Champagne Soda is a Melbourne-based tech company using virtual reality to drive immersive experiences specialising in the real estate industry. We sat down with their CEO, Brooke Smith, to hear about her experiences as a female driving digital innovation.

What is it like being a female CEO?

In the VR world, there aren’t many female leaders, however, I don’t see this to be an issue, rather I like to see it as a benefit. Champagne Soda has received a lot of interest not only due to the quality of our immersive technology and how we are assisting the real estate industry but also for the simple fact of having a female CEO. I’m used to working in male-dominated industries, so I have developed the strength and confidence to believe in myself enough which is something that I’m personally proud of.


Where did the name Champagne Soda come from?

It’s inspired by the tradition of opening up a bottle of champagne to celebrate purchasing your first property. We see ourselves as a luxurious brand, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously. The brand is fun and bubbly, like soda! We see every little champagne bubble as its own, unique virtual reality (VR) experience.


How does Champagne Soda innovate the real estate and VR industries?

Champagne Soda focuses on our clients’ client – the buyers of the property. Our clients are property agents who are industry professionals. Our team works with them to develop the key elements that will sell the property to their buyer. Our developers work to a meticulous level of detail because we want to achieve an emotional connection with the buyer when they’re experiencing VR. Using VR technology like this gives the buyer a confidence and understanding of the product that they’ve never had before, which makes it a wonderful tool for agents to use in conjunction with the traditional display suite. It’s really exciting that the industry is beginning to realise just how phenomenal a technology like VR can be to showcase elements of a project that just wasn’t possible before. A Property Developer can finally showcase the common areas of a development such as a rooftop pool, library, gym or theatre room with the use of virtual reality technology.


How did you become a woman in tech?

My parents have ‘flipped’ houses ever since I can remember, and my brother is a Property Developer, so I was brought up with a passion for property and real estate, applying for my real estate license by age 19. I always wanted to be an entrepreneur but I had no idea that I would end up as the CEO of a tech company. It evolved naturally from a gap in the market and the frustrating experiences that I shared with my co-founder, Julien. Julien comes from a tech background and has a totally different skill-set from me needed to run the business. We have very different personalities too, but we choose to take every day as a new learning opportunity and I know that for me at least, I’m constantly learning. I’m also a very motivated person and when you’re passionate about something, that encourages the motivation to keep flowing.


What’s a philosophy that you live by?

My morning ritual has become a fundamental routine that I need to do to set me up for the day. I go to the gym at 5.30am every day, and I keep a journal that I write in every morning. I write down the goals I want to achieve that day and when I  come home at the end of the day I  record my key learnings, what I could’ve done better, and what I want to achieve for the next day. I also listen to lots of podcasts by other CEOs and entrepreneurs that really inspires me to keep learning how to be a better CEO every single day.



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