Robyn Lachmund is as much known for her community work as she is for her family’s thriving real estate business in the greater Caboolture district.
It’s an important part of who she is, inspired by her late father, and drives her to help those doing it tough in the community she loves.
Robyn and her husband Peter moved to Caboolture from Penrith 32 years ago, with their teenage children Karen and Scott, after seeing the area advertised in the Sydney Morning Herald.
They knew no-one and nothing about the town, but knew it offered the lifestyle change they yearned.
“We just kind of found Caboolture. We looked in the Sydney Morning Herald and they advertised old Queenslanders on five acres for $130,000. We thought, ‘oh my God. Our dreams had come true’,” Robyn recalls.
“We arrived a few months too late and the market had started to move on. That was a challenge in itself … we had money in our pocket (and no idea what to buy). We didn’t know but that was actually my entry into real estate.”
She met plenty of real estate agents during their search for a family home.
“When we bought our first house here in Caboolture, I met an agent and we became friends with him and his family. He came to visit three or four weeks after we moved into our house and he said, ‘what are you going to do?’,” Robyn recalls.
At that stage, she was focused on perhaps joining the P&C or mothers’ club and playing some tennis.
He convinced her she would be great in the real estate business.
Robyn had a background in retail and sales with Grace Brothers in Sydney and decided to take the plunge with Raine and Horne.
She remembers the first house she sold – a two-bedroom cottage at Woodford for about $85,000.
Robyn had to learn the unwritten rules of the trade and etiquette in dealing with sellers, buyers and other agents, and remembers writing everything down by hand, taking property photos and having the film developed at K-Mart, placing properties in cards in the front window to be viewed.
“Those days were great training for me,” she says.
Peter joined Robyn in real estate within a couple of years, leaving his job at the Caboolture News and The Bribie Weekly.
In 1994, they took on their own real estate business with their daughter Karen. Their son Scott joined the team a few years after that.
“For every sale that I’ve ever made, there’s a memory attached. It’s the people,” Robyn says.
“Just recently, people I sold a five-acre property to 25 years ago, I’ve just sold them their forever home.
“There was huge pride in me doing that.”
Robyn says many people think she and Peter have retired, but they’re still working and remain company directors with son Scott as the principal.
“You don’t retire from this sort of business. No matter where you go, what you do, you see real estate,” she explains.
“It becomes a part of you.”
Giving back to community
Robyn is grateful for the life her family leads but also realises there are people in her community doing it tough.
“We tried to find where we could best support those people. Back when Joy Leishman was mayor (2000-2008), she started what we called the Mayor’s Chaplaincy Breakfast,” she explains.
The event is now an annual dinner.
“We see that the money raised, and our input to it, just serves the community so well,” Robyn says.
“That’s what it’s all about – family and community.
“All those little things that happened along the way made me a better person, made our family very grateful and that then led into the fact that we’ve always said, ‘if you take from a community, you must be prepared to give back to that community’.
“Without us realising, we started to do that. Peter and I joined Lions and the kids were playing sport, so we’d go to netball … those little baby steps in those days have now turned into a legacy that we hope will live on for a long, long time.”
She said it was an example set by her dad who was very connected to the RSL.
Strong community ties
“Another thing I’m very grateful for is that I joined BPW (Business and Professional Women Caboolture) close to 30 years ago,” Robyn says.
During the time she was a member, she held the role of president three times, learnt plenty from fellow members, helped mentor young businesswomen, and forged lasting friendships.
So, what tip would she give a woman moving to a new area with a young family, who might be keen to enter business?
“Become involved … as much as it may not be in your comfort zone, make those connections,” Robyn says.
She recommends volunteering at the school canteen, sporting club or community organisation.
“You make friends and those friends then become business friends as well because they have the same mindset as you,” she explains.
“Surround yourself with those people. Give it a go. Just be passionate about what you do. It’s got to be more than just a place you go 9am-5pm. It’s got to be family. We spend more time here with these people who aren’t family that have become family.”
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