A Memorable Moment – Deni Castle
Noosa property guru Deni Castle talks milestones and mad markets with Bec Marshall.
Now in her 25th year as a licensed real estate agent in Noosa, there is not much in terms of property that Deni Castle hasn’t seen, sold, won or done.
The multi-award-winning agent, currently with Ray White Noosa River, has a series of incredible firsts to her name. From being one of the first people in Queensland to use a laptop for work back in 1984 – “The idea was to do real estate sitting under a tree at the beach” – to testing the very first incarnation of the realestate.com.au website – “That was back when you could put up a property listing for $39; these days it costs $1600!”
From securing several millions in venture funding to bring the first ever online auctions to Australia from the United States to giving a presentation at the Brisbane Convention Centre to teach other agents how to use the internet for sales and property management – long before Google, video, virtual tours or auction bids via FaceTime.
She’s pioneered plenty, transformed the growth of an industry and certainly witnessed a lot of boom-and-bust change, but even she concedes she’s never seen a property market quite like the one we’re experiencing right now.
When asked to describe the current conditions, Deni has one word: “Insane.”
“I’ve seen this type of market in 1998, 2003 and 2007, but certainly not with the volatility like it is now,” she said.
“People are in fast-forward. They used to take their time and consider, but now they’re buying sight-unseen; they’re looking $900,000 to $1m more than what they were originally looking at, in areas they didn’t consider before.
“One lady I knew of recently had sold to downsize. She thought she could get a unit, but she ended up couch-surfing at friends’ places for months because she couldn’t find what she wanted.
“I’ve got so many sellers. I could sell their house like that – bang, but where would they go? People who are selling have to pay top dollar to move.”
Drawing on decades of experience and knowledge of the Noosa and hinterland property market, she said she does not expect conditions to change in 2022.
“I see this continuing because, in Noosa, there is no more development, so it will hold its market. There is a lack of property, but there’s bountiful buyers,” she said. “They want that lifestyle, and we have it.
“But I always tell people who ask me for a prediction: ‘He who looks into crystal ball ends up eating glass’.
“My advice for sellers would be if you see something you like, go for it. Every property I’ve ever bought I’ve never been able to afford. The hurt only lasts a couple of years.And my advice for buyers is the old adage: buy and sell in the same market.
“And for both, if your agent does a comparative market analysis, is in touch with the market and has that X factor of emotional value… you’ll have a good sale.”
Deni’s own “X factor of emotional value” is the beating heart behind thousands of good sales she’s coordinated in her 25 years. Empathy, ethics, high standards and a laser focus on the client’s needs were all skills developed in her previous career in education as a guidance officer and through her studies in counselling and psychology.
Moving from Brisbane to Noosa, she made the switch to real estate. Why?
“I’ve always been a stickybeak,” Deni said. “When people used to do their slide nights – everybody would be bored out of their brain, but I would be asking questions about everything.
“I love property. I have always loved it.”
Deni started out with Peter Dowling First National, and then went on to work for Remax and LJ Hooker. She once sold 100 properties in a single year and is rated in the top 1% of real estate salespeople in Australasia’s leading real estate franchises.
These days, all her business at Ray White is repeat and referral.
“I just love listing and selling and meeting people,” she said. “I love that moment when you first walk into a property. Every property has potential, and you look at that potential and you bring it out. It’s like being a beautician.
“I have the best job in the world.”
Five things you probably didn’t know about Deni Castle
1. She was in charge of the Badmington venue and looking after the Queen and Commonwealth Heads of State at the Brisbane Commonwealth Games
2. She started the first competitive female surfboat crew in Noosa when she was a grandmother
3. She was the first female judge to officiate at the Australian Surfboat titles
4. She beta tested the very first version of the realestate.com.au website
5. She brought online auctions to Australia in 1998.