I recently attended the Keller Williams annual Family Reunion conference, alongside 19,000 other licensed professionals. One of the break out sessions was a Women in Commercial Real Estate panel. Discussion topics included breaking into a male dominated industry, mindset, education and whether women at a disadvantage in negotiations due to gender. Each participant had a different barrier to entry, years in the industry, expertise etc. I was so inspired by these women sharing their stories that I felt it was time that I share my own. 8 years ago, amidst a divorce and 5 young kids, all I had was a real estate license. I had never used my license for brokerage and yet I needed to do something…and quickly. I researched the local brokerages and had my heart set on a firm that had a strong commercial division. I scheduled an interview with the broker and prepared to present my vision of my career. The conversation with the Broker went well and was fluid. I expressed my passion for commercial real estate and how I would be so honored to be a part of their team. It was then that my dreams came to a halt. The broker told me that his experience has always been that women don’t succeed in commercial real estate and if I wanted to join, it would have to be as a residential agent. I was at a complete loss and it didn’t feel right to me. I walked out feeling depleted, ripped of my dream. I decided that I would continue to interview and my next call was to the team leader to Keller Williams. I interviewed and I was educated on the commercial division and training that would help me achieve my goals. Chuck, the broker at Keller Williams, came in to interview me as well. We spoke about history, business and family and he felt I would be great and predicted I would be a $20m producer. Within a week, I had 2 brokers with opposite views of women in commercial real estate share their opinions. Needless to say, I joined Keller Williams and it was a fantastic decision. As I sat there at family reunion watching these women all share, I sat so proudly at being in a company that encourages and promotes women in Commercial real estate. Many of us, including myself, are leaders within the commercial division. I want to express my utter belief that anyone can achieve their goals and share that there is plenty of room for women in the commercial real estate arena.