Why Women Should Consider Commercial Real Estate Brokerage as a Career

Recently, we sat down with the three Managing Directors of SVN | QAV – Deborah Quok, Ann-Margaret Vann and Catherine House, CCIM, FRICS to discuss why more women should consider commercial real estate brokerage as a career.  SVN | QAV is located in San Francisco and is one of several women-owned offices operating under the SVN® brand and benefitting from our platform.

From left to right: Managing Directors of SVN | QAV – Catherine House, CCIM, FRICS; Deborah Quok; Ann-Margaret Vann



One of the biggest deterrent’s women have when entering the commercial real estate world is the time that it takes to establish yourself. Like any new career, it will take time to get up to speed with the industry and to make a name for yourself.  The short-term income may also be a bit lower than you initially anticipated, but with some patience, perseverance and stick-to-itiveness, the long-term upside will be tremendous. Reason being there is no upward limit on earnings. You are not on salary and you get paid based on your performance. In brokerage, you are measured by results which is completely in your control. In other words, the more you put into to the position, the more you will get out of it. Also, you act as your own boss. You determine when and where you work and you can structure your day around your lifestyle.

Another concern women have about working in commercial real estate is that there are so few of them who are currently in the industry. However, you can use this to your advantage by making yourself stand out. The type of women that succeed in this industry are often the ones who stand up when people say they “can’t” do something. If you are the only women pitching the business to a client that has women at the table, do something or say something that others will remember you by. This will help other at the table get a sense of who you are and may make them want to work with you again the future.

The skillset needed to be successful in this industry may be different than you’d anticipate. It’s not just about sales; it’s attention to detail, understanding your market, problem-solving and your power of persuasion. Successful brokers in the past have always been great at talking with new people and would always be striving to become a leader. Other skills that typically make up a successful broker include:

  • Strong personality
  • Confidence
  • Sense of curiosity
  • Willingness to learn

Commercial real estate brokerage is much more dynamic and exciting than a typical 9-5 job. You control your own destiny. If you are interested in working in an innovative and collaborative commercial real estate company where you can manage your own company, be sure to check out the current opening on SVN’s careers page.

About SVN International Corp.
The SVN organization is a globally recognized commercial real estate entity united by a shared vision of creating value for clients, colleagues and communities. Currently, SVN comprises over 1,600 advisors and staff working in more than 200 offices across the globe. SVN’s brand pillars represent the transparency, innovation and inclusivity that enable all our advisors to collaborate effectively with the entire real estate industry on behalf of our clients. SVN’s unique Shared Value Network®is just one of the many ways that SVN advisors create outsize value for all stakeholders. For more information, visit www.svn.com.