Red Flag Property Leasing
Where did you grow up?
I was born in NZ but spent most of my growing up years in Sale about 2 and a half hours east of Melbourne on a dairy farm.
What did you want to be when you ‘grew up’?
I really wanted to be a pilot.
When and how did you transition from working for someone else to working for yourself?
We lived in Melbourne and my husband who is English (and had followed me across the world) was desperate to move out of the city, so when we decided the time was right to start for a family we settled on the Peninsula (best thing we’ve ever done!) For the few years leading up to this it had dawned on me that starting my own business would be the perfect way to balance family life. After I went on maternity leave I stepped straight into the role of helping my husband with his business Red Flag Systems (security systems installations and repairs) and since then we’ve worked together while I also recently started my own business Red Flag Property Leasing (property consultancy).
What’s your why?
I always had this vision that in the future when I was a mum of a little tribe, if I had a school concert to go to, I didn’t want to ask anyone permission to go. I couldn’t stand the thought of having to answer to a boss for the rest of my working days. I wanted the flexibility that comes with having your own business. I struggled a bit in my early 30’s when I realised I wanted a family but it was going to be so detrimental to my career in my previous corporate role that I’d spent the past 10 years trying to pursue. I worked in a very male dominated industry and they didn’t have a lot of care or thought for working mothers. It was then that I started thinking there must be something better out there as a working mum.
What do you love about what you do?
I love helping people who are the underdogs and the main role in my business is to assist as a tenant representative for business owners and help them negotiate their property lease and the commercial terms. I often find that the Tenant is always in the inferior position (with the Landlord putting forward the terms and preparing the lease). I enjoy giving Tenants an upper hand and teaching them that everything is negotiable when it comes to commercial property leases.
What’s challenged you most since being in business? Marketing myself...getting out there and selling myself has been quite challenging. It’s a skill I haven’t had much experience in the past with.
What are your greatest achievements to date?
Resigning from my job to follow a dream…
What are some of the lessons you’ve learned along the way?
Make sure you seek help from experts rather than trying to do everything yourself. Surround yourself with a team who make your business better and teach you along the way, whether that be graphic designers, accountants, business mentors, property consultants etc. (hint hint).
What are some resources you or your business can’t live without?
Caffeine, internet and support from my family.
What advice would you give someone wanting to start their own business?
Just do it! You only live once.
What’s something most people wouldn’t know about you?
I’m a bit of an open book so there isn’t too much not to know…..beer was my first word.
What does your ideal day look like?
A good mix of family time and work. Nice walk on the beach followed by a wine with a view… and a great meal.
What’s one of your favourite quotes?
It’s better to be at the bottom of a ladder you want to climb, than halfway up one you don’t. – “The Office (BBC)”
Who or what inspires you?
My husband is pretty inspiring as a business owner, he puts everything and more into the business and loves it (most of the time). My parents also ran a successful dairy farm together and worked hard but got plenty of time for holidays etc. That’s our goal really, work hard then go on holidays!
Anything you’d like to add?
Thanks so much for the opportunity to be part of such an inspiring group of women Jess. The support not only face to face at catch ups but also behind the scenes has been fantastic and I really look forward to growing with this group.