/ R&R Property Article
A Snap Shot into the Life of a Rural Real Estate Agent
I grew up in the country, it is in my blood, and combined with my passion for real estate, I have the perfect job as a rural real estate agent.
The life of a rural real estate agent is varied and unpredictable. A ‘normal’ day can include standard residential inspections then escalate to an all-out 4WD adventure! On the day you wear a skirt and heels to the office nothing is surer then a client turning up, without an appointment, wanting to be shown a rural property. We always keep boots and a hat in the car, obviously a four wheel drive, for this reason.
I cover many kilometres during a day at work, as it sometimes takes up to an hour just to get to the property. However, the scenery more than makes up for it and I often stop to photograph the amazing landscapes and fauna I see on my travels.
R and R Property list properties which vary from flat to mountaintop steep, with rivers and creeks, timbered and clear, in sizes from 600sqm to 600 acres. Our varied portfolio includes poultry farms, Bed and Breakfasts, Old School Houses, and a boutique vineyard. A recently sold listing required the crossing of nine causeways/fords to access the property, and we have even sold a 60 acre island in the middle of the Karuah River! Due to sheer size of some of our larger properties an inspection can take up to four hours.
Getting bogged is always on the agenda after rain. On occasions I’ve had zealous clients over estimating both their driving skills and the capabilities of their vehicle stating “you can’t bog a Landcruiser”! The result is that I have to organise the nearest farmer to pull them out with a tractor; as the shame-faced client is bogged to the axles. However, this speaks volumes about the “community” that exists in rural areas, and the generosity of these strangers is not lost on our city dwelling clients.
I’ve had many snake encounters during my time as a rural real estate agent, the latest one being a client thinking it a good idea to poke a snake with a stick when I wasn’t looking. This caused the snake to turn around and chase the unsuspecting me. Once I realised what was happening I had to make a run for it, all while carrying my 4½ year old daughter on my hip. As a result, when I book appointments to show a rural property in the height of summer (snake season) the last words I say are “wear good protective boots”. Of course, I have had numerous clients still turn up in their double pluggers. I especially love the sequinned ones – usually, but not always, worn by the female buyer.
While the country sounds like a notoriously dangerous workplace, it has the advantage of providing the opportunity to gain a multitude of new skills. While I have a stock and station agents licence in addition to my real estate agents licence, I am also expected to know every breed of cattle there is, how many head each property will carry, what each property has been seeded with, how many dams and paddocks it has, and even what it was fertilised with and when.
We also cater to the lifestyle purchaser, such as motorbike riders, horse riders and nature lovers, so my knowledge has to extend beyond that of operating a working farm. We usually have over 40 rural listings in addition to our residential and commercial listings.
The most rewarding part of my job as a rural real estate agent is the satisfaction of seeing our clients’ transition from city life to country living, and embracing all that it has to offer. We have a family who sold their 400sqm property in Newcastle to purchase a 1 acre property in the Stroud district from R and R Property. They now grow all their own produce through the permaculture method, operate “Bernie the Caravan” Farm Gate Stall, have a child at the local primary school and are so happy with their new lifestyle.
So while our vehicles may be constantly caked in mud and dust, and our mobile phone reception not perfect, what we offer people seeking a “tree change” is a more relaxed lifestyle and a greater sense of community. Our idea of a traffic jam is when there are cattle or a slow moving tractor on the road, and even at peak hour you can still find a parking space in the main street.
Managing Director & Sales Agent
R & R Rural and Residential Property – Stroud NSW