Commentary August 15, 2012

On Powerful Women in Real Estate

I was raised by a very strong woman. She was not simply a high spirited person, she changed things. My mother had her own quite distinguished career, spearheaded changing the school’s then “mothers guild” to the Parent’s Guild in the 60s, and became a leader in most of the things she devoted her energies to. And because she is my mom, I have always regarded “powerful” and “woman” as very congruent terms. I was raised by a powerful woman, I married a powerful woman, and as I look out at my efforts, I am building my company in large part with powerful women. Hell yes.

I am building my company with some powerful women. Mothers, daughters, wives, and sisters. It is funny how real estate is one of a very few industries where top producer, leader and agent are not automatically masculine terms. Our producers, leaders, and agents are often the fairer sex. I could really care less about the old explanations like the hours or the ability to work from home. When and from where don’t matter to me. In my firm, powerful women cause great results and ecstatic clients from hard work and effectiveness.

I am building my company with powerful women. Of our 34 team members, 20 are women. Of our 6 associate brokers, all 6 are women. There are only 3 executives with the firm. Two are women. But that isn’t why I am confident about our future.

I am confident in our future because we aren’t joined at the hip to a patriarchal paradigm.The women in my firm see things I don’t see. They ask questions I wouldn’t know to ask.  They often come from a different point of view with a better long term ecology. The strengths that cause people to excel in our industry are up a powerful woman’s alley. They have empathy, they have compassion, they grasp subtleties, they read people, exercise caution, and when they lower their eyebrow, you had better get out of the way.

Their stories are incredible. They have raised remarkable kids. Tackled special needs. Adopted at-risk kids and caused nothing short of amazing results in both health and academic achievement. Executives in other industries. Teachers. Nurses. Lawyers. Entrepreneurs. And most humbling to me, they have chosen our firm to create their next victory.

I truly believe that when the most pressing challenges that face our world are finally overcome, it will be because of women. They don’t shoot first and ask questions later. And when they do “shoot,” they have better aim. They ask for help when they need it. They pay better attention to detail. They ponder consequences. They wonder how this will affect others. The differences between men and women is so far beyond plumbing it is ridiculous. They simply see the world differently in so many ways, and that dovetails so very well with what works in the real estate industry.

Yes, I will continue to build my company with powerful women. Some men have a problem with a strong woman. I am not one of those guys- to the contrary, I am more comfortable with a woman of strength because that was how I was brought up. I was raised by a strong, assertive woman, and I married one.  We are also raising a strong young lady; maybe someday she’ll choose to work in real estate as well. But in the meantime, let me assure you that when I write more good news about our firm, it will often be sourced by a powerful woman.