Leanne Pilkington is Managing Director of Lang+Simmons. Her real estate nous has been honed over more than 25 years in the industry. Overseeing the whole Laing+Simmons group as well as focusing on the growth and development of each franchise, Leanne is instrumental in developing new products, services and training systems.
Leanne is also the Founder of the ‘Catch Up with the Property Girls’ networking event. She is also a mentor in the Real Women in Real Estate mentoring programme.
We ‘virtually’ sat down with Leanne to learn more about how she got the the ‘Property Girls’ networking events started and some of the key challenges and trends she sees facing the industry.
Tell us how the ‘Property Girls’ networking events got started?
Women within the industry had been telling me that they felt there was a lack of female leadership role models in the real estate industry and they wanted to be able to connect with like-minded women. I procrastinated over it for a couple of years and then was motivated to take action after a conversation with my now Operations Manager Jackie Jones. I sent an email to a dozen Sydney based women that I knew had networks and three weeks later we had 65 women attend the first event. That was such a shock to me, I hadn’t realized the degree of need for a concept like this, and we now hold events in Sydney, Melb, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Newcastle with plans for events in Perth, Canberra and Brisbane later this year.
What are the biggest challenges you see women facing in real estate?
Overcoming their own limiting beliefs – we can achieve it if we really want it. It wont be easy, but we can do it, no matter who we are or where we grew up. The industry does need to understand the flexibility that many women need and work to address that – in some roles it can be working part time, in others it can be flexible hours with the understanding that in sales people need to be available when their clients need them.
What are some of the hiring trends you think we can expect to see in the property industry in 2017?
Flexibility, and off-shoring.
If you could go back in time what advice would you have for yourself when you were first starting your professional career?
Dream bigger – you are capable of so much more than you ever realized – GO FOR IT!