Buying a property can be scary as hell, especially if you want to build a home from scratch.
I know this not because I’m anywhere even close to buying one myself, but because I have at least some grasp of the fact that an investment worth hundreds of thousands of dollars is a pretty big deal.
So how can the homebuilding process be as smooth and uncomplicated as possible? That’s one of many questions Chelsey Quartermain faces every day as general manager of House and Land, an online platform designed to help Australians choose builders, house designs, estates and developers.
Chelsey and her team combine in-depth knowledge of the property industry with cutting-edge technology, using a patented algorithm and innovative software to make life easier for homebuilders.
Basically, you can match specific home designs with the perfect land and estates to create your dream home with minimal stress.
Chelsey’s extensive experience in real estate, technology and digital marketing means there’s no one better placed to guide House and Land at the forefront of technological innovations in the property market.
We couldn’t resist the opportunity to pick her brain and find out what drives her personally and professionally.
Chelsey, you’ve built an impressive CV with extensive experience in marketing, communications and real estate. Did you always plan to pursue a career in these fields or are you surprised where life has taken you?
“I always had an interest in design and technology which naturally lead me to Marketing and Communications. However, I hadn’t expected to work in the industries that I have and yes, I have been surprised.
“I worked in real estate initially while I studied but ended up staying for 8 years. I became accustomed to the fast pace and challenges of the real estate industry. I then moved to the UK; I specifically wanted to work in travel with dreams of one day working for Richard Branson! You’ve got to have a goal!
“That didn’t happen, but I did work in two travel companies that allowed me to explore Europe and the Caribbean. My biggest surprise was working for the National Gallery in London because until then, I didn’t have an interest in art history.
“Coming back to Australia, I’m loving being back in property and connecting to the industry and network again.”
How do you see new technology changing the real estate industry in 2018?
“Technology such as VR, blockchain, AI and big data are all big topics in real estate. Businesses can use these wisely to create commercial efficiencies and empower buyers and vendors.
“With a focus on providing an exceptional service, the real estate industry can use this tech positively and not be threatened by tech removing the human element to property sales.
“Generally speaking, however, it can take time for new technologies to be understood and adapted to meet the right objectives for a business.
“VR, for example, has been around for some time but is still finding it’s way in terms of practical and cost-effective integration into business models. Big data provides endless opportunities to understand trends and target audiences with personalised experiences for efficient sales but requires a business to adapt internal processes and know how to act on those new insights.
“Technology will, without doubt, bring change to the industry; real estate businesses should ensure they dedicate time to understanding new tech and have strategies in place to integrate them as it’s the only way to stay ahead.
“It can also be viewed as an investment in supporting their industry by being a first mover and guiding the way.”
How do you stay productive? Have you got any life-saving apps or hacks, or does it all come naturally to you?
“I naturally stay productive so I’m usually looking for ways to remind myself to stop!
“I have a mindfulness app on my work phone that sends little reminders during the day. I’m still working on taking breaks, but even just the messages help me stop and take a step back.
“Nothing works better for productivity than a clear head. To me that also means a clear in box with everything filed and labelled. I try to automate as much as I can in my personal life as so that I have more time for myself when I leave the office.
“I use apps for everything; budgeting, booking appointments, groceries. If I don’t have it in an app, or I don’t receive a text message reminder, it doesn’t exist!”
What’s your best advice for women looking to build a successful career in the tech and property space?
“This isn’t necessarily for women; my advice is to look for opportunities in tech that provide an industry or consumer with genuine solutions to their needs.
“There is a lot of talk of disruptive tech and disruptive business models but the property industry essentially seeks tools and methods to work efficiently, navigate any market and like any business, get results.
“Property is an industry that will always need human to human interaction, so tech that doesn’t replace good service but enhances it would be my recommendation if you’re looking to work for or start a business in this space.
“With specific reference to women; I have been lucky to have been supported throughout my career and being a woman has never stopped me progressing into different industries and roles.
“Various male and female leaders have either taken a risk on me or recognised my potential and allowed me to grow, which has helped – especially when I was younger.
“Taking risks by spotting opportunities and not being afraid to stand by my opinions are recurring themes for me.
“Taking those risks and speaking up can be daunting in a boardroom of men – taking an idea or opinion to management that may not be expected can be scary and pitching as the only women in a room of twenty men can be intimidating.
“I do think about being the only woman in many situations, but I’d like to think that if you’re doing anything based on the best of your ability and informed decisions, then more times than not, your gender won’t matter.”