A long, happy real es­tate ca­reer

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By LAURA MCLEAY

Lor­raine Har­ris loves to keep busy, hence the rea­son she is 75 and only just re­tir­ing af­ter her 22-year stint as a real es­tate agent.

She has been one of Mata­mata’s most val­ued agents, sell­ing well over 400 houses and $ 60,261,063 worth of prop­erty.

‘‘I have just loved my time as a real es­tate agent. It is the peo­ple con­tact and the friends you make that make it what it is,’’ she said.

‘‘A lot of my clients have be­come friends and that is what I will miss most. I do want to thank all my past clients for their trust in me, their loy­alty, sup­port and friend­ship. That is what I have re­ally val­ued.’’

Mrs Har­ris has lived in Mata­mata her en­tire life, was a dairy farmer for 25 years in Ngarua, Hin­uera and Piarere with a pedi­gree Jersey herd and later owned two hairdressing salons in town – but at age 52 she was ready for a new chal­lenge.

‘‘ My hus­band Sam was re­sign­ing from the po­lice at the time and was com­plet­ing real es­tate pa­pers by cor­re­spon­dence so I told him to get me some too and we both did it to­gether,’’ she said.

She got her first job at Chal­lenge Real Es­tate but af­ter a year was of­fered a job at Mata­mata Real Es­tate, later known as Pro­fes­sion­als, with her hus­band.

To­gether they their new ca­reers.

‘‘It was the first time in my life since I was 15 that I have ever ap­plied for a job,’’ she said.

‘‘ Get­ting into real es­tate was a real chal­lenge for me

launched but I re­ally en­joyed it.’’

On May 1, 2011, when Pro­fes­sion­als and Bay­leys amal­ga­mated, she be­came an agent for Bay­leys and con­tin­ued her work.

Many high­lights come to mind from over the years in­clud­ing the time she sold her first mil­lion dol­lar prop­erty five years ago and when she made five trans­ac­tions in a row – a rare mile­stone for any agent.

‘‘ I have so many other high­lights too. Some of these have been work­ing with Don Locke (former boss at Pro­fes­sion­als) for the past six-seven years sell­ing com­mer­cial and in­dus­trial prop­erty. We sold 29 sec­tions in the Mata­mataPi­ako District Coun­cil in­dus­trial sub­di­vi­sion to­gether which was a great thing.’’

While at Pro­fes­sion­als she won count­less awards in­clud­ing the 50 mil­lion dol­lar club, 250 sales club, 2009 Com­mer­cial Sales­per­son of the Year for the Waikato/bay of Plenty re­gion and most im­proved sales­per­son Waikato/bay of Plenty Re­gion 2009.

‘‘So I would rather re­tire when I am on a high, than when I’m over the hill – so to speak,’’ she said.

‘‘I al­ways set goals for what I wanted to achieve while there and that is how I got to where I am to­day.’’

Her hus­band passed away in 2007 but she keeps busy with her four chil­dren, step daugh­ter, step son and 12 grand­chil­dren.

In her re­tire­ment she said she is look­ing for­ward to new chal­lenges and ex­pe­ri­ences.

‘‘I am al­ways one for a chal­lenge – so I am bound to get out there and do some­thing next year. I have a lot of in­ter­ests, I def­i­nitely won’t be sit­ting at home, I en­joy be­ing busy,’’ she said.

Mrs Har­ris de­votes her spare time to many com­mu­nity events and is a mem­ber of the Rose So­ci­ety, judge co- or­di­na­tor of Mata­mata Boys and Girls Agri­cul­tural Group, and a mem­ber and trea­surer of Kaimai Rangers Leisure March­ing team.

She also en­joys gar­den­ing, patch­work, quilt­ing, cake dec­o­rat­ing, knit­ting, read­ing, leisure march­ing and many sports.

If you know of some­body who has done some­thing spe­cial or has a story to tell, nom­i­nate them for Ev­ery­day Peo­ple by email­ing laura.mcleay@wrcn.co.nz or drop­ping into the Chron­i­cle of­fice.

Farewell: Lor­raine Har­ris has been a real es­tate agent in Mata­mata for 22 years work­ing at the likes of Pro­fes­sion­als and Bay­leys but has now re­tired at 75.

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