Jenelle Paetow is the Marketing and Business Development Director at AllianceCorp, a national Property Investment Consultancy that educates everyday Australians on how to develop tailored investment property strategies so they can build successful property portfolios.
Did you always want to work in the property industry? I have been working in the property space for the past 6 years. As the daughter of a successful property developer I have always been interested in Property. The smell of wood and plaster dust always brings back positive memories of visiting sites with my dad as a child. I have always been influenced by the great Australian dream of owning my own home and building a successful property portfolio. I have also worked across a range of industries including agribusiness, FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) and the technology sector.
Who has been a mentor to you in your career, and how has that affected where you are today? I am really fortunate that throughout my career I have been mentored by a lot of strong women of which I am still in close contact with today. Having worked in predominantly male industries throughout my career I have really enjoyed the strong women who have taught me a lot about balancing a career and family, how to ensure my voice is heard in an all male boardroom and how to build a high performing team whilst maintaining a fun and positive work culture.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the property industry? No matter what facet of the property space you are working in, I think it is important to keep on top of the headlines of the day, understand finance and the role it plays in the property industry (particularly in the investor space) and to align yourself with a network of subject matter experts who you can leverage off to grow your own knowledge. Beyond property, for someone commencing a career in any industry my advice is to take initiative, bring fresh ideas to the table and always go that extra mile to stand out when growth opportunities present themselves.
What do you do to maintain physical and/or mental health? My team and I always make time to do something active during the day. At the moment, we’re loving reformer pilates and have been regularly attending Love Athletica in Windsor… I also love walking my dog around the lake near the office. (Chasing after the kids also keeps me pretty active). When I need to really concentrate on a task, I’ve found that listening to rain or general nature sounds can help me stay focused and get work done.
What do you think are the critical things holding women back in the industry? After sitting behind the hiring desk for many years, I have noticed that women tend to sell themselves short when compared to men. A HR colleague said it best, when advertising for a role with ten key criteria, generally speaking if a male candidate ticks three of those boxes he will willingly apply and sell himself whereas a woman will not put herself forward unless she ticks upwards of seven or eight criteria. I really encourage the young women who work with me to have better faith in their abilities and fake it til you make it!
What positive changes have you seen in the industry over the years? The real estate game traditionally was a bit of a boys club but I am finding that a more inclusive culture is emerging with more women being represented in all roles including more leadership positions. Greater diversity always leads to better culture and results so this is a definite positive.
How did you get to where you are today? Have you had a diversified career path? I studied media and communications and began my career in more traditional PR or corporate affairs roles. The advancements in digital marketing and social media veered my career path into the marketing space a bit more. Although I have worked across a range of different industries the underlying principles of communications and marketing haven’t changed a lot for me. I think understanding your customer and telling engaging stories to your audience is always at the forefront.
Who has influenced you in your career? In addition to the strong female role models I have mentioned, I have been influenced a lot by my husband Jason who is the Managing Director of AllianceCorp. Jason works harder than any person I have met and always puts the clients first. He is also a very fair leader who treats his team well and knows when to make a tough decision. We both push each other to work hard, deliver great results for our clients whilst still spending quality time with our family.
What do the WIP Network events mean to you? At the recent WIP event I attended, we talked about how refreshing it was to be in a room with a bunch of like minded women in the property industry – especially given that for most of us we are surrounded by men in our roles. This networking group is a fantastic way to help women in the industry learn from one another, feel supported and grow as professionals.
Where do you see women in the property industry in the future? I think we are going to see the gender balance even out in years to come with so many more women in finance, real estate, development, law and the list goes on. The big shift that I can feel already happening is more women moving into leadership roles, so positive change is certainly on the horizon.