Pride in life of in­tegrity

The Courier-Mail - Property - - MARKET PLACE - ALEX TIL­BURY

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.

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