A life-long infatuation for homes and houses led Robyn Ellson to a career she is just as devoted to—real estate.
Landing In Auckland
When Australian-born Robyn Ellson moved to Auckland from London with her Kiwi husband-to-be in 2009 she was 29 and pondering her future. “I’d completed a creative writing and communications degree at Melbourne’s Deakin University and I’d been working in marketing, but I couldn’t find a role that got me excited,” she says.
A Love Of Houses
Robyn had always had a thing for houses, visiting open homes at weekends, while growing up in Tasmania. “I’d been a fan of TV shows like Location, Location, Location and Property Ladder in London, and real estate had always been in the back of my mind,” she says. “I was ready to be the master of my own destiny. I loved the autonomy real estate offered and it presented a wonderful opportunity to help people.”
Finding Her Calling
The seed sprouted and Robyn entered the profession in 2011. “I love that it’s about connecting with people and providing value. I really needed to be absorbed by something and while I was never sure of my other roles, there’s never been any question with real estate; it feeds my soul,” she says. “Being part of people’s property journey gives my life focus and purpose. I never forget the 29-year-old who wondered what she was going to do, I’m lucky to have found something I really, really love.”
Real estate has embraced Robyn right back, presenting her with many accolades. “When I started I won ‘rookie of the year’ and that’s very special to me, property has changed my life,” she says. “My husband and I have made good decisions around stepping up the property ladder. Our first buy was an apartment in Arch Hill. We did it up over the course of 18 months and then decided to sell. We had to really as a black Labrador named Archie had joined our family! We chose at that time to buy an investment property with the sale proceeds rather than a family home, and we then went back to renting as a way to move forward. I think it’s important to realise we can’t all have what we want straight away. We now have a wonderful family home that we own, but it took a few careful steps and decisions to get here.”
As with anything worthwhile the rewards don’t come cheap. “I work seven days a week pretty consistently—my weekends aren’t spent with friends and family, they’re spent working open homes,” says Robyn. “I love what I do but there’s a sacrifice you make.”
On Being A Modern-Day Mum
In 2013 Robyn gave birth to her beautiful boy Eamon. “He is a real gem, such a character and he has brought so much to our lives. I cherish my time with him, but of course it can be a juggle.” Like any mum who has an intense job the balance between work and family can be hard to find. “It is a real juggle some days, but I focus on trying to get that quality time, I want to read him the bed time story every night, but sometimes that’s not possible.” It helps that Robyn’s husband now works with her behind the scenes. “I’ve gained so much time in my day-to-day and it means we can balance running a business and bringing up a cool human being.” She also now has Josh Powell working alongside her to meet the needs of her growing number of fans. “I have had to build capacity in the team in order to deliver the seven-day-a-week, all hours, energetic and fully engaged service I pride myself on. I have a giggle when I hear people suggesting that all there is to real estate is putting a sign up and taking photographs. There’s so much more to it!”
“I love character homes, but I like modern architecture as well—something that’s beautifully made and designed,” she says. “For me, it’s about whether a home feels homely and loved. I’m lucky to work with a variety of properties predominantly in the city fringe suburbs: Kingsland, Grey Lynn, Westmere, Mt Eden, Sandringham.”
As for the market in general, Robyn says in her experience things are going well. “I think there’s a little negativity about the market at the moment but it’s in a good place. After the heat of 2015-16, it’s moving more like a fast jog than a sprint and that’s a nice place to be. We can’t sprint forever. I’m enjoying the steady pace.”