Meet Lauren Bensinger, President, Women’s Council of Realtors San Francisco
Q: Can you define your current position as President of the Women’s Council of Realtors, San Francisco?
LB: As President of the San Francisco network, my role is to develop and support upcoming leaders in our industry. Leadership development comes from working with each board member, our members and strategic partners and helping them achieve their business goals. My role is to give members the opportunity to grow and challenge themselves by providing educational events, network opportunities, and new skills developments such as public speaking, fundraising, and event planning. The Women’s Council provides a platform that supports women leaders, which is especially important today more than ever.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish during your term as President?
LB: This year with almost every educational and networking event, we are partnering with a local non-profit to provide support to our community. As President I hope to spread awareness of and support these organizations. Realtors are part of the community and giving back brings positive change to the livelihood of neighborhoods. So far this year we have partnered with One Warm Coat, collecting clothing donations, and The Princess Project, an organization that promotes self-confidence and individual beauty to local high school teens by providing them with free prom dresses and accessories.
Q: Tell us about your position as VP of Corporate Services for McGuire Real Estate?
LB: As VP of Corporate Services for McGuire, I help manage three main part of the business.
Business Development and Concierge Services: I work with our international and national network affiliations – Leading Real Estate Companies of the World and Savills – and assist clients moving anywhere in the world. We provide relocation assistance services for our clients moving to or from the Bay Area as well. Through these networks and their PR and marketing programs, we also showcase McGuire’s listings and agents to a worldwide audience.
Training and Events: McGuire has a robust training program for our agents which includes twice a year, week-long BootCamp intensives, ongoing business planning and training, industry expert speaker presentations and business tech and tools training. I manage the training and event programs for all 6 McGuire offices in the Bay Area.
Marketing: As a luxury boutique firm, McGuire provides full-service support to each of our agents, from transactional and listing management to custom marketing and graphic design, to in-house administration and office support. I am part of the team that provides this support to our agents, so they can stay focused on working and connecting with clients.
Q: How has technology changed in Real Estate?
LB: Real estate is a relationship business and technology has simply helped agents stay connected with their clients in different ways. Agents who use technology to stay top of mind with their sphere, and provide value while doing so, are the ones who see repeated success in their business.
Q: Since tax reform was signed into law I've seen a few different articles. First is the potential of a 10% downturn in Bay Area pricing. I’ve also seen an article that predicts home prices in the Bay Area will go up further, as residents stay in their current home to enjoy the full property tax right-off. Can you give us your insight on how you think this will play out in 2018 for Bay Area buyers and sellers?
LB: At McGuire we provide an in-depth analysis of the Bay Area market monthly and quarterly. With the continued high demand for property and low inventory levels in the Bay Area, we anticipate another robust year and the economic growth of the Bay Area to carry on into 2018. For an in-depth analysis of the market regions in the Bay Area, I recommend reading our report http://mcguire.com/quarterly_report.
Q: Any further predictions for the next two or three years?
LB: The average sales price for a single-family home in San Francisco for Q4 2017 was $1.921million, that’s about an 11% increase from Q4 2016. Throughout all regions in the Bay Area the average price per square foot was $565, that’s a 13% increase from last year. In the next few years, I believe we will continue to see this level of increases throughout all regions in the Bay Area.
Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today?
LB: Women continue to face a variety of challenges every day from inequality of pay in the workplace, to harassment, to body image issues, and sometimes the ability to balance family/home and work. By supporting one another every day, and making small yet impactful changes, women can continue to succeed and break boundaries.
Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace?
LB: Find a mentor who can guide and support your goals in your career. Listen and observe from those who have been in the business a long time and share your fresh thoughts and ideas with team members to challenge them and create new ways of developing business.
Q: What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment thus far?
LB: I’m proud to have initiated and negotiated the agreement with London international real estate brokerage, Savills, making McGuire their exclusive Bay Area residential firm. Through our association with Savills, we provide exceptional global marketing for our listings and represent the San Francisco Bay Area to their 700 network members.
Q: What do you enjoy most about living in the Bay Area?
LB: I grew up in San Francisco and love how San Francisco has truly a small-town feel, even though it’s a thriving urban center.
Five Things About Lauren Bensinger
1. If you could talk to one famous person past or present, who would it be and why?
Ellen DeGeneres. I’d love to talk to her about influence and using influence to bring positive emotion and change to people.
2. What’s the best advice anyone’s ever given you?
Ask for the business. Don’t assume that people know your intentions and goals. When you want something, simply ask. Most people don’t ask, so you’ll be amazed at the conversations and opportunities it creates.
3. Do you have a favorite quotation?
“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” – Mae West
4. What’s your favorite TV Show?
I have an 11-month-old daughter, so I don’t have the luxury of watching TV anymore. Instead I’ve recently taken up listening to podcasts. They are great in the car, to and from work, or in-between appointments. I always learn something new.
5. What’s your favorite part of the day?
My favorite time of day is early evening. I’ve accomplished my business goals for the day, and it’s the time I spend with my family. It’s a great time to have more meaningful conversations with the people I love.
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