Reaching towering levels of sales

Christchurch-based mortgage adviser Sue Clydesdale of Mortgage Express has reached the lofty heights of $1 billion in settled sales.

In a career stretching over many years, Clydesdale has been dedicated to the art of the deal and establishing enduring personal relationships.

Now at Christchurch-based Grenadier Real Estate where she has been an established presence for some time, she started her finance career working alongside her brother, Andy Graham, a seasoned mortgage adviser, soaking in the tenets of fiscal prudence and the importance of securing the best possible deals for clients.

The transition from finance into mortgage advising wasn't just a shift in profession; it was a strategic pivot for professional development while also supporting a growing family.

For Clydesdale, each referral is a testament to the trust she has cultivated over time. Her approach to business has been to “get in front of people”, to understand their needs on a personal level and to be there when needed, even if it means countless sales meetings and auctions.

She says in the world of numbers and deals, it's easy to overlook the human element. Behind each of her settled sales of a billion dollars are myriad stories of hope, perseverance and sometimes, defying the odds. One such story is helping a man with seven children secure a mortgage and a home despite numerous bank declines.

In a demanding career, her advice to young financial advisers is both practical and aspirational – patience in a field often characterised by the need for “instant results” and seizing opportunities provided by programmes, such as KiwiSaver, a tool for empowering young people to realise their homeownership dreams.

Clydesdale is honest about the challenges she faces, particularly the tendency to take on too much. She recognises and talks about this as an essential step towards sustainable success and a healthy work-life balance.

She also says the path to a billion-dollar career is not a solitary one and is built on the support and advocacy of colleagues such as Marion Moloney. “Success is a collective effort, and sharing that success only makes it more substantial.”

Although she has reached the zenith of a long career, Clydesdale says retirement is not on her mind, although achieving and sustaining success in the industry is not for the faint-hearted. The enduring power of relationships and the relentless pursuit of service excellence are markers of a successful career, she says. “It’s not just about what you do, but how you do it.”

For the next phase of her career, Clydesdale says balancing traditional values with the need to innovate will be her new frontier.

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