Pride in life of integrity
WELCOME to Laurel Ave nue at Chelmer.
If you are lucky enough to live in the camphor laurel-lined street, you will know how special it is. It’s an aspirational dress-circle Brisbane address that has changed dramatically since the 1850s, when it was a forest of scrub and gums.
The 201 magnificent homes in Laurel Ave are now heralded with magnificent giant fig trees, jacarandas, poincianas and frangipanis. Chelmer;’s median sale price is $855,000 up 9.6 per cent in the last three years, according to CoreLogic RP Data’s latest figures .
Nanette Lilley, doyenne of real estate on Brisbane’s westside, has completed a book dedicated to Laurel Ave, its history, architecture and some of its residents.
Ms Lilley, who established her iconic real estate agency on Honour Ave, Graceville, 32 years ago, says the verdict among Brisbane residents was the avenue was one of Brisbane’s nicest places to live.
“I started the book back in 2003 when I was marketing the historic and gracious home known as The Laurels, at No. 89. My associate John Woods and I prepared a booklet to do justice to the property’s interesting history.”
It wasn’t until 2013 the original draft of her book was actually completed, with the help of Gerard Benjamin, of Newstead.
“Many people aspire to live in Laurel Ave, and I have seen it change over the years from a mainly older population to a mix of young professionals and businesspeople who prefer modern housing designs,” Ms Lilley said.
Nanette Lilley Property is a testament to one woman’s drive and determination to succeed, and help many other “working mothers along the way”.
The business is thriving despite its copycat competition, who could only dream of creating such a legacy of robust real estate transactions, with such integrity and class.
Ms Lilley, the eldest of six Stephens children, grew up on a cattle property at the head of the Albert River in Beaudesert.
She’s an experienced horsewoman who finished her schooling at St Hilda’s School, Gold Coast.
“I have always run a very successful business over a lot of years, and I am proud to have employed a lot of women. That’s one of the most satisfying things of my career. I am not looking for accolades but I was the only real estate agent here for many years. And all the others came after me.”
Ms Lilley and husband Angus have been married for 56 years. They were wheat farmers for 14 years at Croppa Creek in New South Wales before moving to Brisbane.
“We walked away from the farm after many years of drought and we started here from scratch,” she said.
The entrepreneurial selfstarters have two sons – Angus and Douglas – and five grandchildren. Mr Lilley’s electronics business is still based at Acacia Ridge.