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Perfect blend for property and design business

Combining her love for interior design and real estate into a successful business model has enabled Kaiapoi-based Karen Bailey to focus on providing a complete service for her clients

Kaiapoi-based real estate agent and interior designer Karen Bailey has successfully blended two careers to create a thriving business which satisfies her creative side along with her passion for helping people achieve their property and interior design goals.

Karen launched her real estate career in March 2016, followed by her interior design business KB Design in October of the same year.

Living overseas and travelling extensively through the UK, Europe and the Middle East provided Karen with exposure to a wide range of design, colour and architectural styles which inspired her interior design business.

“When I returned from overseas, I spent 12 years worked for several interior design firms and built a strong network of connections, services and tradespeople. This experience inspired me to start my interior design business.”

Concerns that her clients had around preparing their homes for sale and the growth of her business throughout Canterbury prompted Karen to launch her interior design brand as she could see a natural fit between the two business models.

“I am focused on listening to people and helping them solve problems. I could see how blending the two careers could provide a tailored service that achieved excellent results for my clients.”

Karen started off working with traditional real estate agencies but while she learned a great deal about the industry, she found that this model didn’t work for her when it came to her personal values and brand.

In 2019, she discovered Proppy Real Estate and found the transparent selling and buying process which empowers buyers and sellers and uses online technology matched with her own philosophy.

Karen says technology has helped immensely when it comes to continuing the sales and purchase process during all levels of lockdown.

“We have an online negotiation platform which means the seller and purchaser can do all the negotiations online if we are unable to meet in person due to Covid restrictions. Property owners can list their property online and we also offer online auctions which run for 24 hours.”

Applying an empathetic approach to client relationships during lockdown is important to Karen who believes that it is better to step back and give people space to process changes.

“A lot of people are under pressure, and everyone is dealing with different situations so I prefer to leave people with information, and they can come back to me when they are ready to move forward.

“Last year, I listed three properties the day before lockdown and got one under contract at level three. This year we were having two properties photographed just before level 4 lockdown. I got two offers via the online platform the day after they were listed and then showed buyers through under level 3 restrictions when we moved down the levels and we got that under contract by bringing deadline date forward. This shows that if people are wanting to continue the process, we can help them even during level four.”

Karen says she is excited about the next decade and the innovations that new technology will bring, however she believes the power of creating strong personal connections can never be replaced by technology.

“You still need to be able to create those strong relationships and solve people’s problems for them. It’s all about people and that will never change.”

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