Balancing Business, Tech and Parenting with PropertyNow Chief Technical Officer, Coreyna Blachut.
This month we launch our PropertyNow team member series of blog articles to champion the individuals within our own PropertyNow family who keep the business humming.
First cab off the rank is a Mother’s Day special with inspiring new Mum, businesswoman and PropertyNow CTO, Coreyna Blachut.
1. Who are you and what is your role at PropertyNow?
My name is Coreyna and I’m the Chief Technical Officer at PropertyNow. I’ve worked within the business since inception and am deeply passionate about it. In a nutshell, I help plan and guide our technical feature development, however, it’s very much a ‘bit of everything’ type of role.
2. What 2 pieces of advice would you give to a Mum who’s keen to re-ignite and pursue a career after having children?
I have 6!
- Use your now sharply-honed logistical skills and get organised! Being a Mum is a full-time job, so combining that with paid work is no mean feat. Everything will be much easier with a bit of pre-planning! As an example, I use a meal kit delivery, so that there’s no mental load of meal planning and grocery shopping.
- Choose an industry that you’re passionate about, or if you can’t immediately do that - work towards it. If you’re passionate about your career you’ll be able to find the physical, mental, and emotional energy for the hustle. Case in point – I’m answering these questions at 10PM after bubba has gone to bed.
- Make technology work for you. In PropertyNow, we use Slack which means that whilst I can’t always be at a desk, I’m always “online” and able to have quick conversations with key stakeholders to keep things moving.
- Recruit help! The saying “it takes a village” has never been truer. Don’t try to do everything yourself.
- Accept less than perfect. Whilst you can ‘have it all’ to an extent, obviously, something has to give somewhere. For me, it’s the housework. Our new normal is ‘clean enough.’
- Find a mentor. This may be especially useful if you’ve been out of the workplace for a while. Find a mentor in your chosen field who can help you get up to speed with current industry practice and knowledge. You may even be able to dip your toes with volunteer work for/with your mentor in order to polish your resume.
3. What’s your favourite part about being both a Mum and a successful businesswoman?
I would have to say the unique skill set and perspective it allows you to bring to the table. Becoming a Mum has made me MUCH more time efficient and goal oriented at work, and my work gives me a fulfilling outlet outside of being “Mum”. It’s a juggle, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!
4. Can you describe your favourite “pinch me” moment during your time at PropertyNow?
Honestly, being blessed to work from home, with flexible hours and with family members EVERY moment is kind of a pinch me moment!
I guess a favourite would have to be the very first-time PropertyNow was featured on national TV. It’s a bit ‘old school’, yet it felt so gratifying to be having that sort of significant media attention after the years of hard work building the business up.
6. How have you found the return to work post-baby?
Definitely more of a juggle than I expected, but I’m so blessed in that PropertyNow has been incredibly supportive and flexible. My husband and I shared the paid parental leave, so I was back at work quite early.
I was encouraged to work whatever hours I wanted whenever I needed. That allowed me to work through sleepless nights, bouts of mastitis, and a teething baby.
I also have a wonderful husband who reduced his hours, so that he’s able to care for our son whenever I’m working which has been a huge advantage.
To ensure I had stability PropertyNow also paid my annual leave flexibly, supplementing the weeks where I worked fewer hours.
At times it’s undoubtedly stressful but I LOVE being back at work because we have such an amazing team here at PropertyNow and I’m so excited by the work we do! I think without that creative outlet I’d probably have gone mad singing along to The Wiggles by now!
5. What will you be doing this Mother’s Day?
I love surprises, so I don’t get to know in full yet, but it will definitely involve French toast and LOTS of cuddles with my 8-month-old!
7. Maddest moment at PropertyNow as a Mum?
One would be going into labour a few hours before an important Monday morning meeting. I can remember being mid contraction and telling Jo (my own Mum and PropertyNow’s Operations Manager) that she’d need to let everyone know I couldn’t make it!
8. What 2 pieces of advice would you give to someone looking to sell their own home for the first time?
1. Have confidence and believe in yourself. This one especially goes out to all the women out there. In my early days with PropertyNow, I used to be on the phones and I’d speak to so many women who were perfectly competent but doubted themselves and their ability to sell their own home. You CAN do this (and do it well). You don’t need to be a “salesman” – if you can be cordial, prompt, and honest you’ve already outdone at least half of the professional agents out there.
2. Research and prepare well.
Firstly, choose a marketing provider who is well reviewed and who can guide you with the process.
Secondly, be sure to get an independent (not from a real estate agent) property value estimate so that your price is right from the start. The biggest influx of buyers will be when you first list, so you don’t want to squander that by being overpriced.