Step out of your lane

24 November 2021

Kitty Parker, a buyers’ agent and the Director at Kitty & Miles, started out in real estate only a few short years ago. Here she shares what it’s like to be a newcomer to the real estate industry and the lessons she’s learnt.

“I was a late starter in the real estate industry at the age of 45. I’m a newcomer!

My tertiary qualifications are in policy, strategic planning and psychology and, for many years, I led a multi-national business – one that I had created as a start-up – in a completely different industry. That business gave me the opportunity to invest in property, and I used buyers’ agents to do so.

When I sold the business, I wondered what I would do next and, essentially, fell into real estate by virtue of my property investment experience. Fast forward and Kitty & Miles was born.

I came from a very dysfunctional family and was a homeless teen. Understanding, firsthand, what it is to be homeless, I know the value of having a home. It’s more than simply bricks and mortar. It’s more than just shelter.

So, for me, my passion comes from my lived experience of being homeless. Being able to help someone buy a home is more than just a job for me – it comes from the heart. With every client, I remember what it was like when I had that very first roof over my head.

What we do in this industry is far more than buying, selling and managing a physical building. What we’re doing is helping people achieve a significant milestone in their lives. We’re helping them to achieve their dreams and I, for one, am very thankful to be part of that.

To be honest, when I first started out, I felt like real estate was quite a male-dominated industry – but we all have our gifts, regardless of whether we’re male or female.

I remember bidding at an auction on behalf of one of my very first clients. I ended up in a bidding war with another buyers’ agent – an older male, who was doing his best to intimidate me. To cut a long story short, I won the auction for my clients, who were so grateful.

From that moment, I realised that auctions are not just a domain for men. It also made me realise that we all have our gifts. Whatever your gift is, you have to go after it. Don’t let anyone intimidate you – and certainly don’t let anyone tell you to “stay in your own lane.”

Over time, my business has grown, and I now have more people on my team – all women. But they weren’t employed because they were women. They were employed because of their talent and what they can bring to my business. I’ve realised that there’s so much female talent in this industry to be tapped into, and that our tribe and our support network is a wonderful and beautiful thing.

Women are evolving in our industry and, I believe, it’s something that we haven’t been given enough credit for. But women are stepping forward and stepping ‘out of their lane’ – and it’s a wonderful thing. We don’t have a ‘lane’ anymore.

When I won the Achievement category at both the 2020 REINSW Awards for Excellence and the 2021 REIA National Awards for Excellence, I had less than three years’ experience in the real estate industry. I thought: ‘What can I bring? What gifts do I have? There are so many people much more capable than I am.’ I also thought: ‘Who am I? I’m a homeless teen and a high school drop-out.’

But I learnt at a very young age the importance of not ‘staying in my lane’ and of being unstoppable. I’ve always wanted to continually innovate and make things better for those around me. If that means that I have to be the person driving change, then that’s what I’ll do.”

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