Cathie Crampton has always been an overachiever. She graduated top of class from her Bachelor of Education studies, graduated with distinction from her Diploma in Recruitment studies and is a regular on the real estate speaking circuit.
Crampton was barely out of her teens when she purchased her first property, just 23 when she purchased her second and by her mid-30s had an investment portfolio of 9 properties.
The former owner of a real estate franchise in Queensland, she implemented a new business strategy that added $700,000 of value to the agency’s rent roll in less than 3 years and oversaw a restructure that resulted in a 12% improvement to the agency’s bottom line in just 1 year.
In her role as the property management network head of Belle Property, her contribution to her place of work has led her employer to be named the REB Boutique Network of the year for each of the past three years.
While some may argue fate has worked in her favour, the 47-year-old insists her success is purely a result of sacrifice. “I bought my first property, a unit at Coorparoo, because I wanted to move out of home and I didn’t want to pay rent. I didn’t buy a car – I rode a pushbike. When I started my first full-time job, I also worked part-time in a second job teaching aerobics,” she says. “I saved my money and at the end of my first year I bought my first apartment.”
The devoted mother of 14-year-old daughter Lulu and the proud owner of a Burmese cat called Milly, Crampton’s first role in the real estate sector was in 2006 when she sold her share in a recruitment company to buy into a local Professionals franchise.
After 5 years as a business development manager and running the rent roll, she sold the business and moved to Sydney where she took up a job as operations manager for McGrath Estate Agents, combining the skills fine-tuned in her earlier roles to be placed in charge of HR, marketing, IT and premises. She says it was a nice breather that allowed her to understand the business and take a break from property management, or so she thought.
“I more or less made myself redundant because I automated all functions. Then the head of property management resigned. The property management space at the time was not travelling all that well, so I was asked if I would go in and have a look at it and fix it up – which seems to be a bit of a strength, fixing things. I took over that particular role and did that for 4 years.”
She headed to Belle in August last year, where her role required her to be responsible for the creative development and performance of the property management area. Charged with creating and implementing best practice solutions across the group, she has also been heavily involved in helping set up Belle’s new training academy – unique to the network – which sees Belle’s principals, sales and admin staff take advantage of up to 28 courses specific to property management delivered each year.
In addition, her background in troubleshooting means she is frequently called upon to undertake performance coaching where she spends up to 60% of her working week working alongside individuals or teams to accelerate their performance.
“I get great joy out of seeing the improvement with the coaching because it’s so focused. But I enjoy connecting the dots so far as connecting the network with an external provider that we know can add value,” she says.
“What we need to see that we haven’t yet seen is a one-stop solution where there is one platform that can manage HR, your supply chain, your finance and so on. I think the capability already exists, but there’s not one provider yet that owns all the technology or has successfully brought them together in a collaborative fashion. That is the next stage and that is what I want to see.”