by Helen Martin
Growing up on the Hibiscus Coast Jana Mills did well at school, particularly in maths and speech making. After studying business while raising young children she found an outlet for her love of health and fitness working in corporate gyms on the Shore. Further study included a Diploma in Health and Fitness while fitting in television work as an extra on programmes like ‘Xena, Warrior Princess’, ‘Shortland Street’ and a range of commercials and documentaries. Highlights included driving Ray Columbus’ V8 Mustang and Latin dancing with Marc Ellis in the Fresh Up in the Deep End series.
After gaining the necessary qualification Jana went into selling real estate, a job she has always found really enjoyable. Starting on the highly competitive Hibiscus Coast she won several awards before making the move seven years ago to live and work in Helensville. “Prestige Realty is a boutique company with its Head Office based in Orewa,” Jana says, “and I love working for them because my colleagues and manager are great and we look after each other. It’s a job where you create your own pressure and set your own challenges. I find it very satisfying working to achieve the best results for my clients, matching people to a property that’s right for them.”
The way real estate is bought and sold has changed a lot in the 15 years Jana has been in the industry. Whereas in the past all work was done face to face and clients were driven from property to property looking for the right place, now much of the work is done over the internet. “People find a property they like and meet you there,” says Jana, “so an agent has to be good with technology and be ready to respond quickly. It’s not unknown now to sell property to overseas buyers who have chosen a place off the internet.”
As well as selling real estate Jana likes to contribute to the community. She enjoys bringing people together and has set up the Outdoor Pursuits Club that every 6 – 8 weeks sees its members out having fun - caving, canyoning or kayaking- and making friends. She set up the Facebook page ‘Items for sale in Helensville and surrounding areas’ where locals can buy and sell free of charge, and she and her family take part in initiatives to support the homeless in the city and in the local community. “Through the Helensville District Community Group Facebook page we reach out where we can, rotating our help around various groups and people who may be having a tough time,” says Janna. “As long as we’re helping someone we’re content we’ve done our small part. “
by Helen Martin