Sydney agent Di Grundy is finding a new voice
With sales agent Di Grundy battling an affliction affecting her speech, the irony isn’t lost on her that real estate is all about talking to people.
One of the stalwart female names at BresicWhitney, Di is living/working with motor neuron disease (MND), a neurodegenerative disease that causes rapidly progressive muscle weakness. The condition affects nerve cells (motor neurons) that control the muscles that enable speech.
The symptoms began to take hold in January 2019 with Di’s speech beginning to slur, getting worse throughout the year. Within 9 months, the ability to swallow also became challenging.
According to Di, a focus on hard work and keeping a positive mental attitude has been key to maintaining work/life balance, and getting results for clients.
In November, she notched up one of her landmark sales of last year with a Double Bay apartment sold above $4 million in one day. Unsurprising for anyone who has witnessed Di’s personal approach, it sold to someone she was already helping search for properties.
But it hasn’t always been so seamless.
“There were several clients who thought I had opened a bottle of Bollinger for breakfast,” Di laughs.
“Apart from the obvious challenges of maintaining the verbal communication on which real estate is built, I also had to come to terms with sharing my diagnosis.
“But I’ve been in real estate for more than 20 years and regardless of my condition, many of my clients have been there for me with loyalty and trust in selling their most valuable assets.
“Whatever happens with my speech, I still enjoy a strong negotiation and aspire to great sales results.”
At home, a supportive family has grown used to those new voice patterns, and Di is also working closely with one of Australia’s leading neurologists Professor Mathew Kiernan. She’s exercising to strengthen the throat muscles and improve swallowing, while learning to speak differently to make it easier to be understood.
At the same time, the collective nature of the selling model at BresicWhitney has allowed Di to continue with successful selling and buyer management. The team’s Agents work collaboratively on each other’s listings to identify opportunities to introduce buyers from various channels to get homes sold.
“The support of my colleagues has been immeasurable and I’m so lucky to work in that environment,” Di says.
“As one big team, nothing slips through the cracks for me.”