My Mum – My Inspiration

Gina Popowicz
Gina Popowicz

Today is International Women’s Day. It is about celebrating the respect, appreciation and love towards women all around the world. Promoting gender equality and acknowledging achievements of women, including in the business context, is what today is all about. However it is not always about the business itself, but the personality behind the business. This resonates with the face behind Prime Real Estate, Gina Popowicz.

Gina Lollobrigida, a famous Italian actress in the 1950’s, was the inspiration for her parents when they named their first daughter, Gina. Gina lived up to the inspirational connotations of the famous actress for which she was named, and has grown to become a truly inspirational woman.

Being part of a family with Ukrainian heritage, Gina is easily relatable and respectful of others and their cultures. It was through this Ukrainian association that she met her husband, Orest. For Orest, it was love at first sight. With the introduction of a mutual friend, Orest and Gina became acquainted and it was not long after that they both fell deeply in love. With their mutual ambition and unconditional support for each other, their successful partnership has also extended to business.

Always impeccably dressed in her favourite Australian brands, Gina has always had a taste for fashion. In 1991 Gina and Orest founded their first business, a children’s boutique by the name of Kids’ Choice on cosmopolitan Pakington Street in Geelong West. With his experience in Management at Pilkington, a global automotive component supplier, Orest possessed the business acumen to take charge of the business’ finance and strategy, which complemented Gina’s thirst to work on the forefront. Around the same time, Gina and Orest also had four children within four and a half years. In between running a business and raising four children, Gina and Orest have shown that they are the perfect team.

Although she enjoyed running the children’s boutique, Gina later decided she needed a change in career. Her enthusiasm and natural ability to interact with clients meant that she was destined to further her career in sales and in 1998 she entered the real estate industry.

Gina’s personable style and honest approach have made her an asset to the industry. In fact, there is no doubt why Gina went on to become one of the most respected and sought-after agents in the Geelong region.

Numerous agencies subsequently attempted to entice her to their own agencies, however, after eight years working for other agencies and with a vision of her own, she decided that it was time to establish her own agency.

Since 2006, Prime Real Estate has successfully run as a boutique business. With 17 years of industry experience, Gina takes pride in sharing that 90% of her business stems from repeat business and referrals.

Others are not shy to recognise Gina’s contribution as a woman in business. In 2011, she was the proud recipient of the Westpac Ruby Award for Women and in the same year was also invited to become a member of The Geelong Club, a club traditionally exclusive to men. As a business owner, she is also a member of The Geelong Business Club.

Gina has worked with clients from a variety of backgrounds but her approach always remains the same – friendly, passionate, hardworking and ethical. This is evidenced by the positive testimonials that Gina regularly receives. In fact just yesterday 7 March 2015, a testimonial was printed in the Weekly Review:  ‘Gina, you were wonderful to work with and the customer service you provided was friendly, honest, courteous and professional. Your work ethic was faultless, resulting in the sale of our home in less than one week’.

Gina is a successful business entrepreneur who has achieved an immense amount in her career so far. She has inspired many women, including myself, to strive for the best in their own careers and will undoubtedly continue to do so for many years ahead.

It is commonly said that the best indicator of future performance is past performance. Gina, with the support of her family and her innate ambition, continues to thrive in the real estate industry in helping people through the journey of finding their dream homes.

Today let’s celebrate and thank women like Gina for all their hard work and contributions to business and the wider economy.

Author, Tayissa Popowicz, 8 March 2015, International Women’s Day

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