"When you’re selling a home, it’s not just a house -you’re selling a dream of someone’s life."
BuildHer Collective was created to help women with building and renovating. Founders Rebeka Morgan and Kribashini Hannon believe that, with the right tools, everyone can build. For them, it’s all about encouraging women to TAKE BACK control of the building process to achieve their dreams.
Offering a range of classes, courses and special events, BuildHer Collective is the one-stop shop for aspiring renovators and develop-hers.
Rebeka loves to share knowledge and is an inspirational role model to women in the design and construction industry. She’s also damn good value and loves a good laugh! That’s why we’ve invited her to Byron Bay to host a workshop with our 2022 Byron Retreat delegates.
This week we sat down with Rebeka to find out what drives her passion for renovating and why she loves teaching women about developing. We also try to sneak some free advice from this incredibly successful businesswoman…
TDC: Thanks for speaking with us today, Rebeka. We love your catchphrase, “We help women build”, it’s so empowering and says so much about who you are and what you do. You founded BuildHer in 2018 with Kribashini. Can you tell us a bit about why you were both so keen to set up BuildHer?
RM: Thanks for introducing BuildHer Collective to your community. So many friends and family came to us with challenges in their building projects. Our initial thought was to help people through the build, to make it less difficult and time-consuming.
We found that was there was no-one to help them do just that — it’s not the role of a designer, nor is it the builder's job. And so, they’d get to the end of the project and ask: “Why didn’t anyone tell me I had to do that?”
And I thought: “Who’s meant to tell you?”
Building a dream home can be super exciting and rewarding if it’s done right, but it can feel like it’s draining the life out of you if it’s not. We thought, well… actually, we can solve that problem.
TDC: You’re quite honest and open about the need to focus on profitability. You’ve “cracked the code” on making good money from developments and promise to share this “secret sauce” with your members. Do you have any big picture tips you can share with our readers to set them off in the right direction?
RM: There’s no secret. It always starts with your value proposition. It’s really about doing the work and understanding the nuances, the market of buying and selling, and the emotion that goes into it. When you’re selling a home, it’s not just a house—you’re selling a dream of someone’s life. So, you really need to think about how they will experience that in the property and what you’re doing to enhance that.
TDC: We love that you’re all about the process. At TDC we can’t get enough of processes! What are the fundamental mistakes amateur developers make regarding process?
RM: People forget to run the numbers. They make assumptions on what things cost, without ratifying them or deciding what people want from a property, without checking.
The process should include deciding what you think will work, then testing that, checking it, and going back and trying again. People often believe they can magically start developing and do it straight away without taking the time and effort to learning the process - what works, why things sell, and what other people are doing well. It’s one thing to sell a house well but it’s another to do it continually as a business.
TDC: Speaking to you regularly over the past few months during Lockdown, it seems you’re busier than ever! As the CEO of Beirin Projects, you focus on high-end renovation and construction in the inner-Northern suburbs of Melbourne, achieving record-breaking sales. You’ve also been managing homeschooling and the pressures of “pivoting” your multiple businesses on many occasions. Can you share any secrets for managing such a full schedule?
RM: My secret is I get up at four o’clock in the morning! I get some work done before people get up when it’s quiet. And I try to focus on the most important things that move me forward, like embracing the love of everything we’re doing, even if my schedule’s really full.
I guess I try to focus on the joy of the moment rather than the anxiety of the quantity of work on my to-do list.
Everyone’s lockdown experience is different. Our experience is that we’ve got more happening now than ever, but it’s all in a space we love and enjoy. I think it’s really amazing to embrace that, rather than focus on the negative.
Day-to-day, we’re fortunate to be in the building industry because we’ve been able to keep working. However, every day we speak to amazing people, we’re having fun, and we get to create homes that we love and help people achieve their dreams. We’re able to be around for our kids, and we're living in a really lovely way. I think we should celebrate that.
TDC: In addition to the range of classes and courses you offer to your BuildHer and DeveloHer members, and you also host a Podcast “Building with BuildHer.” Why are you so passionate about sharing knowledge?
RM: I love learning, and I find a lot of joy in helping people. At BuildHer, we have an abundance mentality, and we’re super-passionate about giving. We want others to do what we do. We want them to share the journey.
The BuildHer community is really active and amazing. It’s filled with wonderful, positive women who are excited to create the home of their dreams. I want to help them create a life by developing for profit—what’s not to love about that?
TDC: As a successful serial entrepreneur, you have a Master’s Degree in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, as well as a degree in Construction Management. You obviously love learning and growing. What are you doing to expand your knowledge at the moment?
RM: Learning a new skill is an adventure. I’m currently studying garden design and green infrastructure at Melbourne University. I enjoy learning about things I’m interested in and developing new skills. I think there’s always room for improvement!
TDC: We’re super excited to bring you to Byron Bay in February to host a workshop with our Retreat delegates. Your workshop “Designing Your Life” will focus on setting financial targets for personal and professional growth and then creates an action plan for achieving these goals. Why are you so driven to help people achieve their financial goals?
RM: Finances are often an afterthought. We often feel trapped in a cycle, perhaps working at something we don’t enjoy or just chasing a paycheck. But if you actually plan or map out your finances, you’ve got time to develop and create the lifestyle you want.
We’re so focused on the small, urgent things that we often forget the big picture. We fail to plan out how we want to live our days. We don’t stop to think about how we want to spend our time and what financial inputs it would take to live the way we want.
If you can make a plan, you’re halfway there. It’s like setting the GPS. If you just get in the car and drive, who knows where’ll you end up. But if you can be targeted and set your direction, then you’re already miles ahead of anyone else.
TDC: What are you most looking forward to about coming to Byron?
RM: I’m looking forward to meeting and working with people who are investing time and energy in their growth, whether it’s in their business or themselves.
TDC: You’re hosting an incredible November Intensive Masterclass weekend for over 70 BuildHer members at the Prince of Wales in St Kilda. What can guests attending your Masterclass weekend expect, and how do our members sign up if they’re keen?
RM: The weekend is part of a six-month program where we help people develop their profit and design their lifestyle around it. Over the weekend, we really focus on mapping out your development plan. It’s about determining where you want to go and then putting in place the steps to get you there.
The first step would be to do a free 20-minute deep dive with us—check here to find out more details.
TDC: What exciting things are on the horizon in 2022 for Rebeka Morgan and BuildHer?
RM: There’s so much. A massive family holiday. Several big family holidays, preferably out of the country! But development-wise, we’ve got three joint venture projects with DevelopHers, which is pretty exciting. We’ll also be getting back to seeing people in person and running events, so there’s plenty on the agenda. But, first, that massive family holiday.
Our Byron Retreat is less than 4 months away! If you are interested in learning more about the Retreat, we encourage you to visit the website and register asap. Only a few places remain for this incredible experience. Secure one of the limited tickets to our upcoming 'Growth" Byron Retreat 2022 HERE.
To be the first to find out about our upcoming classes, retreats and events, sign up as a free member HERE.
Time & Location
2022 Byron Retreat: "Growth"
18-24 February 2022
Soma, Byron Bay
Please note that due to COVID-19, event details may change.