A Chat With Cherie Barber: Renovating For Profit
Cherie is the founder of Renovating For Profit, full-time professional renovator, regular TV renovator and highly sought-after Australian public speaker.
Born in an average working class family, Cherie was forced to leave school at the end of year ten to help her family make ends meet financially. Today, she is “Australia’s Renovation Queen”, a regular on Network TEN’s prime-time lifestyle show The Living Room, radio personality, philanthropist and loving mother to ten-year-old daughter Milan.
Cherie has been a professional renovator for two decades, teaching over ten thousand everyday Aussies how to buy and renovate for profit, and personally renovating almost one hundred properties herself! Check out our chat on business below:
Tell us a bit more about yourself and your business Renovating For Profit…
Well I come from humble roots. I grew up in the western suburbs of Sydney, and left school at 15 to help financially support my family after my parents divorced. I eventually fell into marketing and renovated on the side. It was only when I realised that I could make more money renovating on weekends than I did slaving away in a job I hated that I quit the 9 to 5 grind and became a full-time professional renovator. I’ve never looked back. To date, I’ve personally renovated more than 100 properties, between my own properties and the renos that I do for shows like Network Ten’s The Living Room and Five Day Flip.
Describe to us what Renovating For Profit is and why you are so passionate about it?
Renovating For Profit teaches everyday people how to make money through buying and renovating in a highly strategic, “cookie cutter” way. I run 3-day intensive workshops twice a year in Sydney, and I also have online courses. I learnt how to successfully buy and renovate properties by trial and error, and it’s not the best or most profitable way to learn. I had so much accumulated knowledge and passion for what I was doing, it just seemed natural to want to pass that onto others. So I started Renovating for Profit in 2009, teaching students my 8-step renovating strategy.
Over 9000 people have now come through my workshops. As a woman operating in a man’s world, I really wanted to inspire other women to do what I was doing – to do something they love and find financial freedom in the process.
What are your top three renovating tips?
Number one is you need to buy your un-renovated property in the right area and get it for the right price. If you overpay for it, you’re really going to struggle to claw back that lost profit. Then you need to do the right kind of renovation for the area: hit your target market with exactly the style of property that buyers are willing to pay big bucks for. And thirdly, stick to your budget! For a typical cosmetic renovation (painting, pulling up carpets and refreshing kitchens and bathrooms) I recommend spending no more than 10% of the total value of the property.
Who or what is your greatest inspiration?
I would say my students and their success are a huge source of inspiration for me – that really is the main driver of my business. It’s incredibly satisfying to see someone completely turn their life around and fulfil their dream of becoming financially independent doing something they love. And at the moment there’s an American blogger, Paula Pant, whose philosophy I really admire; it very much mirrors my own.
What has been the most rewarding thing that has come from running your own business?
Seeing how many of my graduates go on to forge their own careers doing profitable renovations. I also just love renovating – so I’m blessed that it’s something I’ve managed to forge a really good living out of.
Do you have any advice for people who may be struggling to follow their dreams?
When you turn your passion into a career, it makes getting out of the bed easy, because you’re motivated and fired up about the day ahead. Find something you love and make that your work. In many respects, you want your work to feel like a hobby that you happen to earn fantastic money from.
There’s a saying I strongly live by: the greatest risk of all is to take no risk at all. For me, that means stepping outside my comfort zone, doing things I haven’t done before, regardless of how scary or daunting they may be. By pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone, you grow as an individual and realise you can do things you never thought you would have been capable doing. And that feels good.
What does the future hold for Cherie?
Renovating runs through my veins so I can’t see I’ll ever see take my work boots off. But definitely I would like a better work-life balance – my life is extremely busy and chaotic – between my public speaking commitments, TV renos and RFP work – and I’d love to be able to spend more time with my daughter Milan. I’m actively working on striking a better balance.
To find out more about Cherie or Renovating For Profit head on over to her website here: www.renovatingforprofit.com.au