Nicole Jones is a leader in the property industry. She is the director – licensee at Jones Realty & Projects which markets over $800 million of Perth developments.
Ms. Jones believes there is no luck in real estate. Rather her philosophy is in finding the right solutions for her clients regardless of their property needs.
In light of International Women’s Day, we interviewed Ms. Jones on her experiences and the importance of women in real estate.
What do you love about real estate?
I love the people side of real estate. Regardless of how stressful the days are in this fast paced environment when you are actually a part of such a huge decision/transition in people’s lives, it is so rewarding. There is always a story behind every person’s situation, and when they enter your life for a short period of time, I love ensuring that every base is covered and their experience is as enjoyable as possible. We sell real estate every day, but for 90% of the population, this is something they may only experience a few times in their life.
What initially attracted you to the property industry?
I always had a love for real estate and the more I dug deeper into why it attracted me so much was, again, the people. I had previously been on the receiving end of some seriously average service when selling my home and didn’t have the greatest experience.
I knew there was a gap in the industry for a highly personalised service where the people came first and not the transaction.
Separate to this I knew that this was an industry I could tap into uncapped earnings if I was prepared to do the work. At the time I entered real estate, my biggest driver was to provide for my family. I’m very much a doer so I knew it would only be a matter of time because things started to take shape.
My “WHY” for doing real estate outweighed the constant trials and tribulations that I faced in the industry. Real estate is not something you dip your toe into, its all in or nothing.
What challenges have you faced in the industry?
There is no denying that the real estate industry is not for the faint hearted.
I don’t say that flippantly, simply that there are many challenges and hurdles you will face on a daily basis and unless you are prepared to dust them off, learn from them and continue to grow, then it can be quite a lonely place.
When I first entered the industry, it was very male dominated. I didn’t find this intimidating as such and rather saw it as an opportunity to shake things up and offer something different to the market.
I was initially shocked at the “dog eat dog” mentality that was running rife in the industry and was a little taken back by the lack of support that was shown to each other throughout the industry. I remember instances where a sales rep would call me to ask for a sale price of a home and was legitimately shocked that I took their call and was happy to help. To me, this is not ok, we should all be here to support one another as there is plenty of work out there for all of us if we do the right thing.
As a female leader in real estate, what do you see women bringing to the property market?
I see women bringing a softer more empathetic touch to real estate. We need to remember that we are dealing with human beings at the end of the day, it just happens to be a home that we are selling.
I truly believe women have the ability to tap into people’s emotions and see things from a different perspective. I’m not saying that men don’t have this ability, simply that it comes more naturally to women.
It is now great to see so much choice in the marketplace for potential buyers and sellers. We all need to feel comfortable with who we work with and no longer do people have to fear the “typical pushy sales rep”. Slowly we are weeding this out of the industry and seeing a much more professional service being delivered to clients.
The Property Council of Australia attributes a boys’ club mentality and the lack of diversity in senior leadership positions as barriers to women entering the property industry. Has this been your experience?
Now more than ever, we are seeing more and more women in leadership positions throughout the industry. I feel the “boys club mentality” stretches to many industries and when I first entered real estate this was very much the case.
The majority of the senior positions throughout the industry were held by men. Whether right or wrong, this didn’t create much diversity in the senior teams and to me limited the opportunities and possibilities by failing to see and acknowledge different points of view.
Many of the qualities that were once deemed “weak”, “woman-centric” and not fit for “senior positions”, are the very qualities that women bring to the industry.
- Good listening skills
Without the right balance in senior positions, most businesses will struggle.