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Shane Cortese

New Zealand Sothebys International Realty & the Next Season

“To thine own self be true,” says Polonius in Hamlet, and it aligns with the new path Shane Cortese has consciously chosen to walk.

The clarity to take the leap, to make a career switch, was triggered last year.

Missing his two sons terribly on a Skype call when working overseas led to a new door opening and cracking open the books prior to passing real estate licensing exams this year “It was great going back to that learning methodology as it’s very focussed on the law now as it should be,” says Shane. “It’s an industry where you are dealing in millions of dollars so it should be very transparent.”

Now in the dual role of national auctioneer and sales associate at luxury real estate brokerage, New Zealand Sotheby’s International Realty, Shane is treading the boards in a fresh context, yet drawing on all the skills gained from his previous life. While his public face may be familiar to many Kiwis, Shane’s depth of professional expertise in the area of salesmanship and negotiation may not be as quite well known. Yet there is a pattern to Cortese’s career choices from regional travel agent in the ’80s to global thespian for the last two decades. It’s all been an understudy period before stepping out into his most fulfilling and rewarding role to date.

Well before the net, Shane made house calls straight out of school armed with an Official Airline Guide sitting down for hours with clients. It’s no different to what he does today, whether it’s with vendors at a coastal property in Raglan or Herne Bay, or in the auction rooms of Auckland, Napier, Wellington or Queenstown.

It’s evident that the ‘people side’ of negotiating is very much his personal strength. So is listening — intensely.

“To be fair, my last career prepared me so well especially the negotiating side,” he says. “The biggest thing you need to do is listen to people to make sure they’re comfortable to get things across the line.

“Put a piece of paper in front of someone and let them take it in. Then hear what they have to say to work the solution around what they want and what the other person wants. Get them to shake hands and meet in the middle — it’s just a simple listening game, it really is.”

As a mentor, Shane has shared the same tip with young talent coming in to acting.

“Listen, listen, and listen. Do your off-lines with the same intention and power as your on-lines because the more you listen to someone else, the more you make them look good and the better it is for you. Real estate is exactly the same — just listening and finding out what people want and dealing with it.”

They say we are all born into this life with several potential paths to personal and career fulfilment. It seems that Shane Cortese has wisely cast himself in his next season — a time of personal truth by being himself and doing the very best by both his New Zealand Sotheby’s International Realty clients and young family.

Words: Sarah Sparks