Titans of Industry: The Balancing Act – A Conversation with Female Broker Owners Recap

On Tuesday, March 9, we continued our Titans of Industry series with an event featuring female broker owners. Marci Sepulveda, Publisher of Chicago Agent Magazine, moderated the panel, featuring Sanina Ellison, Broker & Co-owner of Chicago Homes Realty Group, Erika Villegas, Broker/Co-owner of RE/MAX in The Village, and Staci Slattery, Designated Managing Broker of North Clybourn Group. Here’s what they shared:

#1: You Can Always Count on Change

When reflecting on how things have changed within the last year, Marci said, “I think the number one lesson when you’re a business owner is, the only thing you can count on is change.” Sure enough, the pandemic changed the way of life for all of these owners. In fact, all of the panelists agreed that since the middle of last year, they have been busier than ever before. “In March, people turned to me and asked ‘what’s going to happen?’ And I said, ‘you’re going to get down to work and help people like before. And you’re going to come out as a better broker on the other side,” Staci said. Sanina shared that the pandemic really forced her to look at her business practices and re-evaluate. “It [the pandemic] required us to go old school a little and connect! To create a customer experience we should’ve been creating all along.”

#2: Do What Works

Working from home has been an adjustment for everyone. For some, it works, and for others, it doesn’t, and that’s fine! As we begin to think about returning to the office, our panelists said they plan to keep options open for their brokers. Staci said she has found that her brokers are just as productive, if not more so, working from home. She plans on continuing to allow them to work at home, or in the office, depending on what works best for each person. Erika echoed this. “People are just happier to jump online, not put on makeup and not having to drive to the office.” She, however, states that she feels more productive at the office than at home, so she plans to make the commute in when needed.

#3: It’s Ok to Disconnect

Our panelists all agree that this year has been draining, balancing work, life and so much more. They emphasized the importance of disconnecting. This can look different for everyone. Some of the panelists said disconnecting meant turning off the news, avoiding social media and spending less time online. Others said a week-long vacation was what they needed. Or, it might be something as small as a daily ritual that forces you to step away from work or family life. Find the little or big things that help you rejuvenate and regroup.

Read the recap from our first Titans of Industry event: Leadership and Pain.