On 8 March, we are celebrating International Women’s Day 2019. We have taken this opportunity to interview our successful real estate agents Tanja Vieth and Christiane Lange about their work. In the interview, they reveal their female role models, the challenges they appreciate in their work and dispel the cliché that the real estate sector is a male preserve.
Women in real estate – of role models, challenges and outdated clichés
Who are your female role models and why?
Tanja Vieth, Engel & Völkers Market Center Hamburg Elbe: My role models are definitely women who manage to find a balance between their career and their children. I am inspired by these strong, caring and organised women.
These are traits I hold in high regard, and for me this is what a role model is all about. At the same time, these women are well aware that, despite all the planning and effort, things don’t always work out the way you expect. No-one is perfect. Yet, they always try to make the best of every situation.
Christiane Lange, Engel & Völkers Dubai: My grandmother, who was one of the first women in Berlin in the 1920s to obtain her driving licence and was a single mother with her own small business during the Second World War – a strong business woman.
In the public mind, the real estate sector is often still seen as being dominated by men. Is this an outdated cliché?
Tanja Vieth: The times have changed and reality shows that around half of all real estate agents are female. And this trend is on the rise. However, the proportion of women in leading management positions is still less than half. It can be seen that things have changed over the years, but also that the cliché still holds true in part.
Christiane Lange: I believe in the principle that we always attract the right people. Whether a real estate agent is right for a client depends more on personality than on gender. Personally, in my 26 years as a real estate agent, I have always had the feeling that in the real estate industry, the genders are pretty much equal.
Why did you decide to pursue a career in real estate?
Tanja Vieth: The topic of home and living has always interested me. After studying architecture, I conducted research on this topic at university, among other things, and also worked abroad. It fascinates me to see how living trends have changed over the past 20 years and how they are developing now. In the course of my work in the real estate sector, I am at the centre of the action, hear directly what clients expect and see the respective properties in practice, not only in theory.
Christiane Lange: This career seems to be in my genes. As a child I already made floor plans in my parents' garden in the fresh snow. I only once had the idea of becoming an interior designer – but in the end it was also about real estate.
What kind of challenges do you enjoy most in your daily work?
Tanja Vieth: The challenge to satisfy the client in the end. Meeting client expectations and showing him what is possible or helping him to rethink in decisive moments. Inspiring others with new ideas they did not know existed delights me and challenges me day after day and also makes this job so versatile.
Christiane Lange: Organising and planning in advance in order to avoid any difficulties that might arise in advance, in order to help my clients to achieve a transaction that is as smooth and pleasant as possible. With my additional qualification as an alternative practitioner for psychotherapy, the human aspect is particularly important to me - finding out what the client really wants, his "why" and his very special "what", which must be fulfilled in order to achieve 100% satisfaction through my creative "how".
Would you too be interested in tackling the exciting challenges for women in real estate that Tanja Vieth and Christiane Lange are facing in the industry? Then become part of the international Engel & Völkers team. We are looking forward to hearing from you!