Lucy Cole had a diverse past before finding her niche in the world of real estate. She was previously a housing, insurance, and public relations manager, events co-ordinator, restaurateur, cruise director, owner of childcare centres, a catering company, and ran a recruitment business. She grew up with her Greek family in Melbourne. It was New Year’s Day 2000 when Lucy first opened the doors of Lucy Cole Prestige Properties. Today, her operations cover two offices, with a staff of 30, and her name has become the ‘trusted’ brand synonymous with the prestige property market. She has 30 years’ real estate experience, and plenty of knowledge from the ‘school of life’, and understands people and their needs.
What is it about the Gold Coast and real estate that has made Lucy Cole a household name?
The Gold Coast has been my home for 35 years having relocated from Melbourne. It was a cultural shock for the first couple of years after leaving family and friends behind. I’m passionate about the city and where we’re headed. I love assisting people to find the right place to call home. When I first arrived, I knew no one; there was no one to direct my family and me about anything on the Gold Coast from schools to where the hospital was located to doctors, dentists, lawyers, or shopping centres. My real estate experience to buy a home wasn’t the best! I vowed I would make it my business to be the go-to person to any newcomer on the coast. I achieved this through sheer hard work, working 24/7 (as a single mum), being on various committees, including school tuck shop duty, rugby and soccer duty, attending Chamber of Commerce, creating the Livewire Real Estate networking group for women assisting migrant and church communities wherever possible. My approach to real estate is friendly, welcoming, and to go above and beyond. The title ‘trusted’ is not easily given, but I’m proud to be recognised for that. My aim was for sellers or buyers to have a pleasant experience where the agent listened to their needs and achieved a great outcome for all concerned.
Who’s the most interesting seller you’ve had?
There have been many — that’s what I love about the industry! The most memorable was Lady Hickey after Bartinon was sold. She needed to find a home to fit her 20-seater dining table — not an easy task! I searched tirelessly high and low; we inspected many properties until the right home was found. Since then I’ve sold Bartinon again, the last being to a Chinese family that just loved everything about it. Chinese usually are only interested in new, contemporary homes, but the sheer size, grandeur, and quality attracted them to this property. They were so appreciative of my efforts to secure it for them, including doing inspections late into the night, that they commissioned a beautiful hand painting of flowers from their region in China with wonderful words of encouragement, which I treasure. Another was working with Dr Edelsten when he purchased a property — a very flamboyant man!
Lucy Cole is known for her real estate success, but what does your family know you for?
I’m very family oriented — family means everything to me, especially my four grandkids. I love taking them to shows, but shopping on their birthdays is special. They are asked to prepare a list of five items and then off we go shopping. They can be very creative with the list, but it’s fun. I love spoiling them and spending time with them. The kids love coming over for sleepovers where we always do some baking or prepare a yummy meal, and there’s always the jelly and ice cream to finish the meal — much to the parents’ dismay! At our Easter or Christmas together, we prepare and bake traditional Greek delicacies, which they then enjoy eating (even straight from the oven). The house fills with delicious aromas. Their favourites are yalaktobouriko, baklava, kourabethies, koulouria and moussaka. I also teach them a little of the Greek language; they’re so proud to repeat what they’ve learnt to their parents! I’m often invited to attend as many school events as permitted by the school. I love to watch the grandkids perform whether it be on stage, in concerts, choir, dress-up occasions, or to receive acknowledgement from their teachers. Just being present and to watch their faces light up when they see me makes my day. Having all the family over for dinner is usually a feast of goodies; typically, there’s too much food!
What shaped your passion for selling real estate?
Initially, I liked properties, but soon learnt it was the people who made them special. I decided to specialise at the top-end as this sector of the market had been neglected. There weren’t too many upmarket homes on the Gold Coast in the 1990s. As the years passed and we moved toward the year 2000, the GC was expanding with new unit towers appearing along the coastline. I was called in to acquire the land or to purchase a knockdown property in a prime location and then attend with architects to help with the design. I felt so privileged to see these properties come out of the ground and to shape the luxury market into what it is today.