A long, happy real estate career
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.
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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.