The path to real estate leadership is never the same and is rarely straight. Some start out looking after the prize, growing up knowing they want to be the “CEO.” Not me. I never thought I would be like this. Certainly a hard worker. Of course, someone with a desire to achieve a goal. But the leader? The CEO of the world’s largest real estate franchise? Not a single chance.
When I started out, I never looked too far ahead. I focused on the task at hand and the role I was given. I was fueled by a strong fear of failure coupled with a competitive urge to “show up” to those who entrusted me with the job. I felt obligated not to let my management or my team down. I felt comfortable saying yes to all possibilities, taking risks and finding out along the way.
In retrospect, I can see that all the time I unknowingly defined my path to leadership through a fearless approach to challenges, the ability to cope with the challenges I accepted opportunities, and an unwavering desire to grow, learn, and succeed.
These qualities allowed me to abandon my early role as a commercial real estate agent, which I was not interested in taking on a corporate role, where I was introduced to the world of real estate franchising. Since then I have held many positions in Contract Administration, Help Desk, Onboarding, Training and Partner Services – one of my constant favorites. Through these positions, I found my passion: to help entrepreneurs achieve their dreams, to ensure that the promises we make as a brand are fulfilled, and never, ever lose sight of our customers along the way. I learned that the franchisee / franchisor relationship is much more than a contract; it is a desire for teamwork, thanks to which it will be better with us than without us.
For me, that same commitment to teamwork is the true path to leadership. It is dedication to those you serve, a promise that allows the team to grow with you and rise with you, and a vow that you will never lose sight of their goals.
As I grew up in the world of leadership, I learned to trust those who showed up where I could not. I learned that a team can move us much further than anyone could do alone. I learned to be confident that I was blazing paths for others, making room for the next generation to find their way, and reaching out to help others achieve their dreams. And, as I continue to understand, the value lies in the journey, not the destination.
As President and CEO Realogi Franchising GroupSue Giannaccone is responsible for managing leading franchised real estate brands Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate, CENTURY 21®, Corcoran®, ERA® and Sotheby’s International Realty®, as well as businesses owned by Corcoran and Sotheby’s International Realty.