Lisa O’Reilly is a chartered accountant and property investor. Married to motor mechanic Ken, Lisa has two children, Jamie (6) and Zoe (4). Lisa is the founder and managing director of LOR Property Solutions, which provides an alternative investment opportunity for people with either money sitting in the bank earning very little interest or indeed people who own investment properties and are considering leaving the rental market. LOR’s trading arm, House Buddy, specialises in the management of residential property.
Life in a day
No two days look the same in my world. I try to jump on the treadmill every morning before the kids wake up. Once the kids are dropped to school, I head back to the home office where I set up my day, respond to emails and text messages and phone calls. Then depending on whether it’s an investor meeting day or a property day will determine how my day goes.
Investor days involve Zoom calls, networking meetings, and consultations with private investors. Property days could involve anything from managing a refurb to sourcing a property to onboarding a new tenant. And then there’s the admin day once a week, I manage the bookkeeping for mine and my husband’s mechanic business.
I regularly document my journey on social media, sharing insights and tips for aspiring investors. I also travel frequently to the UK to attend investing strategy workshops and mentorship programs, which help keep me focused and accountable.
Once my workday is finished, I switch roles and become a mum again, doing homework, bringing kids swimming etc. I’m lucky at the moment that my children are young and so I am not a full time taxi driver as well – yet!
What school did you go to?
I went to Woodside Primary School in Walthamstow, London and then did one year in secondary school over there. We moved to Waterford when I was 13 years old, and I went straight into second year in St Declan’s Community College in Kilmacthomas.
What teacher do you remember most vividly?
I remember my maths teacher in St Declan’s, Mr Murray most fondly as he recognised that I had a lot of work to do to be able to sit Honours Maths in time for my Junior Cert. He was patient and gave me additional support (and homework!) and I had a lot of respect for him.
On the flip side I remember being told by someone else that I should drop Business Studies for Junior Cert as I hadn’t enough preparation done – thankfully I didn’t listen to that advice and went on to become a chartered accountant and part-time business consultant!
What advice would you give your 15-year-old self?
Be consistent, be resilient, be persistent and follow your own path. I was pretty academic in my school days and extremely competitive with my sister, who is one year older than me. I went into accountancy as my sister decided that she was going to study accountancy (even though accountancy wasn’t taught for Leaving Cert in our school at the time!) This meant that I spent 14 years climbing the corporate ladder, which wasn’t my dream.
How do you relax?
I love to play with my kids, read books, watch TV with a glass of red wine, and have regular spa days. Since I’ve entered this entrepreneurial lifestyle, I actively plan time to relax so that I can be on the ball for all the other stuff.
What is your favourite film and piece of music?
My favourite film is ‘Home Alone’ (favourite line? “Buzz: your girlfriend, woof!”). My favourite singers, well, I have two, Bob Marley and Whitney Houston, old school but classic.
When was the last time you cried?
I am not overly emotional. However, I did cry when a girl I got friendly with on a property course in UK lost her beautiful seven-year-old son in a car accident last year. I have a son around the same age so it really hit a nerve that it could all be gone in the morning and make the most of this precious life that we’ve been given.
What has been your happiest moment of recent times?
My happiest moments are when I get to book family holidays without having to ask for my bosses’ approval! I love travelling and going on holidays and there is nothing like the feeling of going onto Ryanair and booking a flight without asking permission first! I love being my own boss, and the flexibility and freedom that it brings is truly a happy feeling for me.
Do you pray?
Although I do not attend church and I’m not religious in the conventional sense, I am spiritual, I guess. I believe that there is a God up there and he has plans for all of us.
What is your biggest fear?
My biggest fear is something bad happening to my little family. Although I am now living my life on my terms, which brings me joy, relief and excitement, I do sometimes get lost in this entrepreneurial world and my fear would be that I miss something important in my kids or wider family’s lives.
What is your most treasured possession?
My family – a gift rather than a possession. If ever I’m away travelling with work, the reaction I get from my children when I come home, there’s no other feeling like it in the world. My kids and my husband are my biggest fans and they’re the most important people in my life.
What is your favourite thing about Waterford?
Its potential. It hasn’t yet taken off but I believe that it is about to. Waterford has everything, beaches, mountains, greenways, growing and thriving industry, SETU, the University Hospital, picturesque towns like Dungarvan, Dunmore and Tramore. There’s so much opportunity for Waterford, especially given its connectedness and its proximity to Dublin and Cork.
If you could change one thing about Waterford, what would it be?
I think we are short on high-quality hotels and restaurants. Added to that, I would love to see a fully operational airport, not least because I love travelling but I loathe driving to airports! If we could just find a Waterford-loving philanthropist similar to the one in Limerick, we’d be laughing!
In conversation with Dermot Keyes