They had no formal training, but Lana Taylor, Erin Cayless and Bonnie Hindmarsh left behind corporate careers to dive headfirst into the world of renovations and construction.
Their passion for home renovations, and the appeal of running their own business, was what guided them to launch Three Bird Renovations in 2014. The business involves buying properties, renovating them within a six-week turnaround and reselling them for profit.
Since their launch, Three Birds Renovations has flipped five houses and made significant profits from each. Their very first project, located in Castle Hill, was a three-bedroom property they bought for $808,000 in September 2014. The women sold it for $1.055 million in November that same year, after spending $90,000 on the renovation.
It was a bold move for the women – best friends for over 15 years and wives of former NRL players – and despite their lack of industry experience, they tapped into an arsenal of skills gathered over years of corporate careers.
Leaving the construction aspects to qualified tradesmen, each partner plays a different but essential role in the business. Taylor and Cayless bring their coordination expertise to the table – having been event managers previously – and are the business’ operations manager and marketing director respectively. Hindmarsh is the design guru of the three and plays the role of the creative director.
The houses the women tend to look out for are properties that may not appeal to buyers due to problems such as termites, but have great renovation potential. Taylor told Daily Mail Australia that they tend to have a six-week settlement period after buying a property. “In that six-week period, we do up all the planning and are in the house as much as possible.”
The women believe that the quick turnaround protects them from potential financial loss. “There is not enough time for it to slump before we sell or skyrocket and it drives our value up, so we feel it is kind of in our hands,” said Taylor.
The Birds do not engage an architect and are involved in all the drawings and creative vision. While the changes they make to the houses are mainly cosmetic, they’re so significant the houses are barely recognisable.
“Rather than doing a reno that needs a new concrete slab, an extension or second story, we buy houses already big enough. We remove internal walls, refresh and update the exterior of the house and work within the original footprint.”
The women then furnish the homes with borrowed furniture or that of their own for display purposes.
They are currently working on their sixth house, which, incidentally, is Taylor’s family home. And like their earlier projects, each renovated room is unveiled through the Three Birds Instagram account (@threebirdsrenovations) with drool-worthy pictures, as well as videos on their website where viewers get to see what goes on behind-the-scenes.