Celebrating women in real estate

Celebrating women in real estate

Celebrating women's achievement is vital to forging a gender-equal world – today and every day. So we’re celebrating the inspiring achievements of the wonderful women in our midst by sharing their stories. We spoke to three amazing women on our growing team, and asked them about what it's like to be a woman in real estate today, what path they took to get where they are, and the things that inspire them to reach higher and achieve more.

Sarah Gatpandan sales representative at property.ca

Sarah Gatpandan, Sales Representative

Sarah, what's it like to be a woman in real estate right now?

It's empowering. Given that many industries have a gender wage gap, the real estate sector provides an open opportunity for women to not just succeed equally, but to outperform men. We work for ourselves, and at the end of the day, success is based on the time and work we put in rather than on a system that decides how much we deserve to get paid from our work.

What led you to a career in real estate?

I’ve always wanted to have a positive impact and help others. As a young adult, I was unfulfilled in my 9-5 job, and would spend countless hours looking at properties online and talking to people about the real estate market. It dawned on me one day that becoming a realtor could fulfill my desire to help people AND satisfy my passion for real estate. I took the leap a couple of years ago and am incredibly happy I had the courage to do so.

Tell us about your most memorable transaction.

It was my first one! Securing the home my clients wanted most and seeing their joy, excitement and gratitude, I knew I'd chosen the right career path.

What's something people might be surprised to know about you?

That I'm very handy. I have more tools than any other woman I know, and I love to work on DIY projects. This past summer, my friends wanted to have a picnic in the park, so I built a mini picnic table so we wouldn't have to eat on the ground.

Allie Brogan Broker at property.ca

Allie Brogan, Broker

Allie, what made you decide on a real estate career?

I had worked in sales, and I knew it was a skill I was interested in pursuing, but what attracted me most was the fact that real estate is a career that has no limits on what you can make, achieve and create. I'm someone who is very motivated by knowing the sky’s the limit, and I like knowing I have full control of my own career without having a company deciding what I make and how I conduct my business.

Plus, being a woman in real estate is fantastic. It's a field where your sales and numbers speak for themselves, and you can really control the trajectory of your career.

What's your proudest accomplishment?

Being a property.ca Top Producer – and making the Top Producers’ trip in early 2020. It's something I worked very hard to achieve.

Can you share your most memorable transaction?

Helping clients buy and sell in the first few months of COVID will always be memorable. We sold a condo on Facebook using a video tour – without the buyers ever setting foot in the unit! I also helped people buy condos they couldn't see in person until we had an accepted contract. We had to get creative: I was able to build trust over video calls and was extremely diligent with virtual showings to ensure no detail was missed that could hurt the deal down the line.

Any tips for women just starting out?

Find a mentor you can talk to everyday. Also, look to big names in the industry who are where you want to be – through books, social media and networking platforms. And one big piece of advice: commit fully to your career. Juggling another job won't allow you the time to learn the craft and really build success.

What's something people might be surprised to know about you?

I studied broadcast journalism in school and my first job was at the CBC on a show called The Lang and O'Leary Exchange. That was before Kevin O'Leary made it big and left the CBC for Shark Tank. My original career goal was actually to be a news anchor or to host a TV show. I'd still love to be on TV and somehow combine real estate and broadcasting...Million Dollar Listing, I'm looking at you!

Victoria Bomben VP of Marketing at property.ca

Victoria Bomben, VP of Marketing

Victoria, what path led you to be the VP of Marketing at Property.ca?

I've always been attracted to opportunities where I can really contribute and learn. I see myself as a digital trailblazer, so I'm drawn to industries where I can make a big impact with digital innovation.

I've worked in telecom, education and ran my own digital marketing firm. I was intrigued by the real estate industry because it's not yet mature on the digital marketing scale, and I'm excited by the challenge of getting it to a new level of customer experience and service. I joined Property.ca specifically because it's different from other real estate firms: it's very tech-enabled and future-focused, which really allows me to do what I love.

What would you say is your biggest accomplishment?

Well, that depends if you're asking professionally or personally. Professionally, it was being one of the youngest directors to spearhead a multi-million professional services line of business at a big telecom provider. And also, running my own business: we launched it just as the .com bubble burst in 2002, and not only did I keep it afloat without any angel investors, I grew it into a successful company with great clients and sold it when I was ready for my next challenge.

On the more personal side of things – and especially in light of international Women's Day – I'm incredibly proud of raising my two daughters. I'm amazed at their independence and resilience, their determination to do better in the world, and their ability to overcome challenges. They show me every day how far women have come.

What is it like to be a woman in real estate right now?

I'm not an agent, so I come at things from a different perspective. But I do know that this is a great industry for women to be in. I'm not sure about the exact numbers, but I believe about half of Canadian agents are female, and in the US that number is even higher. And many franchises are led by women.

However, like most industries, we still have work to do when it comes to women's representation in leadership roles and on boards, and I’m doing my part to change that, both by joining the leadership team at Property.ca myself, and mentoring and encouraging other women to strive for leadership positions in their industries.

Do you have any practical advice for other women?

Don’t be afraid of failure. Try stuff even though it's not guaranteed to succeed. If you don't, you diminish your chance of learning and getting better. And be sure to build a strong network and rely on it. In real estate, there will always be challenges, since every transaction and every client is different: it's never cookie-cutter. Having a network of colleagues, coaches and mentors to turn to for answers and help goes a long way.

What’s something people would be surprised to learn about you?

I was the only woman in my class when I was doing my engineering degree, and when I graduated, my thesis – which explored a facet of biomedical engineering – was sold to a university in the US for biomedical engineering research.

Happy International Women’s Day!

A very big thanks and kudos to Sarah, Allie and Victoria for sharing their stories, creating a great experience for buyers and sellers, and for being a vital part of building the success of our company. Sending out our admiration and support for all the amazing women in our company – and around the world, today and every day!

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