Australian real estate’s self-made businesswoman
– Vish Vishwanathan
Ruma Mundi, Director and Principal of First National Real Estate Hills Direct in Western Sydney, was the youngest female Principal in her first job and is today a successful entrepreneur, consistently ranked in the top 1% real estate salespersons world-wide and the Top 50 Women in the Real Estate Network for Australia.
Ruma migrated to Australia at the age of 22 and owned her business at 29 years and is determined to scale new heights in the highly competitive industry.
The Indian Telegraph caught up with Ruma Mundi for a chat recently to catch a glimpse of her astronomical career and achievements as a successful entrepreneur.
Please describe your successful journey to the real estate world.
I migrated to Sydney in 1998 with $1500 (for a return ticket to India), big dreams, lots of energy, enthusiasm and confidence to take on the world. I loved this city the minute I arrived here, loved the people, place and vibe.
I started working for Telstra. I did not see myself in that role for long. Being a people person, I was looking at a career where I don’t have to be at a desk all day. I got my opportunity in a real estate career with a property development and construction firm in 2002. I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of it. I also completed the Real Estate License course.
I started working for Sydney’s Century 21 in residential sales. With our first daughter, I decided to take a break from the industry and concentrate on being a full-time mum. However, destiny had other plans. 4 months after my daughter’s birth, the owner of the place where I worked offered me a chance to buy the business. It was a very hard decision with the baby. My husband and my parents encouraged me to take on this opportunity. I took over the business from my boss. I had 90% confidence and 10% knowledge of real estate and running a business.
I am very competitive by nature and I was in the right industry. It was my goal to be the best in what we did. In 2012, we opened our 2nd office. In 2016, I changed my brand to First National after 12 years with Century 21.
What are the general do’s and don’ts that the recent migrants to Sydney should consider while buying their first home, considering the affordability and shortage of rental properties?
It has become hard for new migrants to own property in Sydney. If you choose to live in Sydney, I would suggest that you rent where you want to and can afford to. At the same time, once you have enough deposit, do your research and invest in property anywhere in Australia where you can afford, where there is a proven growth trend, Government investment in infrastructure, migrant trends etc. E.g. some markets like South Australia have historically experienced a steady growth trend. Unlike India, migrants move from one property to the next within 7-10 years. You must get property investing working for you. Engage an expert to assist you and give you advice. There is a lot of information available online.
Once you get into the property market, it creates a domino effect. You buy the next one, the next one, the next one. It might take one or two properties before you get to your dream one. But do not lose sight. Have a 5 to 10-year strategy and work towards it.
Any other thoughts you want to share?
I have travelled the world, dealt with great people, built lifelong friendships and have had tremendous growth as a person. All that has come with sacrifices, heartache, life lessons, hard work and dedication. I have survived some big blows. But, I have lived my life with one principle, “If it’s meant to be, it’s up to ME”. My children see me as a role model (for now) and that is my biggest achievement so far.