Adrienne Mikkelsen is the owner of Property Indepth Franchise, covering Bay of Plenty, Coromandel and South Waikato.
I started my valuation career 25 years ago in Rotorua. After three years I left New Zealand and enjoyed the obligatory big OE, living in Edinburgh, Dublin and Vancouver. Upon celebrating my 30th birthday I decided I had better come home and get a real job.
I enjoyed two years as a valuer in Wanganui, before returning to Rotorua. In 2009 I was offered the opportunity to purchase a Property InDepth franchise. As a young(ish) female valuer, this was a fantastic opportunity to own my own business. It is a successful combination of being my own boss, and being supported as a part of a vibrant progressive franchise.
Property Indepth broke the traditional valuation ownership model by offering the franchise opportunity, and without them I would have never become truly my own boss. I am still the only sole female valuation business owner across the Bay, and now have two valuers working for me.
Would you encourage women to become valuers?
Absolutely. Like many other professions, valuation has been male dominated for so long, but in recent years there has been an increase in ladies coming into the profession. It is a six-year process to become a registered valuer.
This starts with a three-year property degree, if studying fulltime, longer if doing extramural study. Then a further three years of supervision under a registered valuer before submitting an application to the Valuers Registration Board. A long road but I believe it’s worth it.
The benefits include:
- Not needing to be office bound, you can get out in the sunshine when it’s out, and then duck back inside when its raining. Working from home is a breeze.
- Meetings in great cafes and working amongst our regions great scenery.
- Above average income that we can manage around our family with flexible hours
- Working with great professional people from developers, real estate agents, mortgage brokers, architects
Obviously like many other professions, technology and systems have made setting up a home office easy. As a working mum, you could ensure your inspections are between school hours (in Tauranga traffic that’s best anyway) and be home working on reports when the kids come home from school.
Valuation is a strong customer relations business, and women have certain strengths that can enhance our success in the profession. Valuation isn’t just about the bricks and mortar of a house, it’s about connecting with your customers, listening to what they may be trying to achieve in their property journey, and showing empathy and understanding as they explain their goals.
I still now get a buzz when my client wins their dream house at auction, when they finally get their long-awaited renovation underway, or when a new subdivision is completed, creating new housing stock.
The favourite part of my profession is seeing my clients succeed in their property dreams.