Women in Real Estate Share Their Keys to Success

While women around the world continue to make strides toward equality in their industries, personal lives, and communities, we acknowledge how fortunate so many of us are to have the freedoms, safeties, and opportunities that so many do not.

On March 8, in honour of International Women’s Day, CREA hosted a panel discussion, for its board of directors and staff, with three outstanding women who talked about their life experiences, mindset strategies, and advice for navigating careers in real estate.

Pauline Aunger, REALTOR® and the Canadian Real Estate Association Past President; Nene Akintan, REALTOR® and Vice Chair of the Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce; and Davelle Morrison, REALTOR® and Chair of the DEI Committee for OREA, each brought their unique experience to the panel.

What advice do you have for women just starting out in real estate?

Morrison made a great analogy about using an axe to cut down a tree; “That first knock of the axe isn’t going to take down the tree, it’ll take many swings but if you’re persistent, and work hard you will eventually succeed.” She also mentioned the public’s perception of REALTORS® doesn’t always capture the long hours that go into the job, but it is a reality to prepare for. To do so, she suggested finding strategies to ensure you’re “paying yourself first.”

Aunger followed-up on Morrison’s thought, stressing the importance of finding balance and incorporating activities in your days that are just for you. She said, “book appointments with yourself the same way you’d book them with other people and try your best not to break them.” She also explained balance for her includes “challenging herself” but also “finding time for friends and family, including our real estate families.”

From Akintan’s perspective, being confident has made the biggest impact. “One of the best ways to gain confidence in real estate is to be knowledgeable,” and said regardless of how long you’ve been in real estate you should “read every day, so when you’re with a client you can be confident when they ask questions. There is so much information out there, so try to stay up to date with the markets and speak about relevant trends, it goes a long way.”

How can your work positively impact women?

When discussing volunteering and ways to give back on both local and global scales, each woman mentioned experiences they’ve had that’ve had a profound impact on them.

Akintan used the familiar adage “pay it forward” when describing her mentorship and volunteering activities.

Morrison says, “as entrepreneurs, REALTORS® have a lot of knowledge to pass along to younger people just starting out in their careers.”

While Aunger says, “I spend a lot of energy making sure charities I’m passionate about survive, especially during the pandemic.”

A theme developed throughout the panel was the importance of supporting other women in the REALTOR® community, especially in an industry that can be quite competitive. Akintan told us how incredibly important it is because when she sees them “killing it” it’s also a win for her “since it opens the door for others to do the same.”

We’re very thankful to our guest panelists for sharing their time and words of wisdom with us and hope it might encourage other women in real estate to and reach out to someone they admire for similar guidance or mentorship.