Only 30% of women in the real estate industry are in the top 10% of positions. Morgan Browne is on a mission to change that.
Through her Vancouver brokerage, Oakwyn Realty, Morgan is committed to launching initiatives that support women in real estate and inspire them to become industry leaders. In our conversation with this true self-starter, we learned her philosophy on being a female founder, balancing motherhood with business and “not letting anyone tell you where your place is.”
How did you first become interested in real estate?
Born into an entrepreneurial family, my career journey started on day one. My family taught me the importance of being a self-starter and how to find what drives me. Following my completion of business courses at Vancouver College, I won the Sales award with Globe and Mail and a scholarship that allowed me to go to UBC for their real estate program. Growing up, I was always looking at industries that showed promising growth opportunities and how I could impact individuals. Real estate stood out the most and allowed me to use both my business and creative mind.
Tell us about the decision to launch your own real estate brokerage.
The decision to start the brokerage came from wanting to make a difference, in both the community and the industry. When the opportunity to launch Oakwyn Realty came, I saw the chance to transform the real estate industry from the inside out. The industry has remained the same for a very long time and I knew that there was a need for something new. By starting something of my own, I saw the opportunity to support other women and men who were on a similar path and create a collaborative community, rather than feed into the competitive side of the industry.
What characteristics do you think make someone successful in real estate?
There are three characteristics that I believe make someone successful in real estate. Firstly, you must be a strong leader. The ability to lead a team is necessary when navigating such a competitive and fast industry. Secondly, you need to be transparent. Being clear and honest in your work will always take you far. Lastly: confidence! This is the big one for real estate agents. Buying or selling a home is a life decision. You must be confident in your work so that both you and your clients trust your abilities.
As you pointed out in a recent Forbes article, only 12% of real estate CEOs are female-identifying. What are some tangible ways for womxn to become leaders in your industry?
As a woman in a leadership role, I have never held back my voice or altered my opinion to meet the standards of those around me. It’s an uphill battle, but my advice would be to work hard, stay consistent, and not let anyone tell you where your place is. If you are looking to lead, you must be sure to be transparent and confident in your actions. Certainty will diminish your fear and the rest will follow!
Tell us more about WOO (Women of Oakwyn)!
Women of Oakwyn (WOO) is an annual event we created to elevate and support the women in our industry! Only 30% of women in the real estate industry are in the top 10% of positions. Having more leadership positions available will create a more equal and diverse workplace. WOO exists to shine a light on the problems that many female realtors face. One impact of WOO has been the introduction of a maternity rate, to help women continue their careers while growing their families. My goal is to create an environment where diversity and collaboration are encouraged and that my fellow agents can feel supported and encouraged in.
We love a good podcast! What can we expect from an episode of The Oakwyn Podcast?
We created the Oakwyn podcast as a way to share the real estate culture and discuss our experiences in the industry. The podcast helps to educate new agents or prospecting agents who wish to pursue further growth and learning — something we strongly value at Oakwyn. I host this podcast with fellow Oakwyn co-founder, Michael Uy. A lot of our content centers around the real estate industry, but we also spend a lot of time on mentorship and business coaching. While every episode is unique, you can always expect to learn something new about business, entrepreneurship or motivation.
What are your top tips for balancing motherhood and entrepreneurship?
My number one piece of advice — you are doing your best! Don’t ever regret anything and don’t let others tell you otherwise. Don’t think that you can do or should be doing everything yourself, and don’t feel guilty for admitting that. Trust your instincts and what you think is right. That being said, you must take time for yourself and make sure that you give yourself a second to catch up and reflect. Balancing businesses with motherhood means not letting other people (or colleagues) define you and your abilities. At the end of the day, it’s important to be present in the moment you are in — especially when you are with your kids. Set boundaries and be present in the moment.
What is the Oakwyn Kindness Challenge and what inspired you to start it?
The Oakwyn Kindness challenge started from our belief in our community and the importance of giving back where you live. During the Oakwyn Kindness Challenge, we ask our agents to share a small act of kindness and give back in their own communities. This could be a cup of coffee for a stranger or something on a larger scale (like a yearly contribution). With our large network of real estate agents, The Oakwyn Kindness Challenge is a viral, smile-spreading way to encourage goodness where we need it most.
What do you want to be known for?
When it is all said and done, I want to look back and know that I made a positive impact on the industry. It has always been my belief that we should leave things in better condition than we found them, whether that be in our personal lives or business. It is my goal to positively impact everyone who comes across my path and contribute to female empowerment. This means working to reduce the stigma surrounding working moms, as I see it as a strength more than a weakness. You can do it all, all on your own and I hope to be able to help others realize this in their career pursuits.