Introducing this week’s Agent of the Week, Deborah Cullen. Deborah has had a wonderfully fruitful career in real estate, and, along with her business partner Richard Royle, has recently launched a boutique agency, ‘Cullen Royle’.
We spoke to the fitness-inspired real estate expert to find out all about her journey and why she has decided to take the leap and launch her latest business venture during the midst of a pandemic!
Born in England, Deborah grew up in New Zealand before arriving on these shores in 1984. After starting out in the fitness industry, Deborah soon found her way to real estate in 2007 when she got a job working for an agency on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, and it’s fair to say that she hasn’t looked back since!
“I now live in Terrey Hills, it is the perfect blend of country and coast as I am only eight minutes away from the beach!” Deborah says.
“Now my office isn’t in the city, I get to be mobile from my Northern Beaches base and visit my clients in their neighbourhoods or workplace,” explains Deborah.
And living in an area awash with stunning properties, Deborah has made a name for herself by developing an understanding and an appreciation for the marvellous properties she showcases.
I am very passionate about telling the stories of these beautiful homes.
“The rarer the property, the more interesting and creative I can get in finding the perfect buyer to match it.”
So, who have been the people that have helped elevate Deborah’s career along her journey?
“I have had several mentors along the way both privately and professionally and I’ve been lucky enough to work with some captains of industry who have been genuine sounding boards for my career direction.”
“But my biggest champion has been my husband of 34 years, he has backed me to be bold and most importantly back myself.”
Are you reading Mr Cullen…? Christmas is right around the corner!
“Another great partnership of collaboration has been with the team at Goldeneye Media.
“I very much value not only our friendship but also our strong professional relationship.
“Together we have achieved extraordinary results by producing beautiful films to tell our stories and demonstrate the enviable lifestyle you can have at our luxury properties.”
And what words of wisdom does Deborah have for agents starting out in the industry, who are perhaps seeking advice on how to make it to the top?
“Be patient,” says Deborah.
“Put in the hard yards of building relationships and keeping in touch.
“Listen. Listen. Listen! Then advise, but most of all, enjoy the moment – we are incredibly fortunate to do the job we do.”
2020: From COVID-19 to Cullen Royle
In a year of change and upheaval, Deborah has taken 2020 in her stride.
By approaching the extraordinary circumstances with a forward-thinking mindset, and by turning the negative situation into a positive, she has recently launched Cullen Royle – a boutique real estate agency based upon strong personal relationships.
“COVID has changed my workplace and how I meet clients and engage with them,” says Deborah.
“The creativity of how we work this year has been incredibly liberating, clients are now meeting me in café locations in a more casual way.
“It has been wonderful for building trust and transparency, at the moment there is more demand than ever for beautiful lifestyle-based properties and it is part of our portfolio I very much enjoy representing.
Cullen Royle happened this year as it was very clear that to be independent, nimble and creative was a huge benefit to the way both myself and my business partner undertook business.
“We also have received a range of new business opportunities on the announcement of our agency that hadn’t been presented to us before when we were at large corporate agencies.
“The timing felt right to be boutique, discreet and provide an advisory role to our clients.
“I am lucky to now have my own business where I can choose who I work with and for, 2020 has been an incredibly exciting year of change.”
Swapping the Mansions for the Dumbbells
When she’s not showing clients around some of Sydney’s finest homes, Deborah enjoys working out and her passion for fitness still plays a big role for her.
“Fitness is a big part of my life,” says Deborah.
Before property, I very much enjoyed working in the fitness and health industry and it is a big part of how I work now in keeping the balance of physical and mental health.
“I have a coach that helps keep me accountable and on track as it can be easy to lose that discipline in busy and stressful times!”
But life’s all about balance, right? And Deborah admits that a glass of wine enjoyed with loved ones doesn’t hurt every now and again.
“I also really love having family and friends over for great food and wine!”
We feel you Deborah! And with the festive season approaching, there will hopefully be many more of those moments to enjoy for all!