“It was 1988, there was a recession and nothing was selling,” she said.
Having just sold her Subiaco restaurant, The Hard Rock Cafe, Ms Peinke was encouraged to try real estate sales by a friend who was an agent.
She started working in a small agency, moved to a larger one and then started her own agency, The Property Exchange, with a business partner in 1997, eventually buying her out in 2008 during the GFC.
That was another extremely challenging time in the market, with local prices dropping about 20 per cent, but difficult market conditions have never held Mrs Peinke back.
She was the first agent to sell a home for more than $1 million in Subiaco and the first to sell a home for more than $2 million.
The secret to her ongoing success: doing six times more in a day than most people do, and never giving up on clients or deals.
“Being a real estate agent isn’t just about selling a home, it’s about assisting people in every way possible around a property decision,” she said.
“To be really successful you have always had to be a great communicator, be honest, straightforward and give valuable advice.
“The real art in this job, I believe, is in the giving of the right advice – and to be able to do that you have to be an interior designer, a psychologist, a counsellor, a strong negotiator and have to have all the right contacts on hand to carry out your recommendations.”
Ms Peinke said working in real estate also involved being committed to your community.
She is certainly passionate about Subiaco, and has seen the area grow from being the home of university students and sharehouses to a thriving inner-city suburb.
“I would like Subiaco to be the most colourful, active, eclectic, interesting, vibrant suburb in WA and for it to maintain its heritage character,” Ms Peinke said.
She is currently spearheading a campaign aimed at getting the City of Subiaco to buy back the Pavilion Market site and create an international gourmet food and arts market. n