This week’s share on My Trade Story is from Clementine Holman of Total Integrated Security. I first ‘met’ Clementine on a Facebook Group I started, Women Who Work In The Construction Industry (be sure to check out this page!). Clementine runs a security business with her husband. I’m sure you’ll enjoy her story.
My Trade Story with Clementine Holman
Could You Introduce Yourself and Let Us Know What You Do.
My name is Clementine Holman, and I handle digital marketing and social media for my husband’s Smart Home and security company, Total Integrated Security (TISEC for short).
Please Share A Little OF What Lead You To Your Chosen Career?
It’s not exactly a career at this point, but more of a labour of love. I kind of just fell into marketing for TISEC really! My husband Dan co-owns TISEC, and wanted to start expanding into the residential market as he saw a need for modern technology combined with client focused service. Smart Home technology has caught on like wildfire in the US and Europe, and it’s only just starting to reach Australian shores. I’m a bit of a nerd so I had been reading about smart home tech for a while, so I knew what this technology was about and wanted to get my hands on it myself. We knew that it was only a matter of time before “smart home” and “home automation” became the everyday lingo in Australian homes, and we wanted to be at the forefront of this trend.
The biggest problem we witnessed was the lack of knowledge about what smart home security could do and how to actually use it. The major security companies were already selling it! But they don’t know the products they’re selling, and it’s a hassle and can be costly to have any issues fixed. So we decided to take a different approach. Dan went to the US for two weeks to learn everything he could from Alarm.com, the company whose technology powers the smart home products we supply to our clients. He is at the present the first and only certified Alarm.com technician in Australia. So, any of our clients should they ever have a problem, they’re in good hands and have a qualified person to fix the problem for them.
Dan however, is not social or digital media savvy, which is where I came in. I studied at TAFE in marketing and advertising, and was keen to dust of the skills I had learned and put them to use, especially if it meant that I would get to . It was certainly like doing a cannonball into the extremely deep pool of digital marketing when it came to trying to remember and update my skills by building the TISEC website (thank God for YouTube!), managing each social media account, and creating content to get our name out there.
We’re property owners just like our clients, and we want to be certain that the products we provide them to monitor and secure their homes will do the right job for their unique needs, which is why we test every device we provide so we can get our own feel and experience before selling . We get just as frustrated as anyone when we have to change our schedule around a technician’s free time between 9am and 3pm, hence why we work around the client’s schedule and come to them when they’re free. We put ourselves in the client’s shoes and give them the right security for their needs, not a blanket solution.
How Did You Go About Finding Your First Job/Apprenticeship?
I’m an expat American that’s been living out here permanently for 7 years now. When I first came out to Australia I ended up finding a job with a large skip bin company on the Northern Beaches. That was my first taste of tradie culture. I certainly learned Aussie slang very quickly!
That’s actually how I met my husband. He was a major client for the skip bin company and we met on a client appreciation cruise. He’s the one who has taught me everything I know about power tools and construction. We’ve slowly been very renovating our house together, with him teaching me how to use the power tools when required. I’m still working on getting him to let me use a chainsaw when we’re out bush camping.
What Was Your Experience Those First Few Years?
I learned very early on you had to approach every potential client differently. You would get a blend of people and cultures calling during the day, from callers who would remember your name and ask how you were going, to internationals who didn’t speak great English but you still needed to help them get them a bin. The worst though were project managers who didn’t see what was wrong in belittling and harassing a call centre woman, much less a foreigner. I learned a lot of patience through that job and also to grow a thick skin and how to hold my own in a male dominated industry.
Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years?
Hopefully in 5 years the smart home industry will have taken off in Australia, and TISEC is the expert and leader of the industry.
But who doesn’t want their business the be the best it can be? To be perfectly honest with you, I see myself just being happy, content with the fruits of my labour.
What Changes Do You Believe Are Needed In The Construction Industry?
The stigma that the construction industry is a man’s job and world has got to stop. There is absolutely no job in construction, or in any industry for that matter, that a woman cannot do. I am absolutely certain if there were more women in the construction industry, more innovation in all facets of the industry would happen.
What Number One Lesson Would You Share With Women Thinking Of A Career In Construction?
Try to break in your work boots before your first day on site =)
Are you a woman in the construction industry? I’d love to hear your story!