There are many reasons why we love and admire the work of BuildHer Collective Co-Founder Rebeka Morgan. Not only is it her selfless approach to promoting and educating women to take back control of the building process, but her social platforms that overflow with gorgeous interiors and an overall sense of empowerment, through the design world and beyond.

We couldn't help but take the chance to interview Rebeka and discuss why the old ways of renovating for profit no longer work, where she gets her passion for empowering women in the construction industry and how she feels about selling her beloved family home (you know, the one you’ve saved on Instagram a hundred times over).
Enjoy the chat with this incredibly successful businesswoman and swooning over those stunning James St images.
1. BuildHer has an upcoming workshop on November 7th - Renovating and Building for Profit – can you tell us a little bit more about this?

We have an amazing FREE Renovating for Profit Event – for one hour over three evenings 7th, 8th and 9th of November. We will be unpacking why the old ways of renovating for profit no longer works, but why there is massive opportunity in the market right now! You can register here

So many women we speak to have this niggling dream of making their living from renovating for profit, but it seems unobtainable or perhaps like something that we should put off for the future. When we speak to people about it, they think we are a little crazy! Honestly, there will never be a better time, and if you have the right process and methodology, you will know your outcome from the beginning rather than just guessing!


2. Why is it that the old methods of developing don’t work anymore and how did you discover this?

The market has moved on and is so much smarter than before! No longer can those quick fixes, painting a few tiles and clearing the garden work. Purchasers know what they want and they will pay for it, but they can also see through poorly finished DIY solutions and they are demanding better. With so much access to information and inspiration around, it is still easy to give our purchasers what they want, but we need to create value and unlocking this is the key to unlocking your profit!


3. Tell us a little bit more about the 11 different areas you need to master to make the most of your project!

Renovating for profit is a little more than buying a home, doing a reno and selling it! There are 11 steps we have identified that can help you win in this game. Even experienced renovators are leaving money on the table in each of these areas. We have spent the last ten years investing our time in understanding exactly what works – how it works and how to leverage it to the best of our abilities! 

We will go through each of these areas in the session and show you the other areas you need to focus on! One of them will be the feasibility template and we send out ours for you to use as well.

4. What initially drew you to bridge the knowledge gap in homebuilding for women?

I have a commercial construction background, but when John and I were renovating and selling houses locally, residentially, we realised that the rules were different and needed to play the game in a different way. We had built up a name for ourselves with the homes we were doing as they were architectural and different to the ‘box on the back’ that other builders were putting back on the market.

We started getting a lot of calls, mainly women, who were building their homes and having major issues – it wasn’t the fun experience they had imagined!

It is not one person's role to give people the information they need to make an educated decision on what to do. Big mistakes were being made that would cost thousands, or tens of thousands and in a few cases, hundreds of thousands of dollars that could have been avoided! This is when I decided it needed to change and developed BuildHer Collective.

We are also able to pass on all our BuildHer’s discounts (up to 40%) to clients, so we know that if they invest a little in learning the right way and getting support (which will ultimately save them in the long run) they can make back the cost of the course many times over!

5. With all its disruptions - how have you navigated the construction industry over the last three years and what advice would you give to someone struggling with it at the moment?

The last three years have been hard! Hard for home owners and builders alike. Get advice, speak to people about your issues and play it through. It is a short time and you will live with your home for a really long time – it is stressful and we understand that, but try to check back on the big picture and how your home will improve your life in the long run.

6. You are selling the beloved James St – your stunning family home. How did you come to this decision?

Ohh, we LOVE our home! It was a big decision, but we actually have six children and a four bedroom home so now seemed like the right time!

We have an amazing home we will be starting to build this year and a vineyard/wedding venue that will be renovated and ready to book September next year. We look forward to spending more time there and move closer to our children’s school. We are big believers that our life and lifestyle is the ultimate priority, which is why we just took six months off to travel the US, Canada and Ireland. If we design this to be the best it can be for us and the kids, we have a winning formula!

7. What advice would you give to someone who is in a similar position but struggling with the sentimental value of selling a family home?

It is so hard, when you sell a home you love, you only see what you are missing, not what you are gaining! The big picture must be the priority and enjoying the process is imperative. We have lived in so many homes, and I have loved them all (except one – it was dark and smoky and I was very pregnant! 😊) but if I had known that taking a leap of faith and selling that first home would lead us here I would have done it in a heartbeat – it’s just we didn’t have a crystal ball!

8. You have mentioned the leap of faith you took so many years ago with BuildHer, how did you navigate this and remain motivated each day?

Each time you take a step you need to back yourself that you are doing the right thing, sometimes it is the uncomfortable thing. Our journey began when we decided to sell the first ‘forever’ home which was where my daughter was born. We were living there with three kids and we had always talked about renovating for profit, but…. We needed to sell our family home and we didn’t know where we would buy or end up – scary.

Now, if we add a crystal ball or the power of hindsight – yes that was the best thing we could ever have done! But, at the time, we were betting our future on our abilities and we didn’t know how that would turn out!

Now – lots of projects in, I could not have dreamed this future for us!

Here is my top tip for making this transition – learn, back yourself, learn again and surround yourself with amazing people doing what you are doing. Invest in learning, talk to anyone you can and learn from them, make sure you are always getting better at your craft and finally have fun and enjoy the process! (That final one is really important! 😊

9. Lastly, (the one we’ve all been hanging out for)… What’s next after James St!

Ahh, so much – I can’t even, some under wraps, some not.

We have a wedding venue to get up and running in Gippsland – this will be renovating five houses, a wedding space and creating a café, then adding eigh lake houses… all with a focus on sustainability! The project is also a Joint Venture and will be so much fun having our DevelopHers along for the ride.

In the last year, we have had three joint ventures running for our DevelopHers and it has been incredible to see how they can invest a small amount, learn the process and come out with big wins at the end!

We also have two family homes to build (one ours and the other, an incredible friend) which can again change the way we look at building in the market.

We have lots of fun educational things happening too, like the above workshop, a podcast series on sustainability in November and holiday accommodation coming soon!

As you can see we are having a lot of fun with building and developing! And working with incredible suppliers like Granite Lane is another one of the perks!

Listen up - the old ways of renovating for profit no longer work! BuildHer's workshop - Renovating and Building for Profit, commences November 7th and will give you a comprehensive education and support framework if you are looking to take on your own project.

November 04, 2022