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Paul Antonelli – CEO of Resicert: Australia’s Largest Building & Timber Pest Inspection Company

Meeting Paul Antonelli at his home in the hills can be summarised as unmissable and unforgettable with his energy hitting you like a shot in the heart.  In fact, my whole Perthspective was a learning experience where he enthusiastically shared his knowledge on construction, design and Resicert’s unique business model – doing so with intelligence and magnificent candour.  Founding Resicert in 2009, Paul and his wife Robyn have grown their business to become Australia’s largest building and timber pest inspection company, celebrating their recent milestone of 30,000 inspections. Incredibly, all this was achieved from their home office and as an early adopter of cloud based technology there is no paperwork nor filing cabinets to be seen. Now this is cool.

Paul’s journey as an entrepreneur was not without wounds with his first business (manufacturing precast concrete) failing at 32. Realising that traditional motivations of money are myopic and that learning comes from failure, the experience with the first business was pivotal.  Embracing the learning opportunity, coupled with the responsibility of young children, he and Robyn simply started again. This time they were wiser and had the end in mind by identifying the non negotiables they wanted in a business while also focusing differentiating themselves to attract talent. Their decision to build an automated business has paid dividends and was profitable from day one.  Just 25 per cent of the vision for Resicert has been rolled out, making this company with its fast, accurate and independent inspections, one to watch for the future.

Today, Paul divides his time between expanding Resicert and looking at improvements and innovations for clients and his team of dedicated licensees who, when established, on average earn an impressive $101,000 per annum.  Ever mindful that people are his greatest asset, we discuss the unrelenting selection process potential licensees undergo when they apply. With over 4,800 applicants in 5 years, the selection process is not based on skill. Paul, who provides extensive training for successful applicants, places a heavy emphasis on ethics, asking qualitative questions. In the final interview, he drills further into the candidate’s reasons for applying and even attempts to dissuade them from joining! This is critical, he says to ensure there is no doubt nor surprises about the realities of becoming part of the business. I ask Paul what the acceptance rate is and it is less than 1 in 100.

Relaxing on the deck overlooking the hills, I am serenaded by a choir of kookaburras which remind me of my times down south. With the opportunity to live anywhere in WA, I ask why his family has chosen to settle in Boya, “There is the beauty and connection to nature in the hills where we have lived for almost 20 years.  It is just us.”  Climbing the stairs to the upper level of his home, I am greeted by one of the largest personal libraries I’ve seen. He hands me a copy of his book – Don’t Expect, Inspect! The Essential Property Guide (I ask myself is there anything this man can’t do?) Given an extensive tour around his property, Paul’s largest affection is reserved for the kitchen, for no other reason than he renovated it himself and it is where his family congregates. Before I head off, Paul leaves me with 3 sensible tips to share with Perthspective.

  1. Clarity – Know what it is that you want your life to look like. Start with the why because powerful reasons will keep you moving forward.
  2. Think Big – The greatest limitations are usually in our own mind. Don’t doubt yourself.
  3. Take your own counsel –Take advice but be selective and listen to your instinct.  Just step off the block and do it.

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April 20 2016 - 05:07 AM