They say if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. Stacey Leonie has embraced this philosophy and merged her two professional passions – real estate and communications.
After starting out in real estate as a teenager and building a career in bricks and mortar, Stacey Leonie moved into broadcast media for more than a decade.
But she has returned to the industry where it all began and found her way back to Richardson & Wrench Double Bay – the team that shaped her property journey.
“At age 15 I knew I wasn’t an academic; I was more interested in people,” Ms Leonie said.
“So I took on a traineeship at a local agency in my hometown of Nowra. For two days a week I went to TAFE and learned to type, then three days a week I would go to work at the agency and write out rental receipts, empty the bins and get coffee.”
According to Ms Leonie, those humble beginnings set her up with the solid foundations she believes are vital for real estate agents today.
Although selling property is about getting top dollar for her clients, she said life experience has taught her it’s not just about the money.
Upon her return to the property industry, Ms Leonie felt the decision of which team to join was an obvious one.
“I came back to Richardson & Wrench Double Bay because that’s where I really learned a lot, especially from directors Robynne Arnouts and Michael Dunn. They just really set the standard in terms of caring for their team, caring for contractors and clients,” she said.
“It’s an agency that I felt I could trust. This time – the second time around in my career after 13 years away – I was very aware of who I want to represent.”
An Eastern Suburbs local herself, Ms Leonie is concentrating on the historic and highly in-demand suburb of Paddington, home to an eclectic mix of Sydney’s iconic terrace houses and contemporary architectural designs.
And her love for local architecture goes beyond the role of an agent; Ms Leonie has drawn on her broadcast skills to develop a property radio show and podcast.
“My two careers are colliding now – real estate and media – which is wonderful. I’m working on a radio program called My Home Life on Eastside Radio 89.7FM where we’ll be talking to a range of Sydneysiders about the homes they live in, and what they love about them,” she explained.
Ms Leonie went on to explain her two professional skillsets combine to help her excel in many ways.
Another learned skill in both real estate and media is timing. And despite a pandemic, she said there is no time like the present to return to property.
“I’m a very resilient person and I’ll always look for opportunities and the positive in any situation,” Ms Leonie said.
“For me, COVID didn’t present too many barriers because the market has been booming. I feel like I’m coming back at quite an incredible time. I feel fuelled by the enthusiasm and excitement around me.
“And within eight weeks of being back in the industry I’d listed and sold a multimillion dollar apartment. I had nine bidders on that property, 20 contracts out and it sold for almost $200,000 over reserve. That was proof positive that I’d absolutely made the right decision,” she added.
Ultimately, Ms Leonie said a great real estate agent doesn’t just sell property, but is someone who connects buyer and sellers.
“This time I’ve brought a level of maturity and life experience with me to explore what I’m calling Act Two of my career,” she said.
“It’s the perfect time for me to come home to real estate; I’m a little bit older, a little bit wiser and I’m happy to take my time with clients. I think if COVID has taught us anything, it’s about how we treat each other.
“We know now how important it is to be kind. Kindness is king.”