For 12-year-old Isobel Hill, a South East Asian cruise and Hawaiian getaway will be a birthday trip of a lifetime.
Isobel, and mum Michelle, are the winners of the Lugtons $20,000 Epic Travel competition. The fact that Lugtons agents Heather Whyte and Jamie Barakat were able to let the Hamilton-based mother-daughter duo know on Isobel's 12th birthday was the icing on the cake.
"We are absolutely thrilled," says Michelle. "Isobel immediately got on the internet and started researching where 'her extra birthday present' could take us."
Heather and Jamie were excited to deliver the great news on such an occasion.
"Michelle thought we were just popping around to deliver routine feedback from her open homes that were conducted over the weekend," says Heather.
"We handed her the custom wine bottle which had the 'Epic Travel Winner' label on it. It took a while until she realised what it was, then the excitement and planning began," she says.
Having taken a cruise in the past and both loved it, Michelle and Isobel settled on a 12 to 14-day South East Asian cruise from Singapore to Tokyo — a city Isobel is desperate to visit.
"It's just the two of us, so the prize money will definitely stretch to a trip to Hawaii too."
The Lugtons $20,000 Epic Travel competition, held over November, December and January, was open to anyone who listed their property with Lugtons over the eight-week period.
Michelle listed her house in January, without knowledge of the 'list and win' $20,000 Epic Travel prize up for grabs.
"With my background in procurement, I did my research before listing my house. I interviewed quite a few real estate agencies, and Lugtons — especially Heather and Jamie — by far ticked all the boxes," says Michelle.
"They won me over with their laidback attitude, nothing was a problem, and they are extremely easy to communicate with. Entry into the prize draw was a bonus and winning — that was just awesome. But regardless, I will recommend working with Lugtons to anyone who asks. They're great."
Jamie says they strive to go the extra mile for their clients.
"No job is too big or too small. While working on the client's current property goals is important, it's also crucial to begin helping them with their next journey," he says.