The BDM with an exotic past as a hairdresser on a cruise ship

Business, Careers, Journal,  Buyers and sellers,  Principals

Kiah Coupland is no stranger to readers of the REIQ Journal.

As a former REIQ Young Gun and keynote speaker, Coupland’s smiling face has graced the cover and pages of the publication a couple of times now.

Despite establishing an illustrious career as a business development manager, a career in real estate was not always a part of the game plan for Coupland.

“I wanted to become someone on my own two feet as well as have the creative talent to stand out,” says Coupland.

Coupland found hairdressing and makeup artistry to be the creative outlet she craved.

“Hairdressing is amazing,” says Coupland.

“It opened many doors for me, including creating a great network of loyal clients, the opportunity of meeting new people daily, repeat business, drive, customer service, listening skills, determination, creative thinking, overcoming many objectives, and goal setting.

“Makeup artistry opened doors to different clientele and people from hair shows, which through networking,  landed me a gig doing hair and make for Westfield Garden City Shoots and a wedding

It landed me in Queensland Bridal Magazine in the top ten natural bride looks.”

While her creative desires were being met, there was one thing missing from Coupland’s life – a sense of adventure.

Combining her passion for travel and beauty, Coupland landed a job with Silversea Cruises and worked as a hairdresser, eventually working her way up to becoming spa manager and later on, guest services manager.

The job not only allowed the now 28-year-old to see 85 countries and all seven continents, but gave her the skills and experience to become an industry-leading BDM when she eventually returned home.

“We had high goals and ratings we had to achieve both solo and as a crew, so I was using my hairdressing/communicating skills to build rapport fast, listen and problem solve all issues and overcome the language barrier as most passengers did not speak English as their first language,” says Coupland.

“I love people and listening to their ‘why’ and story is truly incredible, which allows me to relate and succeed in our industry.

“Real estate is about connecting the right people with property, giving service and guidance to help others whilst building lifelong relationships with your clients.

“Still to this day I continue to keep in contact with many crew and passengers some have become clients of the business or call for advice which I refer to someone close by to them to help.”

After two-and-a-half years at sea, Coupland decided to return home. Her experiences aboard Silversea Cruises gave her the confidence to pursue a career outside of hair and makeup, so when an opportunity arose at her family’s business, she took the leap into the world of business development.

Her BDM career has been nothing short of impressive, with a plethora of accolades awarded to her from both the REIQ and First National Real Estate.

However, she hasn’t put down the scissors and makeup brushes for good.

“I have an active hand in hairdressing,” says Coupland.

“It allows me to break away from real estate in my downtime and keeps my skills up to date.”

Coupland says other real estate professionals should dabble in hobbies or side hustles to avoid burn out – something that is quite common in the business development sphere.

“Explore [what you’re interested in], research, own it, love it, don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone, go for it and have fun!”

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