Channel People: I Love What I do - Victoria Bidwell
A passion for property
Victoria Bidwell has been Bayleys top selling Real Estate agent on the North Shore for the past seven years. She was number two for the entire country in 2012/2013. Victoria will be a familiar face to lovers of The Block television series as she has featured as a Judge in 2012 and as their Real Estate expert in 2013. The phenomenal success Victoria has achieved has not fallen in her lap. She does the "hard yards" and is known in the industry as someone who is passionate about what she does. She simply loves what she does. As a result when Shore people are looking to sell high end residential and waterfront properties on the Shore they more than likely call Victoria Bidwell because she gets the job done. Aidan Bennett put these questions to her about her passion for selling high end homes during March.
AIDAN BENNETT: How did you change professions from Ballet through to being one of New Zealand's Real Estate Supremo's?
VICTORIA BIDWELL: Well it was a bit of a journey and I spent many years in recruitment and HR before moving into Real Estate. I think professional ballet gave me a great grounding in transferable skills such as discipline, dedication and commitment. I always had Real Estate on my agenda as something I really wanted to do.
AB: What do you love most about Real Estate?
VB: It's hard to pinpoint what I love the most. I really enjoy all the interesting people I meet. I have been privileged with some of the wonderful people who have entrusted me with the sale of their home. I love the challenge of finding the right buyer and achieving a great result for people. I enjoy being my own boss and managing my own time. Of course I also enjoy the beautiful homes and creating fabulous marketing programmes to attract an international pool of interest.
AB: Still get nerves when clients homes are going under the hammer?
VB: Absolutely. I always did as a dancer too, right up to my final performance. I often can't sleep the night before my auctions. I have put all the work in and I am always wanting to check I have ticked every box and that it will come together on the day. I think the adrenaline is good!
AB: What is your biggest claim to fame?
VB: A happy marriage and three wonderful children.
AB: Your husband works on your support team. Does he do as he is told?
VB: We are a good team and have different strengths. He was in real estate years before me and now he probably enjoys golf more (he was a professional golfer) Working together means we see each other as I work very long hours.
AB: What do you love about the North Shore?
VB: So much. I think it’s a wonderful place to live. I love seeing the sea and Rangitoto as I drive around and never being much more than a walk from a beach. I love the diversity of people and the relaxed atmosphere. It is safe and full of opportunity for fresh air. I am always amazed and proud of the talents and achievements of the young people who are encouraged and supported by the North Harbour Club AIMES Awards.
AB: Anything the North Shore can do better?
VB: Transport, roads and traffic flow. Maximise the ferry service.
AB: Any secrets to selling expensive homes that you want to share?
VB: No. People are people and houses are houses, some are more beautiful or better located than others.
AB: David Cunliffe or John Key?
VB: John Key
AB: What do you drive and why?
VB: Alfa Romeo Guilietta. I am an Alfa fan and I have had quite few. I love it and think it reflects my personality well. It's comfortable and sporty but not too pretentious or stereo type.
AB: 2014 looks like being a bumper year for business, will it continue to be good at the top end of the RE market?
VB: I think so. The top end of the market has been moving really well for about a year. All the indicators are there for this to continue. The top end took longer to start moving than the lower price ranges.
AB: What do you do in your spare time?
VB: I don’t have a lot of spare time. I enjoy walking, the beaches, eating out, travelling and spending time with my family. I still love ballet and classical music.
AB: Any favourite eating spots on the Shore you can recommend?
VB: Our local café is Corelli’s in Devonport. Ann has created a fabulous community café with home made food. It's very down to earth and Devonport. In Takapuna I enjoy the Little Red Cup for coffee and great food and of course the Takapuna Beach Café. For dinner I enjoy the Japanese restaurant Kyoya in Takapuna.
AB: What makes a good Real Estate Agent?
VB: Honesty, being able to see the big picture, passion, commitment and hard work. It seems to be one of those jobs that some people are better at than others, I am not sure why.
AB: If I wasn't working in Residential Real Estate I would be....
VB: I don’t know. I have often thought that if I won lotto I would probably keep working because I love what I do and it has become a lifestyle. I would love to buy and renovate properties so maybe if I wasn’t selling I would do that. I would also enjoy mentoring younger people to achieve and reach their full potential.