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S2: Episode 2: Jane Kelly - Avoiding Common Mistakes When Building Your Property 1

S2: Episode 2:
Jane Kelly Avoiding Common Mistakes When Building Your Property

Season 2 of Axons Unleashed continues...

What are the top mistakes people commonly make when building a property and how do you avoid them?

Jane Kelly is our special guest for this week’s episode. Jane is the head of our Build Support Department, one of Axon’s most senior employees, and also one of the few ‘civvies’ on the team! How exactly did she end up here with us, what does the Build Support do, and how do they project manage the build of our client’s properties? Listen in to this episode to find out.

Listen to Axons Unleashed:

TRANSCRIPT:

Robbie:
Good everyone. My name's Robbie. Welcome to the next episode of axons unleashed. You're listening to season two. I'm here with Dan, I'm here with Tamara. We've got a special guest with us today. It's the amazing Jane. She's our build support manager.

Tamara:
Hello-

Jane:
Hi, [crosstalk 00:00:27].

Tamara:
... I'm actually so excited to finally have a female in here and just one of the female crew.

Dan:
Nevermind. We're not good enough at it, we'll just keep on moving along.

Jane:
This is a boys club.

Tamara:
You know what, I have lived in a boys club in Axon for quite a while and we are now fighting back. We've got quite a few of the females in the business and I'm so proud because yeah, we have absolute superstar females in our business.

Dan:
We must be close to a 50, 50 split.

Tamara:
We're pretty close. We're pretty close. We're getting there. We'll take over soon.

Dan:
It makes me so proud to see like that really, really favorable split that's going on there as well. But also the fact that it's not just like Robbie or Dan or Tamara that's driving things is a lot of the time, it's the other female team members that are really starting to drive initiatives forward within the organization. So it makes me super stoked to see that.

Robbie:
Or certainly is the case when you give someone a whole capability to manage by herself. Jane welcome buddy. How are you?

Jane:
I'm great. It's exciting to be here.

Robbie:
Yeah. You joined us about three or four months ago for one of our live Q and A's-

Jane:
Yeah. Little while ago now.

Robbie:
... which you were extremely nervous to do beforehand. And then it got off afterwards. You like, "That was fucking awesome, I want to do it again"

Jane:
I think I was on a high for like two hours afterwards. And your husband's like, "When are you going to go to bed?" I'm like, "Never."

Dan:
Never, our work is still going for ever.

Robbie:
So this is a quick little heads up even though we do have nine veterans working in the business at the moment with the 14 team members, you don't have a military background.

Jane:
I do not, not at all. Now I'm one of the very few in the business that-

Tamara:
One of me.

Jane:
... that do not have [crosstalk 00:01:58].

Robbie:
Yeah, you are civilian, you're noble.

Jane:
Yeah. I'm with with Tammy.

Robbie:
Well, you didn't until you got posted to Axon.

Jane:
Well, this is true. And I think I've heard Tamara say a couple of times, like I definitely feel like I know more about the military and things like that than what most civilians may do. And even just the lingo and stuff like that, we got-

Tamara:
Oh, yeah, that glossary is in full force with-

Jane:
Yeah. All the acronyms.

Tamara:
Even sometimes I'll be looking at... There was one the other day, I'm like, what's Oh, Oh... I can't...

Jane:
There's so many of them.

Tamara:
Yeah. Working... WEF?

Dan:
I can't even help you both.

Robbie:
Yeah, with effect, WEF.

Tamara:
WEF-

Robbie:
With effect from. Yeah, obviously.

Tamara:
Obviously.

Jane:
[crosstalk 00:02:36].

Tamara:
I sat there for a moment looking going, what is that again? What is that again? And then Rodriguez, "Oh, yeah, but with effect from." yeah.

Robbie:
Hi. So tell us a bit about your background because the one thing I love about talking to you is that you do have context. You've worked in the property space. You've worked for other businesses similar to ours. You've worked the builders before. So your industry knowledge is second to none from that sort of perspective. And therefore you get to work with our defense clients. They're highly organized. They're very motivated. They're great communicators. They've got a plan in place and they love being coached. So I guess before we start telling everyone the story about how you discovered Axon, just give us a quick little rundown about who are you, what's your background? How does it all work?

Jane:
Yeah, so, I guess before my career in, I guess, construction and real estate, I was a hospitality hoe. When I say that it doesn't mean I was a hoe, it just means that I have a hospitality background. I loved it. Loved, loved the customer service side of things. And then I guess I progressed from there. I was going to be a teacher in a different life. And then in a long story short ended up in real estate basically. My first job in real estate was as a contract administrator for a building company or property market actually it was, and we only marketed one particular builders product.

Jane:
I moved very quickly within about six months into a business development manager role there. I was there for many years. So I had developed that really strong background and knowledge of residential construction ind in particular.

Robbie:
What was it about the property sector that made you stay like you went from bouncing around a few different hospitality jobs as you described it. What about the real estate sector that went, "I'm actually enjoying this, may be I'm going to stay for a little while."

Jane:
Yeah, I think I just fell in love with the... I've always loved property and I've always loved real estate. So I grew up in a family where my parents did very well at a real estate. They were, I guess, the minority that actually did quite well on their own with it. I grew up renovating houses all Queensland and things like that. And then I guess real estate too, you're still, I guess, helping people. I really liked that.

Tamara:
Knowing what I know about you now, I would say that you're also very results driven as well. So it compared to hospitality where it's kind of the same thing day in, day out, but you don't really have an end project-

Jane:
No. You don't.

Tamara:
... whereas with a house, you get to see that in its full sort of project, you get to see the start, the middle or the finish. And I think that's something that you're really driven to because you get to see that tangible outcome as well.

Jane:
Yeah, definitely. You definitely get out what you put in, so to speak. So, you work really hard for that sale if you're just selling an established property. And it's the same thing when you're building a property. So you get to see it, like you said, from pre-settlement right through the construction and into the end, and then obviously getting it rented out if it's an investment property handing over, moving in it's... The whole thing just really, I don't know, makes me [crosstalk 00:05:31].

Tamara:
It's emotional thing too. Like, sure people are happy in the hospitality venues, but they're not happy like that. That's happy from booze, but they're not happy like when they are when their house gets finished.

Jane:
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. It's the best thing in the world, seeing how happy your client is to get to the end of it and to actually have a stress-free experience as well, which is what we at Axon really try to provide our clients.

Robbie:
Talking about finding tenants and stuff. You did some time as a property manager as well. Right?

Jane:
I did.

Robbie:
And that's one of the more thankless jobs in the real estate sector.

Jane:
Absolutely. Absolutely.

Robbie:
We had this discussion [crosstalk 00:06:06].

Tamara:
Hands down to people that are property managers. My goodness.

Jane:
Yeah. It's a really tough job. And I guess as a property manager, you're effectively being paid to deal with people's crap or deal with people's problems or properties with problems.

Robbie:
Yeah. Because no one rings you up as a rental manager and goes, "Hey, Jane just wanted to let you know everything's amazing."

Jane:
Yeah. "My taps is working really well, or the hot water is really hot."

Robbie:
Like, "I really love living here and I just paid the rent on time."

Jane:
Yeah, absolutely. [crosstalk 00:06:32] like that.

Robbie:
No one ever.

Jane:
Yeah. It's a very, very thankless job. I didn't do it for a long period of time. I enjoyed doing open homes on a Saturday and actually leasing properties. I didn't enjoy the other side of things where I was dealing with lots and lots and lots of issues. So yeah, I wouldn't say I hated it, but it definitely gave me a lot of appreciation for the people that we do work with, that's to our property managers.

Robbie:
Yeah, because that role also has a very high turnover within the industry-

Jane:
It does.

Robbie:
... doesn't it? So that's probably one of the quicker things that people move through their like, I've been a rental manager, I'm not doing that again. I'm going to keep on moving on to the next thing within that industry. So, I suppose just using that as a bit of a background Jane, what do you think now when you see some of the team members that we've got that have been rental managers now for like years and years and years.

Jane:
Yeah. So I think there are a select few out there that they're actually meant to be doing this job, opted to be property managers and that do actually enjoy it. They have the knowledge, they have the experience, even the legislation is always changing. So yeah, the ones that we work with, thankfully are excellent. And we actually are lucky enough to be able to have a select few that work with our clients. We don't just have anyone. We've actually handpicked a few partners that we work with.

Robbie:
One thing I've really noticed is that when you give them a call and go, "Hey, X, Y, Z is going on, I need you to now step in and solve this problem for you." They're like, "Sweet man. No worries. Let's send me details." But they don't shy away from it, they are not like, "No, fucking, here we go again."

Jane:
Not at all.

Robbie:
It's a really, really neat thing. So how many years did you do in the industry, in the whole real estate industry before you made contact with Axon.

Jane:
So I've been with Axon for, I think it's almost two and a half years now. Is that right?

Robbie:
Yeah. You're definitely in your third year.

Jane:
Getting out there, getting out there. So I started in construction real estate in 2012. So I'm pushing 10 years-

Robbie:
Nearly 10 years. Yeah. Great.

Jane:
Yeah. Pushing it. And I would never change it.

Robbie:
How many houses do you reckon you have been involved in from a supervision level or exposure level? How many houses do you reckon you're built?

Jane:
Oh my God.

Robbie:
A few hundreds?

Jane:
Is it?

Robbie:
Yeah.

Jane:
Yeah. Hundreds.

Tamara:
Yeah. It's been a few hundreds with us.

Dan:
Yeah [inaudible 00:08:42].

Jane:
Yeah. Absolutely hundreds, hundreds. Yeah.

Robbie:
Yeah. So it's good. So you're expert in the industry and then just share with everyone, how did the introduction at Axon take place?

Jane:
A funny story actually, because I was doing mainstream real estate and a little bit of property management because the business that I worked for had just acquired a rent role. So that's how I started doing the property management. Things got a little bit quiet. I was sort of feeling a little bit bored. And then my best friend was actually working for Axon.

Robbie:
Kylie?

Jane:
Kylie. Yeah.

Dan:
Amazing lady.

Robbie:
Yeah. Yeah. She's great.

Jane:
She's [inaudible 00:09:15] a lot. I think I'll keep her around. So yeah, she was already with you guys and I kind of met you guys socially, I guess, a couple of years prior as well.

Robbie:
I remember it was at a international women's day luncheon that I think Tamara, might've gone to-

Jane:
Tamara.

Robbie:
... and met you young ladies and had a couple of cheeky-

Dan:
That was before we went there.

Tamara:
Yes.

Jane:
Yes.

Robbie:
Yes, yes, yes. All right. So this is 2017.

Tamara:
Yes. Yes. A couple of espresso martinis down range.

Jane:
There was definitely a few cocktails had that day. I can't remember if I was pregnant or not though. It might've been one of my-

Robbie:
No. One of the ray years you haven't been.

Jane:
I know you guys are just getting used to be not being pregnant by the way. so yeah, Kylie was already with Axon, and then I guess the opportunity just organically came about, you need a day build support assistant, and Kylie said, "Oh, hang on a minute. We'll let's have a chat to Jane" So you guys brought me in, had a chat, that was on the Monday. I remember it so clearly. And then I think I pretty much rang you guys at night and said, "Yep. Let's go for this [crosstalk 00:10:17]."

Robbie:
Yeah, yeah [inaudible 00:10:17]. Like I remember you sitting on the lounge here in our office in Coomera, then you spoke really well-

Jane:
It just felt really right.

Robbie:
... really had the industry experience.

Tamara:
You're just the right fit. So when we talk about recruitment, there is so much pressure on us to make sure that it's the right fit, not just for us, but for you, for the employee. And it just really felt like the right fit.

Robbie:
And as we've seen on many occasions now, Dan, if we've got someone that gets introduced to us for the potential for them to come and work here, if they've come from recommendation or they're come from that sort of personal circle, it generally works a whole lot better.

Dan:
Because generally people don't go ahead and say, "Hey, here's one of these people that are now going to put my name to-

Tamara:
Exactly.

Dan:
... and say, I'm going to put my reputation on the line unless, you know it's highly likely going to work out. So I'll put your [inaudible 00:11:07] ahead of other people.

Robbie:
So you were obviously feeling good after having a chat with us as well?

Jane:
Yeah. I was. I was a little bit nervous because I'd been with the same, even though the business had sort of change who I was with previously a few times, it evolved into different things. I'd been with the same people for six years or whatever. So it was a big thing for me to step away from it.

Robbie:
That's a good trait to have these days.

Jane:
Yeah.

Robbie:
It's something that we liked about it. The fact that you, you weren't-

Tamara:
A job hopper.

Robbie:
You weren't the W word in the real estate sector. Yeah. You'd actually found your crew there and you're relatively happy. Everything changes I suppose you're looking for the next challenge in your life.

Jane:
I think I just saw the opportunity and yeah, like you said, the challenge, and it was something that I was already experienced in, I obviously had the industry knowledge, but it was definitely a fairly newish kind of role as such. I knew how to do it because of my previous experience. But yeah, it was a small team, everything just really appealed to me. So I jumped ship pretty quickly.

Robbie:
And noting that you've worked with other or been exposed to other businesses similar to ours-

Jane:
Absolutely.

Robbie:
... you would agree the majority of them don't have that dedicated build support, project management function, do they?

Jane:
No, they do not. So I-

Robbie:
So that would have been a bit foreign to you?

Jane:
Yeah, look, it was I guess as someone that worked as a marketer or BDM basically for building company, that's basically, I guess what I did, we did that internally in the building company, not the marketer. So the marketing didn't do the build support, it was an internal builder sort of function-

Robbie:
Yeah, project management role.

Jane:
Yeah. Absolutely. But even still that builder did not have a specific build support team. It was kind of run by the office admin person.

Dan:
And it might've been hard to grasp at the time, but when we were sitting down and telling you that look, 99% of our clients that are all in the military or veterans, so I guess they cut from a different cloth knowing what you know now, like what would you say to Jane about the clients and the interactions that you have now, based on your previous experiences, when you're just dealing with [inaudible 00:13:12] that perhaps weren't coached and didn't have a plan and didn't have a team around them, now is like, you know, Barry and Karen [inaudible 00:13:18].

Robbie:
The whole [inaudible 00:13:21].

Tamara:
Barry and Karen.

Dan:
[crosstalk 00:13:22]. Because you love working with our defense clients now-

Jane:
Oh, I do.

Dan:
... as someone who doesn't have a defense background, but yeah, you understand the business concept that we're trying to put forward here. That we're a bit different.

Jane:
Absolutely. You are very different. And that's something that really... I just love working for Axon. I just love having that. And the clients are amazing when I first started with you guys, we actually did briefly for a short time help another marketing group do their build support. So I was doing that external thing as well for Axon. And the difference between their clients and Axon clients is just chalk and cheese to the point where we ended up saying, right, these clients are way too difficult to deal with, because they didn't go through the coaching and the education that our guys do.

Tamara:
They were literally thrown into properties, and then they had all the questions after the fact. Whereas I know that with the guys with the property specialists, with the coaches, they go into so much detail on that front end and they go into all the risks, go the research, all the like location. They didn't have any questions by the time they get to you.

Jane:
No, that's exactly right. And that's why I think the builders and the suppliers that we work with as well, really love Axon clients, because they come basically on a silver platter, just amazing, so easy to deal with, just knowledgeable. They know what they're getting themselves into.

Tamara:
And I know other businesses similar to ours when we've spoken about that, they're like, "That's a lot of work, that's a lot of work for you guys."

Dan:
I think the quote was, "Why would you want to do that much work?" I was like...

Jane:
Well, I can tell you majority of the marketing groups out there that I've worked with, and there's been a lot as it been my BDM days, they basically take the commission from the builder or whatever they are getting paid, and they basically just go, "There's your client, drop them at the builders at fee and just walk away." They actually don't... 90% of them don't care. And it's sad because, what are they really doing?

Dan:
So you would've loved the fact that we've already built into the business, this new challenge that you were looking to undertake there, that this is going to be an opportunity for you to do so, but you work up the next morning after sitting with us and then realized there was another challenge on your plate.

Jane:
Yeah. So I'd been feeling a little bit hung over every day. And I do love to have a glass of wine every nighttime. So a couple of weeks prior to this, I stopped drinking wine. I thought, all right, I'll stop drinking at night and just have a sip on the weekends, whatever. Anyway, I just wake up on the Tuesday morning after I'd rang Tamara and said, "Yep, I'm really happy. Thank you very much for the opportunity. I'm going to come on board. Really excited." I was on my way. I went up to work at... I was working at Morningside at the time, I bought myself a pregnancy test, went to the toilet. Sure enough, it was positive.

Dan:
[inaudible 00:16:07].

Jane:
So here comes baby number four.

Tamara:
But that was three.

Jane:
Well, no-

Tamara:
Oh, four. Sorry. That was Jack's.

Jane:
Yeah, was it? No, it was Ziki. Was it? So I've had two since I started.

Dan:
Yap.

Jane:
Yeah.

Dan:
No.

Jane:
No. No. No. No.

Tamara:
You already had Ziki.

Dan:
Oh yeah.

Jane:
Sorry.

Dan:
Ziki was just very, very young.

Jane:
There's so many wean. It's hard to remember.

Tamara:
So, Jane, for those following along at home, Jane has four a little beautiful.. Well, not little, four beautiful boys at home. She's got two older.

Jane:
Yeah. So 18, 14, three, and one.

Dan:
We just saw he's had his birthday on social media?

Jane:
Yes.

Dan:
It's exciting.

Jane:
Yes.

Tamara:
So they are very, too very different stages of life, I guess.

Jane:
Yes.

Tamara:
I don't even know how you do it. I struggled to keep plants alive at home, but anyway, I don't know. I think I actually... Robbie is laughing, but it's probably true it is.

Dan:
Not probably about it.

Jane:
You got dogs. You've kept your dogs alive.

Tamara:
That's true. That's true.

Male:
[crosstalk 00:17:11] How does that make you feel that you're... Oh shit, I may have to call Tamara back and go, "Hi"

Jane:
I felt like absolute shit, because I just taken this job, was ready for it. And I spoke to a few people. I spoke to my dad, because my dad's always my go-to person for advice on anything. I couldn't believe the number of people that said to me, "Well, you legally don't have to tell them." I was only probably just fairly recently pregnant. And quite a few people said to me, I don't know, you don't really have to tell them why don't you just start? And I was like, "Oh." It just didn't sit right with me.

Tamara:
And that's so true to your nature as well. Like you are pretty forthcoming and honest person anyway, and I can't imagine you holding on to that, with the integrity that you do have.

Jane:
No, I couldn't. And so I think I rang you straight away and I was like, "Look, I don't know if this changes things. You may not want me now. I get if this is going to be too much for you to take on, but I'm pregnant."

Robbie:
What did you think Tammy when that phone call came and Jane's like, "Hey, I know we've just done this, but I'm pregnant."

Tamara:
You know what, I thought, well, that's bloody annoying.

Dan:
There's transparency.

Jane:
You thanked me for telling you.

Tamara:
But I was absolutely... And what it showed me was your integrity straight up your honesty, your personality shone through in that moment, because you're right, you could have hidden that from us. You could've sprung it on us later. And whilst it would never have changed my decision, it did reinforce to me that we had made the right call because of who it showed was your true character and your true personality behind. I'd only just met you.

Jane:
Yeah. Well, we'd already talked about the values of the company too. So one of those being open [inaudible 00:19:03] communication and I think you guys obviously live by that as well, because you could have made business decision and said, "Oh look," you wound have, but...

Tamara:
No. It was a hard conversation. It was definitely, I was definitely scared.

Robbie:
I remember you coming to me Tamara saying you wouldn't bloody believe it, but Jane's pregnant. I was like, "Oh, she's fucking [inaudible 00:19:26] let's role that stone, let's play the long game here and let's give her a chance, clearly she's going to have a few months still to come and get her feet under the desk, and [crosstalk 00:19:37].

Tamara:
Because you were saying like, you're not even really telling anyone yet. It's so early, this is just found out. You were still not even in the safe zone-

Jane:
No.

Tamara:
... that kind of thing. So you like-

Robbie:
You absolutely didn't need to go out and tell anyone at that point at all.

Tamara:
No, not at all.

Robbie:
But at the same time Jane, this wasn't your first [inaudible 00:20:03], you weren't a first time mum that was going through this process and you were probably like, "Okay, I'm doing this again."

Jane:
Yeah. I was a little bit like, "Oh, shit, four boys," four kids, this is going to be scary. Everyone's like, "Do you want to have a girl?" I'm like, "No, not really."

Robbie:
But you already knew what to expect with boys.

Jane:
I know what to do with boys.

Robbie:
Exactly.

Jane:
I know. I know. But yeah, it was a little bit a... It was an interesting time and luckily you guys accepted me. And I came in and I think we just hit it off and it all worked out.

Tamara:
You had come in as our build support assistant then, we kind of had a rocky first week or so, was it a couple, probably a couple of first weeks where the other lady that we had in the role-

Robbie:
Not Callie.

Jane:
No. No.

Robbie:
No. Were having a couple of performance issues, let's just say that, and it quickly became apparent that she was on the way out and you were on the way up.

Jane:
Well, I think she actually ended up being on the way out before I even started. So I walked in, and I think, I don't know if you remember, but Tammy, you had to do quite a bit of work in preparation just before I-

Robbie:
That's right.

Jane:
... Because obviously I had to give notice where I was. So it was a couple of weeks there while you were actually pretty much running build support.

Tamara:
That's true. I remember I was actually trying to do a handover and there was no notes in, she had come up with her own coding system in an Excel spreadsheet-

Jane:
Spreadsheet. Oh God.

Tamara:
... and it had her... I was like, "What does this code mean? Oh, that means that. And that means that."And I'm like, "Where's the key for all these codes?" "Oh, I just know them."

Robbie:
It was our first lesson to go, "Must use the systems provided, can't use your own [crosstalk 00:21:41] stuff."

Jane:
Absolutely.

Tamara:
We have an amazing CRM, and there was nothing put in it. There was no notes. There was nothing. And I was there going, "Holy shit." I've really taken my eye off the ball here. It just as one of our team members is not following our procedure, is not doing the things that we've asked, and this is the mess that's left for us because I haven't kept my eye on things, and we didn't know what we didn't know. And we've grown so much since then. And we utilize our CRM so much more than we ever did back then.

Jane:
We do.

Dan:
Especially in your role, like how much do we use active campaign now? [crosstalk 00:22:21] is a whole world, isn't it?

Jane:
Ah, it's crazy [crosstalk 00:22:24]. Absolutely. Yeah. It's always open. Even when I'm at home and not working, it's just such a big part of our business. And if we didn't have it... Like people think that we must just be absolute geniuses, because we can track everything so closely. But honestly, if we didn't have that system and like I'm always on to, especially the boys in the office, "Put you [inaudible 00:22:44] notes in."

Dan:
That's a sneaky little [crosstalk 00:22:47]. I fully disclose that I'm probably the worst note taker in the entire business.

Tamara:
Do you even know how to get into active campaign?

Dan:
Oh.

Tamara:
Sorry boss.

Dan:
I know exactly where everyone is sitting.

Robbie:
So, we identify that you were going to move up through the ranks quite quickly, sort of fast forward, maybe a year into working with Axon and then, more people started coming in and we started to grow and to get more and more traction and all that stuff that we went through during season one, you were very, very much a part of. How were you feeling that the business was starting to evolve and the builders we were using, and the relationships we were having with all of their external providers? Tell us about that.

Jane:
It's been exciting to watch it grow, because like you said, when I first started, I think there was maybe five or six of us in the business, and I've seen a couple of people come and go, but the key players are still very much here. So you we've grown think now having 14, 15 people. And it's just so exciting to have been part of that.

Tamara:
I'd say, because everyone, and when you talk about that solid group that has excelled through, they're all really high performance, you included-

Jane:
Massively.

Tamara:
... very high performance team. And so if you don't step up, if you don't keep up, you fall away on the wayside pretty quickly. And it's pretty noticeable that you're not stepping up and you're not performing-

Robbie:
Contributing. That's what it's all about.

Tamara:
Yeah.

Jane:
Yeah. It stands out pretty quickly if someone's not pulling their weight, not following the processes and not [crosstalk 00:24:23].

Tamara:
We had a nice little trial of someone that sat there and played video games on a phone for freaking... And I busted it twice. So I was like, "What the hell-

Jane:
We did.

Tamara:
... what the hell is going on here." It's kind of bad hires, I guess, oop, I'm I allowed to say that?

Jane:
You learn a lot, [inaudible 00:24:40], you learn a lot.

Tamara:
You definitely learn from your mistakes. You learn what you don't know. You don't know what you don't know, especially in business, especially employing people and managing people, you don't know that people are going to let you down like that until they do.

Jane:
Yeah.

Dan:
I was literally reading about this last night, [inaudible 00:25:01] reading more 10 pages for the 75 heart [inaudible 00:25:03] this book called Principles, by Ray Dalio, I've already flagged a couple of pages [crosstalk 00:25:08]

Tamara:
It's a massive book, but you only have to read the last half.

Male:
Yeah.

Dan:
So anyone who's read it before is like, yeah, we know the book.

Robbie:
As part of our systems and processes we started to incorporate a feedback loop into our clients. How did they go through the out the build. Because I guess when you build a house it's pretty much from the time someone makes contact with us on the front end, Dan heading up with the coaching department, all the way through to keys are handed over, tenant being found, depreciation report sought, final crunch the numbers that's like a whole year in most instances. So as opposed to buying like a five or even $10,000 handbag... I don't know who the fuck would ever spend that much on a handbag.

Jane:
I was going to say is everyone's bag is [crosstalk 00:25:52].

Robbie:
$10,000, but, that's a transaction, whereas we actually have a system in it, like you have an experience with us.

Jane:
Yeah. Absolutely.

Robbie:
So, the highs and lows, and when you're buying a $500,000 house, as opposed to a $10,000 handbag, there's a lot more emotions that go into it. There's a lot more things that can go wrong.

Jane:
Absolutely.

Robbie:
When did you start to feel that Axon was actually doing things differently? It's purely based on the initial feedback we were getting from clients.

Jane:
Pretty much straight away. So even just listening to you guys speak about the business and the service that you provide and having that just the build support function and the project management, no other marketer that I know out there does that. And property marketer is actually really dirty word, It's a bit like negative gearing, like it's body corporate.

Tamara:
Body corporate.

Robbie:
There's a negative connotation [inaudible 00:26:41].T

Jane:
There's negative connotation [crosstalk 00:26:41].

Tamara:
It doesn't make you think of the positivity straightaway.

Jane:
No. It's not positive...

Tamara:
Yeah.

Jane:
Yeah. So yeah, so pretty much straight away. And I think as we've developed the process, because I did come in and I was in the deep end a little bit. I think luckily I had that construction experience. So at least I had the knowledge of how a house is built and the stages that go into it and what can go wrong and what can go right, And things like that.

Tamara:
And I guess, because it was so unutilized or underutilized, that whole capability, you've been able to really grow that in yourself. You've grown that whole build support capability, grown all the processes, really identified where we can have more touch points with clients, like forward and backward communication, but also just making sure that the clients know that we've got their hand throughout the process.

Jane:
Absolutely. Yeah. We definitely have developed the process. So it's gone from... And we were talking about active campaign before it's gone from having, like, maybe let's say 20 steps in the process to probably 40 or 50 because as we-

Robbie:
That's just in your line.

Jane:
Yeah. That's just in my line.

Robbie:
There's 30 or 40 in our line and couching stuff as well.

Jane:
Yeah, that's right. That's right.

Tamara:
And I'd say that's generous saying there was 20 in the beginning because there was probably-

Dan:
I'll sink more like single digit.

Tamara:
Five?

Jane:
Let's say, the process wasn't as good when I started.

Tamara:
No.

Jane:
We just going to go with that.

Dan:
[crosstalk 00:28:04] forward.

Jane:
It's definitely a [inaudible 00:28:05], and it hasn't yet... It's obviously I lead the build support team now, but it just hasn't been me that's developed those, and it's been like through trial and error and learning different things as we deal with different things with builders and clients. And yeah, it's definitely an ongoing evolution of a process. Building a house is not an easy thing. It's a very complex. Yeah.

Robbie:
You sort of flagged it there where you said you learnt back on some of your experiences you've had in the past where you were talking about things that people have done wrong or things that people do right, and you know that it's not an easy experience. Like I suppose for our listeners out there, they're like, "What are a couple of the things that people often get wrong when they're doing it themselves rather than I suppose when they enlist a team like yourself to be able to take that?"

Jane:
Yeah. Well, I guess there's a lot of risks that can be associated with building a property, if you don't have that industry knowledge and you don't know... So just as one example, the stages of the build, each of our builders when they send out that progress claims or the slab goes down and that's the first stage of construction, they'll send out a claim and they send photos. If you don't know that contractually a builder has to do certain things in order to be able to claim that money from you and you get those photos and you don't know that, like maybe the frame's done, but the supports are still up and it hasn't been straightened, the roof on, so can't even sign off.

Tamara:
Or even if you know that you should get photos.

Jane:
Well, that's right. Yeah, that's right. And a lot of our clients are not local to where their properties are being built. So how are they supposed to know? They can't see it, touch it. So that's important. So we guess we mitigate that risk of you paying money to a builder when a stage is incomplete. So like something that we quite often find is a builder might try and claim one of the biggest claims, which is the enclosed claim, which is when all the external stuff is basically done on the house. So there's little things like the cladding has to be done in order to claim for that. And quite often the builder will just try to claim the money a little bit early, be a bit sneaky. And then we can step in and go, "Actually, no, you haven't finished this yet. So we're not sending that to our clients." I'm not saying that builders are dodgy, but they don't think that you know, and as [inaudible 00:30:22] the street, that's building a house you wouldn't know.

Robbie:
So just to be clear, we're talking about the pitfalls that can occur.

Jane:
Absolutely.

Robbie:
[inaudible 00:30:28] it doesn't happen with the builders we use.

Jane:
Does never happens, never happens.

Robbie:
I was just listening to it then I'm like, "Fuck that sounds terrible [crosstalk 00:30:34] clear on what's happening.

Jane:
No. No. No. No. So this is the thing that could happen if that [crosstalk 00:30:39].

Robbie:
Well, stuff that does happen, like this is the stuff that ends up on [inaudible 00:30:42] where people will turn around and they're like, "Hey, I've paid all this money to a builder. He said, he'd been building my house, but it's only halfway done."

Jane:
Yeah. That's right.

Robbie:
Builders walked away with all your cash. And then by the way, you've got a half finished house, you need to deal with.

Jane:
Yeah. That's right. And even when they reached practical completion on the property, like there's allowed to be defects and omissions from the property, but what are they? Is the property actually at practical completion? A lot of people out there that build a house by themselves may not know, "Oh, hey, let's get a third party inspector out to go through the property with a fine tooth comb, make sure that contractually it's complete." So that-

Tamara:
Also people they also think practical completion is like, "I'm about to get the keys."

Jane:
Yeah, I know.

Tamara:
Which is so wrong, because we've even done some walkthroughs with clients that we... We've changed our process based around this to make sure it's very clear and where we're explaining what the different processes and stages are. But if this is your first time, when you hear that word practical completion, you kind of think, "Okay, it just needs a bit of a clean and a good to go."

Jane:
Yeah, that's right. It's no. We spend a lot of time explaining that to clients. And we explain it a few times throughout the build. And you guys do even during your coaching, like you explain, there's a big difference between PC or practice completion and handover. And this is what it means. So...

Robbie:
Is it generally four, five, six weeks, depending on the site and et cetera between PC and handover?

Jane:
Look, it really depends on how quickly the bank pays the claim. So that's something else that you have to do very carefully when you're trying to process a claim with a lender. If it's not processed properly, it just sits in bank land and nothing happens. So that can delay the process. So basically it reaches PC we as Axon clients, we will organize a third party inspector which is completely impartial to the builder. They go out and they'll do a list of defects that might be there. It's normally about two weeks between then and the payment getting processed. So the builder won't hand over the keys until they've got that final payment. Fair enough. And in that time between PC and handover, normally a couple of weeks that's when the defects are fixed up and rectified. So once we get to handover and we've got ready to start finding tenants, it's like [inaudible 00:32:54] ready to go.

Robbie:
Yeah. One of the things I want to inject here in full disclosure is the great man Jeffrey, is your husband. He's a site supervisor for one of the builders that we use-

Jane:
He is.

Robbie:
And I know for fact, Danny's built one of your houses and dozens and dozens of other houses for our clients. So I guess one of the things that we love about our builders is that it's not like, "Alright, yeah, John as the site supervisor goes right over the house is finished. I'll just let the third-party building inspector go nuts." And there's 50, 60, 70 bloody defects wrong with the house, that we obviously didn't our client's level of satisfaction that they have, that the property's been done properly. I love the way that Jeffrey does it, where he's like, he goes out there and does his own independent building inspection. And then, so they internally do their own sort of QA check-

Dan:
Then holds all these trades to account and [inaudible 00:33:41] you get out there and fix it.

Robbie:
Yep. Yep.

Jane:
Exactly. Yeah.

Robbie:
Noting of course that is not a qualified building inspector, but as a guy who's built probably a couple of thousand houses by now. So the builders like, we've done as good a job as what we think now, we're now we're ready for a qualified inspector with a third set of eyes to go out there. Just on average, for instance, for the building for that Jeff works with... From what I've seen anyway, the first building inspection that gets done is like 15, 10, fine-

Jane:
Maybe not even.

Dan:
There's bugger all day fix on it.

Tamara:
And sometimes they can be like a paint defect, a small little paint thing, defects can obviously change. It's all human. These are humans building houses. It's not coming out a factory with a computer that makes things every time it's going to be exactly right. And that's why we do have these inspections, but like, there's a very big difference between having 50 tiny paint defects or having one massive structural defect as well.

Jane:
Yeah. Just, well, structural defect Wouldn't be a defect, It would be this house is not ready for PC. So there always will be little items, but the builders that we work with, we've got such a great process with. And like you said, Robbie, they do their own quality assurance walkthrough first and everything's fixed up prior the third party inspector going out.

Jane:
We have made it very clear that if the property is not ready and there's going to be 30 or 40 defects there, just cancel the inspection, push it back, because we don't want to be putting in a report in front of our client and going, "Oh, look, there's a few things there, there's, 40 or 50 items." We don't really care-

Tamara:
Especially if they know about it, because we know for a fact how proud they are of their builds as well-

Jane:
Yeah, absolutely.

Tamara:
They are incredibly proud. So, they don't want the defects on there either. They want the time to go in there and fix up those little bits.

Dan:
Yeah. But it's great I know that yourself and the other build support ladies, you read every single built a building inspection report, and then you provide a report to the relevant coach. You go, "Hey Artie, hey Dan, John has properties just finished being built, there's six defects. And is now ready to go to handover." "All right. Great, that's good." So we're very, very much involved in a touch point perspective.

Tamara:
Yeah, absolutely. And we even with certain... Like we've recently worked with a fairly new builder. So we actually have been going out to their PC inspections as well. So if they're obviously not in a different state we'll go and just say, "Look, get up."Cast own eyes across it and just sort of see how we feel.

Robbie:
So the [inaudible 00:36:13] quality of the builds done happy days, keys are ready to be handed over to the property manager? What's something what's another part of the process that I know that yourself and Natalie and Haley are very, very passionate about. And at the end of the day, this is all that matters when it comes down to it.

Jane:
Yeah, absolutely. So all that matters when it comes down to it. If you've got an investment property that you're building, you just want to get tenants in there paying your mortgage straight away. So we actually work really, really hard with our property managers. We approve the write-up for the listing that's going to go online to make sure that it really highlights the features of the property and sets that apart from everything else on the market. And then we actually will work with them. Our guy will go out and get initial photographs of the property pre handover, and we try to get it listed for rent about a week or two. Normally about a week is the good number, we find if it's up there for too long, it can go stale on the market. But we get things listed for an early. So the day we get to hand over, the keys are given to the property manager. We can hopefully have an open home and we have anyone that's shown interest in the property prior to that date can turn up and inspect and then put an application in.

Dan:
I love it you girls a lot of the times these brand new estates, the road's not even listed on Google maps-

Jane:
No.

Dan:
... So on the ad, whether you got the 12, 13, 14 photos, not the professional photos, indicative photos, you provide little maps so people can navigate their way there. And then you also provide the floor plan. Most of the people don't think the floor plan is bloody important. So [crosstalk 00:37:32].

Tamara:
We love a good floor plan.

Robbie:
Oh, yeah. So, I guess I really love it how you ladies have taken the way that we portray the properties to prospective tenants, based on our knowledge of what needs to be done in the levels of professionalism that people expect. That's why like we had about 100 properties or so come to market in the last 12 months. What's the average days from key handover to tenant being found.

Jane:
It's probably under a week, to be honest. Now we can... I'll disclaimer that, by saying we can never obviously guarantee it, but we do, like you said, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves and we actually have massive celebrations when we actually find. I had one just last week that rented the same day of handover.

Robbie:
So good.

Jane:
So yeah, so it can happen. It's all about just picking the right time to list it. And [crosstalk 00:38:16].

Robbie:
So it's actually a bit of science and analysis and professionalism and communication skills that go into making all this shit happen.

Jane:
Absolutely. Yeah.

Tamara:
Yeah. Getting that listing written up, it's not an afterthought. It's not happening after... Okay, we've got to list it today and let's think of the write-up, that sort of stuff has planning behind it. You guys have done some competitive analysis about what else is getting rented in the area. You've got a price point, you've got some risk mitigation strategies happening. And you're getting it done.

Robbie:
We even get the prospective tenant lists, say there's been five people put an application in, our rental management company go and do their due diligence. And they go right, "These are the two that we would recommend." We then go through that too. We choose the one we prefer, we would do, and then we provide a recommendation to our owners.

Jane:
Yeah. So we'll get a full rundown of what the applicant looks like. So how many people in the family, where they've got three cats, two dogs, like a snake and monkey, whatever.

Robbie:
True story

Jane:
True story.

Robbie:
What? Someone's got a monkey? And a snake.

Jane:
How cool would that be to have a monkey?

Robbie:
Tamara's got one.

Jane:
[inaudible 00:39:22].

Tamara:
Oh, good.

Jane:
His name's Robbie Turner.

Robbie:
Yep.

Jane:
Yeah, so I guess we vet those applications. So, and then at the moment too, there's not a lot on the market in most areas that we have properties in, and tenants that are out there that applying for properties, applying for more than one at a time, they're going out to opens on the weekend and just applying for everything, because they're like," Shit we need to get a house quickly."

Jane:
So what that's done is obviously pushed the rental prices up considerably in a lot of areas. But we'll then as soon as we see that email come through the girls and I'll be like laying in bed at 6:30 in the morning and our guys emailing the landlord saying, "Here's your applications." [crosstalk 00:40:04].

Tamara:
Because they've already applied for other ones, so the property managers are able to go, "Hey, you missed out on that one, but I've got another one listing or coming up."

Robbie:
Yeah. When people apply for like four, five or six properties the hunt is on. [crosstalk 00:40:17].

Jane:
Yeah. Absolutely. And that's what's happening, that's what's happening right now. So we'll ring the owner straight away and say, "Look, we've seen these good applications come in. This is what we think the best one is. Or you take your pick, but don't waste time. Pick up the phone and ring him now, ring the property manager and say, yep, we're going to go with this one." Because chances are, and we see it quite regularly is you're going to miss out.

Robbie:
It's so critical, people can have the perfect education experience. They get coached properly. They learn the process and the risks involved. They choose the perfect location. You have amazing build support experience with you, but if they can't find a tenant for five, six, seven, eight, nine weeks, that's going to be the taste that's left in their mouth.

Jane:
Absolutely.

Robbie:
And there's no fucking way they're going to come back to the start again and go, "Oh, can't wait to go through that again." And have a bloody property sit there for a couple of months based on a lack of care, based on a lack of communication, based on a lack of foresight and analysis that Tamara just spoke about to get... Not just any tenant, but the right tenant in there.

Jane:
Absolutely.

Robbie:
And away we go.

Jane:
Yeah. Although the wrong applications aren't ever presented, they don't ever make it past. So we'll get an email saying, "Yep. We've got a couple of bad ones that we've already rejected due to not being able to afford it or whatever." But even through COVID especially when we were looking at the lockdowns or the situation in Victoria, we had a couple that were handed over during that time and they still rented within a couple of weeks. That's just ridiculous.

Robbie:
As we sort of finish it all up unfortunately there are thousands of young Australian or families go out there and they do the antonym of what we just spoke about. They just do their own research. They find a builder and then they've got a project manage the build by themselves, noting you've now sort of built hundreds of houses as the project manager. What would you say to those other people that are even thinking about doing it by themselves?

Jane:
Don't do it.

Dan:
Keep it simple. Right. Just don't do it.

Robbie:
Yeah. But why?

Jane:
Why do it on your own when you're not a professional in the field, when you've got people that can actually step you through it and hold your hand through the whole process. All our clients get to the end and 99.999 of them say, "Oh my God, we've got a house. And we feel like we did nothing." And that's our entire goal as built support. Our goal is to get you through, hold your hand through the process. All you have to do is sign a couple of pieces of paper throughout the thing and that's it, you've got a house. We really do make it very simple. So why do it on your own?

Robbie:
Mate, thank you so much for coming to join us.

Tamara:
Before you wind this up, I actually want to go back to when Jane went on mat leave, we-

Robbie:
All right. Quick little story for the trenches.

Tamara:
Yeah. We did a little surprise for you when you were on your way out. Do you remember what that was?

Jane:
You did a thing. So I got this photo one day. I can't remember it. I don't know who was in the office, but I got this photo and there was like this big cardboard cutout, Life-Size, is this what you're talking about?

Tamara:
Yes.

Jane:
Life-Size cardboard cutout and you shit heads kept putting it in the boys' toilet.

Robbie:
You were lingering in the boys' toilets, yes.

Jane:
I was getting set... I think loitering and I think I've somehow-

Tamara:
You made Sumo scream. Actually. I remember he opened the male toilet doors and there was your giant cardboard cutout, this is a Life-Size cardboard cutout and there's James staring in the men's toilet.

Jane:
I've actually used it multiple times to scare my kids too.

Robbie:
Yeah. I did a really, really good job. [inaudible 00:43:33].

Jane:
Yeah, [crosstalk 00:43:34].

Tamara:
That was for your bestie Kylie when she was working with us, we were like, "Oh, she's still here. She's still here." And we had you around the office. So it was pretty funny.

Robbie:
Thank you so much for joining. It's like you provide a level of insight and care to make sure that people that go through the build process, not just get it done, but they actually enjoy it. And like you said, anyone that can come back around and build another house, they just want the same experience again.

Jane:
Yeah. Absolutely.

Robbie:
Thanks for joining us, [inaudible 00:43:59] Have a great day everyone. See yo later.

Jane:
Bye.

Tamara:
Bye.

Robbie:
Hi, thanks for tuning into today's podcast. If you enjoy listening, make sure you give us a five-star rating, hit subscribe, so you'll be first in line to get it in your inbox every week on a Tuesday. Whilst you're at it, open up your favorite social media app, be that Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube, and connect with Axon property group. This is where you see us every day, sharing the secrets of creating multimillion dollar property portfolios and performing to the highest levels of your life. You'll get exclusive behind the scenes access to what it really takes to build a life that you love. You'll also discover how to secure your financial future as an IDF member or veteran. And I assure you, your future self will love you for it. Thanks again for listening. And that's a wrap.

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