Grateful to be a part of Mid Canterbury

Property Brokers’ agent Karen McRae: “We’re a big work family and all have same values and love doing our bit in the community.’’


Let’s call it the adrenalin buzz real estate agents enjoy when they sell a property to first-home buyers.

It’s certainly one of the biggest kicks that successful Property Brokers’ agent Karen McRae gets since she got into the real estate selling game 17 years ago.

“I love my first-home buyers,’’ McRae said.

“Their excitement is contagious and just makes you smile and reminds you of how big a deal it is, even if they do scream in your ear when you tell them they’ve bought a house!

“There is one such buyer, who will know what I’m talking about.’’

Screamer buyer shall remain anonymous but, loud or not, it’s the people and the relationships McRae enjoys that also makes her job, well, not actually seem like a job at times.

“The trust people put in you also is very humbling. It doesn’t matter how big or small the house is, it’s still the same feeling.

“When clients have asked you for advice and you’ve come up with a plan and that plan works even better than you anticipated, that is also a great feeling.’’

It’s safe to assume that McRae has been humbled by that client trust factor thousands of times over since she got her real estate selling ticket in 2005.

She’s made a name for herself in Ashburton as a respected go-to agent and she’s also an example of what happens when someone backs a local and gives them a chance.

Because back in 2002, McRae was Ashburton Property Brokers’ receptionist before her potential to sell was spotted and an opportunity created.

“My boss at the time thought I’d be good at it.

“I was fortunate to join a team of very experienced salespeople, selling both urban and rural properties, and I’d like to thank them as they were happy to teach a newbie.

“I learnt a lot from them.’’

So McRae got her chance and hasn’t looked back. That, in a roundabout sort of way, is one reason why she backs the Shop Smart, Shop Local campaign, which was as much about recognising and promoting opportunities for locals to shine, as it was about spending money in the local economy.

McRae knows for many businesses and families it was an important time for everyone to adopt that shop and love local approach.

“Over the past 18 months or so, with Covid and the revamp of the town centre, which by the way looks amazing, the retailers and some other businesses around town will have done it hard,’’ she said.

“So it’s even more important now to support them and other businesses in Mid Canterbury.

“Even if they are not locally owned, these businesses create employment and opportunities for Mid Cantabrians.’’

There’s no doubt that McRae deeply cares about her town and the wider Canterbury area.

Her boys live just up the road in Rolleston, with Cam following in her real estate footsteps by also working for Property Brokers and he’s getting married next month.

Her mother still lives in Ashburton and a regular coffee catch-up with mum, and an aunty, remains one of her favourite times.

“Other than that, I’m a bit boring. Work takes up a lot of my time.’’

McRae’s certainly no clock watcher and works as long as it takes on behalf of her customers.

But somehow, she still manages to step into volunteer mode for the Cancer Society, which included helping run the Relay for Life annual fundraiser.

Possibly more importantly, though, McRae also drives Ashburton cancer patients to Christchurch for treatment when she can, saying it’s “nice to do something for people’’.

“There are some people out there battling with the awful disease and I know first-hand how it feels to have someone helping out.

“I lost my dad to cancer nearly 18 years ago. It just seems like yesterday.’’

For McRae, it’s simply about giving something back to a town and community that gave her a chance to shine and has supported her ever since.

And that, she says, is what she loves about Property Brokers where the synergy was obvious.

“We’re a big work family and all have the same values and love doing our bit in the community.’’

– By Daryl Holden