The Biggest Obstacle for Women Renovators

The podcast for women who want to create income and a life they love through renovating

Join serial renovator Bernadette Janson as she explores the ins and outs of renovating for profit!

Bernadette has over 30 years of experience in the renovating for profit business. She’s a registered nurse, a renovator, a mum, and a teacher.

146 – Todd Sloan: How Your Renovation Experience Builds Value For Real Estate Investing

Your renovation experience builds value for real estate investing. Choosing the right project to enhance a property plays a significant portion to future owners in increasing its property value.

Watch Episode 146 on Video:

How Your Renovation Experience Builds Value For Real Estate Investing


  • [01:07] Get to know Todd Sloan
  • [02:38] What draws Todd in podcasting
  • [04:26] The three core beliefs around the property
  • [07:48] The Adelaide market and location of Todd’s agency
  • [10:38] Affordability buffer going up
  • [11:33] Todd’s renovation experience opportunities
  • [13:31] Look for the opposite of what you’d sell
  • [16:36] Comparative sales analysis
  • [18:05] Concerns about losing a listing
  • [19:32] Importance of asking the agent with their renovation experience
  • [20:25] The scariest thing Todd experienced in his property career or real estate
  • [22:23] The Value of getting an insurance
  • [24:08] The wet trades in Todd’s 10-day renovation
  • [26:26] The objective of his reno
  • [28:55] Biggest learning and tips to renovators

One of the things that drew me to property was the more I learned, the more I felt confident. Whereas compared to shares, I felt the more I learned the more I realised, I didn’t know.”  ~ Todd Sloan

Todd Sloan: The Real Estate Agent And Renovator

Todd Sloan is from Adelaide and he’s a real estate agent in South Australia, and host of a podcast called Pizza and Property. He is also an avid renovator and recently finished a project called 10-day Renovation. Todd’s real estate journey started when he was playing with Lego as a kid as he was obsessed with it.

Three Core Beliefs In Property

    1. Adding Value. For Todd, if you can’t add value, he’s not interested. He is very much a sweat-equity person. 
    2. Cash Flow. He likes positively geared properties, something that’s going to produce an income from where it’s positioned.
    3. Risk Management. Mutual understanding with your partner or business partner of what you are into. If anything does not go well, you both know what may happen.

The Real Estate Agency Location And The Adelaide Market

The agency is located down South in Christies Beach. There was a bit of a joke in the office he was the global specialist because everyone just worked in their little patch and it was one thing that Todd looked down on. 

In 2018 Todd started to work a little bit more borderless and now everyone in their office does it. He now has many more listings; he is selling a penthouse in the city, waterfront properties down to Port Elliot.  It’s something that you couldn’t do 20 years ago.

Todd has been selling a lot of entry-level stock for investors. He has a strong European background and he says there’s been a family problem, because nothing’s happened in the Adelaide market for 10 years and no one’s talked about. All of a sudden these $270,000 houses are worth like three $330K and they were jumping up even higher again. 

Current Renovation Opportunities And How To Consider Properties

With the current market state, Todd believes that there are renovation opportunities but it isn’t consistent, with many overpriced.

This is a tricky situation for Todd. It’s like a $64 million question. At the start of the year, they were selling properties for $330K and all of a sudden they can sell it for close to half a million dollars. So it varies depending on how the value goes up and down.

Most of the time, when finding a property, you look for something similar to what you want. But for Todd personally, he looks for the opposite of what he’d sell, the one that’s horribly presented. And that’s generally where the gems are found. The ones with a perfect sales campaign and beautiful presentation would have strong promotions but in the long run, will have strong competition against you.


Renovation Experiences and Expectations

The first thing is going through a comparative sales analysis. Todd is looking at all the reports of the million-dollar properties and by straightaway looking at these, he’d compare what a million dollars looks like in this market right now.

It’s important to list everything beforehand. Todd may be talking with some of his clients for years.

He remembers one instance, that was around April, everything was listed because there were a few off-market offers that they got. That’s how he always approaches things that don’t always go to market. Getting the paperwork done and getting everything up and running then connect the dots off-market.

Importance Of Asking An Agent About Their Renovating Experience

Bernadette Janson shares to Todd that there are quite a few students, particularly agents who don’t want to renovate the property. Where in fact, she knows that It will make a significant difference to the sale price.

Todd said that it’s essential to ask the agent what their experiences with renovating are so you will know the reason as to why they are saying no. Who knows if they just do not know anything about it, that’s why they are declining beforehand.

It could be out of their comfort zone that’s why they’re thinking to just do it as is because if you start asking more questions to them, they will start feeling uncomfortable or not look like the experienced one anymore. Todd has said to one gentleman before to not renovate it, because he could see his standard of the renovation experience was not good. It was like you’re going to overcapitalise and do a poor job. 

she renovates live
The Unforgettable Renovation Experience In His Property Career

Todd shares it was during his very first year in real estate and sales. He got a call from a vendor who moved up to Queensland and this was one of the first houses he sold by himself. He got a random call from a lady walking a dog telling him she got his name on the signboard and that she just wanted to let him know that the hot water service on the roof is gushing. 

As he checks in, it’s leaking full-on like someone is standing on the roof of a two-storey house with a hose. He called the vendor straight away and as he was turning off the tap. He was informed to leave it on and it’s just one of the heat waves, some kind of heat release valve. He left the tap on. This happened a week before the settlement.

On the day of settlement, he was asked about the hot water thing and thought that maybe it would be a problem. So he was asked to turn it off. When he walked in, the entire first floor had collapsed all of the gyprocks because the water had been leaking down the side of the house. He had no idea what to do and was completely inexperienced at this stage. From there, he informed them that they will need to call the insurance company. 

The Value Of Getting An Insurance

Make it a policy that you don’t cancel the insurance until after settlement. Insurance can support you in replacing or repairing any damages to your property. It’s vital to determine what kind of coverage you have and how much your policy might pay for a covered claim so you can be better prepared if you ever need to file one.

The experience is a perfect example of why you need to get insurance. Not just building insurance but get contents insurance too. On another note, they have done whatever they can and turned it into a positive thing since they didn’t like the kitchen anyway. They ended up getting a new kitchen for free. 

The Wet Trades In Todd’s 10-Day Renovation

Todd doesn’t like painting tiles in wet areas and he thinks it’s not a good idea. But when he found ThermoGlaze, which happens to give a 10-year guarantee with their work, he grabbed it. So for the bathroom, it was done with ThermoGlaze and that was all sprayed. They got a tiler, a new vanity, and new showerheads. It was a very quick fix kind of reno and it ended up costing around $4,000 for the bathroom.

For the kitchen, they did paint all the bricks externally and had to fix it up. He did all the painting apart from a couple of lads that came from AirTasker to help. They came through the property manager up there and he paid them to help out for a couple of days.

The Objective Of Todd’s Renovation

Making sure he can increase the value and to pull some equity out, his objective is to increase capital and income.

It’s a deal where there was already a three bed, one bath on the front, and a granny flat. It’s quite a big block so you can fit all three structures on. The existing granny flat and the three-bedroom and one-bath is going to be rented out as one structure. 

Beforehand, it was rented out for $290 a week, which was already a pretty big discount for where it is. If you can spruce this up, give it a nice freshen up with the bathroom, kitchen and new flooring then it can get $500 per week.

By the time they were done, it’s looking like it’s going to be rented out for more like $580 a week. The back granny flat that’s about to be finished should be rented out for around $350 a week. All of it will bring around $900 a week in cash flow.

Biggest Learning And Tips For Renovators

His biggest personal learning is to stop telling himself that he’s still 21 because that hurt, like it was him and his other half and they are both in their mid-thirties.

Working underground in the mines, he does 12 hour days. And that’s just how it worked that now hurts a lot more when you’re 35. He was underestimating the need for recovery partway through life so he discovered an ice bath partway through that helps just with his body. It’s like 10 minutes of horribleness, but that was good afterwards.

The other thing is the actual coordination. He just gets in there and just starts doing things like he’s a creative person. Whereas his other half Bianca, she’s a lot more organised with systems and structures. They complement each other well. She’s still very creative, and that’s more of a strength. 

If you want to expand and expect other people to know what is going on, you can’t expect them to read your mind. I think that’s a bit of what I need to change around.” 

~ Todd Sloan

The Next Project For Todd Sloan

In the next project, he intends to turn it into a PPOR (Principal Place of Residence). He is going to put everything into the property. He even went from having a portfolio worth $300 thousand to $1.7 million. Todd is finally looking forward to having a PPOR. He just got this little unit, but he can’t help but buy this using his head and not his heart. While it’s going to be a PPOR, it’s also a project that he wants to make good equity on. He sold a unit for  $321,000, identical to this one which was renovated. He purchased this one for $225,000.

Australia’s Home Buying Guide Book Give Away

Todd has kindly offered to give away some copies of his book Australia’s Home Buying Guiderenovation experience.

We are sure there will be lots of tips in there for anyone.

What we’d like you to do is if you could promote the book on Instagram, share it and tag The School of Renovating and Pizza and Property in your post.

We’ll get in touch with you and get your details. Todd’s very kindly going to send those books out to you. 

She Renovates Facebook Group

If you want to meet up with a group of savvy renovators. I would say come over and join She Renovates Facebook Group. It’s a completely FREE Facebook group and it is growing at the rate of knots. 

We hit over a thousand members just recently, and now it seems to have picked up momentum. They are all savvy renovating women and men working their little hearts out to live a better life through renovating.

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    Amazing Free Content!LeaLea707 via Apple Podcasts · Australia · 05/22/22
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    “I have been listening to this Podcast for a few years now. I love how Bernadette freely shares her experiences and knowledge of renovating and how to create wealth through property. There are many people out there doing a similar things but Bernadette is the real deal. Her down to earth approach reasonates with me and I’ve learned lots from her. I’d highly recommend She Renovates!”
    Just brilliant!fbegeng via Apple Podcasts · Australia · 03/16/22
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    “I've been binge-listening to this podcast for the past week and it's absolutely brilliant. Bernadette has amassed so much knowledge and wisdom about renovating and she shares it generously and in a really easy to understand way that's inspired me to give it a go. Her advice is practical and I love that she approaches renovating in a really ethical and open-hearted way. Every episode honestly is gold. I also love that each episode is quite short and addresses a specific topic without any waffle. Thank you so much for this podcast!”
    Practical and honest adviceLuke Marland via Apple Podcasts · Australia · 05/12/21
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    “Hands down best renovation podcast there is. There’s no scams or tricks here and Bernadette provides honest and practical advice that you can actually apply to your life. There’s also great insights into the property industry (not just renovating) and Bernadette’s simple approach gives you tools to mitigate risk and fuels confidence to start your own projects.”
    Amazing insights and adviceJennaBrad via Apple Podcasts · Australia · 03/22/21
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    “Bernadette is an inspiration. Warm, open and a fountain of wisdom and advice. I’ve learned so much about everything from renovating to selling to creating an independent future from this podcast. Look forward to every episode!”
    Practical Magic For All RenovatorsJames’ Inspiration via Apple Podcasts · Australia · 12/15/20
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    “If you need to break through any of your limitations to find the joy and success in renovation, Bernadette is your inspiration and advisor with decades of experience. Her down to earth, practical style of sharing what works and how to keep control of any renovating project is worth tuning in for - week after week. I have done a few renovations in the (distant) past and now feel motivated to go again, this time for a change of pace and new horizons. This podcast shows the way. Thanks Bernadette, James Burgin”
    My Guilty Pleasure..Tanned Greek via Apple Podcasts · Australia · 10/26/20
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    “Just dropping by to show my support for your podcast Bernadette. I look forward to each episode and I am never disappointed with the content. It’s such a generous offering and compared to many of the other property podcasts I subscribe to, yours is the clear winner. Perfectly suited to people embarking on a new renovator journey but equally suited to more experienced folk like myself - there’s something for everyone. Keep up the great work. Your honesty is so refreshing! I look forward to future learning and hearing more student success stories. Best, David Michos (And yes... a bloke) 😉”
    You would have to be crazy to miss this !!Lifestylepp via Apple Podcasts · Australia · 10/15/20
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    “If you have any interest at all in renovating, you would be crazy not to listen to every episode! As someone who has done many courses and a project manager by trade, i learn something every time. Bernadette is so genuine and generous and totally relatable. Do yourself a favour and subscribe now !”

    Want more?

    If you want to meet up with a group of savvy renovators. I would say come over and join She Renovates Facebook Group. It’s a completely FREE Facebook group and it is growing at the rate of knots. We hit over a thousand members just recently, and now it seems to have picked up momentum. They are all savvy renovating women and men working their little hearts out to live a better life through renovating.

    The only membership you need to grow your renovation business…

    Wonder Women is a combination of live sessions and pre-recorded content to help you get what you need, when you need it. I know that you’re the expert and you’ve got all of your subject knowledge nailed – now it’s time to build the business behind your renovation projects and stop being the worlds best kept secret. 

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