In the spirit of Women’s health week this September, we sat down with one of our most successful senior agents – Antoinette Nido – who has been setting and breaking records in Melbourne’s prestigious property market, and is recognised by leading Australian Press as a ‘Super-Agent’.
Antoinette has decades of experience in wealth creation, money management and economics, holding leading positions as Tax Director with Ernst and Young, Economist with Treasury and established and led a highly successful Property Trust.
With a wealth of knowledge under her belt, Antoinette has seen the perception of women in real estate evolve over the years and acknowledges that the lack of women in director positions suggests that the traditional stereotypes within the industry still require transformation. In this interview, she identifies some of the incredible advantages women bring to the real estate sector, their challenges, her achievements, what she finds most rewarding in her role and the advice she would give to women of all ages entering the industry.
What are some of the challenges that exclusively women in real estate face, and how have you personally sought to overcome them?
It’s widely accepted that traditionally the property industry has been a male dominated field. As a result of this, Antoinette explains, “women face a multitude of stereotypes in this business. As a mother of three, with life and business experience I run my own race and am a little bit removed from that. Moreso, the perception of women in this business revolves more around looking a certain way than it does around handling extensive, multimillion dollar negotiations. I sell in line with RT Edgar’s brand for prestige real estate on and off market above the stature of $10m, and sometimes there is a bias against women doing these deals. Before I came into real estate, I had quite an illustrious corporate career so I was used to negotiating multi million dollar deals.”
Throughout her career with RT Edgar, Antoinette has sought to overcome this perception by focusing on being of service to her valued, high net worth clients and to deliver record deals and irrefutable sales results for them. Many of which, praise her for being kind, sensitive and a breath of fresh air in a traditionally male dominated industry with a “blokey” culture.
Another key challenge women in real estate face is balancing raising children as a primary care giver whilst having a successful career. “With the weekend and after hours work this business requires, I don’t feel I could have been in this role when I had young children.
When I was an economist and a director with Ernst & Young the graduates were 50/50 male and female, but by the time they got to senior management a lot of women would make those life choices. This is a challenge that exclusively women in the workplace face with regard to pregnancy, birth and breast feeding,” Antoinette explains.
Are there still improvements to be made in certain areas of the industry when it comes to equality?
“There is still work to be done as I don’t see many female directors in real estate. I see a lot of women in the industry, however there are not a lot of women at very senior levels. This again plays into the challenges of primary care giving. The attitudes, support and flexibility stands to be improved in order to achieve realistic work life balance for women.”
What are the assets that women like yourself bring to the real estate industry?
“It’s important to remember that approx. 50% of home owners are women. In our demographic, they are educated, wealthy, successful women and they want to be treated with respect and as equals. Many of my clients are older women and often divorced, selling their major asset on their own. I work collaboratively with them, taking them through the sales process to ensure a positive and stress free experience, whilst at the same time being a very tenacious advocate for them.”
Antoinette has a long track record of successfully selling houses for clients that have previously had very negative experiences and failed campaigns with other agents.
“My clients have praised my approach for being kind, sensitive to their needs and a good listener, as well as being able to deliver an incredible price.” Antoinette explains that emotional intelligence is a key asset that women like herself bring to their negotiations.
From the perspective of working with buyers, Antoinette points out that “a lot of women are the ones making buying decisions, and as a working mum I know what is important to me in my home. I also have a depth of experience in wealth management and investment. So in that regard, my sales performance is driven by this unique blend of experience and point of difference in the market place which I use to guide buyers.”
What would be a few of your key achievements throughout your career to date?
“In my second year of real estate I sold Simonds Hall, a local landmark in South Yarra, off market and it was the highest recorded sale in the suburb. This deal came about as I was stuck in traffic one day. I looked up and had a light bulb moment, thinking that this disused mansion would be perfect for a client. The vendor, which was an institution, indicated they may be open to selling. Whilst this particular client thought it was a money pit, there were plenty of other interested buyers and I sold the property for a record price.
I also have quite a few notable back to back recent sales that have been very successful. A few that stand out would be 34 Albany Road, Toorak. This was a generational estate in the best position in Toorak which sold at Auction, setting a new record for land per square meter in June 2021 and was featured on Nine news.
The off market sale of 25 St Georges Road, Toorak in May 2021 was also a very notable sale. It was a property on a premier boulevard with two street frontages that every agent in the area was coveting over the years. I won the trust of this lovely vendor, who was firm on his price. I later came to him with a buyer, a cheque and a signed contract delivering his full asking price of $13,000,000 – sight unseen.”
Antoinette also acknowledges the privilege in being chosen and appointed to sell 20 Linlithgow Road, Toorak - an architectural masterpiece with a rigorous agent selection process. She sold this property after 3 weeks on the market.
What advice would you give to young women looking to start their career in real estate?
“Like anything, to be successful you’ve got to have integrity, a good work ethic and discipline. Another key piece of advice I think is really important, is to have an education going into it. Having an education supports the way that you speak to people, the way you present information and it provides a solid understanding on pricing and macro economics. My business and financial education has absolutely given me an edge.”