For many of us working from home taking the leap into establishing a shopfront is just a bridge too far for either our finances or our nerves.
But one Goolwa businesswoman has made the leap and agrees it’s not for the faint-hearted.
Tracy Vincent started Coast 2 Vines Real Estate in August 2016 operating with a property management focus on a very part-time basis from a room in the family home.
And, after more than two years trading and working a part-time job too, she bit the bullet and leased premises in Goolwa where she can not only showcase her properties in a window display, but meet clients in a professional atmosphere.
For the past two years her properties, which now include several for sale too, have been displayed in a glass case in the Goolwa Shopping Centre, but now there’s also a window full of properties in Dawson Street.
It hasn’t been an easy journey as Tracy still retains a part-time administration job with a local retirement village, as well as providing admin support for her husband in his electrical business Goolwa and South Coast Electrical.
Now, as well as meeting clients out of hours, conducting weekend opens, working part-time and juggling her family commitments, she opens her office five days a week (four half days and one full day).
Her pathway to business ownership began as a temp in a real estate agency and saw her progress through roles in administration, as a personal assistant, property management and real estate sales in South Australia and Queensland.
After a brief stint in the banking sector she returned to her love of property management, which was the driving force behind establishing her own business.
“I love what I do and my focus initially was on property management,” Tracy says.
Today, although still a relatively small player in the real estate industry on the Southern Fleurieu, she has built her stock to include both rental and sale properties in Goolwa, Woodcroft and Morphett Vale. And that means a lot of travelling in a week.
And if you’re thinking about making the step into a shopfront or premises away from home Tracy says there are plenty of additional costs to consider, not just rent.
She has had to organise and fund signwriting, office furniture, a printer (she uses a laptop between home and the office), window display lighting and, of course, rent. A mobile phone continues to give her the flexibility she needs to run her business while on the move.
Fortunately, she has been able to share the wi-fi with the co-tenants of the property, Whalers Community Housing, and also use her own portable wi-fi. And she’s grateful that her insurer was able to organise the relevant insurance within her existing premium.
She advises anyone contemplating the step to ensure they prepare a budget and factor in contingencies because things don’t always go to plan.
And, what would she do differently if making the move again?
“I’d certainly plan better,” Tracy said.
“I’d speak to more people who have made the move before and get their advice.
“And I’d also try to make sure I had more financial backing behind me before going ahead, just to give me peace of mind.”
Coast 2 Vines Real Estate is located at 10 Dawson Street, Goolwa (next to the bakery). Except when out on inspections, the office is open Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 1.30-5pm and Wednesdays from 9am-5pm.
Give Tracy a call on 0402 443 536.