Name: Susan Bands
Title: Associate Regional Manager
Company Name: Marcus & Millichap
Association/Organization Affiliations (REAL ESTATE ONLY): CREW, ICSC
What is your favorite motivational quote?
“I am not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I’m not dumb. I also know I’m not blonde” ~ Dolly Parton
What is the best advice you have received, and who was it from?
It was from my mom Sharon Bands, a pioneering woman in commercial real estate. Seventeen years ago, when pregnant with my first child, she said, “Be self-sufficient, never stop working.” Thank goodness, because it turned out that I needed to be (self-sufficient, that is). The working mother cliché is real–massive guilt, hours wasted in fruitless attempts to find balance. It was hard. What she knew, when she gave me that advice, was that a career in real estate would turn out to be incredibly fulfilling. I find such joy in my job and co-workers. Best advice ever!
What books, blogs, podcasts, resources or influencers would you recommend to women?
Books: “You Are a Badass” by Jen Sincero is not only hilarious, but full of wisdom and encouragement. “Executive Presence, the Missing Link Between Merit and Success” by Sylvia Ann Hewlett is a must-read, especially for young women entering the workforce.
Blogs: Wendy Mann, my friend and CEO of CREW Network, writes “Wendy’s Blog” about women in real estate, diversity, equal pay and so forth. Also, Julie Zuraw’s blog is a must for any woman trying to find her voice in a room full of men. Julie is an expert on communication, empowerment, and has coached me through a few mishaps.
How do you hold your own in a negotiation?
It may sound simple, but I start with listening. Someone once said, “God gave us two ears and one mouth, so use them accordingly” and that’s exactly what I do. It is truly a phenomenon to me, how objections and conflict so often dissolve simply by hearing out the other side. I’ll ask a lot of open-ended questions but talk as little as possible. By the time I do engage, the other party is somewhat dis-armed, and I have heard enough to know my next move.