PHOTO: Nadene Lomu. SUPPLIED
According to STUFF Jonah Lomu’s widow Nadene Lomu has returned to the real estate business after trying her hand at starting a cosmetics brand, selling rugby merchandise and being a photographer.
She said she had her hands full raising her sons, selling property and administering Jonah Lomu’s scholarship programme, but she was “doing what [she] loved”.
Her career was helping her to heal after the 2015 death of her late husband, she said.
“It’s been a long emotional journey, and I’ve had to return to something I love, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to move on.”
Dhyreille and Brayley, her sons with the late rugby legend, are now 12 and 13.
“Brayley is much bigger than me now at six foot and is involved with a lot of training. It’s a big juggle, but it has to be done.”
Lomu is an agent for Harcourts and is based at the Alexandra Park office in Auckland.
She said when she and Jonah became friends in 1997, she was working in real estate as a property manager.
“It had always been in my blood but when Jonah and I got together, and when he wanted me to take over his international marketing and all the travelling that involved, something had to go.”
Lomu bought her first home when she was 21, while working a job that was fully paid in commissions.
“I was working in a Wellington real estate office and I saw the property in Wadestown and took the chance.”
Soon after that, she bought an apartment off the plan on Holland Street in Te Aro. The building was being developed by her father.
She said the building was the very first “dual key” development in the local market, with two apartments on one title – a home and an investment rental.
“I said to Dad, ‘find a builder who can build this and, trust me, I will fill it for you’. There was a gap in the market, and now it’s now one of the most replicated models.”
Lomu said in her new role, she was particularly passionate about helping Pasifika buyers to get ahead and understand their position.
“For me, I wanted to more so help Pacific Island people who need someone they can trust with their life assets. For some families there’s no recovering from losing $150,000, if it goes wrong.
“It worries me how many friends tell me that things haven’t been fully explained to them. There’s a lot of real estate agents doing things they shouldn’t.”
Lomu said it had also been difficult working through Lomu’s estate after he passed and finishing that had brought her some closure.
“Considering the position I am in, I fell it’s important to use my skills for good and take the time to help people who might not be 100% comfortable with the process.”
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