Mario Bournelis has worked in the building industry since 1980. Starting as an Architectural Draftsman, his job included working on large residential and industrial projects for various architects in Sydney. As his career expanded, Mario became a Project Manager on complex retail, commercial and international hotel developments throughout Australia and New Zealand.
Before starting his current business City Wide Building Inspections, Mario was a full time builder, running his own construction company. His clients included companies such as Powerhouse Museum, Sarah Lee, United Airlines, NSW Police Properties, NSW Parliament House, Bondi Icebergs to name just a few.
In his current role as a Building Consultant, Mario inspects and prepares Building defects reports to be used in Building Litigation in the Courts and the Tribunal. He usually gets involved at the beginning of the dispute.
Here is what Mario shared about running his business.
Q. How long have you been in business?
All up I’ve been in business for myself for the last 26 years.
Q. How did you come up with your business name?
I wanted something simple and something memorable that the clients would be able to associate with so I thought of City Wide Building Consultants.
Q. How many hours a week do you work in your business?
I spend 55-65 hours per week on my business…the joys of being self employed.
Q. What kind of online and offline marketing do you do and which is working for you?
For marketing we have a website, we are listed in the White Pages and have a LinkedIn and Facebook accounts.
Q. What mistakes have you made in running your business and what lessons have you learnt from those?
The most valuable mistake I’ve learnt is to know when to say no. On many occasions I’ve taken on jobs from clients knowing too well that I may not be able to meet the deadline for completion of the reports. It means I then start burning the candle at both ends for a week or two which can be physically draining. This also impacts on family life as I need to spend time with my wife and 4 children.
Q. What obstacles or challenges are you facing at the moment?
The challenges I face on a daily basis is time!!! Never enough hours in the day.
Q. Are you able to take time off work to go on holidays? If so, how often?
Holidays are usually once a year and we manage to go away from the 2nd January for about 10 days. We may sometimes also escape for a long weekend midyear to the snow.
Q. What is the most rewarding part of running your own business?
The most rewarding part is knowing that I’ve assisted an owner or a builder depending on who I represent in the building dispute that I did my best in achieving our objective and that is to resolve the building dispute and for the individual party to have won their dispute. On the other hand I also enjoy the freedom that I can choose my working hours and dedicate time to kids school and sporting activities.
Q. Do you use social media as part of your marketing mix?
Other than Facebook and LinkedIn I don’t use any other social media for marketing purposes.
City Wide Building Consultants offer many essential services to clients, who are building, extending, renovating commercial, industrial or residential properties.
These include inspections at various critical stages of construction, ensuring the client’s contractor complies with the design documents, building codes and Australian standards.
Reports are provided on residential, investment and commercial properties outlining defects, materials, maintenance issues, workmanship and alterations as well as compliance with Australian Standards.
Swimming Pool Inspections
With changes to legislation, pool owners require a compliance certificate before sale or lease of their property. City Wide Building Consultants provide advice to prospective purchasers regarding the visual condition, appearance, associated areas, filter operation and safety concepts as well as operation of the swimming pool barrier/fencing/gates.
City Wide Building Consultants can also assist with Asbestos Inspections, Mould inspections and Final Frame Inspections.
For clients who require assistance with Project Management, Mario and his team are involved in coordinating fee proposals, review and engagement of consultants, liaising with local councils and utilities, co-ordinating and chairing project design meetings, reviewing and awarding contracts, monitoring construction, preparing building progress reports, resolving construction issues and more.