She bought her first home at the age of 20, and just one year later, rookie agent Rae Dennison is on a fast track to success, selling properties for others.
The 21-year-old, who left home at 17 to walk the length of the South Island alone, became a cadet agent with Ray White in Whangarei in March. She has just sold her first two homes unconditionally, despite the lockdown stalling the process.
“I started the first week of March and I had two listings signed up ready to launch on the week New Zealand went into lockdown,” Dennison says. “I put the campaigns on hold and then launched them in the first week we went into Alert Level 3, when we were able to conduct private viewings.”
She’s got what it takes. Real estate cadet Rae Dennison, 21, owns her own home and has already sold two properties unconditionally since starting her career in March.
Dennison had a lifestyle property in Kiripaka under contract within 10 days. It went unconditional in early June, the same day her second property in Whangarei sold at auction for $488,500.
Dennison’s excitement is contagious. She says she is especially excited that the tenants of the Whangarei house (a family) are able to stay on in their home.
“The new owners, a lovely young couple, bought the house as an investment property and wanted to make sure the tenants were looked after.”
Dennison may be a cadet agent, but she is no stranger to real estate. Born to a Kiwi father and Taiwanese mother, she grew up in Taiwan, and says she spent a lot of time helping her parents with their property portfolio – holidays were often spent waterblasting or gardening.
However, she also found time to compete in triathlons and represented Taiwan internationally at the age of 13. When Dennison was a teenager, the family moved to New Zealand where she fell in love with the great outdoors, notably “hiking, camping, rock climbing, mountain biking, diving, free diving, surfing, sea kayaking and sailing”.
Born to Adventure
And this is where Dennison’s remarkable CV astounds.
At 17, the teen backpacked around the South Island on her own – it took her 45 days to walk from Picton to Queenstown.
And by the time she was 18, she was working as a guide on the Franz Josef Glacier.
Her next adventure took her to the West Coast of the United States. She trekked 4000km, through the desert and high alpine country, negotiating volcanic peaks and forests from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail – an adventure that was documented online and attracted more than 30,000 followers.
Returning to New Zealand as a 19-year-old, Dennison based herself in the Abel Tasman National Park where she worked as a hiking and sea kayak guide.
As if she hadn’t already packed a lot into a few short years, Dennison has even been ocean sailing, helping her father sail a yacht back to New Zealand from a tiny island in French Polynesia. And it was no short trip: The pair spent six months island hopping and travelling 5000 nautical miles.
Home now, is Whangarei, which suits the adventurer down to the ground: “Whangarei was a natural choice for me. It’s a friendly small city with everything I need – close enough to my family, to Auckland, and my hardest choice of the day, on a nice summer afternoon, is whether I go trail running, mountain biking or sea kayaking.”
Dennison says she has plenty of mentors at the large Ray White office in the city. “Since starting, the biggest thing I have been impressed by is the openness and willingness to share between experienced agents, and me as a rookie who has just started.”
It was Dennison’s own experience in buying a property that led her to consider a career in selling real estate after working as a property manager in Whangarei. She had looked for a home of her own for six months, and was somewhat dismayed.
“I was 20 at the time and looked even younger, so it was easy (for salespeople) to brush me off when I expressed interest in a property. I felt like I didn’t get the help I needed to buy my first home when I didn’t understand the process.”
Ray White took her seriously, and the results speak for themselves.
PHOTO: Rae Dennison (right) celebrates her second sale with the tenant family, who will be able to stay in their Whangarei home. Dennison may be a cadet, but she has always been a high achiever.