How many identities do you have?
· A mother
· A wife
· A Business Owner
· A Mentor
· A Leader
· A loyal friend
· A music lover
Tell us a bit about your story and how you’ve got to where you are now?
13 years ago I was employed at a Real Estate company, focused on building up a large scale Commercial and Residential portfolio when I came to the realization that Property Managers were not able to focus on growing the portfolio whilst at the same time having enough time to effectively manage it. Seeing an opportunity, I opened up Asset Reports in 2007 to do the tasks which were most time consuming for Property Managers being the site inspections and reporting (Property Condition Reports and Routine Inspections) which allows our clients to focus on their core responsibilities. This has lead me to a position where we now conduct over 20,000 reports per annum and employ over 50 full time staff. In 2015 we opened a Quantity Surveying department under the same brand which led the growth of our Tax Depreciation Business, Strata Maintenance Plans and more. We have a B2B business model and currently operate in Perth, Sydney and Melbourne with more states to follow. These days most of my time is spent on the growth of the business and focusing on developing our own technology and travelling between our Sydney and Melbourne offices.
What has been your most challenging moment in life thus far?
The most significant challenge I faced in the business was at the beginning stage when I was focused on bringing a service to the Real Estate market which was not yet a legal requirement, but simply a service that helped clients reduce their costs and gave them back time to grow their own businesses. This was a brand new service, which no other company was doing, therefore it took a lot of effort to educate and inform our clients of the value proposition of outsourcing. From 2007-2013 with no external funding or mentoring, I grew the business consistently year on year. Then everything changed in 2013 when legislation was introduced making it a legal requirement for all rental properties to have a Property Condition Report – but with that also came competition from new service providers. The brand values are the same today as they were when I started: being responsive, reliable, focused on quality, fair on price, providing fast turnaround times and being flexible. These values have enabled us to maintain our number one position in the market today and to become one of the 3 largest property inspection companies in Australia across all services.
How do you feel stereotypes have affected women in society so far?
History is littered with incredible women who were not held back by stereotypes and neither should we be. Unfortunately, we have been conditioned to think we can not have everything, but times have changed and if we continue to do great things the next generation of young girls like my daughter will not have to discuss how stereotypes affect women at all. The changes I see now is that finally women do not have any expectations to be a certain type of woman, but to be who ever they want to be – even if that’s playing 5 different roles! Look at all of us women at the Modern Day Movement!!
What are you doing to affect change?
We typically recruit new admin staff based on their personal characteristics rather than on their CV as we are looking to work with strong young women who I see a lot of potential in.
I believe I am affecting change every single day by providing traineeships to these girls that have a desire to create a career. In our office we have a clear pathway for all junior staff which focuses on a career and confidence plan. The constant focus on mentoring and training provides safe and stable jobs for these young women and as a result we also have a very low staff turnover rate in the company, as everybody is hopefully happy I truly enjoy working with all young women and seeing them grow.
How have you grown as a person, mentally, emotionally and spiritually since starting Asset Reports?
I feel like I am growing every single day. The growth of Asset Reports has led to large scale staffing which has naturally taught to me to be more patient. I enjoy meeting different types of people and understanding their strengths and weaknesses and reminding myself that not everybody will operate the same way as others. Ever since I got married, my husband and I have a strong focus on self-development and keeping balanced in our private life as well as managing our fast paced daily schedule.
Emotionally and spiritually, the birth of my daughter Willow has taught me to be present. I am naturally quite a fast paced person but time stops the moment I am with her. I love seeing the softer side of myself around her. For the people that know me well they would say that motherhood has balanced me and helped me see the more important things in life.
What would you say to all the women out there who want to start a business are fearful to do so?
Make sure that you are realistic about what is involved and don’t over commit at the beginning. Any business operator needs to have a good handle on core accounting and marketing principals to have a sustainable and long-term business that can grow year after year.
My biggest advice is to always trust your gut, as your instincts are more often right than wrong. Once you have all of this in place, your true potential is just outside your comfort zone.