We are so exited to introduce you to the lovely Jacqui! A student in our DevelopHers Masterclass, we met Jacqui last year at our Weekend Intensive and we are so proud of her big life changes so far.
We sat down and had a chat with Jacqui about her past and what is in her future – join us in getting to know Jacqui.
Tell us a bit about you:
“I work in commercial construction as a Design Manager and I love designing houses! I have always had an interest in designing houses and drawing floor plans. Whether it’s the design of a shopping centre, hotel, apartment complex or a single dwelling – it all excites me! I love the learnings and the challenges, but ultimately it’s the execution of the final product that provides me with an immense sense of achievement.”
When Jacqui started out like everyone else, she had the same issues, how to do it and what do you need to know? Even coming from a construction background, there is lots to know in different niche areas. What impressed us about Jacqui was the determination to work through the big decisions. And sometimes that means workshopping a number and hypothetical scenarios to decide what the best pathway is for you, and only you can decide that.
We asked Jacqui "What led you to think about building/ renovating/developing ?"
From a young age I was exposed to real estate, and I loved it. My grandma was very successful in this area, and I saw how the results compounded. Additionally, I was fortunate that my best friend’s mother had a strong interest in real estate, and we would attend open inspections every week after Saturday morning sports for years. Both these women influenced my path towards developing real estate greatly. I subsequently worked in real estate for 5 years, whilst I obtained my Bachelor in Property Development and Valuations as well as my full real estate licence at the REIV. I didn’t pursue a career in real estate, ultimately because I didn’t want to work Saturdays. I knew I wanted a career that would be flexible and support family friendly hours. The inspection that turned my love of design and real estate into a reality was the inspection of the oh-so impressive 71 Cunningham St, Northcote. I picked up a brochure for BuildHer Collective and held onto it for 2.5 years.
“I knew these ladies would influence my future; they had the level of success I wanted. I was impressed that the Buildher Collective product was design led with an emphasis on quality and creativity rather than ‘cheap and cheerful’ quick flip renovations – it aligned with my values. As I followed BuildHer Collective on social media and their podcast, I realised it was all attainable.”
Making a life changing decision is hard. You need to get all your ducks in a row, plus have a family who is on board, and behind it all a strategy and of course plan B, C and D!
I signed up to BuildHer Collective to become financially confident in my decisions in pursuing my dream of property development. In achieving this confidence, I learnt quickly how to remove emotions from the equation. This made the decision to sell our Brunswick East home simple. I realised it was a better decision to sell our house than proceed with a second storey renovation. It was more risk averse to undertake a better project, on more land, where I had stronger comparable sales and greater profit. The numbers get you excited and it’s a no brainer! Whilst my husband felt it to be a sacrifice/big decision I never saw it that way. The decision was easy to me- it provided better opportunity depending on what we decide to do with it in the future. For now, it’s going to be our family home with a view to undertake Dual Occ developments in the future.
Focus on the possibilities and use the numbers to support your fear!
How did you get ready for sale?
We kept works simple as we felt the purchaser would likely do the renovation we didn’t undertake. We moved out for 4 weeks whilst we re-did the floors, repainted, undertook minor landscape works, installed new blinds, lights, and painted the roof. I think it was a big ask for my husband, as it disrupted our Christmas break, but I was energised by the journey ahead.
Through all this Jacqui has been working full time in a demanding job that you can’t let slip. That means being organised and finding pockets of times in the evenings and weekends to work on your reno or build. It can be done and in the end it will be worth it.
“I find working on my personal projects invigorating and a creative escape after a day of work. With COVID all meetings relating to our new home have been via zoom which has actually worked well for us to manage both work and side hustle. Ultimately it is essential to have a great sounding board to ‘do the Side Hustle’ with confidence, whether that is a supportive partner or the Buildher Collective women.”
Want a sneak peek of Jacqui’s new home?
Still in concept phase, Jacqui is working with @bryant Alsop Architects and is making some big decisions. External materials, these will shape the home and feed in considerably to the design. She is considering how the roof is celebrated and pairing that with a fine textured cladding system from @James Hardie.
“It’s going to be a beautiful family home with a strong emphasis on natural light, inviting warmth and fabulous gardens for entertaining. I think we are creating something truly special, and I can’t wait to show you all!”
If you can say one thing to someone who is wanting to make a life change – what would it be?
Just do it! If you are reading this you clearly have an interest or talent so lean in, feel the fear and do it anyway. Don’t let money stop you pursuing your dream, there is always a creative financial solution to get you started and there is no shortage of joint venture opportunities for those looking to get their foot in the door.
I can’t believe how much our present and future has changed from decisions made over the last 12 months.
My husband, dogs [Chloe & Frank] and I are on an exciting journey towards financial freedom and living the lives we have designed for ourselves. I feel incredibly proud and am so appreciative of the Buildher Collective founders and members for having such a profound influence on my life.