Taking place March 16 in the Kensington Ballroom at The London West Hollywood, Haute Residence’s third annual Los Angeles Luxury Real Estate Summit featured three panels, which brought the biggest names in luxury real estate together for discussions on the current trends in luxury real estate, personal success stories, and what’s next for California’s booming real estate market. This year’s summit opened with the all-female “Power Women” panel. Power players Cindy Ambuehl, Paula Ansara-Wilhem, Sally Forster Jones, Linda May, Jade Mills, and Tami Pardee all took part in the panel, which covered topics such as how the gender of a broker can have influence on buyers and sellers.
Seth Semilof: Why do you think a seller or buyer would rather work with a female agent or broker? Or do you think it makes no difference?
Cindi Ambuehl: Generally, as women, we are working moms. I know I am. This morning I dropped a bunch of kids off at school and had lunches packed and permission slips signed before I even was here. So I think we are doers. We are multitaskers. I think we are problem solvers. I think we nurture, so I do think that whether we are dealing with a buyer or a seller––whether it’s a man or a woman––I think they find trust in that, and I think they know that we are going to pay attention and dot our Is and cross our Ts…
Sally Forster Jones: I think it’s really a bit of paying more attention, having more patience, and being a little more intuitive.
Linda May: I think at the upper top of the market there is no gender distinction. I think that those buyers and sellers want to work with the top person in their field regardless.
Jade Mills: I think that men in the very beginning prefer men, so we always are trying to prove who we are and what we can do…and in the end it is all about you and it’s all about how you are with the client. I do feel that everybody wants to be nurtured, everybody wants to feel important, and everybody wants to feel that you are going to do the best job, so whether it is a man or a woman, it is your job to get there and prove that you are going to do the best job.
Paula Ansara-Wilhelm: I think it is irrelevant. I think that based on the track record. I think that the luxury market is really about experience, trust, and relationship building. I do look forward to the day when we are not having a men versus women conversation.
Tami Pardee: At the end of the day, it’s all about who is connecting to that person or to those people.
Seth Semilof: Who were your biggest role models coming into the business?
Jade Mills: June Scott was such a force when I first came into the business. She was tough and she had a lot of the qualities that I didn’t have…I really think my few lunches with June and being able to actually hear how she did her deals and how she kept her clients was such a huge help to me, so I’d say it would be June Scott.
Sally Forster Jones: My inspiration was the experience, and then there are things from there. There are always people along the way that are turning points on how to run a business and how to do various things, but it was really just the excitement about real estate that was my inspiration.
Seth Semilof: What do you feel has been your number one key to success?
Paula Ansara-Wilhelm: I would probably say perseverance. I think this industry is challenging on so many levels. The market is always changing and you’re always having to adapt, change, and move with it.
Linda May: First of all, you have to love what you do, otherwise it can be horrible, but given that we all obviously have a passion for it I think that hard work is the key to your success. It takes care of a lot of the things that go on during the day that pull you away from your dream or goal or goal for the day.
Seth Semilof: How do you market yourself when you are looking to get a new client?
Cindi Ambuehl: Put yourself in their shoes and really feel what they might be going through. That helps you to connect with them and for them to connect with you.
Tami Pardee: It’s going in there and owning it, being confident, and relating to them. I’m always like, I have to find something that I’m going to relate to these people on in their house. That’s my goal every single time.
Photos by Tommaso Boddi