This week, some of our team were fortunate to attend Sherrie Storor's Women in Real Estate event in Sydney. Whether you are an agent or not, if you're a woman, there were some great messages and inspirational moments to take away from this event!

Where are all the women in real estate?

While research suggests more women are likely to buy a house solo than men, when it comes to those who are willing to throw on the name badge and buy or sell real estate for others, or even sell their own property, women seem to still be falling behind. When it comes to auctioneers, despite a surge in female agents, women still seem to be falling behind. When it comes to leadership in real estate, you guessed it, women still seem to be falling behind.

As a company with several female directors, we are more than a little interested in female participation in real estate, and after meeting with many male directors, we've been wondering, 'where are all the women in real estate?'

Attending Sherrie Storor's event not only opened our minds to possibilities, but put a lot of questions to rest as she introduced an energised and enthusiastic predominantly female audience to a few women who have grabbed real estate by the... for sale signs... and made an impact that will pave the way for other women in the future.

Here's our short take on some of the ladies who rocked the room at Sherrie's event.. and a little bonus that will keep you inspired for days!

Leanne Pilkington, President REINSW and CEO Laing and Simmons

Leanne Pilkington is one of real estate's only female CEOs and perhaps even more impressively, only the second President of the REINSW since 1910 (a fact that surprised all in the audience!).

After being born into real estate and kicking off her career in her father's office at just 11, Leanne, aimed to steer clear of real estate and plot her own path in other industries. Like many who inherit the real estate bug from family, she was drawn back in and earned her stripes in office and marketing assistant roles, property management and sales, before working her way into the prominent roles she now holds.

Despite some press to the contrast, Leanne is an innovator, dedicated to evolving real estate, firmly establishing the trade as a recognised profession and ensuring it is practiced with integrity, through regulation and legislation that supports training, education and qualifications.

A key take away, was her encouragement to other agents to evolve and embrace opportunities: "The service we provide to our clients isn't necessarily the service our clients want -- that's why there's so much disruption in the market at the moment."

Kate Lumby, Principal, Lumby Hampson

Kate Lumby was an impassioned, straight-talking presenter, with a series of impressive auctioneering awards against her name. As one of Australia's few, and highly successful female auctioneers, Kate's start was not too dissimilar to many agents, including Leanne Pilkington, with her career and inspiration starting in the family business.

The Principal in her agency, Lumby Hampson, Kate has an impressive track-record, and is a true inspiration for women from the country who know the value of property, talk at lightening pace and think even faster!

An important take away from Kate was simply that women can do it too! She's a highly successful agent, and the auctioneering awards on her mantlepiece prove women can really hold their own and excel in what has traditionally been a male-dominated space.

Suzannah Toop, Director, Toop and Toop

At just 29, Suzannah Toop is a breath of fresh air to the real estate industry, and one of its most successful young directors. A qualified lawyer, Suzannah was thrust into real estate when she and her sister took leading roles in the family agency while her father recovered from illness.

Expressing the challenges she experienced due to perceptions relating to her age and gender, Suzannah was raw, honest and completely inspiring for women, regardless of whether you work in real estate or not. Embracing technology, Suzannah and her team have introduced an innovative property management app, FIX, that will change the way agents facilitate property maintenance.

There were a lot of great messages from Suzannah, perhaps most important was her willingness to adapt, learn and to capitalise on new ways of doing things.

Sherrie Storor, Real Estate Coach

Sherrie's story was one of the most hard-hitting of all the presenters, and her honesty made it so relatable for many of the women attending.

A successful and innovative real estate agent, Sherrie owned a series of agencies prior to the GFC, and was one of the most prominent prestige agents in her area. Shift forward a few years to the economic downturn, and Sherrie, like many agents, felt the pinch of fewer listings, fewer sales and salaries that still needed to be paid.

Rising from the flames, Sherrie went to work for several prominent brands before landing at McGrath and rebuilding her profile as a leader in the field. Inspired to educate and encourage others, she took the leap into coaching and shares her story, and her more recent passion for social media and technology, to help other agents evolve and capitalise on the opportunities the real estate industry has to offer.

One of the biggest messages from Sherrie is that there is nothing wrong, and everything right, with creating real relationships with clients -- empathising, communicating and building genuine connections.

Sadhana Smiles, CEO, Harcourts Victoria

As promised, a little bonus inspiration that will keep you going well into next month! Sadhana Smiles is the CEO of Harcourts Victoria, and while she didn't appear at Sherrie's event, we did hear her named as a key inspiration in the industry... and with a little digging, we learned just how truly inspiring she really is!

Sadhana is renowned for being an incredibly savvy business woman, implementing a wide array of new training and business initiatives within Harcourts in her role as CEO Victoria and NSW, and investing in innovative technology.

In addition to her career achievements, Sadhana's personal story will motivate you to want to do more!

After meeting a young woman in Fiji (Sadhana is from Fiji) who suffered and passed away from cervical cancer that could likely have been prevented by a pap smear, Sadhana took on the responsiblity of caring for her seven children (as well as her own two children). Further, Sadhana started a not-for-profit, Links Fiji, dedicated to providing education and preventitive healthcare to people in Fiji. 


Real Estate, as an industry, is often perceived as a bit of a boys club, but over the last decade, women have been truly making their mark as high-performers and innovators. Thanks to and Sherrie Storor for an inspirational event!

Sale Ezy online property sales and auctions is a true innovation in the real estate space, offering agents the opportunity to provide clients with transparency, access and convenience via end-to-end online sales. Get in touch with our support team if you are interested in finding out how Sale Ezy online property auctions can give you an edge.

Have we missed someone inspirational? Let us know.