This week, top-producing real estate sales consultant Claire Gladstein of The Jason Mitchell Group shares her advice on how to be a successful woman in real estate.
As a successful woman in real estate I often get asked for advice from new agents on how to advance in this very competitive business. Although some of this advice applies to everyone, I’m hoping it is especially helpful for my fellow female agents just getting started.
The Real Estate industry in is no longer the “wild wild west” as it was when I started about 15 years ago. I’m sure I’m not the only one with some crazy “Wolf of Wallstreet” movie-like stories and #metoo moments. Then if felt like much more of a ‘boys club’ and we battled some chauvinism and misogynist behavior from both our seniors and our peers. I remember my first broker calling me in for a meeting when I just got my license and telling me that I should just stick to Open Houses as I was a “good looking woman” and I’d get a lot more clients by meeting them in person. Ironically, to this day I have yet to have one sale as a direct result of an Open House.
Despite the challenges in the past, I’m very fortunate to have entered the industry when I did as it made me work harder to prove myself. I have received a lot of support from my male mentors and friends who have worked with me in real estate. Just like in life, you can choose who you hang out with, and hope to get a little lucky. I am even more fortunate to now work with a team leader committed to respect and diversity and a group of like-minded individuals who want to see me succeed. While it is a work in progress it’s important knowing that my words and contributions are equally valued. At the end of the day, you definitely need a thick skin to be in this industry, regardless of being a man or woman, and learn to accept that some people are just assholes, and they exist in every walk of life, not just real estate. “There’s no glass ceiling if you don’t see one.”
Being a woman in real estate today has its advantages, especially with female clients making most of the homebuying decisions now. I see more women in every facet of the industry now, both as Brokers and CEO’s as well as team leaders. I especially admire some of my peers, who like me, had an uphill battle to get where we are. I am single parent with two kids, a dog and an old house. I do teacher conferences and after-school sports, the doctor and the orthodontist. I do the grocery shopping, clean and repair the house, do yardwork and lots of laundry, and drive kids around endlessly. One of my sons struggles with mental health issues which require extra attention and care. It is a constant balancing act to keep up with it all. The reason some of us are more successful than others is not necessarily because we have it easier, or we’re smarter, or better looking or more talented. It’s because we work harder at it and we just don’t give up!
In my case it’s also because of two key factors; one is I have a great team (voted #1 Team in Arizona), and the other is that I use the best CRM in the business (Shabang)! I couldn’t do half the sales I do without the the client management system that we have and that we’ve fine-tuned over the years. Make sure you sign up for that as soon as you can, it’s worth every penny! It will take your multi-tasking to the next level and help you to be able to keep up with your clients while you’re handling all the other responsibilities on your plate.
At the same time realize that you can’t do everything and you have to pick your battles. Society and the media paint a somewhat unrealistic expectation for us women and if we’re not careful we can fall into the trap of it and end up feeling like we are never quite ‘good enough’. We’re expected to juggle our careers, kids and relationships perfectly…and always look good doing it! I think sometimes our posts on social media can make it seem that we’re doing that, but most of us can probably honestly say that we have days when we can barely get up in the morning and put one foot in front of the other! We have days when we wonder how we’re gonna make it through another day, and we have days when we just feel like throwing in the towel and calling it quits! But even professional jugglers drop the ball sometimes and allowing ourselves to make mistakes and not be perfect at everything helps take some of the pressure off.
Supporting each other is another key! Stick up for each other! Speak up more, know your rights, know your worth! I think women naturally doubt themselves and men can tend to be better at standing up for themselves and demanding better compensation, etc., but working together to find opportunities to better ourselves can solve some of the problems. Women need to collaborate and boost each other up to succeed in any industry, but especially in real estate. I do what I can to pull women up with me and I want their success as much as my own.
My advice to women looking to be successful is to keep aspiring to be better! Pay attention to opportunities even if you’re concerned about the competition. It makes you stronger and better at negotiating. Go up the ladder but don’t skip too many rungs. Each step teaches you how to handle increasing responsibilities and stress. I also encourage having a mentor, learning the ropes, and networking with those who have more experience. Find a broker and/or team leader who is willing to go the extra mile to support your family needs along with your business goals.
And finally, never forget the higher reason behind your decision to become a real estate agent. Stay humble and kind, make mistakes and laugh at yourself…it’s good for the soul!
Claire Gladstein is a top-producing agent for The Jason Mitchell Group at My Home Group. She specializes throughout the Greater Phoenix, Scottsdale and Mesa Areas. Her awards & accolades include:
- JMG MVP 2017
- Elite Producer 2017
- Salesperson of the Year for 2015, 2016, 2017
- Nominated Woman of the Year 2018 by Scottsdale Homeowners Magazine
If you have questions about buying or selling she can be reached at 602-373-6287 or firstname.lastname@example.org -*