Following in mum's footsteps. A message for Mother's Day.
Flowers, chocolates, breakfast in bed. We all love to make a fuss of mum on Mother’s Day! But this year at Barfoot & Thompson, we thought we’d try something a little different by celebrating the offspring too. You see, we have quite a few ‘Mother & Child’ teams working at the company. Two generations on the job together - keeping it in the family and playing a big part in what makes our business so great.
So (drum roll please) … we’re delighted to introduce Andrea Kent and her daughter Celeste, Jean Smith and her son Craig and daughter Courtney, Megan Cox and her daughter Livvie, and finally Elizabeth du Plessis and her son Ian. We asked them what it’s like working together, how this has enriched their relationships, how they manage to juggle professional vs. personal life, and if they have any special messages for Mother’s Day. Here’s what they had to say.
Celeste & Andrea Kent
Andrea Kent - Residential & Rural Sales, Browns Bay
Mother of Celeste
“Enjoy the company of your family, laugh and make fantastic memories.”
The thing I love most about being teamed up with Celeste is that she’s motivated, enthusiastic and fun to work with, and although we share some of the same traits, our strengths are in different areas which gives us a very balanced perspective. As mother and daughter, we have always been close, and now spending a lot more time together - planning and discussing people’s needs and requirements - has cemented how important family and relationships are. I’m proud to be Celeste’s mum. She is a beautiful, caring and empathetic young lady who puts other people’s needs before her own. She’s also fantastic company, and has a great sense of humour, which makes every day a joyful one. My message to the world for Mother’s Day? Enjoy the company of your family, take crazy photos, laugh and make fantastic memories.
Celeste Kent - Residential & Rural Sales, Browns Bay
Daughter of Andrea
“I have always looked up to her, and wanted to follow in her footsteps.”
It was definitely my mum who inspired me to get into real estate. I have always looked up to her and wanted to follow in her footsteps. We are very close and she’s one of my best friends, and now working together every day is always fun. I love that she is motivating and wants me to succeed, which pushes me to work harder and be my best! She is also a great role model, and always there with the right advice at the right time, like ‘be good, be safe, be careful and make wise decisions’. What does Mother’s Day mean to me? In our family it has always been about getting everyone together to eat LOTS of food and play games (sometimes we even let her win).
Lisa Courtney, Jean Smith & Craig Smith
Jean Smith - Branch Manager, Mt Albert
Mother of Lisa & Craig
“Be strong, work hard, stand up for injustice and love your ‘bairns’ (children).”
Both Craig and Lisa grew up around real estate, so the choice to follow me into the profession, and specifically to work at Barfoot & Thompson, was an easy one for them I think. They’d seen how much I enjoyed my job, and how (with the help of family) I was able to earn enough so that it changed our lives - there was never a glass ceiling. They also witnessed over the years how the company looked after its people, and they are both fiercely loyal to the brand. I am proud of both of them. They have great work ethic, they show immense loyalty to their family and friends and are very generous with their love, time and money to worthy causes. I also admire what wonderful parents they are, they demonstrate great patience and I have five wonderful grandchildren that I adore. Mother’s Day reminds me of my own mum, and all that she taught me - to be strong, to work hard, to stand up for injustice and to love your ‘bairns’ (your children). It’s a message that still holds true today.
Craig Smith - Branch Manager, New Lynn
Son of Jean
“Mum is the most positive person you could meet and would help anyone that asked.”
Mum played a huge part in getting me into real estate. She always loved her job and got so much joy from it - this is what inspired me to go down the same career path. As well as being the first female Auckland President of the Real Estate Institute, then regional Director, she’s actually the most positive person you could meet, and would help anyone that asked. Her industry knowledge is second to none. And whenever I’ve faced challenges, she has always been my first port of call. Offering guidance without actually telling me what to do, that way I’d learn from the situation as well. Her best advice: be yourself and treat people how you would like to be treated. I think Mother’s Day is a special day for us all, as we get to thank our mums for all the things they've done for us over the years. The older you get the more you realise just how good a mother/parent they are.
Lisa Courtney - Residential Sales, Mt Eden
Daughter of Jean
“You’re always there for us, generous, strong, smart and fun. Love you so much xxx.”
Real estate is literally part of our family’s life, and always has been. Growing up, mum made her job seem like a great balance of hard work with amazing benefits - from lifelong friendships to life changing moments for her clients, and it was life changing for us too, because of her (well-deserved) success. I love that I can call mum anytime, with anything from advice on a listing to letting her know that our youngest will be scootering to her office after school if I have an appointment! She is such a fun, inspiring, amazing Nannie Jean and beyond generous. Always unconditionally proud of her family and knows how to enjoy life, whether that’s a fabulous family getaway, having all the good treats for our children or a famous Nannie’s Steak Pie delivery - we’re always on the lucky side. Just watching mum has been my greatest lesson in life. You can do/be anything. You should lift each other up. Be generous, be grateful and celebrate… everything! My message for Mother’s Day? Just how amazingly blessed I feel to have Jean as my mum! You’re always there for us, generous, strong, smart and fun. Love you so much xxx.
Megan & Livvie Cox
Megan Cox - Residential Sales, Whangaparaoa
Mother of Livvie
“The perfect mix of business and pleasure!”
I love working with Liv as it’s incredibly relaxed and we have a lot of fun (most of the time); the perfect mix of business and pleasure! We have very different strengths, and the blend works incredibly well in our business. Liv first started working with me as a PA, and I really enjoyed having her by my side. As time went by, her knowledge and experience grew, and she’s progressed into an incredible young saleswoman. I have two beautiful daughters, and I couldn’t be prouder of them - both strong women, with kind hearts but they also speak their truth. My beautiful mother just passed away on April 25th (as I write this), I am incredibly lucky to have been blessed to have had such an incredible woman to be my loving guide through life. The unconditional, unwavering love she gave to me has been one of life's greatest gifts. These wonderful women deserve to feel their children's love and respect on Mother’s Day – don’t be too busy to give these beautiful mothers your time.
Livvie Cox - Associate Salesperson, Whangaparaoa
Daughter of Megan
“She has shown me so much understanding and kindness over the years.”
You could certainly say that real estate is in the genes. My mum came to the industry after being inspired by her father, then I did the same after being inspired by her. A funny fact is that I had my interview with Garth Barfoot on the exact same day as my mum – only it was 28 years later! I love working with her, seeing her every day, and having a damn good laugh with our similar but silly sense of humour. She has shown me so much understanding and kindness over the years, keeping our personal and professional lives separate is near impossible, but we wing it and have fun - and I have learned from her that patience and persistence is key in this industry. As a new mum myself, I am now seeing Mother’s Day in a totally new light! I never knew not only the love you have for your children, but just how much of your being goes into being a mum... it’s EVERYTHING! My mum is an incredible mum, a role model I look up to in raising my son.
Elizabeth & Ian du Plessis
Elizabeth du Plessis - Residential Sales, Pukekohe
Mother of Ian
“When there is a good family relationship you can handle anything life throws at you.”
I wasn’t at all surprised that my son Ian ended up in real estate, as his wife was working with me a few years back as a Sales Associate, and when you have families that understand the demands of this industry, it makes it so much easier. I really enjoy working with Ian - we bounce ideas off each other and support each other in the business. Spending a lot more time together on a daily basis has definitely strengthened our relationship. He has clarity of thought, he’s very astute and hard-working and I am proud that he’s such a high achiever. My message to the world for Mother’s Day? Mothers are an integral part of the family unit, and when there is a good family relationship you can handle anything life throws at you. Particularly as we didn't have an extended family here in New Zealand, it was important that our family worked well together as a unit.
Ian du Plessis - Associate Salesperson, Pukekohe
Son of Elizabeth
“Show your mother you love her today; she won't always be there.”
I consider it to be a true privilege to work with my mum. I love the fact that I get the reward of spending a lot of time with an excellent woman, who I respect and have fun with. Funnily enough, she actually encouraged me not to join the real estate profession, as I already had a good career. However, in the end, she was the one who inspired me into it. The best advice she’s ever given me is ‘whatever you do, hold onto God’. What does Mother’s Day mean to me? It's a time to reflect and celebrate mothers, and the immense sacrifices they make for their children. It’s important to show your mother you love her today; she won't always be there.