All Posts by Lucinda Starr

November 2016’s Woman in Focus – Kathy Pieprzyk

Kathy Pieprzyk

This month’s Woman in Focus is Kathy Pieprzyk who has been living in Sydney for the past fifteen years.

Polish-born Kat arrived in Australia via Chicago as an exchange student in 2002 and decided to make Australia her home and become a Permanent Resident when she met her long-term partner, Ben Ly.

Kat has worked in all areas of advertising and marketing, loves the great Aussie outdoors and spends much of her free time on long walks with her staffy/cross French bulldog, Lily.

Kat purchased her first one bedroom unit 2007 at the urging of her partner’s mother.

She saw a bargain and made me act on it,” Kat said. “I was a bit nervous at first, but I did my research and jumped in. “

Kat at 34 years of age holds two investment properties and is looking for a third.

Early Strategies

 “In the beginning I was just looking for a home away from home. The Art Deco building had been converted into four units with a small garden courtyard perfect for a glass of wine in the evening, and the high ceilings give it a sense of space.


 “When I saw how fast my one bedroom apartment increased in price I knew I was on a winner so I did a weekend real estate course to understand the Australian property market, she said.

 “I then bought a 4 bedroom house off the plan outside Sydney. It is not incrementing as fast as a city unit but it is negatively geared and on a slow boil.”

Kat has developed a keen eye and thinks it is time to try something different.

I want to buy a small property, get some renovation experience and flip it for a profit,” she said.

Looking for a property to flip means buying with your head and not your heart,” she said.


  1.  When considering buying a unit always ask for The Minutes from the Body Corporate so that you know what issues, if any, are affecting the current owner.
  2. When getting quotes from tradespeople always get at least three, and not just to compare the price. I always ask a lot of questions, that way I learn something new about the job each time – which helps in my ultimate decision.
  3. This is more a philosophy than a tip – I always look at property from the point of view that if I would like to live in it, then the chances are someone else will too.
  4. Location is also important, especially a park, as everyone has either a child, a fitness regime or a pet.

Moving towards the future

 My partner Ben also owns a unit and together we plan on taking the equity out of our three properties so that we can buy our forever home without the angst of a huge mortgage,” she said.



What’s Your Property Personality?


The 6 property buying personalities – what sort of an investor are you?

The answer to this question will change over time. It often reflects your stage of life, skill and knowledge set and what is also happening in your day-to-day.

What sort of investor are you, today?

Which one of our 6 personality types are you. You might be a blend of two but whatever you are doing…starting and continuing is the simple formula to your long-term success.

As Woody Allen said ‘80% of success is just showing up’.

Starting out and cash-strapped

We all started somewhere. No one buys the waterfront, A-grade property in a blue ribbon pocket on the first round in the property market. The key to starting, is simply that, starting.

Don’t get caught up in the concept that you must buy locally or that you even need to sleep the night in the property. It is an investment, look at numbers, growth and who your tenant will be. Remove emotion from the picture as best as possible. Start small and build up your portfolio.

Time-poor and juggling everything

Working hard, parenting, looking after aging parents, studying part-time. At some point in our lives we find ourselves multi-tasking and eating toast for dinner at 9pm. It is just the way life goes. If you are currently in this pattern there are strategies you can implement to continue (or start) your journey. Explore the idea of a joint-venture partner who has the time and you can be a financial contributor, you could look at using a Buyers’ Agent in the area you want to buy in. People outsource their dogs to be walked, it makes sense to outsource big financial decisions to property professionals if time is your rarest commodity.

Graduate of Renovation School

Love to renovate, absorbed all the information you can about doing it smart and maximising bang for buck? Renovating is a true act of love, it is time consuming, filthy, exhausting and oh-so rewarding. Do your numbers, be smart, don’t do shabby work but also renovate to the market you are in and not your own penchant for marble and chandeliers. Be sure when buying that you seek out a property that allows you to add value to it and then some. We see a lot of ‘renovator delights’ sell for way more than they should because of the growing interest c/o shows like the Block. Be smart, prepared and outsource to a tradie what you can’t do well.

Portfolio well underway

You have 7 properties ticking away and reached a phase of being comfortable with that. Consider your long-term prospects, diversification of your portfolio and new ideas that could inject further life into your returns. Frequently revisit what is going on. Are you getting fair market rental? What interest rates are you paying, could you refinance, are you sitting on a sub-dividable block, is a granny flat possible or could you now explore a more risker property investment potential as you have the foundation behind you to support the outcome?


You need to invest carefully so you can sleep at night. You don’t like the idea of maintenance, difficult tenants, get nervous by media hype but still desperately want to set yourself up for positive returns. Recognising your personality type is half the battle won. Don’t be talked into taking on debt or a property that makes you feel uneasy. Overtime you will grow in confidence and be less risk-averse but start out to reflect your style. This personality type is suited to easy set and forget properties. Explore newer builds in established areas with great employment prospects and local amenities.

Ready for a challenge and willing to take on risk

You fall into this category because you have done a few things with property and done well. You have followed your instinct and the market and now buoyed by that confidence. Fabulous!

The next step for you would be looking at small developments – 3 townhouses, a duplex, sub-divisions etc. You have time, experience, plus the funds behind you for any shortfalls and you know you have the tenacity and passion to succeed. This personality type is primed for success. Choose your teams wisely. Ensure you research builders, get to really know your town planner and a great local agent. Remember to have an exit strategy. If you can find a mentor in this space that will help with your first project – go get ‘em.

So which personality are you? What can you do today to take that next step toward your property portfolio tomorrow?

Share us with your experiences – we love to hear them and other women are inspired by them. Email us at

What are your Money Blocks?


Could you subconsciously be resisting property or professional success and not recognise it?

When I became the Director here at Property Women I promised that I would share with you my journey in life and property success.

I am a big sharer – probably an over-sharer really!

I have habits that hinder my own success. My success at getting fit (and staying fit), my ability to get a DA to council for my personal projects, my self-limiting mindset in the kitchen (I truly believe I am a rubbish cook) and money blockages that stop me from pushing myself to the next level.

Some women even feel like they are “cheating” if money comes too easily. You might not even be aware that you’re sabotaging yourself, but something is holding you back from the next level.

Have you ever tried to make more money, create passive income, start your property portfolio or rise above the rut you feel you exist in?

It’s your MINDSET.

It’s a huge goal for most of us, to generate that extra income. If you are a member of the Property Women community then I already know you are motivated for success, but here’s the thing that NOBODY talks about.

Sabotage and resistance.


What if the agents are lying? What if the tradies are hard to manage? Will people think I’m a big-noting myself?

You’re mindset can trigger blocks and sabotages. And if you’ve been resisting creating more income or buying the next property or propelling yourself professionally then I have something for you.

My friend and fellow business lady, Denise Duffield-Thomas has an amazing money mindset course that’s crucial for training women to overcome their money mind-set obstacles. It’s her Lucky Bitch Money Bootcamp.

Check it out here:

The Money Bootcamp is a six-week course and vibrant community of over 3,000 women that identifies and helps you release your money blocks. Denise’s popular course has been helping women since 2012 to upgrade their mindset.

The cool news is that Denise is running a LIVE version of the course for the first time in THREE years. That means live group Q&A calls, quizzes, checklists and the momentum of 3,000 women working together.

If you are looking to get out of the PAYG race, build your own business, start your property empire or generally need an all-round kick up the proverbial backside I encourage you to check out the course here:

There are crucial mindset shifts that need to happen so you can receive the abundance you deserve.

If you’ve been stuck, then it’s time to work on your money blocks. It’s the missing piece of your success as a property mogul!

Together, as women, we can support each other through these money and mindset blocks and the ripple effect starts with you.

As a bonus – if you sign-up to Denise’s program you will receive full access for 12 months to the Property Women Springboard program valued at $597.

I really highly recommend Denise’s course as one of the best money mindset resources out there. This course has helped women generate millions of dollars and Denise is authentic, smart, financially savvy and just has her head switched on and we love that!

You can also save $500 if you sign up by 27th October.

Check it out here:

Let’s finish out the year on a high!


P.S Denise is known for having a super honest and funny take on life and business and what it REALLY takes to create success. It’s never been a better time to join her Bootcamp.

P.P.S Property Women is a proud affiliate of Denise’s work. We believe her message to be true, authentic and beneficial and would love for you to benefit from it.

Stunning renovation, under $25k budget


Is it possible to do a fast renovation, on a shoestring budget, that’s also PROFITABLE?

Well, YES IT IS and in this new video by my good friend, Jane Slack-Smith, you’ll see exactly how it’s done…step by step.

Check it out now:

In this video, she pulls back the curtain and shows you a real-life renovation case study.

She will show you the areas to improve, the products used, the paint colours, the landscaping, and even the results and numbers.

By the end of this video, you’ll know exactly where within a property to add the most value… even with a “tiny budget”… and how to do it WITHOUT “gambling away” your money.

This is a must-watch video if you’re serious about renovating for profit or building a property portfolio quickly.


Property Investing is a little like having a Baby!

In celebration of the birth of my new baby niece I have to share with you this thought. Okay, it is a little kooky/controversial but…

Property investing is a little like having a baby.

There, I said it and my sister-in-law who delivered in the hall outside the maternity ward is probably thinking I am a little crazy about now.

So just humour me a little.

The top 5 reasons (Jo believes) property investing is like having a baby….

1. Everyone has an opinion:

E.V.E.R.Y.O.N.E knows how you should calm your baby, or bring on labour, or what school is best or why you should introduce solids early or late…

In the same light, just attend any gathering of grown-ups and mention you are looking to invest in a house/villa/sub-division and you will have 48 different opinions, mostly fear and doom.

2. It is never the right time:

Having a baby is a big step in any relationship. There are many reasons to postpone reducing the household income by half and then adding a cost to the mix. You can postpone investing in property also for many reasons – logical or irrational. Your future self will thank you for starting – over analysis paralysis anyone?

3. It is expensive:

Property can start to bring you a financial ROI from the beginning.

You might need to wait 8 plus years before your little cherub starts to take out the bins or unstack a dishwasher.

Then there is the 300k-lifetime estimate to raise just one child.

Kids can also be very motivating – the more you have, the richer you need to be, having property helps!

4. It hurts:

No matter what exit strategy junior takes….it hurts… if not during (thanks modern medicine) then there will be some post ouch moments.

It is a pain with a reward, so is property investing, but it can be super stressful.

It can cause anguish, uncertainty and dig up a lot of unwanted self-doubt.

Be prepared – you will feel smug joy eventually!

5. You feel euphoric:

Whether you are a Mum or an Aunty or a Godmother or just like babies.

There is something about a baby that makes people smile. Holding your newborn is a huge heart melt for most new Mums regardless of all the other bits.

When you buy a property and it finally settles, you feel great! You get a tenant, you feel great, you renovate it, you feel great, it goes up in value by $280,000 in 2 years…get my point, see I am not mad!

Declutter your Life

September is renowned for being about ‘Spring cleaning’. Traditionally this concept was after an intense Winter hibernation which most Australians don’t truly experience.
There is just something about this season that is energising and having blocked spaces in your life can be clinically unhealthy and impact your mood, relationships and motivation.

Decluttering seems to be a term we use frequently these days. It is growing in its use because we accumulate so much STUFF!
People find it really difficult to part with sentimental items. 21st and Wedding gifts, inherited items, your children’s artwork or a great shirt from Led Zeppelins 1973 Australian Tour (…am so referencing my Dad here).

It does begin to become a burden and we increasingly require more storage and the ability to move freely evaporates.
We shut a door on the mess but the mess is still there. We chuck paperwork in a drawer but taxes still need to be done.

I was forced to declutter on a major scale before I started to short-term let my principle home.
I went crazy, it wasn’t easy but not a single item I removed comes to mind right now with any sentimental pangs.

To make decluttering easier I wrote out a list and stuck it where I could reference it – it might sound a little crazy but it went like this:
• Will I miss this item?
• Could it be replaced if needed?
• Does it add to my life?
• Does it enrich my life?
I even took photos of some cute baby clothes I had, then I bagged them up and gave them to charity. I was able to move some things from a dearly departed relative by thinking to myself – would they really want me to cart this item around for the rest of life? Was that the intent of the gift? No….

Super proud of my sporty hubby who had a HUGE amount of trophies from his track and field/soccer playing days. He tooks pics of them and moved them along.
CD’s and DVD’s – welcome to the digital age. We filled nearly 3 recycling bins of CD cases!

The benefits of decluttering are many but my highlights are:
• Everything looks better when it has a place and purpose
• You feel lighter….truly, you are weighed down by the clutter and accrued junk in your home and that one room/shed/garage/cupboard begins to erode your happiness
• You can make money from selling your stuff – Gumtree, Ebay and plenty of Facebook groups allow you to move unwanted items quickly
• If it doesn’t sell give it away for free or ensure the quality stuff finds its way to a charity in need
• Paperwork, sort it, file it, shred it or contact your bill provider and request email statements
• Use your good towels and good glasses – if it is feral – you don’t deserve that, use the good stuff!
Once decluttered you have choices. What a great opportunity to freshen up your living space with new paint/flooring, what about getting a valuation done on your property.
You could be sitting on a pile of equity you couldn’t have imagined.

When your house looks good, you feel great, it reflects in your day-to-day performances and people will notice.
Then the thought of short-term renting is not too crazy or daunting anymore.

Happy September,