Highlighting Phenomenal Women in the Real Estate Industry

Chris Heller HeadshotChris Heller, Licensed Agent2/1/2022

Casually,Dressed,Female,Colleagues,Talking,In,A,Meeting,RoomWomen in the real estate industry, or any other industry, often feel underestimated and potentially treated unequally compared to their male counterparts. However, the impact they have on the real estate industry is becoming more evident and greater by the day. 

There are so many amazing women working in the real estate industry, and they deserve a bit of praise for what they do. While we would love to highlight all the amazing ladies in the industry, that may take a few blog articles, so we are going to start by shining a spotlight on 10 of these incredible women. 



Kayla Crugnale 

kayla crugnale headshotKayla is a real estate advisor in the Greater Boston Real Estate Market. Her niche market is helping women build their real estate portfolio and accomplish the rewarding achievement of buying homes on their own. She acts as a community concierge to her clients and potential clients giving them all the inside scoop of hot new restaurants, events, shopping, and all the real estate knowledge they need. On top of that she likes to highlight women who are doing amazing things in their careers, entrepreneurs and corporate queens, giving them the space to share their stories and celebrate all that they are doing to pave their own way.
She helps home buyers and home sellers with all of their real estate needs. She’s been working in the greater Boston real estate market for the last 6 years.







Melanie Sauls Magee

melanie sauls magee headshotShe worked for decades as a teacher but always dreamed of being a realtor and finally took the leap a few years ago when she earned her Texas real estate license. She works for Coldwell Banker in Plano, TX. In an industry that can sometimes be ageist and/or sexist she flourished right out of the gate ranking in the top 1-3 realtors in her area within the first year.
More importantly, she is the kind of realtor that is increasingly difficult to find that focuses only on a couple clients at a time to ensure she’s exhausting all potential options for them and has the time to dedicate to their search or sale of their home. The homebuying process is incredibly personal and she is invested in it with her buyers and sellers like it’s her own home/search.
As a teacher, she makes it her job to be patient and educate her clients throughout the process making them feel so taken care of and confident in one of the biggest financial moves they’ll make in their life.
Her reviews on Zillow really say it all:
She is organized, professional, responsive, smart, and our advocate.  She looked out for our family’s best interest with the seller, funders, and all the issues that arose because of the winter storm.
As a first time owner, it can be intimidating to know where/ how to start in the process. Melanie helped answer all questions and got everything we wanted (plus a couple of unexpected items). She is very knowledgeable, sweet and patient.

Jenn Reinhardt 

Jennifer-Reinhardt-headshotJenn not only has more than 17 years of experience, but she has an exceptional personal story. She is a single mom that has used real estate investing to get out of debt and fund the medical needs of her daughter. She now hosts a free monthly webinar “Women’s Real Estate Investment Hour” for women across the country teaching them her insight into buy and hold investing, all for free and with no obligation to use Atlas.

At Atlas Real Estate Jenn specializes in finding clients off market deals in all markets (Boise, Salt Lake City, Denver, Phoenix, Colorado Springs & Tucson) that line up with their individual long-term financial goals. Jenn is a Rockstar not only for Atlas, but in the industry at large.





Holly Meyer Lucas 

holly meyer lucasI sold a $28M home in Palm Beach two days ago and a $10M home in Old Palm (here in Jupiter) Palm Beach is dominated by older, white men who are good-ole-boy brokers so these sales are fairly unique.  We were completely ourselves throughout the entire transaction which was a fresh take on luxury real estate in our area.)
My husband played baseball for 14 years and I take great pride in having built my business running parallel to his playing career.  Having said that, the majority of my personal clients tend to be athletes’ wives, which adds another layer of the female empowerment identity that we have here. Most people don’t know how strong, smart, charitable, and amazing athletes’ wives can be.
I’ve always maintained that being sexy doesn’t sell and also being “masculine” as a substitute for being “professional” doesn’t sell.  Being authentic, learning the market, and being smart is what being a female leader in real estate means to me.
The Meyer Lucas Team has sold $150M in the last year. I got my Florida real estate license six years ago. Started my team after 2 months, realizing I love to train, mentor, and help women like myself transition their careers into real estate.




Jess Shipwash 

jess shipwash headshotI am not your typical “we buy houses” investment company that you see on every street corner. When I started my company, I knew I truly wanted to make a difference in the real estate sector and my community. In addition to real estate investing, I am a registered nurse with a passion for helping people, so I wanted that to translate over into real estate. Unfortunately, many of the “we buy houses” companies in my area are just looking to rip people out of their houses as cheaply as possible and not deal with them if they don’t want to sell their house. I want to help people regardless if they sell me their house or not. That was my avenue to being different and exceptional. It came with an opportunity cost. I spend several hours helping distressed homeowners through whatever situation they may be in, including financial distress and divorce. But, I have also gotten so many referrals from those same people that have allowed my business to grow!
You rarely see someone in this industry truly give back. I wanted to change that. Unlike many companies, I don’t operate on a national scale. We stay in the community we live in, which is East Tennessee. I am also working to grow my business to the point I can begin giving large donations to St. Judes Children Research hospital. Being in the medical field, it has always warmed my heart to see what they do as a hospital, and if I can do something to contribute more to them financially, I will!
I have been in real estate for two years. Over these two years, my business has grown tremendously. I am still a registered nurse. It will be difficult for me to ever walk away from helping people in the medical field, but if I can have the opportunity to hand a successful business over to my son, I will do anything in my power to do so!


Antonique Hodge 

antonique napolesAntonique works as a Real Estate Agent in the Hudson County Area with Trompeter Real Estate. Antonique provides all forms of Real Estate Services ranging from Buying, Selling, Renting, Commercial Real Estate and more. Antonique’s honesty, integrity and exceptional knowledge in the Local Real Estate Market makes her an exceptional agent. She has been in real estate for 10 years and has provided services in various parts of NJ. The Clients love her knowledge of the area, her experience in handling difficult situations and her lovable personality.

In Antoniques words, “I help them feel at ease with making the biggest purchase of their life. I tell my clients to leave the worrying up to me”.

Antonique is also the recipient of ‘NJ Realtors circle of excellence Sales Award Silver’ for the year 2018, 2019 and 2020. One of her Clients said “Antonique was great! Her insider knowledge helped us land a dream apartment in a wonderful complex! She was quick, responsive and kept us apprised of everything that was happening. If you are looking in Jersey City, she is the way to go.


Anna Lyon 

anna lyon headshotAnna is hard working, knowledgeable, and all around bad a$$ when it comes to operating our business. We own and operate Cowtown Home Buyers, a real estate investment company that specializes in buying, renovating, and selling or renting properties throughout Fort Worth, TX. While her title is officially Owner/Operator and Chief Designer, she plays an integral role in finding properties, working with sellers, and making sure the properties we buy and renovate are perfect for our end occupants.







Jennifer Gale

jennifer gale headshotJennifer is a top Real Estate agent in the Oxford County area. With over 15 years of experience, she is ready to assist you in your home buying, selling or renting plans. Jennifer also operates a full Property Management Company where you buy the investment home and she will find you the perfect renter. Knowing the whole process can be overwhelming, Jennifer is committed to helping you every step of the way. This includes recommending and setting you up with mortgage specialists and lawyers, once you have found the perfect home or buyer! Jennifer Gale and her team offer a variety of options to help you get into a house. Do you want a house that is brand new? Dreaming of owning a house, however, bank financing is getting in your way? We have many rentals available and I am sure we have the perfect one for you. If you are searching for an investment property, we will do the work for you and find you the perfect renter.



Dayna Campbell 

dayna campbell headshotA quintessential “Valley Girl”, Dayna Campbell was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley. She was active in many sports and activities throughout her youth, exposing her to a variety of valley communities. Realizing her knack for organization and attention to detail, she started her professional career working in the entertainment industry and after just a few short years, was planning large-scale events for both corporate and social clients, traveling the world for everything from weddings to trade shows.

After building a family of her own, Dayna returned to her strong knowledge of the Los Angeles area and began selling real estate after earning her California real estate license in 2015. She credits her event planning expertise for her ability to multi-task and her travel experiences for her ability to work with a variety of personalities and business styles. These invaluable skills make her an asset to both a Buyer and Seller during a real estate transaction.


Justine Chan 

justine chen headshotJustine is a licensed real estate agent who founded her own real estate education platform inspired by her first home buying experience in New York City.

Initially excited to find a place to call her own, the convoluted process eventually exasperated and overwhelmed her. Even worse, she discovered that there were little to no resources catering to single female home buyers though they make up 17% of total home buyers, and purchase at double the rate of single male home buyers.

Armed with newly-found experience and determined to make a change, she created Live with Plum to provide a much-needed educational and empowerment platform to help women achieve their home buying and personal finance goals through real estate.

Today, Live with Plum reaches tens of thousands of viewers monthly and has been featured in publications like The New York Times, Next Advisor by Time and Business Insider. LWP was also nominated for the Plutus Awards for Best Real Estate Content in 2020.

Justine has shared her expertise with women around the world and empowered them throughout their own home buying journeys.


Jessica Carro 

jessica carro headshotOne of the many things that make Jessica an exceptional agent is that she cares about the needs of her clients. Her clients know that she is always looking out for their best interests above anything else. Along with her knowledge and negotiation skills, Jessica has a very outgoing personality and connects well with everyone.

One of her clients said, “I had a great experience with Jessica. She is knowledgeable, always quick to respond and very easy to work with. I would highly recommend her to anyone looking for a place.

She is a Jersey City native serving buyers and sellers with exceptional knowledge, confidence and style for nearly a decade now. She grew up in a family of brokers and investors who taught her the ins and outs of the Jersey City home buying and selling, making her versed in the Local Real Estate market since childhood.



Lauren Cohen 

Lauren-Cohen HeadshotOne of the women that prove that women can succeed in a highly competitive, male-dominated area of real estate – investing is Lauren Cohen. She is not only an amazing lawyer licensed in both Canada and the US, she’s also a real estate investing professional for both countries. Lauren and her team help businesses raise capital, assist franchises seeking additional franchisees in the form of foreign investors, and work with foreign investors seeking access to the U.S. markets.

Lauren is pushing the boundaries each day and proving that women are not only amazing real estate agents, but can also multitask between several industries. She’s a #1 bestselling author and a public speaker. Her knowledge and wealth of information are to be admired which is why she is one of the most sought-after professionals for real estate investors.

As the founder of the website e-Council Inc and Creative Real Estate Academy, Lauren is proving the real estate world can be run by powerful, dedicated women.




Sharlys Leszczuk

sharlys headshotAlthough the residential real estate space is better-represented by women, the commercial real estate and technology industries are not. As a young professional who is early on in her career, Sharlys Leszczuk is working at the cross-section of two industries dominated by men, which can be intimidating, but that doesn’t stop her from charging forward. 

As a millennial, Sharlys can offer a unique perspective on gender equality in the workplace because each subsequent generation that enters the workforce comes from a more equal, balanced, and diverse upbringing. When entering the workforce for the first time, this incites a sort of “culture shock” that can be discouraging to young women because there are very few women in the spotlight to “look up to”.  

“I think what makes me unique is what makes the millennial generation unique — we will not stand for inequality in terms of job opportunities, salaries, and healthcare practices. We also are not afraid to speak out about inequality that exists in the form of discrimination based on gender, sexuality, appearance, accent, or race,” Sharlys says. 

She is currently the Account Supervisor, Digital Liaison professional at Antenna Group


Deni Supplee 

Deni-Supplee HeadshotOne woman that has experienced everything from the industry and has paved the path for many young real estate agents is Deni Supplee, licensed Realtor, property manager, and the co-founder of SparkRental.com. With over 35 years of experience in the real estate industry, Deni brings a holistic mindset to real estate, all about how building income from rental properties can change your life for the better.

Throughout her career, she has taught hundreds of people and real estate agents the art of real estate investment, building passive income, property management, and automating rental management. Thanks to her selfless teaching, a lot of people have found success in real estate and managed to replace their salary with passive rental income.

Her ultimate goal for her students and audience is to help them replace their day job’s income with rental income. At that point, working becomes optional, and you’re free to spend your time however you like. For many, that means spending more time with their families; for others, it’s quitting a high-stress job in order to pursue a more meaningful career or even volunteer full-time.  

Whatever the goal is, it’s undeniable that Deni is a true professional and one of the most inspiring women in real estate.


Michael Saunders 

Michael-Saunders HeadshotBack in 1976, women in real estate were very underestimated. However, women like Michael Saunders were what changed that view. Through perseverance and fighting she has established a culture where women in real estate are admired, not looked down on. 

“Michael Saunders was the original disruptor in real estate. When she set out on her own in 1976, it was because she saw a lack of genuine customer service in the industry. She leaned into real estate being a relationship-based business long before it was fashionable. Her story is one of inspiration and resilience – from needing a male co-signer for a $5,000 loan to open her first office on St. Armands Circle in Sarasota to operating a $2.79 billion brokerage over 40 years later with 24 offices along Florida’s Gulf Coast and more than 700 agents,” compliments Samantha Emelock of MSC Marketing. This is just a small portion of the many admirable achievements in Michael’s life. 

As one of the first major female names in real estate, Michael has inspired countless young women to embark on their own real estate journey. Whenever you mention her name there’s instantaneous recognition about the work she’s done to further the industry (as a whole and for women) and the community. Samantha Emelock gushes, “the values she has set in all those years ago of integrity, excellence, communication, and mutual profitability have been a compass that has helped the company navigate through some tumultuous times, and continue to inspire anyone with the fortune of having their name on a Michael Saunders & Company business card.” 


Jamie Duran

Jamie-Duran HeadshotWomen made up 56% of licensed brokers and 66% of sales agent licensees in 2017 and these numbers continue to increase every day. One of the women that continues to inspire women in the industry is Jamie Duran. 

Through commitment and a goal-oriented attitude, Jamie Duran has led Coldwell Banker Realty Southern California to achieve nearly $9 billion in sales volume and 11,300 closed units in 2019, representing a growth of over 50% compared to 2014.

A graduate of California State University, Northridge, she has had a long career with Coldwell Banker, beginning as an affiliate agent and attaining various opportunities due to her excellent work ethic. She has overseen training agents as well as been the branch manager of the Ventura and Studio City offices of Coldwell Banker Realty, regional vice president Northwest Greater Los Angeles (GLA), district manager of Northwest GLA, and president of the Orange County and San Diego Companies of Coldwell Banker Realty before her current role as president of all Southern California.

Currently, she oversees 75 offices, 4,400 independent sales associates, and 226 employees across Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Diego.


Eugenia Foxworth 

Eugenia-Fox HeadshotFor some women, success in real estate has come when everyone else was failing. During the crisis of 2008, many companies closed their doors forever, but one woman decided to go forward with her idea and open a real estate company. Her name is Eugenia Foxworth. She is currently the Owner and Broker at Foxworth Realty and a member of the NAR, REBNY, HGAR, and a certified MWBE (NYC), New York Residential (NYRS) with REBNY. 

She has received countless renowned awards and recognitions, among which are: 

  • A “Woman of Excellence” 2019 by the New York Women’s Chamber of Commerce 
  • April 2019 Recognized as a “Woman of Courage” and received an award from the Harlem Community News and Health First; Citation from the NY State Assembly Member, Inez E. Dickens; Certificate of Appreciation from the Manhattan Borough President, Gail Brewer
  • June 2019 the “Real Estate Weekly” recognized as one of the “Leading Ladies in Real Estate”

Today, she uses her experience to share her invaluable advice with other young women who hesitate to open their own brokerage as they still view real estate as a male-dominated industry. 


Melissa Thompson 

Melissa-Thompson-headshotIn 2015, the aspiration gap between women and men in real estate was enormous. As many as 40% of male real estate agents aspire to the C-Suite, compared to the humble 28% of women. In addition to this, the majority of women (47%) indicated that their aspirations topped out at the SVP/Partner level, which shows that many women are discouraged to aim at higher levels of the hierarchy. 

However, some women have not only aimed for the top, they beat the hierarchy and rose above it. Melissa Thompson is one of them. She is a real estate agent at Crye-Leike Realtors in Memphis, Tennessee where she is the leader and face of the Melissa Thompson Team

As one of the top real estate agents in Memphis with over 33 years of experience Melissa has acquired many designations: ABR, CRS, CSP, GRI, SRES, SFR, E-PRO, CLHMS, is a Life Member of the Multi-Million Dollar Club, and has consistently been a “Top Producing” agent for Crye-Leike Realtors, the Mid-South’s number one real estate company.

More than 90% of her business is generated through repeat or referral business from past clients. Although motherhood often puts a break on most women’s careers, it has helped Melissa excel at it. As a mother of five, she understands how moving affects the entire family and makes it her mission to make the buying and selling process as seamless as possible for every single client.


Alison Bernstein 

alison-bernstein headshotAnother leading female figure in the industry is Alison Bernstein. She is an entrepreneur and pioneer. She has founded Suburban Jungle, a one of a kind real estate advisory and tech platform focused on taking families from Urban to Suburban. 

The company has offered a green, remote alternative to the urban jungle. As a result, the company has grown 400% from the same time last year, even during a pandemic.

Alison and her team describe their jobs as 98% psychology and 2% real estate. While other companies might have been scrambling at this moment to get their remote force in order, the SJ employee pool has since inception enjoyed the flex option of remote working -making the surge fairly seamless.

This innovative, forward-thinking has put Suburban Jungle among the top real estate companies in the area. “We are very busy,” says Suburban Jungle Founder and President, Alison Bernstein. “This whole thing is catastrophic, and petrifying for families in urban areas. People want out of the city and now. With some of the newer roadblocks in place with regards to purchasing, they are finding solace in the ability to connect with us, begin their process, and ultimately imagine a light at the end of the tunnel.”


Barbara Callan 

Barbara HeadshotSan Francisco is a competitive city for anyone in the real estate industry, but Barbara Callan has proven herself there. She is one of the most influential women in the local San Francisco business community with almost $3 Billion of San Francisco real estate sales with her son, Robert, since her start as a Realtor in 1986. 

While men are usually thought to serve the biggest names in the world, women don’t lack experience in that area and Barbara is living proof of it. With clients such as Warren Buffett, Gordon, and Ann Getty, former Giants’ Rich Aurilia, Lieutenant Governor of California Gavin Newsom, actress Jennifer Siebel Newsom, and the Pelosi Family, Barbara has established herself as the top agent for San Francisco’s luxury real estate market at McGuire Real Estate.  

Barbara prides herself on providing exceptional service to her clients. Her intricate knowledge of the city and round-the-clock dedication to supporting her clients has earned her a spot in the top 1% of realtors in San Francisco for the last 34 years and the title of #1 San Francisco Real Estate Agent named by both Wall Street Journal and Real Trends. 

The reason why she has remained at the top is her willingness to go above and beyond for every client, in every transaction. She credits her success to her passion and enthusiasm for serving her clients as well as her ability to build meaningful relationships and networks throughout her career


Lindsay Smith

Lindsay-Smith HeadshotLast but certainly not least in the spotlight of phenomenal women in the real estate industry is Lindsay Smith, Chief Strategy Officer for Title Alliance. She forms in-house title and escrow joint venture partnerships with Real Estate Professionals giving them a compliant way to profit from an investment in a title and escrow company. 

Lindsay knows that the Real Estate Business is tough. Whether you’re running a brokerage; a team or are an individual agent, the market ebbs and flows and it’s critical to have multiple sources of income to allow yourself and your family to thrive. 

She wants to make a difference in the female real estate world and her passion for this has allowed her to expand into new markets making an impact previously beyond the scope of her imagination. 

Keeping a positive mindset and sharing positive motivation and encouragement allows her to motivate her team to provide exceptional service time and time again for their clients. “At the end of the day, success comes from aligning yourself with the right team members who believe in your mission. When great people come together, motivated toward a common goal, the end outcome and experience is nothing less than exceptional.” This is a principle Lindsay works by, which is why she has and continues to excel in her real estate career.

Let’s give all these women a round of applause for the amazing work they have done, and the career heights they have achieved. 


Chris Heller Headshot

About the Author

Chris Heller brings 27 years of experience in real estate. Chris serves on the AgentAdvice Editorial Board and is the Chief Real Estate Officer at OJO Labs. Chris brings deep expertise having held influential industry positions including CEO of mellohome and former CEO of Keller Williams Realty International.

Last Updated: 2/1/2022



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