Member Profile: Oceanside Homes

Meet Claudia Fischer from Oceanside Homes.

It’s not often you see female-led businesses in the building and construction trades, but that’s what Claudia is doing (and in her pink steel cap boots!)

Originally from Austria, Claudia jumped on board as CEO for Oceanside Homes Ltd in June 2021 but has been a much-loved team member since 2018. Outside of work, Claudia is equally as active and has some unique hobbies she likes to practice including, wreck diving.

Get to know more about CEO, diver, and Tauranga local Claudia.

Tell us a bit about your background – your career to date, your experience… basically, how what you have done has got you to where you are today.

Born in Austria, I left when I was 18 to discover the world and have lived in seven different countries.

I loved New Zealand the most, so it became my home 24 years ago. Previously, I owned a construction company with my ex-husband and was mostly looking after the project administration.

Later on, I went into my studies, where I covered three different areas – Accounting, Business and Construction Management. I then became a qualified Quantity surveyor.

When did you join this business?

I have been working for Oceanside Homes Ltd since it was established in 2018. I took over the business in June this year when the previous director retired and stepped back.

Why did you take on this business?

The construction industry is an exciting and challenging workplace. No day is the same, and we always learn and expand our skills.

I knew that the team at Oceanside Homes has great potential, and after working with them for a while, I knew that I had their support to move Oceanside Homes into a bright future. Before I entered the construction industry 24 years ago, I worked in the tourism and diving industry.

Tell us about your business: What services do you offer? How can you help our business community?

We build new architectural designed homes and remodel existing houses into homes.   

What makes your business unique?

We are a small team and limit our new builds to eight to 10 homes per year. Moreover, we are focused on building quality rather than quantity. We also have an in-house architectural designer and quantity surveyor, so don’t rely on external contractors to design, estimate and manage our projects.

I am a strong believer that experience needs to be backed up by formal qualifications and vice versa. The Oceanside Homes team are all taking part in continuing our professional developments with the primary objective to reduce waste and streamline our work.

When you first took over the business, what is the one thing you wish people told you?

There were little surprises by the time I took over the business.

In the first few months of business, what challenges have you faced and how did you overcome them?

The current supply issues are extremely challenging, so is the lack of qualified tradespeople. It is not easy, but we have been working closely with our trade partners and clients to set realistic expectations. Additionally, we attempt to use New Zealand made products as much as we can and order items well before we need them.

And now, looking back, what have been your biggest learnings?

Constant communication with trades, clients, and team members. We have a better chance of success if we all work together!

 

What’s the one misconception people might have about your industry?

That women in the construction industry are just the lady in the office who will look after the accounts.

Another question I get often is if I run the business with my husband (I don’t ). I wear my steel cap boots like any man in the construction industry, except mine are pink 😊

What’s the one thing you want people to know about your business?

We are a unique building company between group home builders and individual builders. We are quite an international team with influences from Austria, Canada, England and New Zealand. 

What are your goals (personal and professional) for the next six to 12 months?

Adapt to our new reality, keep a positive outlook and support other businesses as much as we can. It is a stressful time for many, and we only can get through it if we work together.

When you’re not at work, how do you like to spend your time?

I love to be underwater – wreck diving has become quite a passion of mine. I visit all the local Tauranga theatres regularly too and love dancing.

If you could impart one piece of advice to fellow business owners, what would it be?

Learn about accounting, don’t rely on others to control your finances, budgets, and forecasts.

Members can find it hard meeting people at events, so we want to take some of the pressure off that awkward small talk by shining a light on your business through our member profiles. 

Our member profiles are a great way to give the business community a taste of who you are and what you do, so when they see your face at one of our events they won’t hesitate to make that all-important introduction. 

If you’re a member and would like a profile, get in touch with our marketing manager Laura today. 

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