“I’m back” says Ray White realtor, Cheryl Whiting AREINZ sitting in her immaculately appointed Parnell home. The property expert nick-named the ‘Parnell Princess’ who has been selling, a Real Estate franchise owner and in senior managerial roles in real estate for nearly thirty years has teamed up with her grand-daughter, Holly Cassidy.
Holly, a nine year veteran of the industry herself is a former pageant princess after winning the title of Miss Universe New Zealand in 2013. “Together, we’ll be a force to be reckoned with – my Nan and I,” she says smiling. Speaking about Princesses, Cheryl’s Grandmother said to her as small child, you are related to a Princess and her family still refer to her as such, as do some of her friends.
The well-connected duo who are concentrating on property around Parnell, Remuera and the Eastern suburbs have literally hit the ground running moving into their new office on the day of this interview. “Holly was laughing at me during the move” says Cheryl. Her grand-daughter replies “here Nan is filling our office up with boxes and boxes full of awards and testimonials for me to sort then says “where’s my laptop charger?”
Full of mutual praise for each other, it’s obvious that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree both in good looks and commercial acumen – the ‘real estate gene’ is buried deep within their DNA. “I guess it comes from my family. I was born a Manson” Cheryl says referring to her late Brother Colin Manson. Colin said to me years ago “you should be in real estate” so I guess I grew up with property in my bones, learning to buy in great locations. Starting with our first home in Meadowbank, then on to Remuera, knowing all along we would love to live in Parnell, were we have lived for over 21 years.
Similarly Holly had her heart set on a property degree, moving up specifically from Tauranga to pursue her career choice in the City of Sails. “My Dad Tony, Nan’s son dipped and dabbled in it as well” she says. “Nan helped me get an interview for my very first real estate job up here.” Since then Holly has held roles with three big real estate brands, a development company and became a licensed salesperson three years ago marketing property projects and running open homes.
“It’s been a long time coming for me to work with Nan – it’s been nine years in the making.” Looking through several issues of NZ House & Garden including a cover story featuring Cheryl’s exquisite former homes in Parnell and current gem in Parnell, it’s evident she has the enviable knack of visualising untapped potential in a property.
You would never know that her current sumptuous well-appointed home with a lush tropical garden once used to be an office space emblazoned with LED lighting. “I know my Nan is the best person to be working with professionally, you’ve got to do the hard yards and she has. We’re in it together with the support of our whole family. It’s in our blood, it’s what we do.”