At 5am you won't find Bernie asleep. He's a man who seizes the day, waking up early to ensure he gets a good work out at the gym or pool before heading into his Sydney CBD office.
Debilitated by mental illness, there was a time when Bernie was on government disability payments and incapable of working a full time job for more than a two and a half year period. There was also a time when all he wanted was to commit suicide. Bernie realised he had to seek help. Fourteen years on and a father to four young children, Bernie has made a point of balancing his professional career with his family and being a positive role model.
Bernie is a licensed Real Estate Agent and the Managing Director of Focus Property Management (Aust) Pty Ltd, a specialist property management firm which he created in 2005 when he felt no one else would give him a go. Since then, Focus has emerged as a successful award winning business now managing around a quarter of a billion dollars of residential real estate.
Bernie has worked in the property management industry for more than a decade and is passionate about managing and selling residential property. However, straight out of school Bernie first completed a cabinetmaking apprenticeship, before making the leap into the financial planning industry to become an insurance broker. It was after this that he got his appetite for real estate when he took up an operational role in a large Sydney CBD based property management company.
Bernie is a regular commentator in the media on issues relating to property management and the Sydney rental market. Throughout his career he has consulted to various real estate agencies, providing them with valuable guidance on client service and operations.
In 2010, Bernie created Focus Property Sales Pty Ltd, specialising in Sydney property sales and Bernie's latest venture is the establishment of Focus Property Home Loans in April 2013. All three businesses are based on the uncompromising premise, "We do what we say."
As a father to four young children aged six months to six years, Bernie strives to be home by 5pm each night, with his phone and email switched off to enjoy dinner with his wife, Sam, and his children.
Bernie can be described as a glass-half-full type of guy who loves life. He and his wife have learnt to seize the moment and enjoying doing things such as an overseas trip at short notice with all their kids in tow.
And he loves a challenge - being told he could never scuba dive as a result of suffering from anxiety, a decade on Bernie has overcome this and now holds an advanced certificate in scuba diving and finds solace in the ocean.
Bernie makes the most of his days. He appreciates the little things and travels the road less travelled –it's not unusual to find him walking a different route over the three blocks that separates his car and office. 'Mix it up, because it's exciting, it keeps your mind active and because you can,' he says.