6 minute read

WOW Property Women

CELEBRATE your wins!

WOW Property Women founder Lorna Willis is most definitely a woman who loves to celebrate her wins and she’s had many. She is one incredibly inspiring woman.

Lorna is a mother, grandmother, friend and mentor. Just add a dash of ‘passion for property,’ and you will find an amazing woman who has created a community for like-minded women. Standing for Women Owning our Wins, WOW Property Women are truly passionate about all things property. The ‘WOW Group’ ladies come from far and wide. They are homeowners, investors and developers, all thriving on discussing anything to do with property, from interior design to land subdivision and much more, all in a safe and encouraging environment. They support each other by sharing knowledge, experience and wisdom and through ensuring they celebrate their own and each other’s wins by including lots of fun activities in their program. Lorna and the WOW Property Women care deeply about their community too and keep themselves humble by helping the homeless. Just before Christmas last year, they took on a mammoth task of transforming one of the empty and messy houses on the future Lowanna site in Buddina, into a home to accommodate a homeless woman, who not only got a roof over her head, but also beds, lounge and cutlery, complete with food in the fridge and cupboards. Lorna was thrilled to hand over the keys to her so she could move in by Christmas Eve. It was a massive, but ever so fulfilling task. Let’s take a step back in time. Lorna fell in love with creating homely spaces at a very early age, building cubby houses in the haystack on the family sheep, potato and cattle farm in the hills of Gippsland, Victoria. There was no power, no fridge, no hot water. They had to bring water up from the river and put it into an old copper boiler with a wood fire under it in order to heat water for the family’s weekly bath. The family cat would fall through the gaps between the walls and the floor and possums lived in the roof. Couple that with poisonous snakes in the yard and the picture begins to be painted as to how this lady learned resilience from a very early age. She learnt how to drive a tractor, back up a truck and ride a motorbike as well as hold her own amongst groups of men. She learnt to become self-reliant and quick-acting to solve problems before they could escalate.

Her upbringing eventually became a real gift in versatility, adaptability, creativity and gratefulness. It also gave her the vision and the passion to design something beautiful for herself one day.

land at just 18 years of age for a whopping $4,000 with a dream to build a home that she could be proud of. Having moved to the Sunshine Coast in 2013, she was helping a girlfriend to understand ‘property language’- things such as LVR, Equity, Leverage, Flip, Widow Block… and she invited her to bring some of her friends to sit around the kitchen table and share her knowledge and experience. From there, it just grew. More and more people would join in each month, first into her dining room, then her lounge, until finally she had to set it up with an outside venue for the monthly events. Having pioneered and endured the struggles in a male-dominated industry (and still doing so), Lorna loves inspiring and encouraging women to create their own financial independence using property as a vehicle. It wasn’t until she turned 30 that she realised what she wanted to do in life. After physically designing and building the family’s first two homes with her then husband, alongside growing their family of four beautiful daughters, she decided to go back to school to study Architectural Design and Interior Design. After six years of study while working part- time and raising a family, she stepped out to start her own Architectural Design business. This grew rapidly to three offices in different locations with a team of eight. Lorna found herself being all things to all people, but not the designer she wanted to be.

So, she began to dabble in her own projects using the mixed-use zone to take a residence and convert it into a small-scale commercial development. Over time, these got bigger and bigger and eventually gave her the cashflow that enabled her to give up her ‘day job’. All this while raising the girls. However, Lorna is proud to say, “I have raised four beautiful, well-balanced daughters who make a positive contribution to their communities, which was always, and still is, my number one priority.” “We have travelled through many of life’s challenges and celebrations together. And at this precious time in life, I know that I must have done something right as a mother; for now, I am a trusted best friend to each of them and a loved Grandi to nine grandchildren. Our bond continues to remain extremely close, no matter where in the world we are.”

Being our milestone issue, Lorna shares one major milestone that she still holds her head high with pride about. In business, it is the development of Lowanna Beach Resort, which is a $95 million project with three buildings that include 112 apartments and five commercial spaces. It is a testimony to all of her life’s learnings, tribulations, and triumphs, including the inherent skill to build an awesome team to support the vision. It has been four years in the making so far, with one-and-a-half years still to go. Nothing says ‘milestone’ better than surviving Covid-19 through a foreverchanging environment of turbulence and unprecedented extremes. When other developers were shelving their plans, Lorna’s words to her team were, “Guys, you can’t be half pregnant. We are pregnant and we are going to deliver this baby.” The sort of thing only a woman would say! As a woman leading this huge project, which is one of the bigger residential developments on the Coast, in a predominantly male dominated industry, Lorna has repeatedly received comments that demonstrate building the group of ‘WOW Property Women’ has not only helped her - by being surrounded by inspirational women – but it has also helped many other women step outside their comfort zone and take action to build their own wealth plan, using property as their vehicle.

I asked Lorna to share her number one tip for success.

She says, “Find a mentor or coach, don’t try to do it alone. It’s just too hard!”

Hang around with like-minded people long enough and you will build your confidence and learn the ‘how’ of growing a successful property portfolio.

Join the WOW Property Women group now by scanning the QR code and receive your first month for only $7 using the coupon code ‘7dollarfreedom’ as a welcome gift from Lorna to help start you on your way. a www.wowpropertywomen.com.au/join/

WOW – Owning our wins with a celebration


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