This entrepreneur is on a mission to help women build wealth through real estate

“I would describe the early days of the company, knowing what I know now, as a HOT mess! I had eyes bigger than my stomach so I would say yes to everything and work it out later. My solution to being too busy was to hire people like me which was a BIG mistake”

Kiani Mills

At 35, Kiani Mills is the co-founder of Edwards Mills, a buyer advocacy firm, and the creator of Imperiale, a real estate transfer company, which she co-founded in 2021 with MAFS graduate Jake Edwards.

But getting to the top of the ladder was not easy. Kiani, one of six children born and raised in Frankston, had no structure as a child and teenager.

After dropping out of school to pursue a career in law, she landed a job as a legal intern at the age of 18, earning $14,000 a year. She commuted daily from Frankston and ate sausage rolls on the train from 7/11 as that was all her budget allowed.

She was promoted to paralegal in the property law department, and that’s where she fell in love with transfer. Kiani spent the next few years raising her son, pursuing her passion for property law and transfer as a paralegal, paying expenses and managing her personal life.

Despite working the entire three months of her maternity leave while looking after a newborn baby and a toddler, she went back to work and was told she was out of a job.

“Working in a law firm under the protection of 15 lawyers does not prepare you to run a new business. However, I did it anyway and loved (and hated) every minute of it,” Kiani recalls.

Kiani started her transportation business from her home, settling in on her kitchen bench and having customers stop by for a cup of tea while she printed their documents on her $100 printer.

“Six months passed from there, and myself and my first employee moved to our Collins St Office, at the far end of Paris, I was very proud. Here we got two more employees and moved to Level 10, 525 Flinders St, which has a perfect glass office overlooking the Yarra River and Nobu at Crown Casino.

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“The real-life version of Suits! We grew to six before moving into our long-term rental home at 70 Bridport St, Albert Park. Having an entire building less than two years after running a new business was surreal and brought new challenges and triumphs.

“We opened further offices in Mornington, Glen Waverley, Ballarat and Port Melbourne, took over the digital world from PEXA and considered ourselves a paperless office… We were up to 9 employees, a BDM and myself before the global pandemic decided to strike while I was mid-holiday in Bali… Lucky for us, we narrowly escaped and boarded the last plane!

“As a result, we closed all our offices and announced to the world that we had gone digital. This also led to its launch in Queensland and NSW, with Queensland taking off straight away thanks to a number of major referral partners.

“This fiscal year, we have seen 56 percent earnings growth, exceeding our anticipated targets and milestones. But as they say, it’s not all roses and rainbows. There have been huge hurdles to jump, trials and painful moments when the thought of giving up crept in. I am and always will be fighting the silent battle in business and wondering, ‘will this all be taken away.’

“This ignites the fire in me, which gives me drive and dedication to myself, my family, my staff and the entire Imperiale family, our clients and referral partners. I do it every day because I want to, but above all because I can I am privileged to be in this position where I can help, give back and run a business the way I do.”

The beginning

Kiani remembers the early years of the company as complete chaos.

‘Well…I would describe the early days of the company, knowing what I know now, as a hot mess! I had eyes bigger than my stomach, so I’d say yes to everything and work it out later, or just work later. My solution to being too busy was to hire people like me which was a BIG mistake. People like me had the social skills but not the dedication skills to keep them at their desks.”

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Kiani notes that entering real estate was a byproduct of ownership. Until she quit working at law firms, she wasn’t really aware of how much influence the real estate industry had, as she only came into contact with that world when she left the big city. Then Real Estate quickly became her passion/obsession.

“The personal nature of it, the fluctuation in the market, every day was different, different values, interest rates, people, rules, everything. It was a miracle for me, and I fell deeply in love with it.

“There is still a large ‘grey area’ in the real estate sector, which sometimes baffles me; for the most part though, it’s exciting and fits my desire to help others achieve their dreams, and this happens to be a highly sought after vehicle. So starting a transportation company was a no-brainer for me. I had the skills to be forged in an industry I loved.

“We were never short of customers, which was a breath of fresh air; however, like most small business owners, I wore every hat, controlled the flow of everything, and still tried to do most things myself even though I had support.

“Star-eyed but determined, I loved the challenge, the fast pace, the thrill of it all. Help as many people as possible, say yes and deliver, even if that meant sacrificing time with the kids, eating and/or sleeping!”

Why we need carriers like Impériale

Impériale Conveyancing is a professional real estate concierge and consultant who connects the dots for individuals at every stage of the real estate journey.

Kiani explains that the most common mistake she finds, even at Google, is that consumers don’t have their sales contract examined before signing. She also notes that there are so many things that can go wrong with a property/contract, and attorneys/carriers offer this service for free.

Transporters provide expert advice and personalized service when buying, selling, subdividing, transferring or developing real estate. They also produce and manage all the necessary paperwork during the transaction.

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She encourages everyone to use this service. “Another problem is that people are bidding on auctions when they should not understand or fully understand their implications. Buying at auction has strict guidelines, and it’s not for everyone,” she adds.

“Finally, if you don’t do thorough environmental due diligence, schedule approvals, etc., you can find most things on the Internet or with a quick phone call to the Council, so please don’t assume all is rosy .

“There may be a Department of Housing to be built across the street, a giant highway to be built, maybe you are within an ineligible zoning and your lender won’t accept it. Please google all the properties where you look at and be smart.”

“I believe the easiest way to make real estate a fairer game is for all buyers to use the resources of a Buyers Advocate. Sellers can have a professional manage the game to ensure the best result. I am convinced that the buyer represented by a professional also means that it is MUCH fairer.

“Buyers are really at a disadvantage. I started Edwards & Mills Buyers Advocacy with my business partner Jake Edwards to help my clients and give them an edge in the buying game.

“Understanding the value of a good buyer’s attorney can be the difference between winning at an auction, finding information about an off-market, saving six months of your life on weekend inspections, saving you money, and peace of mind that the due diligence has been done. correctly filled in.”

“Imperial” is the feminine equivalent of “empire”, as Kiani’s mission is not only to start her own business, but also to help others build theirs.

Read more about Imperial Conveyancing at https://imperiale.com.au/

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