phone: 1300 367 412


Buyer Management

Print Article

Do you have what it takes to Renovate? Cherie Barber

With Cherie Barber

If you watch The Living Room on Channel 10 on Friday nights, the pocket rocket Cherie Barber will be familiar to you. Known as Australia's Renovation Queen, Cherie is the director of Renovating For Profit, a workshop-training provider that teaches everyday Aussies how to successfully renovate for a profit.

Australians love to renovate and watch TV shows about renovations. Agents are often asked by clients, "Should we move, renovate or rebuild?" but renovating is not for everyone. Cherie explains the skills a person must possess if they want to be successful renovators.

Good communication skills

Cherie believes that a good renovator has to be a good communicator. She says, ''As the age old adage goes - 'Communication is key'. Having the ability to listen effectively and respond appropriately will always win you great respect on your renovation site. Whether it's the simple process of briefing your trades people at the start of each day or having the dreaded task of expressing your disappointment for work 'not up to standard', the risk of conflict and unnecessary stress can be easily avoided in the way you conduct yourself at all times. I consider myself a great communicator, though on occasions I've lacked patience and consequently made the communication process far more difficult than it needed to be. There are valuable lessons to be learnt here. Your trades people gain far more confidence and respect in you, as a project manager, if you allow them time to speak with you openly and honestly."

She adds, ''A good communicator listens well and is receptive to other's feedback and opinions. It is also wise to acknowledge another person's point of view, whether you believe it to be valid or not. Good communicators will always listen first without interrupting and are sincere in their response."

A high level of self awareness

Cherie believes that good renovators are also people who are 'self aware' of how they come across to others. She explains, "Your body language and tone of voice can often determine a good or bad outcome so you must be mindful of your actions, maintain good eye contact and be aware of the tone and way in which things are said on site."

An ability to build rapport

Cherie believes that the ability to build rapport with people of various ages, nationalities and all levels of work experience is an essential skill of successful renovators. She says, "More often than not, what you see is what you get with trades. They're a rare bunch, likely not to have any airs or graces about them and what they want is to deal with a client who is fair, pleasant and knows what they want. What I can tell you is that friendliness goes a long way on site. Be the dreaded dragon and your trades will be looking to get off your job the quickest way possible with the least amount of effort. On the flipped, trades will want to do good work for those renovators who are nice to work with and who constantly praise and show appreciation for a job well done. The fact of th matter is if a trade likes you as a person, they won't take shortcuts to rip you off."

An ability to be pleasantly assertive

Cherie is also of the view that a renovator needs to hold a fair degree of assertiveness and possess the ability to express thoughts and idea in a veryhonest, open and straightforward manner remining tactful while doing so. She explains, "Your job as a renovator is to get the maximum amount if productivity out of your tradies without being perceived as a tyrant and this means being able to give clear instructions, setting realistic itmelines and making sure what needs to be done, actually gets done in the timeframe you need it to. The challengs for any would-be renovator is to be assertive yet friendly at the same time - yes, that is a fine balancing act to say the least."

Good problem solving skills

Cherie believes that it's a fact of life, when renovating, that problems will come up during the course of your project. She explains, "This happens to the most experienced of renovators but it's the manners in which problems are addressed and eradicated that sets the novices apart from the professionals." She believes that those people who can tackle problems with vigour as soon as they arise, and don't put them in the too hard basket, to bel dealt with  at a later time will be good renovators.

In addition to all of the above, Cherie is also of the firm view that renovators need bucket loads of determination, spades of integrity, a keen, eagle eye and a capacity to remain emotionless.

She says, "It is widely known that one of th emost important predictors of success is determination. I don't think I'd be a successful reonovator today if i didn't possess a fair level of self drive and determination. As a keen and ultra determined renovator you will always see your tasks through from start to finish, regardless of the hurdles you may encounter along the way. It is greatly rewarding and fulfilling to reach the end result".

Lastly Cheri believes that if you are renovating for profit, a renovator must not involve their emotuons when it comes to renovation projects. She says, "Make no mistake about it; everything about renovation is the return on investment. Remove all emotion out of your decision making and you increase your chances of success. It's so easy to get frustrated, anger and emotional but this really doesn't get you anywhere."

So do you have what it takes?

If you would like mor einformation about renovating for profit, please see:



Go back