Best known in her time as a television presenter and pop musician, Fiona McDonald has changed careers and taken up the real estate baton.

McDonald starred in bands such as the Headless Chickens and Strawpeople, which had a string of hits in the late 1980s and early 90s. She has also appeared on TV shows @Xtra, NZ Idol, Ten Years Younger and was a presenter on the Shopping Channel.

But she is also passionate about real estate, with her latest role working at Barfoot & Thompson.

McDonald said she decided to become a real estate agent after her husband said to her "Do you think it is time you got a job?" - after she had been a stay-at-home mother for a few years.

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"I have always loved real estate. When I was pregnant with my first child, and when I was down in the dumps, my husband would say let's go to some open homes because it would just cheer me up.

"I also like the idea of it working for me flexibly as a parent because my role as a mother is still the most important role I have in my life."

Fiona McDonald as a judge on NZ Idol, with Frankie Stevens (left) and Paul Ellis. Photo / Supplied
Fiona McDonald as a judge on NZ Idol, with Frankie Stevens (left) and Paul Ellis. Photo / Supplied

McDonald said her celebrity profile has helped in her career move.

"I wondered if it would affect my credibility as an agent, but obviously I am a new agent anyway and I think anyone has to prove themselves.

"What I have found, because I have been doing it for a little while now, is that through a mixture of my musical background and having been on TV, people feel like they already know me and that has broken down some barriers and broken the ice and people feel very happy just coming up and talking to me.

"I certainly haven't found anything negative. It has all been positive."

McDonald's online Barfoot & Thompson profile says she has an intimate knowledge of the central Auckland area, having lived in the city all her adult life.

"She also understands the importance of listening to her clients, being their absolute champion and is relentlessly determined to achieve the best possible result," it reads.

"With her background in the intense world of the entertainment industry Fiona knows that there's not much that fazes her.

"Calm under pressure and an exceptional communicator, she's got everything it takes to deliver the best outcome for her clients and has a genuine desire to make the often stressful process of buying and selling property a smooth and happy one.

"Nothing will ever be too much trouble and if you're after an empathetic ear and great real estate advice then give her a call."

Fiona McDonald with Grant Fell when with The Headless Chickens. Photo / Doug Sherring
Fiona McDonald with Grant Fell when with The Headless Chickens. Photo / Doug Sherring