To date he has sold 6 of my properties (all local) and has achieved great results.
We had 52 groups view the property on the first weekend of open homes and John presented me with an unconditional offer straight after the weekend. Prior to that, he had bought buyers to the property on Christmas Eve and right through the holiday period while I was away.
John is easy to deal with and serious about achieving the best result he can.
I'd recommend him to anyone in the local area.
As a residential real estate investor, I have dealt with many real estate agents over the years.
John Wills and the extended team at Custom did an outstanding job for me, even before the word "go".
John impressed me with his passion, his (positive) energy and pragmatism, the latter a rare occurrence amongst most real estate agents, as well as his ‘hunger' to be able to represent and sell my properties.
Within a time frame of 4 weeks the (multiple) properties were marketed by John Wills and Nic Blackie AND sold on the same day via auction in March ‘09!
The next time I sell another of my properties I will most certainly give John & the Custom Residential Team ‘first right of refusal'...
I chose John Wills at Custom Residential because he has a reputation for being honest, reliable and totally committed to his job.
When he marketed and sold my Schofield Street property recently, this is exactly how I found him to be.
I was staggered when he created a multi-offer situation and presented me with 5 individual offers at 9.30 on a Tuesday night.
We negotiated with the best one and had a contract by 10.30 that same evening.
I really felt that John had my best interests at heart and I would definitely use him again.
I cannot speak highly enough of Custom and in particular our dealings with Nic Blackie, John Wills and Dan Reed. My previous experience of real estate agents was that they over promised, under delivered and happily charged a king’s ransom for the pleasure.
With a young family it was crucial we maximised the return on our only investment of the last 5 years, not only did the guys achieve this, by selling the property at the very top of the market value, but they also made it a pleasurable experience.
4 offers in 4 days and an unconditional sale may also have helped!
My wife and I knew we would ultimately sell with Custom after Nic Blackie made the effort to visit and give us feedback on our renovation, even after I explained we had no intention of selling the place, she took the time to see us, with nothing in it for her, whilst being heavily pregnant and just before stopping for maternity leave!
This was long before I asked John to visit, I wanted to speak to the owner of the business to see if he would be open to some of my 'left field' proposals and suggestions, that all previous agents had scoffed at. Not only did John listen to my ideas, he was genuinely open to considering them. The skill that John has above all other agents I have met, was that he listened to our concerns, and handled them objectively with supporting up to date market evidence.
He explained his reasoning for price by negotiation over an auction for our property, again by giving examples of previous relevant sales, rather than simply responding with an obvious pre-planned generic sales pitch.....a breath of fresh air.
Because Nic and John had set such high standards, I was concerned that Dan wouldn't be able to meet our new expectations, as the bar was now set higher than ever before. I needn't have worried. Dan has excelled as much as the others, and his advice in the negotiation process was fantastic.
The simple fact is they paid for themselves, by negotiating the value of the property on the best offer, up by what we were paying in commission. Dan has also managed the handover process impeccably, pro actively contacting both parties as the agreed settlement dates changed several times after the sale.
I could not give these guys a better reference, I have been singing their praises to our friends, one of whom told us last week their friends had used Custom, based on our recommendation and were calling to pass on their thanks, as they had just sold their property too, and "it was everything we promised.”
I am happy to be a verbal referee too, and have told the team to pass on my number if they ever need to. The above may come across as a bit over the top, but it is also a fair and honest recollection of what happened.