2017 Hall of Fame Inductee
Canberra Furnished Accommodation
About Me - My Biography
Award winning business woman, passionate property investor, serial renovator, interior designer, skier and world traveller who describes herself as “always playing catch up at work because I was playing catch with my kids”.
Laurie’s adult life began at 16 when she found herself homeless and decided the only way was up. Since then she’s married the man of her dreams, grown 2 humans, driven a semi-trailer, danced with a prince, founded 3 business’, renovated 34 properties, constructed 2 houses, furnished over 100 properties, built a double digit investment property portfolio and been inducted into the Australian Business Women’s Hall of Fame.
Living in her owner-built architecturally designed dream home in Canberra with her husband, 2 sons and adorable puppy Max makes Laurie a living testament to her personal motto of ‘if you can dream it you can achieve it’.
Laurie is a proud Ngunnawal woman whose loves are property, interior design, small business and resolving issues affecting our traditional owners. As well as directing her business, Canberra Furnished Accommodation, Laurie sits on the board of the Canberra Business Chamber and provides interior design and furnishing services in between managing and renovating her investment properties and mothering her 2 sons.
Laurie McDonald is a woman who always knew the importance of home. At 16, finding herself homeless instilled in her the desire to only go upwards, and she has done exactly that. In 2003, she started Canberra Furnished Accommodation and hasn’t looked back. Her rental accommodation business has excelled over the years to become a frontrunner in the real estate race.
Since its launch, Laurie has amassed an impressive double-digit investment property portfolio and extensive experience. She has renovated 33 homes, furnished 90 properties and has a business compromised of more than 50 properties. Despite her tremendous success, for Laurie, understanding that ups and downs are part of the process has always been important.
“Remember that there are the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, and this is just a part of the journey of being a business owner. This makes the lows easier to bear, reminds to you to really enjoy and celebrate the highs and helps you overall tread the middle ground. If it was easy, everyone would do it!”
Laurie’s dedication to providing secure rental homes with flexibility in the length of stay as well as quality furniture has had customers flocking to Canberra Furnished Accommodation for over a decade. Laurie has received local, national and international guests from the corporate, government and diplomatic sphere.
Today, Laurie’s accomplishments range from the personal achievements of being married to the man of her dreams and raising her two children, to the professional accolade of being awarded the 2009 ACT Businesswoman of The Year. Adding to that, she has also been a finalist in the Telstra Business Women’s Award and was the proud winner of the Telstra 2013 ACT Micro Business Award. Aside from running her business, she has earned a seat on the Board of the Canberra Business Chamber and provided interior design and furnishing services.
A proud Ngunnawal woman, Laurie has always been passionate about how property, interior design, and small business ties into matters affecting traditional owners.
Residing in her owner-built, dream home in Canberra, she has stuck to her motto of “If you can dream it you can achieve it.”
Strategies for Success
- Strong systems and procedures as a guiding principal for your team – The best systems and procedures support and empower your people to use their common sense and judgement.
- An old-fashioned approach to financial management – expect to be paid on time and have good collection systems in place, likewise, pay all of your creditors on time.
- Leadership by example – Always set yourself a standard higher than that you expect of your team.
- Celebrate mistakes – both yours, and even more importantly, your team’s. They are valuable learning experiences that cannot be taught by traditional education.
- Down time is essential. Days off, holidays, meals at home with the people that matter. Spending time away from – and not thinking of – work reinvigorates you.