When you think of a real estate breakfast you’d be forgiven for thinking red carpets, a Hollywood style photo wall and a DJ blaring out guaranteed feelgood tunes would be the furthest thing from reality. Not when the inimitable, powerhouse presence that is Sherrie Storor is at the helm!
Now in its fourth year, Sherrie kicked off the first in her 2019 series of Women in Real Estate Breakfasts yesterday in Brisbane, where a room full of equally effervescent women, as well as a generous serving of men in the industry, who are all for championing change. Here, a room full of competitors sat, elbow to elbow, and you know what struck me the most? The mutual respect brimming throughout the room and the undeniable atmosphere of “we’re all in this together to be the change we want to see.”
As someone who sits on the periphery of this industry but still gets a privileged insight into its mechanisms, it was so heartening to see the camaraderie which flowed throughout the room. Speakers were stopped enroute to being called on stage to be offered words of praise and hearty hugs of luck, and everywhere I looked people greeted each other with warm smiles and genuine affection.
The vibes didn’t even dampen when it was time for the great debate. Normally they who possesses the loudest voice, rather than the wisest argument, wins. However, this was more of an informed, intelligent discussion of critical topics which affect this industry most and every single speaker was warm, wise and endlessly respectful of their opponent. There was no mission to tear each other down. If anything, their mission appeared to embrace the other side of the topic just as much they did their own opinion.
There were *so many* takeaways but for me, these were my big three:
- Karen Chant (who had us in awe at her amazing regional success) expressed why it’s important to value relationships and back yourself, even if you are competing against undercutting agents.
- John Cunningham and Andrew Coronis (two major players in the industry and Managing Directors of super successful agencies) both believe the real estate industry was designed to embrace the empathy and organisation prowess of women. They envisage greater numbers of women on boards, as partners and CEOs in the immediate future.
- And finally, it was left to Dane Atherton (MD of Harcourts Coastal, the number one franchise in Australia) to not only own the stage with his inimitable presence and easy humour, but to share with the crowd how important it is to not put your personal dreams on hold for the sake of your business dreams. Yep, you read that right. A male boss advocating for the best interests of its female employees – many MD’s across Australia could learn from this attitude!
Honestly, it warmed my heart to see this side of a sector which is often misunderstood by the masses. There was no room for egos, ill-conceived stereotypes or arrogance. It was, instead, very much a gathering of great minds who were all about two things: inclusion and love for the industry they adore.
Bravo, Sherrie. You’ve ensured today’s glass ceiling is tomorrow’s see-through floor. For more information or tickets, click here