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How Well Do We Know People in Our Community?

April 5, 2024 April 2024 No Comments

Susan Stephen

Definitely a Wairarapa girl, Susan’s childhood began in Pirinoa, before attending St Matthews College in Masterton, as a boarder. 

“Boarding was a totally different experience then. You didn’t go home for the weekends. In fact, we were only allowed to go home every third weekend.

After leaving school I worked at the Housing Corporation as a cadet draughtsman and completed a Certificate in Town Planning at Wellington Polytech.

Married and returning to Pirinoa, I became involved in the community – Playcentre, the Tennis and Rugby Club. I became a Councillor on the Featherston County Council prior to the amalgamation with the South Wairarapa District Council. I loved it. It was so positive. 

It was easy to contact the right people and action happened quickly. I remember that there was an accident at the cutting south of Pirinoa. I called the County Engineer and asked for a barrier to be installed. Within a couple of weeks, the job was done.

In 1993 John and I bought the Commercial Hotel in Eketahuna and embarked on a new life of hospitality. Eketahuna was very social and busy. We fundraised for the new tennis courts and were on the Main Street Committee to enhance Eketahuna.

Our next move was to Palmerston North in 1997 where we bought an unsuccessful franchise business and I completed a Degree In Management and Marketing at Massey.

By 1999 we were back in the Wairarapa, and our adventure with property began. It all started with relocating a small farm cottage from Eketahuna to Martinborough which we then renovated and sold. We enjoyed the experience and overtime renovated a couple more and built two new homes.

John became a real estate agent in 2000 and in 2002 I joined him. Sadly John passed away in 2012. I continued working as a Real Estate Agent and established my own business in 2018.

In 2002 I sold my first property at 106 Jellicoe St. Section sales at the time, for an 800 sqm

section were approximately $55,000. Today they are closer to $500,000.

Real Estate fluctuates. Some years are busy. 2007, 2012, 2016 and 2022 were boom years. At other times it plateaus or drops.

Personal connection with your clients is a huge part of being a real estate agent. Having sold a lot of properties I realised that when people moved to a new area it was sometimes hard to meet people. I held Client Functions where people could meet. 

I organised coffee mornings to bring new buyers together and introduced them to some of the activities in Martinborough including Woto (Women on their Own), and the Down to Earth gardening group.

I have always felt it is important to give back to the community you live in. I have sponsored and supported community events, including the Pink Ribbon Breakfast for the last 8 years.

My next project is to organise a Fundraising Event for Life Flight in November. Theoretically

I may have retired but there is still a lot on 

‘My To Do List.’

What will I do in my retirement? I am lucky as I have family living in the Wairarapa. I have four delightful grandchildren whom I love watching play sport. Spending time with them is special.

I have a trip planned to Spain, Portugal, Greece and Turkey. And of course my garden is just waiting for me to really enjoy.

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