LeadingRE COO Kate Reisinger Interviewed by BE News


LeadingRE Chief Operating Officer Kate Reisinger was interviewed by BENews, a popular U.K. online news service covering the entire built environment industry. Read the full article below or on BENews here.

My BE Career: Kate Reisinger

Name: Kate Reisinger

Job title: Chief Operating Officer, LeadingRE

What I do: I oversee the design and implementation of key operational strategies for our company, which includes member services, where I focus on engagement, performance, satisfaction, and success among our 550 member real estate companies around the world. I also work on our core referral programme, which generates over 24,000 member-to-member real estate referrals annually, valued at over $8bn. Additionally, I head our marketing and events, including our flagship Conference Week, which draws over 2,000 top real estate professionals every year.

Why I got into the property industry: Quite simply, I wanted to help people. In college, I won an internship with the district attorney as a victim witness advocate. From that experience, I realised that I had an instinct to serve people. Ultimately, getting into real estate meant helping people with the biggest investment of their lives.

How I did it: After college, while I studied to get into law school, I was working in a retail store and was promoted to manager. My mom commented that I was doing such a good job selling clothes that I could use those skills selling real estate. I got my license and was working as a realtor, while also bartending. A friend shared a job opportunity for a relocation coordinator, assisting people moving from one city to another. I had been working 80 hours a week at that point, so I took the interview and got the job.

My first proper job: Working at the Benetton store on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue as store manager. In that role, I learned a lot about people that I believe has been a solid foundation for me: the importance of customer focus, how to deal with different personalities, how to meet people where they are and provide what they need.

My first big break: When a national franchise purchased the local real estate company where I worked, I was given an opportunity that changed the path of my career. One Friday afternoon three months after the acquisition, the CEO called me in and asked, “How’s it going?” I was honest. I told him it was difficult , and that the department I was in was without focus or a leader, and that we were losing business. He was surprised at my honesty, but I really think he valued it and he then asked me how I would feel running the department. I had no hesitation and told him: “Absolutely – I can do it.” I had just found out that I got into law school, but somehow, I knew that I was already in the right place.

My inspiration: My mom. She was a single mom who worked three jobs. She was a paralegal proofing patents and was an incredibly fast typist. She instilled in me the importance of hard work and grit and I want to be that person for my girls.

The biggest challenge I’ve encountered to date: Professionally, it was when I first started as a relocation director because there was a lot of talk that I was too young. The relocation industry had a lot of experienced, talented, accomplished players. Many were always very supportive of me, but others were questioning. Personally, my biggest challenge was my father’s death. As a child of 11-years-old, when your parent dies suddenly, everything you think about the world is flipped. It makes you grow up fast. I lost my rose-colored glasses and realised life can be unfair. I think what that taught me was to live life to the fullest and take advantage of each and every day.

My greatest achievement/proudest moment to date: My kids – two twin girls who, I’m told, look just like me! I like watching life through their eyes because it’s entertaining and joyful. The biggest misconception people have about the property industry: That the real estate agent is not essential to the process.

My biggest bugbear about the industry/the one thing I would change about the industry: We can move too slowly…in adopting new technology, modernizing the process, and adapting to ever-changing market trends.

Why I’m so passionate about DE&I: Our industry should be representative of the communities we serve and reflect our population.

Why I’m so passionate about ESG: We must preserve this planet for our children and their children. As an industry, there is so much we can do, from supporting sustainable building to encouraging environmental action in our own communities. When it comes to social issues, we must be diligent in striving for and achieving fair housing for all. Where I’d like to be in five years’ time career-wise: I want to continue to grow in the ways I contribute to our network and support our members’ success – individually and as a whole.

What I do in my downtime: I love to cook and travel. My favourite dish to make is homemade pasta with bolognese sauce and my top travel destination at the moment is the US national parks. Experiencing the beauty of this world with our kids has been an incredible experience.

The job I’d be doing if I was not doing this: Victim witness advocacy or an attorney focusing on criminal prosecution.

My advice for someone just starting out: Be hyper-focused on a couple of things that will move you forward – not everything. In times of uncertainty, put your head down and work. Roll up your sleeves. Don’t be afraid to get in there.

My motto/mantra: Be of service, even in the smallest of ways. Smile at people. Say hello. You never know how it may help. Give back to the community you live in. It really grounds you. In the workplace, I think about how I can foster my team and what moves them forward every day.