Successful secrets and honest truths from women spearheading the industry can help real estate pros—regardless of gender—pursue their business goals.

Five successful female leaders in real estate shared stories and experiences that most impacted their respective careers during the “Women Warriors: Secrets from the Front Line” session Friday at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco. Moderated by Heather Ozur, 2019 Women’s Council of REALTORS® president and an agent with Keller Williams Realty, the conversation featured 2018 NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall as a guest speaker, who reminded attendees to keep their goals in check with who they are.

“Leadership is a part of us, not the whole of us,” Mendenhall said. “When you have bad days, you have to open your mind and contribute—through reading, volunteering, exploring—whatever you have to do to grow yourself.”

The open honesty of the panel’s collective experiences helped attendees embrace the realities of working in real estate, especially as a woman. But one truth that can change any practitioner in her pursuit to success lies in owning all that you accomplish and not allowing anyone else to take your career dreams away.

“Those around you don’t always understand what fills your tank,” Ozur said. “Have those hard conversations to help people understand the person you can be [in your work]… you’ll come back home fulfilled and excited because you’ve had that chance to do that networking.”

According to Linda Lee, an agent with Keller Williams San Diego, making friendships and learning from others is “priceless” when working in real estate. But over-committing can be a detriment to your success as a real estate professional. Lee spoke about her decision to pull back from additional industry involvement for the sake of her business revenue, saying that it’s crucial to prioritize and adjust according to whatever life throws at you.

“Business growth is a fun journey—make it fun,” was one Lee’s business tips. Her other pieces of leadership advice included having a team structure so the business can continue without you there, scheduling breaks and vacations for yourself, and giving back to the community.

“Don’t lose yourself” was a sentiment echoed across all five of the panelists. Margo Wheeler, a broker working at John L. Scott’s Tacoma-University Place office, acknowledged the truth of having a job that takes much of your attention and time. Wheeler expressed that your real estate business achievements aren’t about glorifying yourself, but instead about your passion and purpose.

And don’t forget to regularly check in with yourself to determine your priorities, said Rebecca Thomson, regional vice president at Coldwell Banker. “I was so set on where I wanted to go,” Thomson said. “We sometimes put blinders on and don’t see the opportunities and people around us who can carry and support us.”