What started as a passion project has grown into much more for Sue Yannaccone, Realogy Franchise Group president and chief executive officer and founder of “What Moves Her℠,” a campaign that supports the growth of women in real estate.
Here, Yannaccone reflects on the victories of the inaugural year of the national women in real estate campaign amid the pandemic and how she and her team at Realogy have prepared for the campaign’s second year following its recent expansion and ahead of its first event on Tues., May 11.
Looking back at last year’s campaign and the challenges of the pandemic, how did you and your team adapt to keep things going?
Sue Yannaccone: We launched in January 2020 with a live series starting in Chicago, and very quickly, we had to pivot. First, we thought about whether we should continue to do the series or back off with everything that was going on.
We felt that continuing to provide a connection place for women in the industry remained vitally important, maybe even more so during the pandemic. So, we shifted to an all-virtual format, and we reached over 5,000 women last year through that online series.
We allowed for live events because I feel very strongly about Q&As and the opportunity to get live feedback and make them interactive for our agents and attendees.
What were the effects on attendance following the virtual pivot of last year’s campaign?
SY: Not only did we reach more women live, but we also recorded the sessions. So now they live on, and there is this ongoing opportunity for women to download them and see them when they want.
There is a reach and scale available through a virtual platform that you can’t do by and large when you’re live. It’s a different experience. We found more women and more people coming, and it allowed for a greater breadth of attendees.
What was the reception from attendees during the campaign’s first year?
SY: I’d say it was overwhelming. I really was not prepared for how well received it was and how willing women were to raise their hands and share their stories across every level of our organization and from even outside.
Now that we’ve launched the “What Moves Her” expansion, I’ve already been contacted by multiple members of our other brands that we haven’t launched this with asking how they can help. It’s been tremendous outreach, and what I’ve loved is that it’s crossed all boundaries. I’ve had women attend that aren’t part of the Realogy family, and that’s awesome because it’s all about growth and support.
Men have also reached out and said, “I have three daughters, and I play these recordings for them, and they listen to you and what you’re doing.”
Tell me about this year’s expansion of the campaign.
SY: The growth of the series is really dedicated to bringing more opportunities throughout the year and reaching more women industrywide and all of our affiliated brokers and agents. We feel very strongly about that.
When you look at it, nearly 60% of the agents associated with our company are women, and almost 30% of our franchise broker/owners are women. We want to continue to expand the opportunities for women to take ownership opportunities and take advantage of that growth trajectory, and continue cultivating the diverse and equitable environment that we have at Realogy.
With year two of the campaign on the horizon, how has the program evolved? What has stayed the same?
SY: Leaning into what we’ve learned, we are continuing the virtual series and looking to augment that with live events probably toward the latter half of the year. There is a real connection in the community that started through this, so we are looking to do that.
What stayed is our focus and commitment to education for women to further their leadership platform and voice. Now that we’ve expanded it to all of the brands within the Realogy Franchise Group, we are looking to leverage any live events they may have throughout the year as we start bringing those back. We are also integrating with all of our brand events, whether virtual or live, as we go forward.
We did a great amalgamation of in- and out-of-industry . We got feedback on all of that, and what was very interesting was our ability to bring a different voice into the room than what we traditionally hear. We are definitely looking to leverage that and focus on personal branding, sales and growth strategies and leaning in on that more than we have.
Seeing the reception and success of last year’s campaign, what do you feel is its importance now?
SY: I do think it’s more important than I ever imagined it to be, and that came to life in the number of women who needed somebody that they could look up to. The expectation for me was that we could inspire people. We are showcasing women, just like many women out there, who’ve just made a choice or a tweak that propelled them forward, and every time we’ve had a meeting, someone has reached out and said they’ve done something because of that.
Whether it be one of our speakers or me, it’s very powerful. It just goes to show that there is such a need for people in our industry to see something of themselves in a leader that breaks down that barrier for them and makes them say, “why not me,” and “I can too,” and I think that for me it’s what is fueling this even more.
Considering the impact of the campaign already, what is your vision for its future?
SY: I’d say that in 2020, when we launched this, it was a passion project of mine to go out and reach more women in the industry. It evolved beyond what I ever could’ve imagined, and it certainly was realized for me. There is a significant need and desire in the real estate community to elevate the conversation and to provide resources to the entirety of our community, and that need is just exponential.
I don’t see this ever ending. “What Moves Her” will be with us as long as I am and hopefully long after. There is so much to do, and this is just the beginning, so we just launched the broader expansion of it, and it is ever-evolving every time we get on a call and every time we get in a meeting.
For more information about the “What Moves Her” campaign, or its upcoming events, click here.
Jordan Grice is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email him your real estate news ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.