In the past two years, the business community was reminded that if you treat people with dignity and respect, and lead with empathy, consumers will respond favorably to those efforts.
My mother, Iris Lurie, understands this. She’s been leading CENTURY 21 Mack Morris since 1987. Not only did it take courage to run a real estate business as a woman in a male-dominated, but she also showed amazing strength leading her brokerage with empathy and encouraging other women to enter the workforce.
As COO, I’m part of a team that continues her legacy of empowering women in this business, not only as agents but in corporate leadership positions as well. For other women in the industry, or those wanting to begin a career in real estate, to see a company led by women who understand their unique challenges and societal pressures, gives us credibility and authority most others cannot claim.
Michelle Obama said (paraphrasing), “If you see it; you can be it.” When female sales professionals from other companies or new agents looking to build a business in real estate see our ‘why,’ and how we empower women to be the best they can be, they are much more likely to affiliate.
In “The Jungle Book” by Rudyard Kipling there’s the quote, “For the strength of the pack is the wolf and the strength of the wolf is the pack.” It’s a deep statement and one that is the foundation for how we as an organization empower women, and my advice to others for doing the same. A few tips:
Build your own pack
It’s important to surround yourself with people who you can trust and rely on. I rely tremendously on my support network. I learned that for me to grow, I also needed to help others grow for me to work ‘on’ the business as opposed to ‘in’ the business. It’s also very important to surround yourself with people who are better than you. Remember, if you’re the smartest one in the room you’re in the wrong room.
Participate in industry and community groups.
Affiliate yourself with the Women’s Council of Realtors, get active in your local, state and national associations, committees and local leadership groups. Surround yourself with powerful women who get “it” done!
Interview several companies
Choose the company that is willing to spend the time getting to know you on an intimate level. Only by doing so can they help you enhance your strengths and build on your weaknesses. When a woman has a true advocate, someone who’s going to show you how they care about you — that’s a difference-maker.
There has never been a better time for women to succeed in real estate. There’s a new reality. Yes, women have been making strides as top producers and agents for many decades, and by all accounts, there are more women than men in the industry. However, the biggest change is that today, what was once mainly a man’s domain — broker ownership — is moving more towards equilibrium.