Double life – Judy Hodge

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Real Estate Agent / Commercial Pilot.

Name: Judy Hodge.

Professions: Real Estate Agent / Commercial Pilot.

Time spent living in the PMQ area: 20 years.

What do you enjoy most about living on the Mid North Coast?

The climate is probably the best in the country, so that kind of suits me. We don’t have cyclones, and we seem to miss the bad storms and winds, which means we can fly more often!

Describe your typical day.

I always wake up early; it’s the best part of the day, so I’m usually up from 5 or 5.30am. Stick the kettle on while the computer is booting up, make a cup of tea and check the weather forecast.

Check for the wind on BOM, check for the rain, check the pilot briefing service, and if it looks like a good day, the adrenaline starts pumping – because I know we’re going to be able to fly. Grab my diary and write everything down I’ve planned for the day, before it escapes my mind!

What makes you passionate about both real estate and flying?

I can’t define what makes me passionate about it, but if I feel something that’s in me, I have to live life true to myself and true to my heart. The flying side is something that I cannot deny, even though I’ve tried to. With real estate, I just love the challenge of trying to find the right property for the right people, and enjoy actually being able to help people during probably one of the most stressful and emotional times of their life by selling their home. I like to help them move from one situation to the next very smoothly and obtain for them the best result that I can. What motivates me and gets me out of bed everyday is the people and seeing their reaction to being treated well and knowing I have done the job well.

I have been in real estate for around 15 years now, and it is something that I just naturally relate to.

How hard was it to get your seaplane Licence?

When I love something with all my heart, I don’t think of it as being hard. It is something I have wanted for a very long time. It’s not an easy thing. Bill Lane, who is my instructor and whom I have worked with for the last two years, said it is equivalent to a university degree these days.

There were seven different subjects, and in the last 12 months I have had 8 exams to sit. Some of them required a pass mark of 70%, some 80%.

At my stage, having to study part-time, run a business, and having my daughter doing the HSC all at the same time, I can say it’s been a busy busy time, yet very rewarding.

What is the best part about being involved in two such different professions?

They are not so different; actually, they are complementary. Aviation is a wonderful and innovative part of real estate; Being able to show prospective clients aerial views of Port Macquarie they can see their new home in relation to it’s surroundings, and this is important in helping the client to become oriented with the area. I derive a great deal of joy in being with people doing scenic flights, seeing their reaction to the experience. I also derive great joy out of helping someone find their new home. I don’t see it as hard work. Of course I’m very busy, but I believe we have a life, so we may as well live it and share it to the full!

I can‘t wait for weekends, if I haven’t scheduled open houses, I have two days of flying. The moment I put on the pilot’s uniform, I’m me; I’m at home. When I’m able to interact with people, both professions complement each other.

What are some of the challenges? Is it hard to balance the time between work and play?

The first thing I do when I get up is plan for the day and write down everything I have to do for this day. When I know what I’m to do, and I have the program in mind, it usually all comes together beautifully. So there’s no challenge, I suppose it would look like that for some people, but I love it. It’s what I thrive on. To go out there every day and do the best that I possibly can and deliver on what I promise is very satisfying.

What would you like to achieve in 2011?

Now that the big challenge of study has been successfully completed and I have my Commercial Pilot’s Licence, I would like to better fine tune my real estate business. I have reached a level where I now feel very competent.

There were times last year I had to defer some of the things that were burning in my mind that I wanted to do with the real estate business, like expand to include leasing and managing Holiday Homes in Port. Now that study and exams are over, I can tend to this new aspect of the business. I hear of people having bad experiences in that area of real estate and I know there is an opening for improved service in that area.

Advice to other people juggling a ‘double life’?

Most mums are doing that anyway, but as long as you are following what is true to you and true to your heart, then you don’t have to compromise.

There are always going to be compromises between one job and the other, but planning, being honest with yourself and with the people you encounter, there will be no need to be frustrated and trust it will all come together.

It is sometimes difficult to get that perfect balance, and that is what keeps my aliveness and gives me adrenaline to keep going.

I wouldn’t do it unless it was something I am really passionate about. I don’t listen to people who tell me I can’t do it. As someone once said-”Unless you are living life on the edge, you are taking up too much room!”

Thank you Judy.

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