Women Making Waves in Real Estate

March is women’s month, and we can’t let it pass without giving a shout out to all the fierce ladies slaying the real estate industry one property at a time. To celebrate the occasion, we’re telling the stories of these inspirational women who grabbed a hold of their dreams and made a profound difference in the real estate industry.

Dorothy (Dottie) Herman – CEO of Douglas Elliman

Known as America’s richest self-made woman in real estate.

When Dottie was 10 years old, her family was involved in a car crash on their journey home from a ski vacation in Vermont. The crash killed her mother and left her father disabled. On top of it all, for the next several years, Herman suffered from seizures as a result of being thrown from the car.

Dottie didn’t let her traumatizing past define her future. After her graduation from Adelphi University, she began her real estate career as a broker for Merrill Lynch on Long Island. Later, Merrill Lynch sold their real estate division to Prudential. In 1990, Dottie convinced Prudential to loan her $7 million to purchase Prudential Long Island Realty.

In 2003, Dottie and her business partner purchased Douglas Elliman, Manhattan’s largest and most prestigious brokerage firm. Douglas Elliman has since become the largest and fastest growing residential brokerage in New York.

In 2019, Dottie will launch a leadership venture for those aspiring to be entrepreneurs. But in the meantime, you can ask Dottie a question on her open forum.

“Success is failure turned inside out. If you’re afraid to fail, you’ll never succeed.” – Dottie Herman

Sherry Chris – CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC

Known for being a servant leader.

Sherry comes from a large Irish Catholic family with four siblings and two working parents. As the oldest sibling, she had a lot of responsibility at home and not much of a childhood. Every day, as she’d get home from school, Sherry would make the family dinner on top of taking care of any household chores. Though, like any teenager, she would have rather been hanging out with her friends, taking on so much responsibility at an early age helped shape her into the leader she is today.

Sherry has always been viewed as a servant leader… she’s devoted to helping people. By proactively looking for ways to make the world of real estate a better place, she’s been able to understand on a deeper level what the industry is all about. And in her eyes, it comes down to truly caring.

This shows by the number of committees Sherry serves on and the commitment she has to giving back. She serves on advisory boards for the National Association of REALTORS® Real Estate Services program, the Asian Real Estate Association of America Education Foundation, and New Story, a certified 501(c)(3) that builds safe homes and transforms slums into thriving communities in developing countries. She is also the Chair of the National Board of Directors at Rebuilding Together, a nonprofit organization.

Sherry’s dedication to the real estate industry has built the Better Homes and Garden real estate brand from nothing to what it is today: nearly 11,500 agents who work in 400 offices in 39 states and 6 countries.

“On the way to the top, do not lose sight of the virtue of respect. Work selflessly and aim to give more than you expect to receive.” – Sherry Chris

Barbara Corcoran – Founder of Corcoran Group and a “Shark” on Shark Tank

Known for her inspirational personality and public appearances.

As the second born of 10 children, Barbara was raised in Edgewater, N.J. With four brothers and five sisters, Barbara grew up poor. All siblings shared one room in her parent’s two-bedroom flat located in a rough neighborhood. Her father was unpredictable—often talking down to her mother after a few drinks and unable to hold on to a full-time job.

On top of rough living conditions, Barbara was frequently called dumb, scoring straight Ds throughout her schooling years. Though she didn’t have a particularly easy childhood, she used her struggles as motivation.

In her 20s, Barbara quit her job as a waitress and borrowed a $1,000 from her boyfriend to start Corcoran Group. She turned her small business into a real estate goldmine worth billions of dollars. She built Corcoran Group into the biggest residential real estate firm in New York before she sold it in 2001.

Today, Barbara is an investor on the well-known ABC TV show, Shark Tank, where she has invested in 22 businesses and wrote the bestselling book, Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 into a Billion Dollar Business.

“Taking chances almost always makes for happy endings.” – Barbara Corcoran

You – CEO of Your Future  

Known for chasing her dreams.

If there’s anything we’ve learned from these real estate powerhouse women, it’s this: Regardless of the cards you’re dealt in life, you make your own destiny. Don’t let your past define your future. And to all the women chasing their real estate dreams, don’t stop until they become reality.

This article is for informational purposes only.

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