If you have attended our Insights events over the last few years, you will have been fortunate to see Sarah Heuvel in action.
Engaging every attendee with her passion for both real estate and the law, Sarah has provided valuable guidance on compliant practice, intrigued with fascinating cases, and explained complicated legislation in a way everyone can understand.
Sarah has become one of our go-to compliance experts for members.
This year, following the launch of new firm, HD Legal & Advisory, EAC is excited to introduce Sarah, Tanya Delkou and their team, as our new and very dedicated partners in providing compliance and legal advice.
A key offering to our members, our legal and compliance hotline receives calls from agents located all over NSW. From early 2020, if you have made a call, chances are Sarah or Tanya may have been the knowledgeable voices on the other end of the line.
This month, we took the opportunity to chat with Sarah, to get to know her better; where she has come from, what her new firm offers, how it can really support our members.
Sarah, you are uniquely qualified to provide practical compliance and legal advice to property professionals, when did you start in real estate?
I started my real estate career straight out of High School in 2006. I began as a receptionist, and quickly worked my way up, to become the youngest property manager in the organisation to manage a portfolio in excess of 200 properties, at the age of 20.
I started working at RUN Property in 2008. I continued to dedicate myself to performing at my absolute best and building genuine relationships, which helped me achieve the highest number of self-generated new business in 2011.
You seem to really love real estate. How did you make the leap from property management into the legal profession?
I loved all things Tribunal, so in 2010, I decided to start a law degree. The same way real estate is in the blood of so many agents, law is in my blood – my cousin is a first-grade criminal defence lawyer, and my uncle is a prominent criminal and immigration Barrister in Ireland.
I was accepted into the Legal Profession Admission Board’s Diploma in Law course at the University of Sydney, and commenced studying full-time, while also working full-time.
For the duration of that study – working during the day and then attending uni two nights each week – I continued to build my career and knowledge in real estate.
Working and studying – especially the demanding combination of real estate and law – must have been exhausting. Did you continue to excel and advance in real estate or take it a bit easier?
In 2012, after four years at RUN, I was headhunted by McGrath Estate Agents, so there was no time for taking it easy!
With focus and dedication, my property management skills went from strength-to-strength and I was awarded property manager of the year for three years in a row for all company-owned offices. In 2016, I took out the nationwide award for Portfolio Manager of the Year.
During my time at McGrath, I oversaw the management of more than 400 properties and became the team leader of the inner west property management teams. During that time, I continued with my legal studies, and I went on to complete my degree in late 2015.
How did you get your start in your legal career?
In mid-2016, I was approached to present at the Australasian Residential Property Management Conference. Following the presentation, I was contacted by the Principal of a leading real estate agency law firm and offered a position as a solicitor, dealing with all things real estate.
For the next three years, I honed my legal expertise, learning from highly-skilled and well-respected solicitors in the real estate industry.
I gained exposure to all aspects of the real estate legal world, from handling the sale of multi-million dollar real estate businesses, to defending agents charged with trust account fraud and professional negligence. I regularly appeared at NCAT as well as the Local, District, Supreme and Federal Circuit Court of Australia.
What do you think makes you stand out as a real estate legal expert?
My background in property has given me a practical understanding of real estate language, and also helps me communicate more clearly and accessibly with clients in the property industry.
The relationships I have built throughout my career, I hope, are testament to the level of care I give to my clients and my genuine dedication to achieving the best results for them.
Lawyers understand the law; but understanding real estate law is a completely different thing – and that is one of my strengths.
Why did you start HD Legal & Advisory with Tanya?
Real estate agents and the real estate industry as a whole, have not had many options or avenues available to them when needing tailored legal advice or someone who actually understands their industry.
HD Legal & Advisory is different. From dealing with the Office of Fair Trading in relation to issues pertaining to individual licenses, to handling the sale of a rent roll, HD Legal & Advisory, we get it. We are real estate agents AND lawyers.
Why partner with EAC?
Partnering with EAC was an easy choice to make given we share that same client focus.
They care about their members and want their members to get the best possible service in all aspects of real estate.
We want our clients – also their members – to have the best possible guidance and advice so they can grow and become successful.
Being able to provide real-time advice to clients who are dealing with issues in their day-to-day jobs provides us with a sense of pride – that we too are able to contribute to the success of their businesses.
From the EAC and all its members, a big welcome to Sarah, Tanya and the HD Legal and Advisory team!
HD Legal & Advisory provides a comprehensive legal service to property professionals. Members can contact Sarah or Tanya using our compliance hotline (and receive 30 minutes free advice per month), non-members can contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org