When Nicholas Charles started out in real estate back in 1988, he was not so much a rent collector as a debt collector.

Nick, the 155th person I’ve met on my quest to have lunch with 500 strangers, had the job of knocking on the doors of people who were behind in their rent.

In those days, people would pay their rent by visiting the real estate agency and making a cash payment. Except if they didn’t visit the office, Nick would visit them. 

It was a stressful job and it wore Nick down. The final straw came after two years, when Nick knocked on the door of a property … and discovered it had been turned into a drug lab.

Nick left the real estate industry for a few years, but then returned, this time as a sales agent – which he’s been doing for the past 27 years.

Nick’s personality is his number one asset. He’s charming, he’s full of energy and he’s got a great sense of humour.

He’s also a great negotiator: I asked Nick to roleplay some of his dialogue, and I was struck not only by his clever choice of words but also the authority with which he delivered them.

There’s something to be said for 27 years of experience.