Get to Know Vision’s Founders: 7 Questions for David Lennox
David Lennox was born and raised in the Eastern suburbs of Sydney. His Mother is Latvian born and his Father is Australian born, and Dave is the youngest of 4.
Still living in Sydney, Dave is married with 3 teenage children and his 6-year-old ‘border collie – poodle’ cross, a bordoodle called Baxter.
Dave played rugby union throughout school and university, and beyond. He played at a club called Kings Old Boys, which Dave joined mainly due to a work connection. However, Dave met some unbelievable people through the club, and ended up partnering with another player, to co-found Vision Property & Finance in 2000.
Dave went to university in Bathurst and did a Bachelor of Business Degree. Then he worked at KPMG, a large accounting firm, where he did a secondment in Moscow in Russia (the birthplace of his maternal grandmother).
What inspired you to start Vision?
“Most of the people surrounding me during my early years were self-employed. So, it was a desire to have control over my time and destiny. I place a huge value on that.
I also saw the ups and downs and flexibility that my father had as a self-employed person…that excited me. Me and my siblings have been self-employed our entire work-life.
It was definitely the desire to be self-employed, more than a particular business idea. I wanted to be my own boss, and the decision of which industry came much later.”
So far throughout your journey at Vision, what insights have you gained or discovered?
“I have learnt that there are no such things as permanently smooth waters. The skill you pick up is learning to sail in all different conditions. There is no such thing as a safe harbour, you just become an experienced sailor that can deal with storms, waves, and even no-wind at all!
You almost treat victory and defeat with the same outlook and emotion. When something great is happening, enjoy it, but prepare yourself, as you know the water might change a bit.”
Since starting Vision, what is one thing you have achieved for a client that always stands out for you and why?
“I have been looking after a family group for about 22 and a half years. I initially dealt with the parents and am now working with their 2 daughters (and their partners). So, now we have 3 purchasing couples, and together I have helped them accumulate around 25-30 properties. They are not elite, high-income, upper-class individuals, but are amazing people that have been very focused. I have really enjoyed being a part of this ride and journey with them.”
What have you learned from talking to people about property?
“The thing that I love most about the property/investment industry is that most Aussies love talking about it. Connecting with Australians about their property stories is something that always excites me.
I have learned that it is crucial to treat every prospect with the same level of respect and courtesy, for 2 reasons. Firstly, they deserve your respect, time, and attention. Secondly, you never know who their friends and family are.
My best referral ever came from somewhere most unexpected.
We were dealing with someone who had approached us for a loan amount of less than $60,000. The man was very distressed after going through a marriage breakdown, so we mainly dealt with this man’s sister.
It was a very tough process which took us weeks and weeks of time and effort. It would have been easy to let this deal go, but in this industry, you just can’t do that. You need to fight hard for everyone.
A few months after settlement, we got a call from a well-known, highly reputable Australian businessman, who owns a 100+ year old company that most Aussies would be familiar with. 20 years later he is still a client!
You never know who people know. So always put your best foot forward.”
What are your core values and how are they reflected at Vision?
“Family and balance.
Work is there to be enjoyed and to create something for people. But it’s certainly not number 1. Work is part of the overall balance of a person; we all need to earn a living so that we can ‘live’.
We have never placed an expectation on our workforce to stay after-hours and work on weekends. We have a workforce that is challenged, busy and dynamic, but they are not completely stretched so that other parts of their life are out of sync. We promote balance.”
Outside of Vision, what are some of your passions?
“I have been heavily involved in young kids’ and community sports. I have been a manager or coach of cricket and a manager of rugby teams for my children. I am quite passionate about their growth and seeing children being active and learning the values of participating in teams and representing their local communities. This has been a big part of my outside of work-life, and outside of being a family person, which is very busy as well.
I’ve always loved playing golf and tennis, and I enjoy going on a beach holiday every year.”
Lastly, what did you want to do before starting Vision?
“I was a Chartered Accountant at a big accounting firm called KPMG. I never had huge desires of being an accountant all my life. That’s where I’ve always had the goal to be self-employed instead.
The first 5 years of our business at Vision Property & Finance was an amazingly exciting time in our life. We hit the ground running. We doubled in volumes every 6 months for about 4 years. It was so exciting to be in this industry at that time.”
How can David Lennox help you at Vision?
With over 20 years’ experience of owning and running a business, Dave’s core roles include a variety of disciplines, include mortgage broking, credit manager, process improvement, financial controller, and supporting a busy team and developing ways of improving the long term connections we have with our clients.
As a mortgage broker, Dave’s highest commitment and priority is ensuring that every interaction we have with clients is warm and professional, and moves the client towards helping secure their future through property.
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