Commentary March 8, 2018

On Powerful Women in Real Estate, Revisited.

In observance of International Women’s Day, I’d like to pay a tribute to the many fine women who have made our firm what it is. In 2012 I wrote a post on how I expected to build my firm with powerful women. Some of the things I said: 

  • Of our 34 team members, 20 are women. 
  • There are only 3 executives with the firm. Two are women.
  • When I write more good news about our firm, it will often be sourced by a powerful woman. 

Was I right about that last part? Let’s see. 

  • The firm now has close to 100 associates, over 70% of whom are female. 
  • Every manager and executive with the firm outside of myself are women; this encompasses 3 branches, a residential company, and commercial brokerage.
  • The commercial company is half owned and 100% run by a strong woman.  
  • In 2012, when I wrote that piece, the company sold about 60 homes for a dollar volume of $16 million. In the last 12 months, we have sold close to 300 properties for about $100 million.
  • 15 of our top 20 producers are women. 

A few more facts: we have an outside consultant who has been a massive resource the past 3 years who is- guess what? Female. We belong to a consortium of independent brokerages that is chaired and directed by ….wait for it…a strong woman. The best real estate attorney I know is a woman. Most of the better ones I do business with are. My personal sales team is made up of 7 amazing women. I could go on, but I think you get the picture. 

Will I hire men? DUH- I’ll hire a unicorn if New York or Connecticut license them. And I’ll add that we men ought to try and learn from our counterparts on the other side of the gender fence. In this industry, they can do everything we can do, except they do can do it pregnant, while having their best year ever. I can’t get out of bed after bad oysters. 

Here’s a thing men absolutely have to get out of their way about: The notion that a strong, in-your-face, assertive, matter of fact female is somehow any less professional than a man with the same attributes. If we respect that in a man, we should value it in females also. I’ve had too many complaints about my female agents from dudes who couldn’t handle strength, and labelled that as unprofessional. Wrong. Check yourself. 
I’ll add myself to the list of men who need to listen better and not dismiss a thought because of the delivery. 

This post is not a chest beating about my me. I would hold my company up as emblematic of what can happen if men knew when to get out of the way and give the controls to a competent female. I’ll say it again: I will build this company with powerful women.

I love this quote: “women who seek equality with men lack ambition.”