If there’s one thing Penny Choyce has learned in her 21 years of real estate it’s the value of a smile.
That and supporting the community in which you live and work.
On Saturday night Penny proved the smile you send out comes back 100 times by being named Agency Support Person of the Year at the 2021 Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) Awards for Excellence.
Held at The Star Gold Coast before a record crowd of 820, the awards recognise those who have demonstrated their commitment to the REIQ’s values of integrity, customer service and best practice conduct, as they strive to stay at the leading edge of their profession.
REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella congratulated the award winners, acknowledging the highly competitive and rapidly changing landscape they’ve operated in over the past financial year.
A record number of nominations saw 194 finalists being judged in the 28 individual and agency categories.
Perhaps none were as competitive as the Agency Support Person of the Year with 10 finalists.
It was the third time the Laguna Real Estate principal sales administrator had been nominated, the third time a finalist and the first time announced the winner.
Known for her excellent attention to detail, Penny has always been there when needed – whether by real estate agents, property managers, buyers or sellers.
Dependable, reliable and resilient, she has continually worked at improving her skills and keeping up with changes in the industry.
“I do like to learn,” she said, “… keep up with latest legislation and keeping on top of things.
“I like to think our agents are doing things for the right reasons, both ethically and legally.”
Living in Tewantin, Penny started in real estate as an assistant property manager, and worked her way through every facet of the industry – holiday rentals as well as sales.
Laguna offered her the opportunity to join them in 2011 and she has been with them at their three Noosa offices ever since.
“I like coming to work and being part of a great team.
“One thing that Laguna has is a lot of people who have been with us for a long time … there are also some boomerangs who leave and come back.
“It gives a solidarity, a sense of community.
“Laguna is always about helping … giving back to the community. That’s something very close to my heart.
“Supporting the people and the place where you live.
“I’ve lived here 30-odd years, brought my children up here and they are about to bring their children up here … it’s a fantastic community.”
At Laguna they brainstorm activities such as helping at the Noosa Triathlon for the past 35 years – through providing the Red Cross sausage sizzle, as well as a drinks stand for competitors.
The Telecross service was one of Penny’s greatest joys.
It was a service Laguna provided in ringing people of a morning and showing that someone cared.
However, privacy laws came in which meant it had to stop.
Riding a camel for Little Haven Palliative Care at Gympie has been a highlight of Penny’s community service, along with Laguna being Melbourne
Cup Day sponsors of the Noosa 121 team.
In partnership with Noosa Yacht Club, they provide sailing lessons and riding for disabled children.
Penny’s role at Laguna involves the meticulous preparation of writing contracts and all associated documentation, file management, and efficient administration support to all of their sales representatives, attending all auctions and managing listings through to settlement.
In addition, she monitors and manages the sales database, the trust account, and disperses monetary proceeds at settlement.
Working in such a high-pressure role is what Penny thrives on.
Away from the office she does pilates but loves to get out in the fresh air and garden.
With husband Reynald she likes to go camping, especially at the beaches where they can get away from it all and enjoy nature.
Getting everything right is first and foremost for Penny, particularly when people are making one of the most important decisions of their lives with housing.
“Near enough is not good enough,” she said, “… especially when buying or selling.
“It’s an emotional time.
“It doesn’t matter which way you are headed, it’s an emotional time.”
A little-known reward for her dedication to the job is that after sales, open houses or auctions, Penny will meet the clients who recognise her as the person that did this or did that.
“It’s a really nice thing to be recognised.
“It’s not that hard.
“In doing that, it helps you.
“The smile you send out comes back a hundred times.”
And Penny has no choice. She is always smiling.