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Women in Real Estate: ‘What Moves Her’ Campaign Helps Develop Female Leaders

Coldwell Banker recently launched a national women in real estate campaign, What Moves HerSM, focused on helping women develop their professional goals and supporting leadership across the industry. The campaign launched in January, with a sold-out event in Chicago that hosted over 300 attendees.

Here, Sue Yannaccone, Coldwell Banker Realty regional executive vice president, Eastern Seaboard & Midwest Regions, and founder of What Moves Her, shared insights about the campaign and event, discussing how this initiative will help reshape the industry.

Sue Yannaccone, Founder, What Moves Her (Credit: Coldwell Banker)

Can you tell us a little bit about the campaign? What inspired this idea?

Sue Yannaccone: The What Moves Her campaign was created for women in the real estate industry to help develop their leadership abilities and fully realize their professional development goals. In the past several years, I’ve been part of many localized initiatives that have given a voice for women to empower each other. All these events were extremely well attended, and the attendees left feeling empowered and energized.

However, these events were regional, and didn’t fill the greater void of offering a national platform for women. This is where I felt personally moved; with the resources and scope of Coldwell Banker, we had a real opportunity to create this space for women. My boss, Ryan Gorman, president and CEO of Coldwell Banker, not only listened to my call for action, but he supported this vision every step of the way.
What’s unique about the elements of this campaign?
SY: What Moves Her creates a space to offer resources through a national event series for women to explore their motivations, develop their skillsets and have a place for professional networking. What is unique about this campaign is that the space is not exclusive to women, but is also open to men who are interested in how to work with women better or improve their own leadership.
Tell us about the event. How many attended? Who were the speakers?
SY: The campaign’s event series kicked off in Chicago with a sold-out event. We had over 300 attendees at our very first What Moves Her event. It featured a market and industry overview by Gorman, panel discussions by various industry representatives, and a keynote address by Delia Passi, CEO and founder of the Women’s Choice Awards. I presented on a topic that is very close to my heart, which is honing our emotional intelligence in business. The panel discussions featured women from across the industry, including agents, managers, leadership and industry leaders from the state association and MLS. Topics of these panels included business-building techniques, work-life balance, managing staff, branding and finding a business identity.

Delia Passi, Keynote Speaker (Credit: Coldwell Banker)

How long will this campaign be running?
SY: This is an ongoing campaign, which is not exclusively for Coldwell Banker—we see it as a resource for all women in our industry. We look forward to continuing to partner with outside speakers and organizations that will add value to the discussion of women in real estate. We will be expanding our social offerings, original research and exploring pop-up events. The larger event series will take place across the nation in 2020 and will focus on bringing together leaders in real estate and business development, providing key tools and strategies to help women continue on a path of success in their personal and professional lives.

Additionally, the campaign is part of the larger CBWomen initiative within the Coldwell Banker brand to shine a spotlight on women who are leading in their company, their business and their community—with the goal of inspiring and supporting all women to find their path to leadership in real estate. The initiative has produced original research on the topic of women in leadership and a regular CBWomen podcast series, which features women who are leading in their company, their business and their community.

Why is it so important to support leadership development, particularly for women interested in taking the helm?
SY: I spent most of my career with my head down, working really hard and not looking up to notice I was the only woman in the room. It wasn’t until I earned the title of CEO at my last company that more people wanted to hear from me, particularly women. I had women at every stage of their career coming to me for advice. At the time it made me laugh, since in my mind, I was still Sue. However, I have come to realize that I am in a position where I can help someone else be fearless or take a risk. I have a platform and the privilege to help. What Moves Her is important to give all women the opportunity to find their voice, whether it be by helping others or taking advantage of the provided resources to grow their business.

Credit: Coldwell Banker

What can real estate agents and brokers do to support the cause?
SY: We are asking that everyone explore the question of “What moves you?” This very important question drives the campaign. The answer will help define what next steps you have to take to find your own level of success. This is key, as every person has different goals they want to meet. Not every woman wants to be the leader of a company; instead, they might want to grow their business into a team. Brokers should be encouraged to host roundtables and offer tangible resources and tools for women to meet these goals.
What are your thoughts on the campaign, and where do you see it going?
SY: I feel passionate about inspiring people, but I really love getting into tangible growth tactics. The What Moves Her campaign and the events are designed to motivate, provide real examples of success and offer up tangible learnings so no matter what you need, each attendee walks away inspired to take action to grow themselves and their business. We are just at the beginning and I am thrilled and exhilarated to watch this campaign evolve.

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