Meet the Locals: Outdoor Vision’s Steven Gatter
As a Surf Coast real estate agent, having a great contact book full of skilled builders, tradies, stylists, and craftspeople is essential.
We’re lucky that we have so many talented local people in our area.
I’m always keen to promote a local Surf Coast company that I know does brilliant work. So, I recently caught up with Steve Gatter, who is Surf Coast born and bred, to talk about family, surfing, mountain biking and Outdoor Vision Landscaping, the business he formed with his best mate Simon Wellard.
Steve, you grew up in Barwon Heads and now live in Torquay. What is it that has made you and your wife Megan want to stay and raise your children in Torquay?
Both of us grew up on the Surf Coast. We couldn’t picture any other lifestyle for our children Jack and Millie. For us, it’s the easy access to the beach, the national park and the sense of freedom. Even if we had the opportunity to leave, we wouldn’t, we have such a strong community here. Our business is based here, the networking side is amazing and there is also an incredibly supportive business community. Then there’s the family aspect. with the average age of a Torquay resident 30-to-39-years-old, there are so many young families in the area and so much for children to do, along with great schools. And, while the area is growing, it’s at a sustainable rate. There is something to be said for that.
Speaking of growth, it’s been exciting to watch your landscape construction company Outdoor Vision Landscaping continue to grow from strength to strength. How many employees do you have now?
We now have sixteen employees! My business partner Simon and I have known each other since we were at school at St Joseph’s College in Geelong. We both had separate companies when we finished school. Six years ago, we amalgamated both our businesses, so we could work together. So now we are best mates that run a company together.
My clients often tell me your team is so approachable and helpful. Tell us about your business?
Our core business is structural landscaping. Simon is our inhouse landscape architect and he designs all of our projects. We specialise in swimming pool landscaping – design work, concreting, stonework, carpentry, and paving. My background is as a carpenter, then I became a landscaper, and then I became a registered builder. However I’m in the office now, so it’s more computer skills! We removed ourselves from working on the tools and have built a warehouse and an office in Torquay. The reason we work so well as business partners is that Simon is a man who can build anything and has a love for construction. I love building businesses, I’m into the accountancy and the growth of the business. As you know, Robyn, I also build project homes as a side business and sell them.
I have sold four homes for you over the years. What gave you a love of developing?
My Dad loved building homes, he helped develop my skill and love of building. Through his guidance, we now love to build them… then sell them. Acquiring the right land is the first hurdle, planning the project, surrounding yourself with skilled professionals to get the right advice along the way so you don’t make any costly mistakes, seeing the house come out of the ground, watching Megan work her magic on the interiors, then completing the project with our landscaping…has definitely grown our passion for real estate. Megan and I are currently working on a new build project together. She also works for Outdoor Vision doing our administration, as well as being a busy mum of two. It is an exciting busy time in our lives.
Do you think building and selling have given you a better understanding of the value of landscaping for Outdoor Vision Landscaping?
Yes, after building and selling so many houses you begin to understand how important the outdoor areas are to complete the project. A well designed outdoor area can increase the value of property substantially and be enjoyed by the family. A poorly designed outdoor area can just be a waste of money and space no one wants to spend any time in.With our experience when we are talking to clients about the possibilities, we keep in mind how to maximise the outdoor space for the family to enjoy and the added value to the overall property.
What do you love to do when you’re not working or with the family?
I’m an outdoorsman! I’m a passionate surfer. While some people may debate it, as locals, we know we have the best surf break in Australia. Bells Beach is known as one of the best surf breaks in the world! I can walk out of the office and can be at Bells in five minutes. That’s a pretty good lifestyle. Then on the other side of the beach is the Great Otway National Park, where I mountain bike. There are nature reserve trails for biking that are maintained by the Surf Coast Mountain Biking Club. They do a fantastic job of organising working bees to bring the community together and keep the track maintained. It’s literally where I’ll be going after this chat to ride my bike!
Thanks for taking the time to speak with me today, Steve. Good luck growing the business and enjoy the ride!