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 In Lifestyle

Agents & Their Spaces –
Rae Tomlinson

‘We used to go out and put our own auction flags up, back before you had scabbards to put the flags in. Instead there were clamps right at the top of the boards, so my husband would drive me to the house, he’d put me on his shoulders and I’d be able to reach and put the clamps on the top,’ she laughs. ‘That’s certainly changed!’

As Marshall White partner Rae Tomlinson looks around her family home in Malvern where she’s lived for almost 30 years, she reminisces on its condition when she first saw it with her husband, David.

‘It was a pretty ugly house,’ she laughs. ‘But it was all we could afford back then. We’ve renovated it over the years so that it works for us. It’s totally unrecognisable now from what it was.’

Her home, in a peaceful pocket of Malvern, has been tailored to meet the needs of her family throughout their lives. Now, she treasures the ability to fully open up the living areas to the leafy courtyards surrounding the home, and the masses of character the home embodies.

Part of what drew her to Malvern was its sense of community and family friendly atmosphere, and she has fond memories of raising her four sons here.

‘As the boys grew up on this cul de sac, they used to put cricket wickets in the garage door, and it became a tradition that on Christmas Eve all the local kids would come around and they’d all play cricket in the street, with our dog Harvey fielding,’ she remembers.

Family is a huge part of Rae’s life and has intersected with her career in many ways. In her early days in Melbourne real estate, she remembers Saturday mornings with her husband helping her get ready for auctions.

‘We used to go out and put our own auction flags up, back before you had scabbards to put the flags in. Instead there were clamps right at the top of the boards, so my husband would drive me to the house, he’d put me on his shoulders and I’d be able to reach and put the clamps on the top,’ she laughs. ‘That’s certainly changed!’

Now, two of her sons, James and Hugh, are agents working alongside her in Stonnington. ‘It’s very special to be able to work with family,’ she says.

One of her favourite spaces in her home is her dining table, where the family gathers to discuss their days and look out on her garden, which she tends to in her holiday time.

‘As the boys grew up on this cul de sac, they used to put cricket wickets in the garage door, and it became a tradition that on Christmas Eve all the local kids would come around and they’d all play cricket in the street, with our dog Harvey fielding,’ Rae remembers.

‘We sit around the dining table for dinner, and my son Edward, who isn’t in real estate says ‘Okay, you can talk about real estate for ten minutes, but that’s it!’’ she says.

Rae’s career in real estate began by accident in Canberra, when a local agent suggested she come and work with them when they moved there briefly for her husband’s career. Upon returning to Melbourne, she decided to stick with it.

‘I get a great deal of joy when we sell something for somebody and we sell it really well,’ she says. ‘For most people, their house is their major asset, and it’s incumbent upon us to provide the most efficient and professional service we can.’

Rae has now been an integral part of Marshall White for decades, joining the business as one of the original directors. The level of service she provides has distinguished her as one of the finest agents on Melbourne. She attributes her indefatigable work ethic to advice from her grandmother.

‘She would always tell me, ‘if a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing properly,’’ she says. ‘That’s always been part of my modus operandi, not only in real estate but in everything I’ve done.’

Discover more about Rae Tomlinson below

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