Kellie Chalker-Hall grew up in Canberra and has lived in Tuggeranong for most of her life. Her qualifications are impressive, as was her 17-year career with Deloitte Access Economics.
After she earned her Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Canberra and gained experience in various marketing positions, Kellie began working in marketing and sales with leading economist Chris Richardson, firstly at Access Economics and then following Chris through the transition to Deloitte.
Kellie married and had three children, including her now 12-year-old son, who has autism. Feeling torn by the high-level responsibilities of her role and her family’s needs, she took long-service leave from Deloitte. At that time, Kellie and her husband sold their family home through McIntyre Property, with principal Col McIntyre, who asked her to become a sales agent, but she refused.
“I was torn with strategic meetings, managing staff and all the things that came with my role,” says Kellie. “I took long-service leave and we were in the middle of selling our home, and Col McIntyre was our agent. I actually didn’t know what I was going to do – I needed more flexibility for my family.
“Col asked me three times to come and work for him. I told him, ‘No, I’m not going to work in real estate. I can’t do the hours.’ Then I thought, maybe I should give it a go – what have I got to lose?
“I needed to organise my work around my family. There was a lot I needed to do for the kids, and particularly for my son who is on the autism spectrum. The flexibility that real estate offered was what I needed.”
So three years ago Kellie called Col McIntyre to tell him she would become an agent. The role to her is very clearly about service delivery and meeting the individual needs of each and every buyer and seller.
“I’m glad I did it,” she says. “I love doing what I do; I find that coming from my background, I’m very much about service delivery. It’s all about building relationships.
“Having a marketing background and having lived here for so long, I know the area inside out and my whole career has been about relationships, although real estate is a very different industry.”
However, it is not just the flexibility to manage her family that Kellie enjoys about her role.
“I approach it a bit differently,” she says. “The old way of being very ‘salesy’ and using scripts and dialogues, that’s just not the approach for me. I feel if you can talk to people, you are genuine, and deliver what you promise, it all falls into place.
Her genuine approach builds trust with buyers and sellers, and she says they are all different, with different needs, expectations and approaches.
“I don’t worry about what everyone else is doing,” says Kellie. “I don’t care who else has done an appraisal – I care about building a relationship with someone and providing them with a service, and being upfront and honest with them.
“It’s about helping people through the process and pleasing the people you’re working for. I could have been better off financially doing what I used to do, but I really enjoy what I do and find my role extremely rewarding.”
Kellie’s approach is not only valid, but it achieves the results her vendors want. In 2020, she made her first sale above $1 million and went on to sell another home for $1.32 million.
Remarkably, the busy mother and agent still makes time to raise funds for charity. In 2020, with Tiny’s Car Challenge – which raised $87,666 for non-profits in Canberra – Kellie was able to contribute the second prize in the challenge: $5000 in cash.
“I’m running my own race,” she says. “If I can help people, that’s great. This business is about people – we’re dealing with people’s lives.
“There’s often some link between my clients and my own life, whether it’s because I went to school with someone, or know their parents, or whether it’s through my kids. That’s the great thing about Canberra – because I grew up here I often have connections with the people I know in the area.”