News & Insights
After two decades in real estate, Marshall Whitesales executive Nikki Van Gulick has many fond memories of how real estate has transformed over the years.
‘When I first started, one of the things I did while helping out at auctions was walking up and down the street and ringing the big gold bell,’ Nikki recalls. ‘It was highly embarrassing, but it did bring the neighbours out!’
We met Nikki at John August Reserve in Canterbury, one of her favourite local parks. A Balwyn resident for the last eight years, Nikki moved to the area initially for her three children to attend school.
‘It was important to us that the kids had easy access to public transport and could easily get on the train and tram,’ she says. ‘We’ve stayed because we love the parklands, the relaxed family lifestyle and all the cafes and restaurants. Plus it’s so safe!’
The lush reserves that the area is so famous for provide ample opportunities for Nikki to walk her dog, 11 year old Ollie. ‘He’s very fit for his age,’ she says. ‘We walk every day for about six kilometres so he’s got lots of energy!’
Now that all three of her children have graduated from their studies, Nikki has an even greater appreciation of the time the family spends together.
‘My favourite times in life are whenever I’m with my family. We’re usually around the dining table or in our living room, enjoying a glass of champagne and a substantial cheese platter,’ she laughs.
Over her twenty year career, Nikki has seen all sides of the real estate industry, but the same thing has motivated her all through her working life. ‘I got into real estate because I love working with people,’ she says.
‘It can be a very emotional experience, going through the process of selling a home, both for the buyer and the vendor. It’s really rewarding coming to the end of that process having helped to bring about a great outcome for everyone.’
One of the more memorable moments of her career was being involved in the sales campaign for 24 Pakington Street in Kew, an impressive replica of a Scottish castle built many years ago for the Lord Mayor of Kew.
‘It was such a unique property,’ she remembers. ‘You walked up to it and you felt like you were in Buckingham Palace. It was an off market campaign, but it was very well engaged by the buyers I took through it and it sold very quickly.’
One of the biggest changes she’s noticed over the years is how much more well informed buyers are. ‘Access to the internet has changed the industry substantially,’ she says. ‘People can Google what homes have sold for in the past, trends for the suburbs they’re interested in, there’s so much more guidance for them now. I think that makes people’s expectations a lot more realistic.’
But no matter how much has changed in the industry, the core components of life in real estate continue to bring Nikki joy. ‘When you go into someone’s home and they tell you about their experiences, you get to see a little part of their world and understand how everyone’s different, and that’s an amazing thing.’