Nyree Ewings: The heart behind the homes

“The first 10 years are hard, and the second 10 years return.”

That’s Nyree Ewings’ honest assessment of a career in real estate – you have to put in the hard work if you want to reap the rewards. 

And put in the hard work she has. 

The high-performance agent with LJ Hooker Property Centre, in Brisbane, has come a long way in life and her career. 

Growing up with her two sisters and her mother, Nyree says she learnt resilience early in life, but real estate was never really on her radar.

At least, not back then.

“When I was a kid, we lived in housing commission, so I didn’t even know that you could own a house,” she explains.

“It just wasn’t a concept I understood.”

Straight out of high school, Nyree stumbled upon a job on reception with a large franchise network and then embarked on a 22-year career that saw her work in every section of the industry, from property management to contracts administration.

Stepping into sales

After a few years, Nyree decided the time was right to jump into sales and, while her career is soaring now, she’s the first to admit it was tough at the beginning.

“I think even though I had been in the office, I still largely misunderstood what sales was really about,” she said.

“I thought I was there to tell people how to sell their house and what to do, rather than it being a consultative approach.

“So you sort of struggle with yourself around your purpose, your actions and your language, and all of those things.

“I think all of that comes with maturity, not just in terms of your age in life, but in the industry too.”

Nyree says one of the key moves she made that really helped her gain traction in her sales career, was to team up with a mentor in her office.

She was able to learn from him and she also assisted him.

“I could drive them around and while they were busy on their phone working, I could listen in to the conversation, listen to the tonality and in between the calls we’d discuss what I’d heard and strategy,” Nyree says.

Career lift-off

With more confidence and experience under her belt Nyree’s career started to take off and she has recently averaged about 100 sales per year.

However, in 2024 she’s on track to sell about 180 properties, which would be her biggest and best year to date.

Nyree says the secret to her success now is personalised service. 

When vendors select her to sell their home that’s exactly what they get – her.

“I don’t just sign them up and throw them over to the team to sell,” she explains.

“I’m very hands-on in my business. I still work six-and-a-half days a week at the moment.

“I still attend the valuations and the building and pest myself, and I don’t just send a junior or another team member.

“Even when a property settles, I’m the one sending the message and telling the buyer and telling the seller that it has settled.”

Personalised service

Even though she does have a co-agent and an executive assistant, Nyree says between 80 and 90 per cent of the time, her clients deal directly with her.

“They’re the ones that call me in to begin with, either because of my sales or the connection that I have with them,” she notes.

“And I think honouring that commitment, and doing everything you said you were going to, is vitally important.”

For Nyree, the secret to building capacity year after year, comes down to old-fashioned follow up and getting face-to-face.

She takes the time to have a cup of tea and a biscuit with elderly clients and even meets their family to explain the sales process so that everyone is on the same page.

The result is a strong referral-based business and no cold prospecting such as unsolicited marketing calls and door knocking.

Instead, Nyree works her open homes to the nth degree and letterbox drops around just listed and sold properties.

“I don’t make outbound telemarketing calls and I don’t do door knocks,” she notes.

“It’s just not part of my business at all.”

Women in real estate

When it comes to the topic of women in real estate, Nyree is pragmatic, admitting some agents still don’t understand that it’s usually the woman that makes the decision on what property to buy.

“There are still some in this industry that look past women and ask for their husband, or want the husband at the appointment… it blows my mind,” she says.

But, Nyree also says being a female agent is an advantage.

“I think women do particularly well in resi because they’re really good at emotional understanding and there’s probably no question that they understand that women are the decision-makers.”

Over the years, Nyree has looked up to several powerful women, including former politician Julie Bishop, who helped teach her that it was possible to be strong in a feminine way.

“I think I have strength of character, strength in knowing who I am, knowing where my values and morals lie and being able to recognise, without erupting, when I feel challenged around those,” she says.

But when it comes to role models that aren’t famous, Nyree says she can’t go past her mum and her two sisters, which she credits with teaching her resilience and a quiet but powerful inner resolve to succeed.

The meaning of success

And for her, success isn’t necessarily about making money.

It’s not about getting the most sales or about selling the fanciest houses.

“For me it’s about helping more people,” Nyree says.

“If you help enough people the rest will just take care of itself.”

And, if she could turn the clock back and give her younger self one piece of advice?

“That everything you do, you should do with purpose,” Nyree says.

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Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is the Editor at Elite Agent.