Inman Connect San Francisco 2016
August 5, 2016, Emeryville, USA
Inman Connect San Francisco 2016
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Climbing Out of the Pink Collar Ghetto, an Idea Worth Spreading
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About speaker

Leslie Ebersole
Broker at Baird & Warner

Leslie is the leader of the Brix Group, an innovative team at Baird & Warner Real Estate located in the western suburbs of Chicago. A broker since 2005 Leslie has a passion for using the best technology solutions to help agents create custom and personal experiences for their clients in buying or selling a home. Leslie also is also deeply committed to improving the real estate industry and so co-moderates the popular Facebook group Raise the Bar in Real Estate. Leslie serves on a number of product advisory boards including the Realtor.com AgentSearch (formerly AgentMatch) Agent Advisory board. Leslie is extremely proud to have been named one of the 2014 Swanepoel Report's 20 Most Influential in Social Media in Real Estate and the 2014 Inman News 100 Most Influential.

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About the talk

Topic: Business

In an industry in which macho still prevails, Linda explains what is necessary to expose and wipe out the misogynist ways of the real estate business.

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Yes, we're going to talk. Yes, and then we're going to hopefully get into some things about the diversity in the workplace here. You wore a lot of different hats, you've been an agent, you still have an agency in The Baird & Warner in Chicago. You worked at E3 Consulting you run the very well-known raising the bar Facebook group. So you have a lot of different views on this. What's your perspective on the diversity and inclusiveness of women in real estate? Overall, it's interesting because something 50 65% of

all sales agents are women. We all know that we hear repeated quotes about it. It is a female oriented industry, but somewhat perplexingly at the most senior levels of the industry of the very large brokerages of Nar of some of the big projects I can talk about those there seems to be a disproportionate lack of diversity. So why do you think it is? We have a work fore that is 60% women but as you go up the ladders you go from sales agents in the field up to managers and then the pro coronavirus and then to the people that run these large

organizations like it and they are like if you mention all these different Trade Organization, they're largely men. Why do you think that is? History to it women entered real estate sales in the sixties and seventies with quite a lot of representation women were actively recruited. This is the boom of the American dream of owning a single-family home in the suburbs an quarter acre lot and women work actually brought into the business so they can talk about the

smells of baking blueberry pie and the Peter patter of little feet and help communicate that the dream of homeownership in around single-family home ownership sell that women were brought in because there was a perception that they would be able to relate to this type of product in a way that they would not brought into the automotive sector number of females sales agents in the 1970s in real estate, but not in my original background, which was mainframe system software computers or the automotive industry

and It that's the Genesis of what we face today are although I do think there's other forces at work. So we stipulate that there definitely is an issue because it's just the numbers show. There's an issue. This is not the same representation at each of these levels and that's true real estate as much as it's true and all sorts of other Industries, but it's particularly acute and noticeable real estate because the fact that we have a 60% women in the after after the field level. What is the beside the

progressive people say PC. I didn't do the idea that diversity is itself a good value. What what is there a business case of Hardcore business cases to why organization should work toward being more diverse Fact one of my entries to win the papers I've written on this is what if I could show you how to improve your business by 15% Who's going to say no to that Mackenzie, which is a large International management consulting firm has been running a number of studies around diversity for about five years now. So this isn't some Glamour magazine called

are well known as legitimate companies of all sizes and they've that is very useful than I'd like that to be one of the takeaways from today to call diversities dividend and it shows that companies with gender diversity at the top of overall 15% greater financial performance interesting have 35% greater financial performance in the reasons are less attrition. When you bring in men and women enter the workforce These Days Inn in proportional in most Industries proportional numbers when

Companies offer career pads of it was talking to you in the room this morning and have an inclusive environment of lower attrition better retention every single day in brokerage recruiting when you showed up saying is that this dividend this diversity dividend which comes out because there is something inherently valuable about having a diverse Workforce dad makes the it happened to correlate now is that you think there's an argument that is correlation vs causation or why do you think why is it that having that more diverse work with what are some of the Practical

things that happened that might create more value in organization? There's no getting around the fact that people with different life experiences, bring those experiences to any work environment. There are studies that show that well great leaders are great leaders women have different not better. Although I think that sometimes different skill-sets then men women are considered to be on balance that doesn't work for all of us more inclusive and more collaborative men are

faster at making decisions and they're better better more aggressive respect women driven decisions tend to maybe take a little longer but they stick so it's it is the balance. I mean, you don't I'm not suggesting that one because there's a balance that you need for attributes of of hundreds that show up on how having a balanced leadership team may help you reach Are collaborations people support what they have participated in you get better decisions for a company better strategies to work for that is that is over half

women. You've got studies that show that having diversity through the layers of leadership leads to better Financial results. Why is it that you see the lack of gender diversity at the very top of these various real estate industry organizations something I think you know what phrase paint color it means service-oriented people who enter their they're traditionally female jobs nursing and administrative create highly educated, but they're very service-oriented position without a Ford Mobility you get good at that job and stay there. I think there is

some some belief that entering as a female real estate agent. You're going to go in your go to work yet. It is respectable place to be you can integrate your family. See you have perhaps some belief that it is a Self limiting belief by the way that when women enter this job. They are only entering it to do that job. Where is Nan and I think you've mentioned this or possibly more like more likely to be the primary, but I don't read winner of 800% of the 70s from

1970-1980 a lot of that with the influx of women coming after the women's Liberation movement. She's got more coming to the industry. How did the industry than shape itself? It's shaped itself around really the idea that these people in the workforce did not necessarily we're not a sort of the primary Breadwinner to the family and ask such a thing. For example, the difference between the way we treat loan officers in real estate agent. We will take a real estate office that does two or three million dollars of gross commission income might be 50 60 million dollars in volume and we will

put 30 or 40 real real estate. Chilling. Volume and then we will put one loan officer in that office and that loan officer will make about as much money as the top real estate agent. If we put for office cleaning up the way the agent split up but from a the way this industry develop maybe there's something about the fact that the real estate agents were largely women and loan officers were largely man. And that guided the way they're just in the mind

career for me was the second career out of management consulting and I was promised I was I was aggressively recruited before I was an agent please come in. Please become an agent and I was told that if I did this I would I would make every soccer game. That's not the same as recruiting someone to come in and build a lifelong career and move up through the ranks. It was make a bunch of money by being part of your community join the PTA giving us your Christmas card list to make a bunch of money and you'll make every soccer game. We've

seen your leadership including the present of every Warner's is a woman but there are there are many companies that are not so you have this group of agents who were many Paces not recruited to be full-time primary Breadwinners, you have this issue of the service. And then finally there's something the pink ghetto is when companies seem to channel their most senior women Executives into positions that are never expected it to reach the top. So it's human resources in marketing and

communication. Maybe some art you need line. You need serious line revenue responsibility to end up running a company. Is there an argument to be made that it is better? He already just promoted Co-op to CEO. So now the real gee brands are majority led by women with cherry crisp with PhD in Sotheby's so you have that you look at New York City, which is the hottest real estate market in leaving the country and Sterling with the most lucrative and the three or four biggest companies are run by Dottie Herman

Lehmann Dolly Lenz Diane Ramirez at the Halsted. Is there an argument that it took time but we're now at a stage where it's going to get better or 20 years ago. I'd love to I'd love to do a piece of work on that. There are more. I think when there are more senior anyting people can see that though. I can be on a little girl. I can be president to now. So once once people begin to visualize that that all by itself creates the the perception and the reality

that women can aspire to the highest level positions in the company and I don't want to see all the various organizations, but we can we can wrap up with that. We know something's coming down the line. All right, we're going to end up with something strong. Yeah, I think one of the issues is that 10 years ago a woman being in charge of a large organization like Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate would have been oh, they have a woman CEO. Sure Chris is not a woman see how she just pick me up and

I think that that is completely but I do think it's not quite went when you have as many women CEOs you stop you. Stop noticing weight. Look there's a there's a woman CEO there. It's just there's a CEO happens when a woman wear the process right now. If you read the polls in in about ninety seven days were going to like the one in president and I think it's the once you have one, then you can have three and then 5 and then you have possibly it is better. I think it's going to take some pretty aggressive work to what's the work you let's talk about. That was what can we do

and I think part of it is just simply Awareness. I mean I try to be sensitive these things. I like to think that I'm cognizant and aware, but I do pointed out I'm on the board of directors at upstream and it didn't occur to me when I looked around the room that there where I think only two directors out of about 18 who are winning. Now one of them in my defense weapons carry Sylvester and she has the force of like six or seven people so I thought they were more just because of her presence in the room, but generally speaking with something that I missed and I'm kind of ashamed about

that that I missed it. And so does someone with raising awareness of people who are even trying to be sensitive to the issue much left the people that are that don't think it's a problem. What else can we do the if you are an association person if women aren't getting involved in the most senior initiatives and this is Brooke Republic portal and upstream and many of the Consortium If women aren't getting involved and you are someone who was involved whether a man or a woman ask yourself why it's got to

start with that. You can't just have to man from the body have to ask why either. So either you're not asking women to get involved or people just do it different ethnicities or if you're asking them in there saying no, you have to understand why cuz you got it. You've got to fix that thinking Margaritas. I'm almost afraid to her to be up here today Next Generation and then I didn't get into takeaways for women, but certainly we can look great women can do

sit at the table. Even if you don't believe you you need you can be there women tend to wait until they feel ready. I just ran a broker program for about a year and the women Brokers with it a lot more time getting ready and the men's much more I could say go do this. Play just do it women want to women tend to want to be more perfect. So do things before you're ready sit at the table and ask for what you want and need even if your sales agent asked for Education ask for mentorship ask for if that's what you want. It's the don't wait until you're asked to the

party at the party last word. Please join me in thanking Leslie ever saw his great job.

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