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Life Turns Full Circle


After recently being a vendor herself, life’s been turning full circle for the Bay’s newest Bayleys residential agent, Lisa Thorsen. She is back from Tauranga to the place she first grew up in.


As the third generation in her family to live in the Bay, “It is like returning home,” she says. 


“I really love that village feel of St Heliers—it’s close-knit with the ocean, reserves and good schools all on your doorstep.”


The former St Thomas’s pupil relocated north out of Auckland as a child only to return in her late teens. 


She studied law at university and lived with her grandparents in Brookfield Street while waitressing in St Heliers. The memory of their view of the harbour and Rangitoto still remains. “It was amazing and where I spent my formative years.” 


London beckoned after graduation yet it was her father, a legal counsel, that saw the connection between law and real estate.  


So after always having a singular vision to be a lawyer, Lisa made the switch to selling in the luxury lifestyle category from mid-2015 onwards.


Upon reflection, there are definitely commonalities between both disciplines the former relationship property and family law specialist says.


“It’s the caring about people—solving problems, giving solutions and knowing what makes them tick.”


She confesses to having a love of character homes, always enjoying going deeper to find out the story behind the property itself. 


It’s expressed in her creative marketing scripts, photography and even the home-staging.


“Property has a life—it has an energy of its own. If you can tap into that 75 percent of people buy the property from the marketing alone before they’ve seen it.”


The legal grounding that comes with an understanding of the whole process is also a substantial strength of Lisa’s. So is her work ethic.


“When I say I’m going to do something—I do it by being in constant communication with my clients so they know what is happening in a campaign at any moment in time. 


“It’s all about giving clients a stress-free experience so you don’t have to worry about the small things.”


So is having perseverance in getting contracts drafted, skilfully negotiating outcomes and explaining the impacts of the technical side—be it an easement through to covenant. 


Or appreciating the process of how an agreement needs to be made with lawyers if property is sold after a marriage breakdown and knowing what questions to ask and how the situation can unfold.


For vendors, Lisa is straight up. “Employ an agent that is going to be truthful with you. Immaculate presentation is paramount even if it means decluttering and staging.”


Her advice for purchasers is to be organised in advance for competitiveness. “Aim to be cashed up or at least have your finance sorted so you’re in a position to make an unconditional offer.”


That said, as she unpacks from her own move, the busy mum of two is now embracing her new life by taking her dog for a walk on Tamaki Drive just like a local.


Words— Sarah Sparks

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